Kay Hagan and Al Franken October 9, 2008

Kay Hagan and Al Franken

We all know why Kay Hagan needs to wrestle that Senate seat away from Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina. Dole is an anti-atheist bigot and her campaign is trying to smear Hagan as some sort of (God forbid?) atheist sympathizer.

The Digital Cuttlefish offers a poetic response:

… I thought I saw an atheist,
So “radical” and “vile”
Wage war against America–
A villain with a smile
Promoting hate, promoting fear
For petty, selfish gain—
I looked again, and clearly saw
The Libby Dole campaign

I thought I saw an atheist
Stand up and say “no more!”
I will not be your scapegoat
Like so many times before!
Americans, stand up as Christian
Muslim, Jew, and Pagan,
Or atheist, or anything,
And cast your vote for Hagan!

While we’re on the subject of the Senate race, though, Republican Norm Coleman in Minnesota is in his own downward spiral again Democratic opponent Al Franken.

Sources say that Coleman “had gone suit shopping at Neiman Marcus” and that “the tab was picked up by a wealthy friend who is a major donor.” Reporters are looking for verification or denial of that story. Failing to report the gift would be an ethics violation, after all.

Here’s what Ken Silverstein of Harpers wrote:

Here’s my most recent email exchange (with a few typos cleaned up):

My email to LeRoy Coleman:

Wanted to run this by you one last time: Two sources have told me that Nasser Kazeminy has paid for clothing for Senator Coleman and his wife at Neiman Marcus… Seems like a pretty straightforward question, and [I] was hoping I could get a response to it. If it’s not accurate, please let me know. [I] am planning to write an item about this over next day or two; if Senator Coleman disputes the accounts I have heard, I would like to know.

Coleman’s response:

As required, any gift Norm Coleman has received from his friends has been fully reported.

To Coleman:

Sorry to be so persistent, and maybe I’m missing something here, but I am still hoping you can just give me a direct “yes or no” answer: Has Nasser Kazeminy paid for clothing for Senator Coleman and/or his wife at Nieman Marcus? If, so, when were the purchases made? Was he already in the Senate [then], or was it prior to his joining the Senate? Saying he’s reported any gifts “as required” does not necessarily mean Kazeminy has not paid for Coleman’s purchases at Nieman.

Coleman’s response:

As required, any gift Norm Coleman has received from his friends has been fully reported.

And you’ll love listening to this painful recent press conference with campaign manager Cullen Sheehan:


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Glad you liked it! Feel free (anyone) to send it to anyone you like. I don’t know anyone in North Carolina, or it would already be there…

  • Vincent

    Um, has anyone read any of the articles written about this? I bet the news people had fun writing how the Senator’s press rep refused to answer simple direct questions.

  • *blinks eyes*

    No, not surprised. Sadly.

  • David D.G.

    Coleman’s canned responses remind me of those androids in the classic Star Trek episode “I, Mudd” whenever they were given a request they were refusing to honor: “I am not programmed to respond in that area.”

    Coleman’s automatic non-answer means much the same thing. No matter how you phrase your request, you won’t get a straight answer.

    ~David D.G.

  • Not answering a direct question, regardless of what the context is, seems very evasive.

    I’m not surprised at all. A question asked of Mr. Franken would have been answered directly “I bought two bagels this morning and a schmear of cream cheese landed on my Land’s End shirt, which was reported as required. I will not purchase another shirt, I will simply wash the one I have.”

  • That’s typical Coleman. I follow way too many senate races, and I’ve come to hate Coleman as much as any politician. All you really need to know about the guy is that he used to be a Democrat before he switched to being a Republican, then in 2004, was one of the leaders in calling Kerry a flip-flopper. The nerve of this guy! The frustrating part is I doubt he realizes his own hypocrisy.

  • Richard Wade

    Amazing. What is the big deal about some fancy clothes, even if Coleman neglected to report them? Unless this Nasser Kazeminy is viewed by the public as Beelzebub, Coleman could just shrug it off with a half-assed apology. But with this ridiculous stonewalling he did two things: He told the reporters “Screw you and mind your own goddamn business,” and he couldn’t have done a better job at saying “Please pursue this matter and don’t give up.”

    Coleman and his hired liar campaign manager win this month’s Red-Flag-in-Front-of-a-Bull Award. Somewhere, tonight a sales clerk who works at Nieman Marcus is getting a nice, big, free dinner…

  • Larry Huffman

    Very funny Marty…I could almost hear Al saying it!

    You know…I like Al Franken…a lot. I read his books and thought he had a lot to say. When he threw his hat in, I have to admit I cringed. I sometimes have a little misgiving when hollywood types jump to politics…though I will be the first to admit that sometimes they do a good job. In Al’s case, however, I warmed right up to it.

    I think that his fresh and no holds barred approach…and the fact that because of who he is, he will not feel compelled to go and become part of washington, makes me think he will be good for us.

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