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With boss under fire, Marino aide hedges on DOJ letter’s existence

With boss under fire, Marino aide hedges on DOJ letter’s existence

In April, Republican congressional candidate Tom Marino told a talk-show radio host that he had permission from the Department of Justice to give a reference for a businessman’s gaming application, even as his U.S. Attorney’s office was investigating the same businessman. His campaign manager said a letter documenting that authorization would be released.

Then, months of silence followed, even as the radio host and Marino’s opponent pressured the 10th District candidate to release the letter. That silence was broken only last week, but was quickly undercut: Marino said he wasn’t authorized to release documents from his tenure as U.S. Attorney, but The Associated Press reported that a document supposedly granting him permission to give businessman Louis DeNaples the reference doesn’t even exist.

Now, Marino’s campaign appears to be retreating from the situation and hunkering down, hoping to ride out any fallout and shift the focus back to incumbent Democrat Chris Carney. To that end, Marino campaign’s itself implied to a local newspaper late last week that the much-talked-about letter might not exist.

“I don’t recall Mr. Marino ever referring specifically to a document from the Department of Justice that gave him permission to give a reference,” spokesman Jason Fitzgerald told The Suz-Gazette.

But in two statements during the 24 hours preceding Fitzgerald’s comments, Marino himself had alluded to “documents” in which he was given permission to be a reference for DeNaples. It’s unclear exactly what the Marino campaign’s official stance is in the aftermath of the Associated Press report: Fitzgerald did not return about half-a-dozen messages seeking comment Friday and Monday.

But Carney’s campaign, which has already used the controversy in TV and radio ads, is seizing on any contradictions coming from Marino’s camp.

“Tom Marino must come clean and admit that there never was a letter to begin with,” Carney campaign spokesman Josh Drobnyk said in a statement Monday. “Even after a definitive report that says the Justice Department has no record of Marino getting permission before providing a personal reference for a felon, Tom Marino continues to spin lies. In the space of hours he and his campaign said there were documents and then that there may not be. Marino needs to stop lying and tell the truth.”

September 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments [7] | post a comment

  1. KG

    Sep 20th, 2010

    More than anyone in this situation, I feel bad for Marino’s communications staffers.

    And as a side note, I guess I’m the one who’s finally gonna say it: Tom Marino looks like George Bluth Sr. Even the outfit works.

  2. Moderate Chaz

    Sep 20th, 2010

    Mr. Marino is another one of the “good old boys”, and he clearly the National Republicans did not look into him enough.

    While I can’t say I agree with Congressman Carney 100% of the time, he is at least a decent guy. Carney is in this for the right reasons. Mr. Marino is running for himself, and the elites.

  3. delco mod

    Sep 21st, 2010

    This lie just cost Marino the race.

    I’ll never understand why these guys continue to think the truth is so difficult for us to understand.

  4. eye on you

    Sep 21st, 2010

    KG I don’t feel bad for this Fitzgerald guy, he lies like a rug and always has. He is a smooth talking political hack.

  5. Hal Incandenza

    Sep 21st, 2010

    This is far from surprising; The Quixotic duo of Fitzgerald and Marino would not recognize the truth if it came to them in human form, sat on their lap wearing a T-Shirt saying “I’m the Truth” and spelled out their identity in a powerpoint presentation, specifically called “Hi, I’m the Truth”

  6. Ada

    Sep 21st, 2010

    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee would reduce its ad buy in the media market covering Democratic Rep. Chris Carney’s 10th district in northeastern Pennsylvania, a party source confirmed. The DCCC knows Carney has no shot of winning.

  7. Straight Truth

    Sep 21st, 2010

    Is this guy’s name really Tom Marino?

    How should I know? I will not believe a word this man says ever again and I sure as H don’t want him as my congressman.

    Just another reason to vote for Carney. Thanks Tom.

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