You might remember earlier this summer when we pointed out that Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) was getting an exceptionally good deal
on an apartment in Capitol Hill.
And -- who would have guessed? -- it's in a townhouse owned by Coleman's political backer and longtime Republican operative Jeff Larson.
Today, Coleman concedes to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
that he wasn't paying any utility bills and didn't even have a written lease until July, when reporters started asking about the arrangement.
Responding to media requests, the Coleman campaign Wednesday released copies of the lease that Coleman and Larson signed July 3, and the $532.88 check that Coleman's wife, Laurie, made out July 14 to Larson for 12 months' worth of unspecified utilities.
Finding a place for $600 a month just a few blocks from the Capitol is difficult, to say the least. And the deal -- and questions about whether Coleman was essentially accepting undisclosed gifts
-- are cropping up as an issue in Coleman's reelection bid against former comedian-turned-Senate-candidate Al Franken.
According to the Star-Tribune
"The more we learn about this sweetheart rent deal, the more concerns it raises," said Franken spokesman Andy Barr. "Now that Coleman is finally answering questions about what he got, it's time for him to start answering questions about what Larson got in return."