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.