Washington Babylon — December 12, 2008, 4:30 pm

More on Norm Coleman’s Friend and Renovator

So as I noted here earlier today, it turns out that Senator Norm Coleman’s home was renovated with the help of “Shari Wilsey, an interior designer. Wilsey, along with her husband Roger, are longtime friends of the Coleman’s and financial contributors to the Senator’s campaigns.The Wilsey’s even hosted a fundraiser for Senator Coleman during the Republican National Convention at their Summit Ave mansion, just blocks from the Coleman’s.”

Here’s a bit more: Shari Wilsey has been pals with Norm’s wife, Laurie “Blo & Go” Coleman, since high school, according to a past Star Tribune story. And Wilsey attended Coleman’s 2003 senate inauguration. And back in 2000, when he was mayor of St. Paul, Coleman booted several members of the Heritage Preservation Commission (after they opposed a development project he favored, according to the Star Tribune), and appointed replacements, including Wilsey.

As widely noted here and elsewhere, Coleman rented his Washington “crash pad” from a friend, Jeff Larson, whose consulting firm has been paid more than $1 million by Coleman’s P.A.C. And Coleman’s senate office in St. Paul hired Larson’s wife as a “casework supervisor,” and paid her more than $100,000. And Coleman’s wife is employed by Minneapolis-based Hays Companies, whose executives, spouses and employees have contributed more than $20,700 to Coleman’s campaigns. I’m not even going to go into the widely noted case of another very close friend of Coleman’s, Nasser Kazeminy.

And now another friend handles Coleman’s home renovation. (See the Coleman family’s kitchen, which was part of the renovation project, here.). How can Coleman have so many financial entanglements with his political supporters? At minimum, he’s guilty of extraordinarily poor judgment.

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

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In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

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