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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Caution: This Is About Norm Coleman's Past - Discretion Advised

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 06/14/08 09:21, Edited: 06/14/08 09:22

by Dave Mindeman

I hesitate to deal with this topic because this is more innuendo than fact....but Ed Schultz broached the topic about Norm Coleman's past on his radio show recently and there is getting to be a number of less than subtle comments popping up in the media...as examined below.

On Almanac last night, there was a couple of interesting exchanges during the political panel segment. The opening question was regarding Al Franken and of course, the focus began on his writings and the Republican attacks.

But Javier Morillo-Alicea, representing the Democratic viewpoint, had a couple of interesting lines.

During an exchange with Fritz Knaack, he said this regarding Norm Coleman and the GOP attacks on Franken:

This is a dangerous path to go down; if you want to make this about character and lurid past....that's a two way street...

And later as Knaack said more will come out on Franken, Javier chimed in:

You'll see a lot more on Norm as well.

There seems to be an under the radar type of threat to the Coleman campaign.... something is out there.

As another example, there is this vague reference in Brian Lambert's blog -- Lambert to the Slaughter from June 8, 2008. Lambert did a post about Franken and his response to these attacks. Comments to Lambert's column are usually responded to by Lambert himself. This exchange was particularly noteworthy:

Commenter: Am I the only one who continually wonders about this? Really what's worse? Writing about womanizing or doing it?

LAMBERT: I don't want to overplay my "coy hand" here, but at some point this tactic of throwing up old jokes at Franken opens a door to a public discussion of a lot of long-whispered about -- but never proven -- topics related to "other candidates" private lives. A classic example of "be careful what you ask for", I think.

Then there are some mysterious comments from 2005. These were posted on the Democratic Underground site during a discussion of Norm Coleman's marriage to actress Laurie Coleman:

From what I hear most his "extra curricular" activties
wouldn't rate being called affairs. However, I did once hear rumors about him and the daughter of a prominent Minnesota politician having quite the fling. The only thing that made me doubt that rumor is said daughter once threw a St. Patrick's Day fund raiser for the weasel and I would think if she knew him in the Biblical sense, she would have known he wasn't one of the Irish Colemans (Nick Sr, Nick Jr. and Chris). Though Normie has been known to not make a point of making the fact he not related to them clear.

and this:

my, what an interesting topic you raise...
this has been around a long time. I know through excellent sources that he HAS had serious, long term extramarital affairs as well as short flings....I have long said that his horns will get him in trouble sometime while he's in office.

trouble is, the people in a position to confirm the stories will not go on the record. every twin cities news organization has, or did, pursue the story, too.

there is the story of "the girl in the cooler." this one has Norm getting caught in flagrante dilecto with a waitress at a south mpls restaurant in the walk-in cooler in some state of undress.

there also was the story that he had a 'kept woman' in an apartment on summit ave. in st. paul. the twin cities dailies practically had people knocking on every door in st. paul to find her (this was when Normie ran for gov.)

the odd thing was, Walker Lundy, the PiPress executive editor at the time, wrote a strange editorial page column about something he described as 'the rumor' about 'one of the candidates for high public office.' anyone following the race knew who he was talking about. he explained that the paper had been chasing the story along with other Twin Cities media but no one had enough hard evidence to run the story.
people wondered what the point of the column was. it apparently was just to say 'in case anybody else reports the story before we do, here's telling you that we knew about it first.'....also: I have a friend who swears she saw Norman and a woman NOT his wife at Bluefin Bay resort on Lake Superior after he lost the gov. race. This friend spent a long weekend there and saw the happy couple arm in arm, smooching etc. several times during the weekend...but she won't go on the record.

apparently now that he's part of the BFEE he frightens people.

Granted, the Democratic Underground comment section is not a very reliable source of information. But these rumors have been around for a long time. When I lived in Rochester back in the '90s, there was a lot of coffee table discussion about Norm and a certain woman who was prominent in Democratic circles, but no one was willing to brave going on the record.

The comments from Morillo and Lambert would seem to indicate that Norm will have to tread carefully about his indignation regarding Al's writings. It is worth noting that Norm's first ad is the warm, fuzzy type with no mention of Franken. As his surrogates continue to try to raise issues on Coleman's opponent, Norm never offers his own voice.

As Lambert says, be careful what you wish for.

comments (1) permalink

Another Voice on Al Franken

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 06/13/08 17:54

by Dave Mindeman

Sometimes you need to hear from someone close to the situation to get the full picture.

When it comes to Al Franken, you need to read the "journey" of Barb Miller... a Franken delegate and a writer for the Clothesline Blog (one of the best written blogs out there). Here is an excerpt:

Here?s the deal, people. Al Franken has said some really dumb stuff, no question about it. Offensive stuff, in some instances. And on my way to Rochester for the convention, I wondered how I would deal with that, knowing there would surely be a mega stink....

Folks, it?s been there all along the way ? the good, bad, ugly. I wish there weren?t any ugly. So does Franken. He told us so. I believe him. And I also believe that goes deeper than his Senate aspirations, but that?s just my personal take on the situation. Yes, it?s what a satirist does. Yes, it?s what a satirist who writes for or performs for Playboy or SNL or, or, or says. And group think can be pretty bawdy sometimes.

But here?s the thing that kept rising to the forefront for me as I pondered The Franken Dilemma. There is just one reason for digging and flinging and accusing and blaming in politics. Just one. It happens when your own candidate does not measure up. When your candidate is a hollow, callow chameleon. When the only way you can elevate your candidate is to tear down the opponent by fair means or foul. Usually foul, as has become the Republican modus operandi.

Let me speak plainly. Republicans cannot make Norm Coleman look good. Not enough lipstick on the planet for that porker. The only way for Republicans to distract voters from Coleman?s appalling history is to fling poo. And make no mistake (as Franken pointed out), there would be poo flying no matter who(m) the Dems endorsed. Easier with Al because he?s so totally out there. But there are people whose entire specialty is opposition research on candidates famous and obscure. They dig and dig until they find events, people, donations, photos, anything that could possibly embarrass or, in the best of all worlds, destroy, the opponent.

Read the whole post here....and don't forget the comments.
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Tim Russert of Meet the Press Dies at Age 58

Category: Presidential Politics
Posted: 06/13/08 15:52, Edited: 06/13/08 15:54

by Dave Mindeman

I am totally shocked. Tim Russert of Meet the Press is dead of a heart attack at the age of 58. As far as I am concerned, he was the last of the true political reporters in the entire nation. I have watched Meet the Press religiously for years....his questions always were right on point and well researched. He was obviously loving the high stakes election of 2008, but unfortunately, he will not see its outcome now.

We have lost one of the best.
comments (1) permalink


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