Brian Darling, Republican Senator Martinez, and the Schiavo memo

Howie, what's that? Speak up doubter.

Michelle Malkin can quit worrying about why wingnuts that dream up non-factual stories are ignored (well, we wish they were). As for "the boys at Powerline" (hey, that's what the winger gals call them), they really blew their brand new toaster on this one. You'll recall, Bowers wrote "Wrath of the Memo" last month. It's about a dreamed-up article by Hindrocker of Powerline that the "infamous" memo about Schiavo was actually a Democratic plant, and Fox News/Limbaugh and Howard Kurtz all jumped on the bandwagon, dreaming of a Rather-like scalp. Hindrocker at least got the ending right: "This is a case where the truth, as the old saying goes, is still lacing up its shoes."

Now comes the fact that the memo did in fact originate in Florida's Republican Senator Martinez's office. The WaPost says that Martinez is trying to find the staffer that wrote the memo.

The talking points first appeared in conjunction with a March 8th PR by Martinez. Second, Martinez has used the talking points himself, as has co-sponsor in the House, Dave Weldon, as has DeLay. It makes sense for Martinez to have talking points on hand that he could pass around to convince other Senators to sign on to the bill or for them to use to justify their support. When you sponsor a bill, you produce collateral materials, charts, graphs, presentations, talking points. It happens every day on the Hill.

Martinez handed out the talking points himself. Martinez handed a copy of the talking points to Senator Tom Harkin. Now, Martinez can go and find the dumb staffer that printed them up, but the buck stops here with Martinez.

Update: Brian Darling (The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group (this is the DeLay link) on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said. And Powerline? Hindrocker (shovel in hand and digging) is trying to pan it off on this staffer (who is hardly the small fry Hindrocker portrays him as). What, does he not realize that Martinez himself handed the memo out of his own pocket?

Martinez flat out lied to reporters (A survey by The Washington Times found that every Republican said the memo was not crafted or distributed by him or her.) last month. The staff of Martinez was lying about it yesterday, saying "we know we didn't produce it."

Update: (Chris) They wanted to make a big deal of this, so let's play along. Go to Yahoo and rate this story up. Surely the delicious irony alone is worth it.

Update: Now that Brian Darling of the Alexander Strategy Group has been penned as the author, it connects the dots to why Tom DeLay also used the talking points. The Alexander Strategy Group is a firm created by former DeLay chief of staff Ed Buckham (and yet another place from where DeLay's wife has cashed checks). Tom DeLay used the talking points at least on three occasions:

TP #3: This is an important moral issue...

DeLay on 3/18: House Republicans knew we had a moral obligation to act, and we did just that.
DeLay on 3/20: The legal issues, I grant everyone, are complicated, but the moral ones are not.

TP #8: This legislation ensures that individuals like Terri Schiavo are guaranteed the same legal protections as convicted murderers like Ted Bundy.

DeLay on 3/18: Well, what we're doing in the bill that passed the Hours and a bill that passed the Senate is exactly what we're we would do for death row inmates.

A copy of the Republican memo is in the extended entry.

Hahahaha, final word.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)



The best part is
Is that they were the only ones making hay out of the memo for the past three weeks or so. The rest of us had let it drop. Now, they ended up making a non-story a really bad one for themselves. Beautiful.
by Chris Bowers 2005-04-06 08:37PM | 0 recs
i've got multiple yahoo accounts.  rating it up multiple times...
by annatopia 2005-04-06 08:45PM | 0 recs
This is a Pattern
Mel Martinez has used this excuse before.

During his Senate primary, his campaign attacked conservative former congressman Bill McCollum as being pro-gay because he voted for the hate crimes legislation, and they "outed" a McCollum staffer.  Martinez said his staff did the attack and that he knew nothing about it.

During the general election campaign produced ads against Betty Castor calling her a terrorist because of an issue that happened while she was at USF.  Again he said that his staff produce the ads and that he knew nothing about it.

Now is passing around memos that he supposedly knew nothing about??  Please.  

This guy is liar.

by FloridaD 2005-04-07 05:49AM | 0 recs
The real villians of the piece
are of course the people of Florida, who voted for Mel Martinez. Any word on when that might change?
by Paul Goodman 2005-04-07 05:53AM | 0 recs
Either lying or stupid.
According to E&P:

Martinez, in his statement, said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, had asked for background information on the bill ordering a federal court to review the Schiavo case.

