So you know that murky Texas lawsuit that Norm Coleman’s pal Nasser Kazeminy got wound up in? The one that alleged $75,000 was kited over to Coleman’s wife, Laurie? The one that erupted days before last fall elections, and the one Coleman briefly accused Al Franken of concocting?
That one has gone away … in a murky haze that resolves almost nothing. Tony Kennedy files for the Strib and (tries) to explain what has gone down. Kennedy writes, “The plaintiff, Paul McKim, said through his lawyer that he was forced to abandon the suit because Kazeminy orchestrated a power play that squeezed McKim out as a minority shareholder of the Houston-based firm Deep Marine Technology Inc. ‘This is far from the last chapter in this story,’ said Casey Wallace, McKim’s lawyer. ‘While he [McKim] has been deprived of standing in this case … he by no means is abandoning his claims.’ “
But as far as Coleman is concerned, McKim’s lack of standing in the case (“because Kazeminy and another major shareholder of Deep Marine merged the company into a new corporate entity after the lawsuit was filed, cashing out McKim and other minority shareholders by paying them one cent for each share“) is as good as unequivocal acquittal. Says Norm, “There was never, never, ever anything involved in this that had anything to do with my wife or me in terms of any monies being traded. Nothing.” Well .. now that there is no legal action pernding, maybe all parties will agree to speak freely on the matter.
The CBS affiliate in Houston reports that McKim, who is out of the country, “filed a discontinuance — which under Texas law drops the lawsuit claim while opting to pursue other direct claims.” It also has a quote from Kazeminy’s attorney, the always sartorially resplendent Robert Weinstine, saying, “McKim’s lawsuit was part of an effort to blackmail his client. The attorney said a defamation suit against McKim is being ‘very strongly considered.‘ ” Doesn’t exactly sound like “case closed” does it?
But really, Norm Shmorm, the local media kids are all about the PGA for the next four days. Several more forests died for the acreage of minutiae in both local dailies this morning. Did Tiger wink at a kid coming off a practice tee? Can Tiger win? Will Tiger win? Why won’t Tiger win? Will Tiger — like “SNL’s Swerski Brothers’ mythic Mike Ditka — ace every hole and leave the competition humiliated in the parking lot? Please, please give us more Tiger! (At the current rate, Tiger-mania will eclipse all known Norm Coleman/Denny Hecker coverage by noon today.) All the old sports dogs file their prognostifying stories. Personally, I liked Rachel Blount’s piece this morning on the TV grunts in the trucks and booths producing the coverage. “It’s kind of a general chaos, but we pull everything together and put it on the air,” [a producer] said. “After the first day, you always take a big exhale when you get through it. But you can’t dwell on mistakes or pat yourself on the back too much, because in 10 hours, we crank it back up and do it again.”
A team of Stribbers puts together the details of that plane crash out by Flying Cloud Wednesday, including the fact the plane was 41 years old. The son of the pilot, Wayne Monson, is quoted saying, “his dad had aborted a test flight on the Beechcraft a couple of weeks ago because he found gas in the bottom of the plane and the fuel pressure was too low. He said the plane would have totally exploded,’ Brandon Monson said. ‘I don’t think that was the problem today.’ “
Stephanie Hemphill at MPR has a story up about the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and other influential voices arguing that more nuclear power ought to be part of the conversation about the state’s energy future. There’s a provocative discussion to be had. “We’re not saying we should build them tomorrow, we’re not saying they’re the answer. We’re just saying it ought to be an option that gets looked at, and if the numbers don’t work, then we ought to focus on something else. But in fairness to Minnesota, we can’t even talk about it,” said [Minnesota C of C president David] Olson.
But on the other hand … “As soon as it’s possible for people to start talking about nuclear as a viable option in Minnesota, there’s going to be an enormous amount of pressure to abandon or back off on all of the renewable and conservation initiatives that we currently have in place,” said Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson, chair of the House Energy Committee. Which would the power companies make the most jing off? Especially if they can get heavy big government — i.e., “socialized’ — subsidies?
Good news/bad news. Metro home sales increased again last month. But the average price continues to fall. Alex Robinson’s story in the Strib says, “The area’s median sale price fell to $171,000 in July, down 18 percent from 2008 and down 27 percent from 2007. July’s prices even slumped from June’s median price of $173,500. Until last month, prices had been increasing since bottoming out in February at $150,000.” Most of the activity was in “lender mediated” sales. Experts say the average price will continue to slump for another six to nine months. Good, I’m still strategizing my bid for one those Denny Hecker mansions.
It is not the Fortune 500, but the Inc. 500 — a list of 500 privately owned companies whose revenue grew the most from 2005 to 2008 — includes 11 Twin Cities companies, most of whom you’ve probably never heard of. Chris Newmarker at the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal files the story. Snap Fitness, which had “$31.7 million in revenue last year, boasted a growth of more than 5,906 percent.” Take that, UnitedHealth.
Wouldn’t you love to have been there when the suits at Best Buy figured out who screwed up that website ad for the $9.99 52-inch HD TV? Almost everyone runs the short AP story, but the Christian Science Monitor at least entertains the possibility that this happens so often with Best Buy it’s almost as though … the suits are in on the deal. Twisted!
An AP report explains that Delta and US Airways have swapped “slots” at LaGuardia in New York and Hartsfield in Atlanta, with Delta saying it has plans to turn LaGuardia into another hub. Hmmm. I’m sure this is good news for us, right? I mean hub-to-hub? That’s always a win-win for consumers, right? Right? “If its deal is approved, Delta projects it would operate nearly 30 percent of the total available seat miles from the three main airports serving New York City.” Oh, never mind.
Serenity now, dude. Gotta love the Burnsville guy who gets so PO’d after a bicyclist yells at him for blowing through a stop sign he tries to run the guy over with his pickup and THEN threatens him with a big yellow axe. Joy Powell of the Strib serves up a “just the facts” story with enough wink and nudge there isn’t much doubt who was seriously off their meds. My favorite part is how the guy in the pickup is ranting about “trailer trash” as he waggles his axe … but where do the cops find his truck parked? You guessed it. “Burnsville police soon found the truck empty in the mobile home park. In the extended cab area was a big yellow axe … .” Most likely planted there by some trailer trash, I’m guessing.
In a related vein, the PiPress picks up a story from the Eau Claire Leader Telegram about a picnic organized in Wisconsin’s St. Croix County where everyone is encouraged to show up and strut around with their loaded handguns — you know, to “inform” people of their Second Amendment rights. The organizer is quoted saying, “This is important to me because it has to do with our liberties. Our passion is liberty and freedom. In my thinking, the country is going in the wrong direction and people need to know that they have the right to carry a gun.” Who is betting these same folks leave their picnic and head straight to a town hall meeting, you know, to get “informed”?