Follow the Money, Minnesota Style

For those of you utterly confused regarding the lawsuit involving a $75,000 payout to Norm Coleman’s family, Paul Demko of The Minnesota Independent gives an overview. It ain’t pretty:

The man at the heart of the lawsuit filed in Texas this week accusing Sen. Norm Coleman of fraudulently receiving $75,000 has kept a low political profile over the years. Deep Marine Technology founder Paul McKim has given at least $900 — primarily to Republican political candidate and causes since 2000, according to a database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Among the recipients: former Florida Rep. Katherine Harris ($200) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson ($250). The only donation to a non-GOP cause was $250 for the Sierra Club’s political action committee.

Other figures in the lawsuit are more prominent political patrons. Nasser Kazeminy, the Minnesota businessman at the center of the controversy, is a longtime friend and supporter of Coleman. Kazeminy has made nearly $800,000 in political contributions since 1990, primarily to Republican candidates. This includes just over $70,000 given to Coleman’s campaigns and political action committees, along with $36,265 provided to the Republican Party of Minnesota. Kazeminy has also supported the Senator by less orthodox means: He provided his private plane to the Coleman family for trips to the Bahamas and Paris, and is alleged to have footed the bill for the Senator’s suit purchases at Neiman Marcus. Now the lawsuit accuses the businessman of funneling $75,000 through Deep Marine Technology to Coleman via a job his wife, Laurie Coleman, holds with a Minnesota insurance firm.

It should be noted that the payout to Laurie Coleman was sent via Hays Companies, where Mrs. Coleman is an independent contractor.



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