He said he pulled a one-page document from his coat pocket and handed to Harkin. "Unbeknownst to me ... I had given him a copy of the now infamous memo."

What? He wanted information on the bill, so you just reached into your pocket and pulled out . . . what, a random piece of paper? Darling planted it on you? Or do you keep a literature rack in there, that somebody else stocks?

Senator Martinez is either a bad liar or a total idiot. Or both.

by catastrophile 2005-04-07 09:50AM | 0 recs
He Apologized to Nelson?
From Yahoo: "Martinez said he also had apologized to Sen. Bill Nelson (news, bio, voting record), D-Fla., who is up for re-election in 2006 and was cited in the memo because he had declined to become a sponsor of the bill."

Someone should check it out, cuz for some reason I don't beleive Martinez.

by zappatero 2005-04-07 06:25AM | 0 recs
Brian Darling
Darling is the former General Counsel to Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire.  Smith is a republican that retired in 2002.  According to congressional lobbying records Brian Darling was a registered lobbyist for Alexander Strategy Group in the year 2002.

Was Darling a registered lobbyist while still the general counsel to a sitting US Senator?

by axiom 2005-04-07 08:52AM | 0 recs
Ah, Powerblind
PowerB-linded - A blog who believes that every story is about them and whom, when the story is about them, believes they did not get enough attention. Liberal-lingus
by powerliberal 2005-04-07 09:26AM | 0 recs
This is some biographical info
Source: National Journal, Jan 18, 2003

Brian Darling,  who most recently was general counsel to former Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H., has joined the Alexander Strategy Group. Darling, 37, co-founded and co-chaired the Conservative Working Group, a weekly legislative strategy meeting of conservative congressional staffers. Previously, he served as a counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and as an aide to then-Sens. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., and Steve Symms, R-Idaho. Darling is originally from Massachusetts, but some of his most interesting political experiences occurred in Florida. When the Elián González controversy was brewing in January 2000, Smith happened to be there for meetings about the Everglades restoration. Smith and Darling visited the home where the young Cuban refugee was staying-an experience that persuaded them to draft legislation that would have provided Elián with permanent residency. That fall, Darling worked on the Bush-Cheney recount team in Miami-Dade County. In one incident, Darling says, he successfully demanded that nine votes sought by backers of Al Gore be denied. The Alexander Strategy Group was founded by Ed Buckham and Tony Rudy, former aides to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. It is affiliated with the law firm Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman and its communications and lobbying subsidiary, the Harbour Group.

by axiom 2005-04-07 09:33AM | 0 recs
The aide to Mel Martinez just resigned in Disgrace
Dean should get on National TV and blast the
GOP for doing this. This is not being
tied hard enough to the GOP. They tacitly
endorsed all of this noise.

Dude, trust me. The GOP had this memo
and was working it to the hilt - sending
the president back to DC, late night
sessions - the whole nine.


by turnerbroadcasting 2005-04-07 05:50PM | 0 recs
I imagine he'll get a nice post at the Heritage Foundation, or the AEI, or the RNC...
"Disgrace," indeed!
From the Rethug perspective, the disgrace is that he got caught.
by Frisbeedog 2005-04-08 10:37AM | 0 recs
TP #3 - Morals and Pro-Life connection
The bill that passed the House Wednesday, advanced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner and others, extended beyond Schiavo. A spokesman for Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the Wisconsin Republican had worked closely with Schiavo's parents in writing the bill, and added that the National Right to Life Committee had supported his approach.

...But Sensenbrenner himself came in for criticism later that evening. James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, a conservative group, said the senator had "personally stopped this rescue effort in the House." Dobson spoke on Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes."

by tln41 2005-04-20 10:19AM | 0 recs
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by business 2006-11-10 06:49AM | 0 recs
by joshuatree 2007-04-04 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Brian Darling, Republican Senator Martinez, an
Somehow, Martinez should thank Bob Graham for retiring, and of course Betty Castor whom he defeated. I really do not like him entirely. I only think he will make a fine manager in an online prescription drugs company and not as a manager of the entire nation. Not this one, no!
by Nunumarc 2007-10-11 10:54AM | 0 recs
by phoneguy 2008-04-23 05:42AM | 0 recs


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