Washington Babylon — November 1, 2008, 10:55 am

Second Lawsuit Filed Against Senator Coleman’s Friend

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

A second lawsuit was filed Friday by minority shareholders who allege that a close family friend of Sen. Norm Coleman used a marine company in Texas to pay $75,000 to the senator via a Minneapolis insurance company where Coleman’s wife, Laurie, is an independent contractor. The suit attributes the allegations to a “confidential source.” Coleman’s campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, said Friday night that the suits are “baseless and false claims … being used to influence the outcome of the election.”

Franken spokeswoman Colleen Murray said no one associated with the Franken campaign had anything to do with bringing the lawsuit to light. She said Coleman was trying to deflect serious sworn allegations by Paul McKim, founder of Deep Marine Technology Inc. of Houston, in the first lawsuit. That lawsuit, filed in Harris County District Court in Houston, also alleges that Nasser Kazeminy steered the money from Deep Marine to the senator via Hays Companies, where Laurie Coleman, the senator’s wife, is a contractor…”I’m a Republican, but I’d never heard of Coleman before,” said McKim, who has given small campaign contributions to a few Republican politicians, including, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas. “I don’t know the man. Maybe he’s a good man getting tangled up in this. I feel bad for anybody getting tangled up.”

Hays Companies, with headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, said Friday that McKim’s lawsuit contains false and defamatory allegations and is “disreputable.” The firm said in a statement that Laurie Coleman has been one of its independent contractors, selling insurance, since 2006. “We find any allegations that she accepted money for work she was not responsible for to be outrageous and contemptible,” the company said…McKim’s lawsuit was based on a sworn statement from him that Kazeminy coerced him and others to make three $25,000 payments to Hays. The second suit, brought by FLI Deep Marine LLC and Bressner Partners LTD, attributes its allegations to a “confidential source.” The source allegedly was told by Kazeminy in 2007 that “we have to get some money to Senator Coleman” because the senator “needs the money.”

McKim told the Star Tribune that Kazeminy approached him in 2007 with a “directive” to send $100,000 to Senator Coleman through Hays. “”He said that the senator’s wife worked there and she could get the money to him,” McKim told the newspaper. “I was kind of stunned. I was really shocked he would come out and say that so nonchalantly.” McKim said his company had no need for new insurance at the time, as it was already paying $1 million a year for insurance through underwriters in London.

The merits of the two lawsuits against Kazeminy aren’t clear but the situation shouldn’t be that difficult to clear up. Here are some relevant questions:

How did the Hays Companies, whose spouses and employees provided Senator Coleman with $20,700 in campaign contributions between 2002 and 2006, decide to hire Laurie Coleman?

McKim’s lawsuit says Kazeminy began pressuring him to hire Hays in March of 2007? When precisely was Laurie Coleman hired by Hays?

Laurie Coleman is an independent contractor. How is she compensated? Doe she get a salary or a commission on work that she brings in?

How did the Hays Companies come to be hired by Deep Marine? Did Deep Marine contact the Hays Companies to inquire about their risk management services? Or did the Hays Companies contact Deep Marine? If so, how did the Hays Companies know who to contact?

Deep Marine paid Hays $75,000. What work did Hays perform for that money?

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2015

A Sage in Harlem

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Man Stopped

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Spy Who Fired Me

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Giving Up the Ghost

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Invisible and Insidious

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

[Browsings]
William Powell published The Anarchist Cookbook in 1971. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print.
“The book has hovered like an awkward question on the rim of my consciousness for years.”
© JP Laffont/Sygma/Corbis
Article
The Fourth Branch·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Both the United States and the Soviet Union saw student politics as a proxy battleground for their rivalry.”
Photograph © Gerald R. Brimacombe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Article
Giving Up the Ghost·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Stories about past lives help explain this life — they promise a root structure beneath the inexplicable soil of what we see and live and know, what we offer one another.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
The Spy Who Fired Me·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In industry after industry, this data collection is part of an expensive, high-tech effort to squeeze every last drop of productivity from corporate workforces.”
Illustration by John Ritter
Article
Invisible and Insidious·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly.”
Photograph © 2011 Massimo Mastrorillo and Donald Weber/VII

Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:

1

Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.

An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Driving Mr. Albert

By

He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.

Subscribe Today