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More are believed involved in writing Schiavo talking points memo



The decision by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) not to overhaul his staff in the wake of the now-infamous Terri Schiavo talking points—which urged Republicans to take advantage of the tragedy for political gain—has raised ire among the senator's own supporters, RAW STORY has learned.

In a piece set to splash Monday, Roll Call's Mary Ann Akers will reveal that at least two other staffers were believed to have helped draft the talking points the senator passed out on the Senate floor.

A source says "that he knows 'for certain' that two other senior Martinez staffers helped Darling write the memo and circulate it to other Republican Senators," Akers reports.

“Those three were really working it,” the disgruntled source quipped.

Martinez does not plan to make changes to his staff.

"Sources say the Senator does not plan to make any more staff changes beyond that of Martinez’s counsel, Brian Darling, who left the office," Akers pens in Monday's editions. "Darling belatedly admitted circulating a memo that urged Republicans to get involved in the Terri Schiavo case, in part because it could yield political benefits."

Martinez's press secretary insists that the memo was written “unilaterally” by one aide, Akers says.

"A Republican source close to the situation," Akers adds, "said the claim is 'preposterous.'"

Martinez has taken flak in the Florida press for passing the memo off on a single aide.

"Even the Senator’s biggest media defender, Orlando Sentinel columnist Myriam Marquez, wrote that Martinez needs to take responsibility for his staff’s actions," Akers writes. "'If Martinez didn’t know what his lawyer was up to, then the question begs: Who’s really running things?' she wrote."

Article originally published Apr. 17, 2005.

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