Deep-Sixing Deep Marine’s Accusations

man-with-pile-of-paper1If the accusation of Deep Marine Technology CEO Paul McKim that money was funneled from a supporter of Senator Norm Coleman to the Senator is false, Coleman might consider saying something like this:

“I am a public figure, so I understand people will take potshots at me and my family. I don’t like it, but I am a big boy, and I do understand it.

I want to assure Minnesotans that Mr. McKim’s accusations are not true.

But I do understand that I can make that assurance until I’m blue in the face, and fair minded Minnesotans will still have doubts. I do understand why Minnesotans might be confused about who is telling the truth, and who is lying. If I were you, I might be confused too, because there is no proof being offered by either side.

Well, Minnesotans deserve more than red-faced charges and counter-charges. They deserve evidence. Here is the evidence proving Mr. McKim’s accusations false. It is all contained in a heavily documented defamation suit I am filing today against Mr. McKim. I will also turn this information over to the Senate Ethics Committee and ask them to rule on the matter as soon as possible. Finally, I am posting all of this information on my website, for all Minnesotans to see. I’m not wild about doing that, but I want my family to have it’s good name back.

To show my wife’s pay didn’t spike $75,000 during her time with Hays, I want all of Minnesota to see her pay stubs from the last two years. To show that $75,000 never magically appeared in any of my bank accounts, I am providing our bank records. To show that the accusations that she has done no work for her pay are hurtful lies, I want Minnesotans to see the documentation of the specific accounts she has been working on, and the statements from her supervisors and colleaues describing her work. And to allow you to further probe for the truth yourself, Mr. Kazeminy and my wife’s supervisors and colleagues from Hays will answer your questions today.

Having to do this makes me angry, and sad for my wife and kids. They don’t deserve this garbage. But I work for the people of Minnesota, and I understand why these accusations would at first blush be concerning to them. So I am providing evidence to put Minnesotans’ minds at ease. The people of Minnesota are my bosses, and they deserve proof that I haven’t violated their trust. While Mr. McKim supplies only wild, unsubstantiated claims, I will supply proof. It’s time to put this matter to rest.”

Yes, it would feel unjust and ooky to have so much of your information out there. Yes, the lawyers would object mightily to introducing actual documents into the court of public opinion. But if you want to restore your reputation in a hurry, extreme transparency would do it.

– Loveland

12 thoughts on “Deep-Sixing Deep Marine’s Accusations

  1. Dennis Lang says:

    Intriguing. Some years ago I read a terrific book on managing crisis: “When It Hits the Fan”. (by then CEO of American Motors–okay, quite some time ago but relevant). I recall a section with the heading: “Cage Your Lawyers”. It was suggested that the overzealous legal position only produces a stonewall that undermines sincerity making even concerned management look indifferent and guilty. I sense if Mr. L. proposed this strategy he might be shown the door–unless Senator Coleman really has the cajones–and the evidence.

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    Dennis, I think you are right about being shown the door. But as Sarah Palin says, when God opens a door for ya, ya just gotta burst through!

  3. Dennis Lang says:

    You had to mention Sarah Palin. I still don’t get it. Why doesn’t everyone’s autonomic nervous system react with a grimace whenever she opens her mouth? It’s painful to watch.

  4. Hornseth says:

    “…and our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it.”

  5. Joe Loveland says:

    I should point out that it’s not very fair for me to comment on the handling of this from afar, because there is so much that I don’t know. For instance, you obviously wouldn’t want to do this if there was any truth to the McKim accusation. You also couldn’t do it if there was a court order forbidding such disclosure. A million years ago, I was the communications director for 400 attorneys in the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, so I am not naive about the difficulty inherent in”caging your lawyers.”

    But I do think it’s always worth a vigorous attempt. I’ve seen in my career that bad PR frequently happens because lawyers insist on controlling it, not because there is a legitimate legal reason preventing the right PR moves.

    BUT…I’m not sure what is going on behind the scenes here. My point is simply this: Denials with no accompanying proof won’t make public concerns go away. So if there is a legally acceptable way to get proof out there, the Senator would be well served to do so.

  6. Dennis Lang says:

    I understand, but lacking a more forthright disclosure this story is just getting bigger and potentially becoming more damaging to the public perception of Coleman isn’t it? It’s the decline-comment approach and leave it all for the courts or behind the scenes negotiations. In trying to manage the appearance of innocence his advisors risk creating the exact opposite impression.

  7. Joe Loveland says:

    Today, MinnPost’s Eric Black made the same call for evidence that I made last week (above).

    Coleman has said that neither he nor his wife ever got a dime out of any such deal, but questions linger — questions that could be easily answered if Coleman, Kazeminy and Hays produce documents that back up their public statements.

    The response:

    Coleman’s campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, replied to my request with: “The Senator has denied these baseless and slimy allegations, and has stated he welcomes an investigation. That’s all we have to say on the matter.”

    The public relations firm that Kazeminy has engaged to handle his response to the matter declined to go any further than Kazeminy’s previous statements that “Mr. Kazeminy vehemently denies the false and baseless claims made against him.”

  8. Joe Loveland says:

    Here is what I don’t get. Why is this only being talked about in an obscure corner of the Internet? Why aren’t there headlines in the mainstream news along the lines of “Senator Refuses To Supply Documents Proving CEO’s Charges False.”

    Have mainstream reporters not requested these documents proving innocence? If they have requested, do they not think a refusal to provide evidence of innocence is every bit as newsworthy the verbal denial?

  9. EMM says:

    You’re right, Joe. A quick Googlezon search brings up scads of Strib articles..but not much national. I found a Harpers’ online piece and a good blog posting from Ari Berman at The Nation. Here’s how Berman summarizes this mess:

    “There are four possible scenarios at work here, with differing legal ramifications.

    1. Coleman and his wife participated in Kazeminy’s scheme and Laurie used her position at Hays to accept money from Kazeminy, which then went to her husband.

    2. Laurie knew about the payments but Coleman did not.

    3. Coleman knew about the payments and kept his wife in the dark.

    4. The lawsuits are all lies and neither Coleman, his wife and Kazeminy did anything wrong.”

  10. Joe Loveland says:

    Ellen, my point is not about national v. local coverage. My point is that all the coverage is based on claims and counter claims, without evidence to back up the claims. If the accusations are false, it just doesn’t seem very hard to prove them false with documents. So why in the world isn’t the Coleman campaign proving them false?

    Re: The Nation

    I guess another, not very likely, option is…

    5. The accusations are true but neither the Senator nor his wife knew about Kazeminy’s/Deep Marine’s payments to Hays….but the Hays job wouldn’t have been made available without Kazeminy underwriting the position. (Kind of like a funded Chair in academia!)

    Again, I’m not making an accusation here. I’m just brainstorming a potential scenario to The Nation’s list.

    I still think #4 is most likely, but the lack of evidence being offered makes me wonder.

  11. Loveland says:

    We learned something today about the latest executive to say that Senator Coleman’s friend Nasser Kazeminy directed money to be funneled to Coleman because “Senator’s don’t make sh*t.”

    A Franken supporter? No. A liberal tool? No.

    The CFO seconding the accusation, under oath, is a former conservative talk show host.

    The plot thickens.

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