Friday’s Star Tribune brought word of another potential setback for Minnesota’s most famous furloughed worker. But for the first time in months, the news did not concern former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman‘s legal fight to regain his U.S. Senate seat.
Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy of the Strib, who spent a lot of time last year digging into allegations regarding the relationship of Coleman and his longtime friend and patron Nasser Kazeminy, have obtained a copy of a deposition given recently in an ongoing Texas lawsuit filed against a Kazeminy-owned company, Deep Marine Technology. In that deposition, Deep Marine CFO B.J. Thomas says that Kazeminy directed him to pay $100,000 to a Minnesota insurance company where Coleman’s wife, Laurie, worked.
McEnroe and Kennedy write (emphasis added):
[Thomas] said that $75,000 of that sum was paid to Hays Companies even though he saw no evidence of Deep Marine receiving any consulting services from Hays.
Thomas’ deposition, taken under oath on March 19 and obtained by the Star Tribune, is the first corroboration from an official at Deep Marine of allegations made by company founder Paul McKim in a lawsuit filed last year against the company.
Of course the Texas litigation–there are two related civil suits pending against DMT–won’t affect Coleman’s legal bid to win his seat back, but it could have a big impact on one of the jobs Coleman is said to be eyeing if he loses the court battle for the Senate. A few weeks ago, Politico’s Mike Allen included this note in his Playbook beltway buzz column: "WORD ON THE STREET: The next RNC chairman will be Norm Coleman, after he loses his recount fight and big donors see Michael Steele’s March numbers."
For what it’s worth, there are some at the Capitol who have discounted Coleman’s chances at the RNC chair since the rumor was first floated, on account of the continued rumblings about ethics issues–but wonder whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty could wind up with the national party chairmanship after his current term as governor, should he decide not to run for re-election.
Seems like a long shot. Pawlenty means to run for president in 2012, and only one of the 63 chairs who have served since the party’s inception in the 1850s has gone on to be president. That would be George H.W. Bush, whose 1973-74 stint at the RNC helm brought into the Bush family orbit an up-and-coming College Republican named Karl Rove.