Ed Martin Denies Disparaging Former Elections Worker; We've Got the Tape

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Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
Ed Martin, 2010 Congressional candidate can't recall what he told us
For an attorney and Congressional hopeful, Ed Martin sure has a funky memory.

The Tea Party favorite can't seem to get his story straight when it comes to Jeanne Bergfeld, whom he fired from the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners in 2005. Was she competent or not? Six years after her termination, that question has become a political liability for Martin: Bergfeld is suing him for making disparaging comments about her to the Riverfront Times last year.

In response to Bergfeld's lawsuit, Martin first denied making the comments in question. Then, in a recent deposition, he claimed he simply couldn't remember either way.

That confusion may be real. What's more troubling is this: Martin's former campaign spokeswoman now suggests that Martin tried to bully her into changing her version of events in order to back up his own.

It's time to set the record straight.

In 2005, Martin took the helm as chairman of the infamously dysfunctional board. Even Democrats give him props for turning that ship around. 

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Image via
Ed Martin did, in fact, change the Board of Election Commissioners for the better
Martin and fellow commissioners Clarence Dula and Angel McCormick Franks wrote near-identical letters to a half-dozen employees at the board on August 12, 2005, informing them that their performance just wasn't cutting the mustard.

While the message was uniform, discipline was not: Four employees were reassigned, while two were canned outright -- including the long-time assistant director of operations, Jeanne Bergfeld.

Bergfeld became convinced the real reason the commissioners booted her off the bi-partisan board was their desire to please conservative governor Matt Blunt. (While herself a Republican, she suspected she "wasn't Republican enough" for Blunt.) She filed a federal lawsuit against the commissioners to that effect in 2006.

In settling that case, Martin and his colleagues signed a statement that backpedaled sharply on their earlier criticism, stating:
Jeanne Bergfeld served the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of St. Louis over a twelve-year period as a conscientious and dedicated professional. Ms. Bergfeld's departure from the Board arose from perceived differences on the best methods and organizational systems to meet new election requirements mandated by federal and state law. Any implication to the contrary is not accurate.
Martin and crew also agreed, in writing, to not talk about the case or disparage Bergfeld publicly.

That should've been the end of it. But it wasn't.


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12 comments
Bob250
Bob250

One lesson from all of this: Don't ever talk to the River Front Times!

Russ Weiss
Russ Weiss

Is that gun that he keeps shooting himself in the foot with registered?

Scooby Don't
Scooby Don't

wonder if that other useless POS, Dana Loesch, discussed this on her lame-ass radio show yet...anything that puts Ed in a bad light will certainly be ignored or "spun" by that trained circus monkey Loesch.

Sonia Zuroweste Wagner
Sonia Zuroweste Wagner

Sorry annonymous, but it's not like years had passed since Ed's settlement with Bergfeld.  He violated the settlement agreement, plain and simple.  Whether he remembers violating it or not doesn't matter.  He granted the reporters access so he should have known to not even comment on the Bergfeld situation.  It seems to me that he just is not very bright.  And the RFT has the right to defend their articles and reporters.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Your Momma
Your Momma

" We're resisting that request, because we always resist subpoenas on principle. "

Huh? 

What principle is that? 

True Patriot
True Patriot

I fully agree with Anonymous. How dare the RFT publish things a politician said on the record and quote verbatim from a digital recording of said statements. That's just crazy. Don't reporters know they're only supposed to write what a candidate had meant to say, not what he really said. I guess that goes to show that even a nice man like Ed Martin, who was looking for nothing but whore himself out to the media at every opportunity, cannot rely on reporters to return the favor. Maybe this is revenge for all of those informative press releases reporters keep getting from Ed Martin every day. Ed only wants you know what he thinks about everything, all the time, on any subject....even those he has nothing to do with. And he wants you to write it straight...you know...exactly what he meant to say.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Demonstrating that no good deed goes unpunished...Ed gives a reporter unparalleled access to the campaign and gets a lawsuit for an off-handed comment.

If we want politicians to be candid, we need to be patient.  The board of election commissioners is a better place thanks to Ed and others.  Bergfeld sounds like a lazy, vindictive twit.

I suppose if Ed had a digital recording of all the conversations he had on the campaign trail he could have validated what he said - but does anyone think we can function to that standard?

Rj
Rj

What a worthless piece of shit.

Hey Ed, how are those pedophile priests doing?  Do they tell you stories about all the 8yr old boy buttholes they molest?

Read about the REAL Ed Martin and his pedophile priest friends here:  http://www.therealedmartin.com

Anonymous
Anonymous

On a scale of one to ten, I put this at about a two and a half.  Candidly, I thought the RFT's coverage of Ed Martin was stunningly fair and balanced last year. 

Just reading this, it seems tome that Ed was asked a question and forgot that he was not supposed to disparage Bergfeld.  Again, Ed erred on the side of transparency - no real gain to be had dumping on Bergfeld - and the RFT bit him in the ass.

It's a free country, the RFT can do what it damn well pleases, but I think my point remains, if someone on the other side levels with you, don't beat on them when there isn't a compelling public good to be advanced (unless embarrassing Republicans is always a public good)

Anonymous
Anonymous

I am trying to keep this disagreement on a grown-up level, "True Patriot" - maybe you could help by making a rational point.

***This report is about a dispute between what Ed says he remembers, and what the reporter says Ed said.  The reporter has the audio - Ed did not (as far as I know).  Ed said he did not remember what was said, the reporter feels as if his reporting was called into question and posted audio - a thank-you card from Bergfeld's attorney is on its way, I am sure.My point is that if we want candor and honesty from a politician, perhaps a reporter who was given a great deal of access should not feed a controversy that has little to do with public policy.  There is nothing wrong with using discretion and judgement.  Maybe Bergfeld was not the problem at the BOE, but the BOE is better run now than it was when she was an employee (something the RFT acknowledges).  The civic world of St. Louis is better for Ed's efforts.I don't blame the RFT for reporting what he said in the first place.  However, they are keeping the whole thing stirred up, participating in payback.  They are helping to beat down a guy whom they acknowledge helped make things better.  No ethical standard said they had to.  A simple "we stand by our story" would have been fine.

Scooby Don't
Scooby Don't

and YOU sound like a Tea Party troll spreading propoganda...take your BS elsewhere please.

True Patriot
True Patriot

Yes, a simply "we stand by our story" would have been great. It's not like the people who support Ed Martin don't have any trust in the media. Argh....let me cut the cynicism and be honest for a second.

This is what happens when you build an ideology out of your perceived victimization at the hands of the liberal media. A simple "we stand by our story" does not do it when the people who question you believe you are part of an international islamo-fascist-socialist-marxist plot to rob real Americans of Freedom, Liberty and Apple Pie. And you are proving my point. You retards have no problems complaining about bias towards liberalism. It's hidden and subtle, you say. Like, for example, a reporter might cover up for a Democrat or not go after him so hard or stir up controversies. Yet, when it comes to Martin, you say the reporter should have "used discretion and judgment." So now you want reporters to make editorial judgments based on what is best for the candidate? Hypocrite much?

The truth is, he said, he should stand by it. Or try to clarify it. Or just shut the fuck up for a change. But lying about it and trying to get a campaign staffer to lie about it? Well, what's that saying about the crime and the cover-up?

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