Does Senator Norm Coleman pay for any of his personal expenses?
In what is becoming a clear pattern, reports show that his political contributors have paid for an array of Coleman’s basic expenses, including his rent, his utility bills, his trips to the Bahamas, and — in the latest revelation — even his clothes.
I’ve been told by two sources that [local businessman and political contributor Nasser] Kazeminy has in the past covered the bills for Coleman’s lavish clothing purchases at Nieman Marcus in Minneapolis. The sources were not certain of the dates of the purchases; if they were made before Coleman joined the Senate in 2003, he obviously would not be required to report it under senate rules. But having a private businessman pay for your clothing is never a good idea if you’re a public official (Coleman was mayor of St. Paul from 1994 to 2002).
Oddly, the Coleman camp didn’t issue a denial to Harper’s inquiries, stating only, “[a]s required, any gift Norm Coleman has received from his friends has been fully reported.”
Late update: Coleman gave a slightly more heated denial to the Kazeminy clothing question to a Pioneer Press reporter, who caught the incumbent senator as he was heading out of a cafe in Fergus Falls, MN:
“First of all, every gift I’ve ever received has been reported, ok. But the idea of responding to the things bloggers throw out is something I’m not going to get into. There are very awful things that are said about people on the blogs,” he said.
[Reporter Dave] Orrick then asked for a simple yes or no answer on the suit question.
“That’s the answer, period. You can read it in the answer,” he said.