OpinionMeister

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Riddle Solved

The Washington Times reports on the source of the so-called "talking points memo." Link.
Sen. Mel Martinez said last night that his office was the source of the anonymous political talking-points memo on the Terri Schiavo situation and that he unwittingly passed the memo to Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat.
Mr. Harkin had told reporters earlier in the day that he got the memo on the Senate floor from Mr. Martinez, contradicting previous statements to The Washington Times by the Florida Republican's office that neither the senator nor his staff had produced or distributed the memo.

Mr. Martinez said in a statement last night, after repeated inquiries by The Washington Times, that unbeknownst to him, one of his staffers had produced the memo and it came into his possession.
He said the staff member, whom he did not name, has resigned. A Senate aide identified the staffer as Brian Darling, legal counsel for Mr. Martinez's office.
Mr. Martinez said Mr. Harkin told him about the memo yesterday. The Republican said he had meant to give Mr. Harkin a document describing Mr. Martinez's bill to prolong Mrs. Schiavo's life while federal courts reviewed her situation.
"Until this afternoon, I had never seen it and had no idea a copy of it had ever been in my possession." (...)

"It was not approved by me or any other member of my staff, nor were we aware of its existence until very recently. This is not a document that would have been approved in this office for circulation under any circumstances," said the freshman senator and former secretary of housing and urban development. (...)

In the survey, every Republican said he or she had not seen or produced the memo. Only Mr. Harkin admitted to having seen the memo, though at the time his spokeswoman wouldn't say who passed it on.

So it appears that what the MSM has called a "Republican memo" and "distributed to all Republican senators" was seen only by one senator, and that one was a Democrat. It further appears that the reason it was unsigned and on plain paper was that is was not a memo, but a suggestion by a staffer that may have been passed on to his Senator for approval, but never was approved or even seen by the senator.

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