The Other Shoe


by Jeff Fecke | May 14, 2009
One of the great ironies of the Coleman-Franken recount battle is that Norm Coleman may be best-served by not ending up back in the Senate. The ongoing investigation into Coleman’s personal finances and ties to Houston businessman Nasser Kazeminy is incredibly serious, as are the allegations that Kazeminy funneled tens of thousands of dollars to Coleman through his wife, Laurie.

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.

It appears that as the recount appeal goes to the Minnesota Supreme Court, the investigation into Coleman’s ethics are heating up:

The FBI is investigating allegations that former Senator Norm Coleman had clothing and other items purchased on his behalf by a longtime friend and businessman Nasser Kazeminy, according to a source in Minnesota who was interviewed recently by federal agents.

E.K. Wilson, a spokesman for the Minneapolis FBI, would neither confirm nor deny the report. The source provided details of the interview to the Huffington Post, in addition to copies of business cards left by the agents.


The Minnesota source said the FBI questioning focused on whether Kazeminy had purchased clothing on Coleman’s behalf, reports of which surfaced in October. At the time, Coleman vehemently denied the allegations. “Nobody but me and my wife buy my suits,” he said.

The source, who requested to speak anonymously to discuss the matter more frankly, said that payments made to the company that employed the former senator’s wife, Laurie Coleman, were also addressed.

To be frank, the allegations against Coleman are every bit as serious as those that ultimately brought down Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and far more serious than those that led to the censure of former Sen. Dave Durenberger, I-R-Minn. If the allegations are proven true, Coleman would face, at the very least, censure from the Senate, if not expulsion. He could face jail time.

All of that is more likely, of course, if Coleman ends up back in the Senate. If Coleman is just a guy on the street, odds are he escapes from all this with the proverbial slap on the wrist.

Quite frankly, the fact that Coleman is unlikely to end up back in the Senate is the only reason I can think of for why this case has drawn so little national attention. It’s too bad, of course; if these allegations prove true, Coleman should go down as one of the most corrupt politicians in recent Minnesota history, and he should be denied forever the opportunity to serve in government. Fortunately, on the latter front at least, Norm is doing his best to ensure that when the recount trial finally ends, he’ll be unelectable for any office — whether or not the FBI probe ultimately bears fruit.

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