Norm Coleman/Commentary

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Norm Coleman, who served as the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, 1994-2002, has served as a Republican Senator for Minnesota since 2003. [1]

Making His "Bones"

John Nichols wrote in the May 17, 2005, The Nation that Coleman, "who took Paul Wellstone's seat [in 2003] after one of the most disreputable campaigns in American political history, has been trying over the past year to make a name for himself by blowing the controversy surrounding the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program into something more than the chronicle of corporate abuse that it is. The U.S. media, which thrives on official sound bites, was more than willing to lend credence to Coleman's overblown claims about wrongdoing in the UN program set up in 1996 to permit Iraq -- which was then under strict international sanctions -- to buy food, medicine and humanitarian supplies with the revenues from regulated oil sales. Even as Coleman's claims became more and more fantastic, he faced few challenges from the cowering Democrats in Congress." [2]

Coleman on Coleman v Wellstone: "99% Improvement"

"'To be very blunt and God watch over Paul's soul, I am a 99 percent improvement over Paul Wellstone,' Coleman, R-Minn., said in a front-page story published in Roll Call. 'Just about on every issue.' [...]

"In the story, Coleman reflected on his election to the Senate and said 'there is a lot of anger' still coming from Wellstone forces.

"'They lost their champion and they thought something was taken away,' he told the newspaper. 'All you can do is say, 'Hey, I mourn the loss, but I am here and I am going to do what I think is the right thing to do, and thank God I have a chance to be here.' ... " [3]

Coleman's Oil .. and Other .. Money

Coleman, on the other hand, has received oil money (although certainly not from the oil-for-food program). His 2003-2004 PAC contributions include $1000 dollars each from Koch Industries and Marathon Oil. And the 2004 contributions to Coleman from the Energy/Natural Resource sector totalled a hefty $374,790. [4][5]

The treasurer of Coleman's massive Northstar Leadership PAC is Jeff Larson, who is a partner in the astroturfing specialists Feather Larson & Synhorst DCI. [6]

In February 2004, the Minneapolis/St Paul City Pages reported that "Thus far in the 2004 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission data, FLS is the largest corporate recipient of largesse from the Republican National Committee. The company has been paid more than $3.6 million for its telemarketing services since the beginning of 2003. (The only organizations that have received more money from the RNC are the United States Postal Service and the Internal Revenue Service)." [7]

How the RNC received money from the owner of alleged oil-for-food racketeer Bayoil

One organisation that has indirectly received money from the oil-for-food program is the Republican Party. In October 2002 David B. Chalmers, Jr., the owner of Bayoil, donated $300 to the National Republican Congressional Committee [8]. According to The Guardian, the practice of the Hussein regime of demanding kickbacks on oil-for-food allocations was stopped in September 2002 [9].

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