Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"MeUndies Martin"

Good Day Readers:

Instead of soliciting public funds to pay his defamation lawsuit because he was too stupid to shoot off his Big, Fat mouth in the House of Commons where he enjoys immunity from prosecution, he should use his new found fame to market a new line of underwear. What about, Ouch My Ass is Too Big!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
L. S. comes calling after Pat Martin underwear video goes viral

By Laura Stone
Politics Feporter

Wednesday, February 25



OTTAWA – When Pat Martin stood up in the House of Commons last week to jokingly explain that he left a vote because his underwear was too small, he didn’t expect Los Angeles to come calling.

But fame is an unpredictable beast.

The NDP MP says L.A.-based underwear manufacturer, MeUndies, called his office immediately after a video of his vote in the Commons went viral, asking him to star in an advertisement on the company’s website.

“They wanted a 30-second testimonial that they’d put on their website… I’m wearing my undies, making the world safe for democracy,” says Martin.

“They thought it would be cute I guess, to have this politician saying don’t risk missing a vote because your underwear don’t fit, and making the connection that wearing this brand of underwear is somehow good for democracy,” he says.

“It’s actually quite clever.”

They’ve even sent him a couple of samples, naturally. Or what’s known in L.A. as a “swag bomb.”

“When something comes onto (Parliament) Hill, it’s got to go back to customs and be cleared by security. So it’s taken a few days to get here,” says Martin.

The company, which bills itself as “the world’s most comfortable underwear,” features a video of Martin on itsFacebook page. “What do you think? Should we send him a pair?” it asks.

But alas, Martin says he’s turned the offer down.

READ MORE: Lunch with NDP MP Pat Martin – back on the front bench, but not as angry (he hopes)

“They offered all kinds of inducements to do it, and I told them I can’t take money for that,” he says.

The company says it offered to donate underwear to homeless shelters in Martin’s Winnipeg riding.

“We never offered Pat, himself, money to be our spokesperson. From the genesis of this idea, we were asking him how we could appropriately donate to a cause/organization of his choice in exchange for the mentioned PSA-style video,” Robbie Wiedie, the content manager/SEO at MeUndies, wrote in an email to Global News.

But Martin says he eventually decided against it.

(He still wants companies to start donating underwear: “I would encourage this company or others to send some of their seconds if they like and we’ll distribute them to the needy.”)

“The guy was going to fly up from L.A. last night… to tape this thing. So it just got to be too much. I really don’t want that going viral either,” says Martin.

“I don’t want that to be my legacy, being associated with my underwear.”

The offer was further complicated by the company founder’s links to asbestos – an issue Martin has campaigned against for years.

Martin, who worked in an asbestos mine in the Yukon, once gave a press conference on the subject featuring a puppet named Toxic Timmy.

A Google search by the NDP revealed MeUndies co-founder Jonathan Shokrian pleaded guilty in 2013 to violating the U.S. Clean Air Act relating to an asbestos-removal project. A Linkedin account says he is still with the company. Follow-up questions about Shokrian’s asbestos conviction have not been returned.

“That’s a big issue for me, and I’m not going to be associated with anybody associated with that,” Martin says.

“That was one of the things that helped us make our decision not to bother.”

Wiedie, from MeUndies, says the company offered to make a donation to the cause in order to defend workers’ rights, but Martin’s team felt it was too risky.

“We’d still happily work with him. Our hope was to turn his silly moment into something actionable, proactive, & meaningful. We also invite him to model for us, should he like to do so,” Wiedie wrote.

And it wasn’t just L.A.: Martin’s colleagues also saw news pieces about the video on MSNBC, the BBC and as far away as China and Romania. Martin says he also got six calls from Japan to go on a slapstick-style show.

“The Japanese TV was relentless,” says Martin. “They wanted me to come on their crazy TV show.”

As for the free underwear samples – they’re already en route to Parliament Hill.

So, will Martin still try them on?

“Sure why not? I’ll run it by the ethics commissioner first I think.”

Update: an earlier version of this story said Martin asked the company to donate underwear to homeless shelters. In fact, the company offered.

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