Set ’em Up, Tear ’em Down

Demko at the Minnesoros “Independent” brings the allegations (from an organization that shares funders with the “Independent”):

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a complaint with the Senate’s ethics committee calling for an investigation into whether Sen.Norm Coleman’s Washington living arrangements violate the legislative body’s gift rules. The questions stem from recent revelations that Coleman rents a $600-per-month basement apartment on Capitol Hill from Republican operative Jeff Larson.

Joe “Learned Foot” Tucci responds:

And the story here is what, exactly? If the landlord was trying to payoff the Senator or give him a side-door gift, what about the other 8 months (2007: July August September October & December; 2008: February, April, May and possibly June) when the rent was paid on time and the checks were cashed. Why November and January? Why hold just the March check? Certainly there can be no other explanation for the 3 relevant months in this casual business relationship?

Not if your a Soros funded hatchet jobber trying to get moonbat liberals elected without having to actually defend your stupid stances on taxation, energy policy and national defense.

Sometimes it seems like the local leftyblogosphere is paralyzed by MDE Envy:

Finally, for those barking seal MDE wannabe lefty douchebloggers wondering why the MNGOP is just attacking CREW and not addressing the substance of the charges, it’s really very simple.

It’s because there is no substance to address.

People ask me why I keep dinging on the “Independent”, when it is by any objective measure a complete failure; they have a higher payroll than some radio stations I’ve worked at, but about the same circulation as Shot In The Dark.

It’s simple. As Foot showed us last week, these organizations – “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Among Republicans In Washington”, Media Matters, the Center for “Independent Media” and all of its subordinate affiliated blogs – all get their money from the same little circle of deep-pocketed lefty activists.

And that’s their right. But on the chance that there’s a news consumer out there who doesn’t know exactly what they’re getting – not just from the “Independent”, but from the rest of this chain of financial cause and effect – then I’m gonna try to fix that.

It is their right. And I’ll defend it (although it’s interesting to notice how many of the “Indy’s” staff were at the “Media Reform Conference” in Minneapolis last week, cheerleading on cue for the notion of reimposing the “Fairness” Doctrine, which is a direct attack on conservatives’ freedom).

All that, and sometimes it’s just fun beating on the hapless.

UPDATE:  Of course I’m too charitable. Brodkorb has, to quote Paul Harvey, the rest of the story.

Which brings up a question:  while it’s possible that most of the media that are breathlessly reporting on Coleman’s apartment are unaware of…:

  • …the links between the CREW and Franken’s campaign, and…
  • …the financial ties linking the Center for “Independent” Media and CREW…

…it’d be an insult to Steve Perry and Paul Demko’s unquestioned intelligence to assume they don’t.

15 thoughts on “Set ’em Up, Tear ’em Down

  1. I was viciously attacked in the discussion forum at the Red Star-Tribune for asserting that there were apartments nicer and roomier than the quarters Coleman has been using recently in D.C.. Their forum server crashed several hours ago, and I’ve been unable to send links. But, if anyone here is interested, take a look. The most important link is to a place the moonbats refused to admit existed, at . Also check out , , and .

  2. Learned Foot ask, “And the story here is what, exactly?”

    The story is that Coleman is most likely breaking ethic rules by accepting a gift from a friend in excess of $250.

  3. What’s the gift?

    Coleman paid $600 per month for a small apartment. 2 months’ rent were late, one check wasn’t cashed right away. Unless you can dig up the lease agreement which provides for penalties – er, “service charges” – totaling more than $250 on those 2 late payments, and can show that they weren’t paid, then there is no gift.

  4. The gift would be paying less than fair market value for an apartment, which would be construed as a gift.

    From what I gather the lack of payments is a moot issue.

    As mefolkes has shown from the craig’s list, one bedrooms in, from what I recollect, less desirable parts of DC rent for $200 more than what Coleman is paying.

    In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t a big issue. But Coleman has to abide by ethics rules that the Senate placed upon itself.

    I think the larger issue are the too cozy relationships our elected officials have with party activists and lobbyists.

  5. Check out that affordable apartment complex cited by mefolkes. It’s a coop formed by low-income residents whose motto is: ‘Individually, we may be poor or living paycheck to paycheck, but together we can buy millions.”

    Sounds like a great place for Norm or any other Senator to live.

  6. Ah, you’ve put Chukie Schumer in play:

    The FRV is a fair point, but I don’t think that $600 for a small crash pad with no stove is beyond the pale. Plus FRV – the amount a willing renter would pay to a willing lessor – is very tough to prove. And given the links mefolkes posted above (and not to mention Schumer’s deal – $750 for an entire house) in this case, it would be a losing argument.

  7. Also consider that the listings mefolkes provides are current listings. Coleman entered into this lease a year ago, back when the rental markets were not as flooded as they are now. Meaning that some of those listings that are going for $750 now could easily have been going for $100 to $200 less in July of ’07.

  8. it would be a losing argument.

    Considering the source (and conduit), I think it’s being optimistic to call it an “argument”. With all due respect to Fulcrum and Charlie, this isn’t about convincing those on the fence. It’s a slime attack designed to try to promote a sense of false moral equivalence between Franken and Coleman – so that Franken’s handlers can say “they’re really about the same” with something akin to a straight face.

    It’s damage control to try to stanch the flow of wobbly moderate Dems away from Franken.

  9. I guess I am confused since the source of this story was the National Journal – which probably has little interest in the outcome of the MN senatorial race.

    I agree Mitch, this generally wouldn’t be an issue if it was not an election season. I do not think it is a “slime” attack as you say since his very cozy relationship with Larson seems to skirt the ethical boundaries quite a bit.

  10. $200 rent may skirt the boundaries of ethics. $600? For that dump? Probably not.

    Mitch is close, but maybe overthinking it. The whole point of this is to get people to see “Norm Coleman” and “Ethics Complaint” in the same headline. The substance of the charge is secondary, and will probably be brushed aside. But Al’s campaign ads can continue to bring up “Ethics Complaint” which will – they’re hoping – be a synonym for “Ethics Violation!!!11!!” in the minds of some voters.

  11. Hey, so what if The Metropolitan Cooperative was formed by renters who were getting tax dollars to pay their bills? There is no income or assets test for residents there now, in the new cooperative ownership arrangement. Is someone saying that our politicians shouldn’t associate with the folks who put their heads together to actually make something work in a sick city? Take a close look at all the links. They aren’t all gangsta shooting galleries.

  12. The whole point of this is to get people to see “Norm Coleman” and “Ethics Complaint” in the same headline.

    Yep. It also makes a nice counterpoint to the Washington Post story about Obama’s sweetheart loan deal from the Northern Trust.

  13. Seems like pretty thin beer.
    The headline:
    Senator Coleman May Have Gotten a Discount on his DC Rent
    Doesn’t look bad against:
    Candidate Franken doesn’t pay his taxes

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