Norm’s new gig


by Jeff Fecke • Look, I don’t blame Norm Coleman for going out and getting a job while he’s waiting to find out if his Hail Mary attempt at overturning the recount will work. As Mark Drake accurately noted, Norm isn’t a rich man, at least not by the standards of U.S. Senators. If Norm wanted to work in an attorney’s office or even for the RNC, I’d say that’s probably okay.

But Norm isn’t doing that. Norm’s going to be a lobbyist.

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, is now available.

Okay, he’s going to be a consultant to a lobbying organization, but really, that’s a distinction without difference. What is the Republican Jewish Committee paying Norm for, his incredible insight into why Minnesota keeps electing members of the Jewish faith to its Class 2 Seat? No, they’re paying him for access to the many Republican friends he has on his side of the aisle, for the fact that he’s a former Senator with the kind of connections and influence that come with that territory. And they’re also giving some money to a former Senator as a thank-you for supporting their positions on the issues.

That’s nothing unusual for a retiring Senator to do. We may not like it, but many legislators, in both parties, go to work for lobbyists when they leave office.

The problem, of course, is that Norm hasn’t exactly left office, at least according to Norm. He’s still trying to assert that he was rightfully elected Senator in 2008, and that he should never have had to leave office.

And that’s a problem. Because if Norm does win the contest, and somehow ends up back in the Senate…well, he will have been lobbying during the time he claimed he was a Senator.

And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this creates something of a conflict of interest.

Originally published 1/22/09