Misinformin’ Norman

When the Deep Marine accusations against Senator Norm Coleman became public, I wrote: “I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that Texans McKim and Thomas are being reckless with the truth…(about their accusations that Coleman was having corporate gifts illegally directed to him through his wife)”

So, yesterday’s news that there would be no federal legal action taken against Coleman was not a shocker. It looks like the Texans were lying about Coleman, and I feel bad that happened to him and his wife during a delicate time in the 2008 Senate campaign. It was unfair, and that damage can’t be repaired. In a race decided by 325 votes, it may have cost him a Senate seat. That’s not right.

But before you feel too sorry for Senator Coleman, read today’s stories a little more carefully. While Coleman apparently did nothing illegal, he did tell a whopper to voters. Repeatedly.

In today’s Pioneer Press, this important point was made:

On “one or or two” occasions, (Coleman campaign donor Nasser) Kazeminy purchased dress suits for Coleman at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis before Coleman was a senator, (Kazeminy attorney Louis) Freeh affirmed under questioning from news media.

The revelation confirmed at least part of a different allegation against Coleman that dogged him through a portion of the 2008 campaign. He and his aides sought to dismiss it repeatedly –and never acknowledged it was true despite weeks of questioning. At one point, Coleman himself said, “Nobody except my wife and me buy my suits” – a statement the Pioneer Press and several other media outlets reported as a denial such purchases ever happened.”

This was very responsible reporting by the Pioneer Press’s Dave Orrick. For others, particularly those outlets that questioned Coleman’s campaign for months about the suits, it was a glaring omission.

So, the good news from the investigation: Former Senator Coleman isn’t a law breaker. The bad news: He was lying to us for months.

Both findings are relevant to Minnesotans.

3 thoughts on “Misinformin’ Norman

  1. Joe Loveland says:

    A parallel for me is President Clinton.

    Yes, the Senate acquitted President Clinton. But he still was proven to be lying to us when wagging his finger and promising “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” When that highly visible assurance was proven false, he lost a significant amount of public trust that the acquittal couldn’t restore.

    Similarly, yes the FBI didn’t indict Senator Coleman. But Senator Coleman still was proven to be lying to us when he repeatedly said that no one was giving him suits. When that highly visible assertion was proven to be a lie in the investigation, I would guess that Coleman would lose significant public trust, just as Clinton did.

    HOWEVER, because most reporters are not reminding Minnesotans about the original Coleman assurances about not receiving suits, Senator Coleman is looking almost entirely exonerated. Considering he just got caught in a high profile lie, he is having an outstanding day in the news media.

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    Minnesota’s Arne Carlson, the Republican Governor who preceded Governor Pawlenty in office, wrote an interesting blog about this subject today:

    TRAPPED BY THE PAST

    National and state media have been uniformly critical of Governor Pawlenty’s failure to confront Governor Romney on health care in last Monday’s debate. Well, make room for a dissent. I would contend that Pawlenty had no choice but to avoid any mention critical of Romney’s Massachusetts plan.

    It appears from a recent blog by Jo Loveland (https://thesamerowdycrowd.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-pawlenty/) that on November 14, 2006, Pawlenty was effusive in his praise of Romney declaring he is an unbelievably bright and nimble and gifted public policy leader. He went on to endorse mandated universal health care coverage by declaring: In Minnesota, as to the access issues, I believe we should move toward universal coverage. Everybody should be in a health plan of some sort. How we get there becomes important. I think a mandate by itself is potentially helpful, but it’s not the answer by itself. Pawlenty seems to be suggesting that we should go beyond mandated coverage. Loveland also wrote that this tape was likely making the rounds into Iowa and, hence, available to both Romney and Michele Bachmann.

    This again has Pawlenty tripping over his past. On Sunday, during his FOX appearance, he felt comfortable going against Romney and linking his health care plan to Obama’s. I suspect he thought the 2006 comments would not come to the public’s attention. After all, that position had been expressed more than four years ago and well before the national emergence of the Tea Party movement. He also was probably not aware that Minnesota blogger, Andy Aplikowski, had a tape recording of his 2006 sentiments about Romney.

    Had Pawlenty launched his attack on Romney’s healthcare plan, it is possible that Bachmann would have retaliated with an instant right that would have put Pawlenty on the canvas and, possibly, out for the full count.

    Bachmann’s candidacy now prevents Pawlenty from being able to gloss over his Minnesota record and his numerous position changes including global warning, cap and trade, gay rights, deficits, light rail, and mandatory health care, etc.

    By trying to be acceptable to all groups within this right-wing coalition, Pawlenty may be finding his tendency toward philosophical flexibility a serious, if not fatal, hindrance.

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