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Republican Coleman attacks likely Republican for 'sleazy politics'

[Sunday update: Welcome New Republic readers! As it turns out, my concerns about the AP report below were justified; the donor is the wrong Paul McKim. But it turns out the right Paul McKim is a Republican. Carry on.]

AP's Frederick Frommer reports that Norm Coleman has blasted a late-campaign lawsuit against a donor accused of funneling money to Laurie Coleman's employer as "sleazy politics."

One problem: Frommer also notes that the man bringing the suit, Paul McKim, has been a "small-dollar" donor who has backed Republicans, including three 2006 donations to Florida's Katherine Harris ($200), Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson ($250) and New York Senate nominee John Spencer ($200).

Several caveats are in order.

Like Frommer, I searched the Federal Elections Commission database for "Paul McKim" and found those donations (plus $250 to the Sierra Club in 2000). Even though the Paul McKim was listed in Houston, where the oil-exploration company he founded and ran is based, I was nervous about publishing the info because you never know if it's that Paul McKim.

The FEC records list McKim with a middle initial of "A." but I couldn't find any reference to a Paul A. McKim and Deep Marine Technologies (DMT), the company that was allegedly the conduit between Coleman donor Nasser Kazeminy and Laurie Coleman's employer. The FEC report doesn't list DMT as McKim's employer, but rather refers to him as "self/management consultant," "none/retired, or "management consultant."

Hopefully, Frommer was able to get confirmation; I have a call into McKim's attorney to verify the linkage.

Also, don't those donations seem a little, well, small for someone in the oil industry? Perhaps McKim was cheap.

Final thought: It's possible McKim could be a Republican, and yet blame politics for the timing? After all, McKim may well have greater leverage in (now-undone) settlement talks in a campaign's final days.

However, according to Frommer, McKim's lawyer says "the timing was dictated instead by Kazeminy, who asked McKim over the summer to leave the company for 90 days — a period that was to end Friday."

The lawsuit was filed the following Monday, Oct. 27.

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