National Dems hit Coleman on DonorGate

Well, it’s fair for Norm Coleman to claim his political enemies are exploiting DonorGate now.

Here’s a new ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:

Couple of thoughts on the ad:

1. It highlights a Strib reporter’s question to Coleman about “your wife receiving $75,000.” That’s misleading. Even the initial Texas lawsuit doesn’t allege Laurie Coleman received the money; donor Nasser Kazeminy is accused of using his deep-marine exploration company to funnel $75,000 to her employer. Yes, the plaintiffs allege the money was intended for Laurie Coleman, but nothing so far says it got there.

2. The ad’s narration accurately notes, “court documents allege one of his top fundraisers secretly funneled $75,000 for Coleman’s personal use.” However, the visuals emphasize misleading point #1 — highlighted text reads: “funnel the money … to Senator Coleman.” Again, that makes it seem like Coleman received the money, when there’s no proof he received it or even knew about it.

3. The ad revives SuitGate, in which the same donor allegedly bought Coleman and his wife Neiman Marcus clothes. The ad accurately cites a Harper’s Magazine article, but that story featured no named sources and no documented proof has emerged in the weeks since.

4. The ad also mentions “trips in a private jet,” referring to Kazeminy-paid travel for Coleman and family to places such as Paris. That’s true, and legal (if morally suspect), and Coleman reported the journeys. However, the ad tries to leverage that verifiied, lawful fact (the trips) with an unverified, potentially illegal accusation (SuitGate).

Watching the ad makes me think Al Franken trails in internal campaign polls.

(A tip of the diver’s helmet to the PiPress’ Political Animal. And the Strib is disavowing any involvement in the ad; the footage of reporter Paul McEnroe comes from a DFL tracker.)

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Annalise Cudahy on 11/01/2008 - 12:58 pm.

    I really hate Norm Coleman, and I’ve been following him since he first ran for Mayor in 1989. I think he sold my town, Saint Paul, out to whoever would help his ambitions.

    Having said that, I do NOT like this ad! Just because he’s in a big hurry does not mean he’s guilty. Furthermore, no one anywhere has dug up proof of the allegations made in the lawsuit.

    I think the ad is unfair because it repeats (currently) unsubstantiated allegations in a way that is inappropriate. I wish they wouldn’t run this ad.

    Even Norm deserves fairness. This ain’t it.

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