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.