Monday, Jun. 06, 2011

Transparency to an Extent

During his 2008 re-election campaign — which he eventually lost after a protracted recount — Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman came under FBI investigation for alleged ethics violations. Questions arose over his ties to financier Nasser Kazeminy after it was reported that Kazeminy had tried to steer $100,000 to Coleman via his wife's Minneapolis employer.

Neither Coleman nor his wife were named as defendants in the case against Kazeminy, but at this October 2008 presser, reporters tried relentlessly to get details from Coleman's campaign manager Cullen Sheehan about gifts that the Senator had purportedly received. Sheehan was unwilling to cooperate, saying, "We're not going to respond to unnamed sources on blogs," where information about Coleman allegedly receiving suits as gifts had been leaked. He went on to repeat numerous times, "The Senator has reported every gift he's ever received" — declining to elaborate and referring them to documents already filed. Coleman was never charged with ethics violations.