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Tough Week for Norm Coleman

Jul 31, 2020
Over the weekend, National Journal broke a potentially damning pieceon the cozy relationship between Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and a St. Paul-based GOP operative named Jeff Larson. It seems that not only has Coleman been getting a sweetheart deal ($600 per month) to live in a bedroom of a Washington home owned by Larson, but he’d also missed two rent payments (which he paid retroactively after a National Journal reporter inquired about the arrangement.) The Journal also revealed that Larson was sitting on another of Colman’s rent checks for three months — cashed only after the reporter came on the scene.
Today, The Minnesota Independent, our affiliate site, has a piecenoting that a watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has filed an ethics complaint against Coleman. From TMI:
“Sen. Coleman’s repeated missed rent payments and Mr. Larson’s failure to cash Sen. Coleman’s check suggest that Mr. Larson was not, in fact, necessarily expecting payment,” writes Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, in her letter to the ethics committee. “Moreover, it is unclear whether the $600 rental rate represents the fair market value of the apartment considering other rental rates in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.”
Yesterday the Democratic Party alleged at a press conference that the deal violated the Senate’s ethics rules, which prohibit gifts of greater than $50. The limit rises to $250 for gifts from personal friends. But party chairman Brian Melendez stopped short of saying the DFL would file its own ethics complaint. “We’re still exploring our options,” he said.
Coleman was facing a tough reelection fight beforethis story broke. Now it just got tougher.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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