Senator Tom Harkin has been at the center of a controversy over leaked information that has spawned all sorts of attention in the nation’s capitol and on the Internet. Harkin gained notoriety in the early 1970s when he was a staffer on a Congressional trip to Vietnam. Harkin sold photos that were taken on the trip to a magazine. In the past couple of weeks, conservatives had been hinting it was Harkin who planted what conservatives claimed was a bogus memo touting the political advantage Republicans might gain by siding with the parents of Terry Schiavo, the Florida woman who was taken off a feeding tube at her husband’s request. “I was gone for a couple of weeks and I came back to find out that now they were accusing Democrats of writing this (memo), and accusing me,” Harkin says. Harkin says he had enough of the inuendo, so on Wednesday he called Mel Martinez, a Republican Senator from Florida, who had handed him the memo on the Senate floor. Harkin says he did not give the memo to the media. Martinez, the Republican Senator, now admits the memo came from his office — and the staff member who wrote it has resigned. Harkin was the only Democrat in the U-S Senate to side with Republicans in voting for a bill that demanded a federal judge review the Schiavo case one more time.
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