While Minnesota election officials are still deciding the fate of Sen. Norm Coleman (R), there are reports out this morning that he may have other things to worry about. According to news reports, the FBI is investigating allegations that Nasser Kazeminy tried to funnel $75,000 in campaign contributions through Laurie Coleman, the Senator’s wife.
The lawsuits allege that Kazeminy began making $25,000 payments from his company to Laurie’s company. These payments were occurring while the Coleman’s were making extensive renovations to their home. According to the lawsuit, Kazeminy said, “U.S. Senators don’t make s---,” and he was going to try to funnel money to him. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Kazeminy has donated over $50,000 to the Senator and his leadership committee.
While the timing of the payments and the renovations may just be a coincidence, this isn’t the first time questions have been raised about Coleman’s finances. Earlier this year, the National Journal reported that Coleman was paying $600 a month for a one-bedroom apartment on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in a townhouse owned by Republican operative Jeff Larson. Anyone who lives in Washington knows that $600 for a one bedroom is a steal. Even in the worst neighborhoods or out in the exurbs, it’s hard to find an apartment that cheap.
Larson is the owner of a St. Paul-based consulting firm that has benefited from Coleman’s campaigns over the years. The firm also made some money off the RNC convention in St. Paul this summer.
So while the donations and renovations may be coincidental, things are starting to pile up.