Posted: 01/21/06 11:35
by Dave Mindeman
Norm Coleman, world traveler. Wow... the itinerary was breathtaking and the territory covered astonishing. And the money, there's always the money.
The Tribune article on the travels and travails of our junior Senator makes a good read. All of this hob-nobbing was within Senate rules....which leads you to wonder, what is NOT within Senate rules.
My favorite Norm quote though has to be his explanation of $6,800 in travel costs to Paris and the Bahamas furnished by a heavy donor named Nasser Kazeminy, chairman of a Bloomington investment firm. His explanation, "It's a friend with a plane."
It's all legal. Under a curious Senate provision, Senators are allowed "pre-approved gifts from long-term friends." I guess that goes double for friends with money and planes.
In another strange twist, Norm gets a paid trip from Hormel to Pebble Beach, California... total cost $3,252.39. Food served... a $105 (per person) plate of steak and prawns. Prawns??? From Hormel?? They could at least have had a spam hotdish!
Norm is going to be yakking it up about bringing honesty to government and he'll be the first one signing on to lobbyist restrictions. And he'll probably be joining in on travel restrictions. Hypocrisy is Norm's way of life.
But Norm still has his friends..... with planes.