Hours after a liberal Minnesota organization called for an investigation into possible ethics violations by Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., the senator said he would welcome any such probe.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota,a self-described "progressive" group, sent letters to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and the Minneapolis branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, calling for a full investigation into recent allegations that businessman Nasser Kazeminy illegally funneled $75,000 to Coleman.
The alliance also posted a petition seeking an ethics investigation on its website Wednesday afternoon, urging readers to sign it.
Coleman has insisted that the most recent attacks were fueled by partisanship, and continues to imply that they originated in the campaign of the DFL candidate for his Senate seat, Al Franken. (A statewide recount in that race will begin next week; at last count, only 206 votes separated the two candidates.) Franken and his campaign workers deny any involvement.
"As another Democratic group that spent millions of dollars attempting to defeat me calls for a politically motivated investigation, I want to be clear that I not only welcome such an investigation, but I am eager to have it move forward immediately," Coleman said in a statement Wednesday. "The fact that a United States senator is being used as a tool of extortion by private parties should be of concern to all Minnesotans. I reiterate that none of the allegations which attempt to besmirch my family’s good name and reputation are true.
"This investigation should move forward, and it is my hope that those who were behind this matter, their motives and what their connections may be to my political opponents be reviewed aggressively by the appropriate authorities and the media. This matter, which has emerged again as a result of the tactics of my political opponents during a recount, ought to raise even further suspicions in the minds of Minnesotans as to its motives and purposes."