Posts Tagged ‘Norm Coleman’

Norm Coleman will head new Super PAC that aims to ‘counter ACORN style groups’

Posted on: October 13th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman will head a new Super PAC called the Congressional Leadership Fund that will be able to avoid all disclosure requirements and accept unlimited donations. (more…)

Conservative advocacy group chair and former Sen. Norm Coleman signs on with Romney

Posted on: September 21st, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Former Sen. Norm Coleman, chair of a non-profit group that pumped at least $18 million towards conservative candidates or issues in the last election cycle, is joining Mitt Romney’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination as a special advisor, Romney’s campaign said Wednesday. (more…)

Former Minnesota Sen. Coleman gives vulnerable Cravaack campaign a fund raising hand

Posted on: September 19th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Former Sen. Norm Coleman hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Chip Cravaack on Friday afternoon at the Minneapolis Club, part of Coleman’s increasing support for Cravaack who is seen as vulnerable.

Cravaack has also picked up support from Rep. Michele Bachmann who has given Cravaack thousands from her PAC as well as her email list. Currently, three DFLers are vying for the nomination to take on Cravaack in 2012.

Coleman hosted the fundraiser on Friday along with Rep. Erik Paulsen. “The morning after becoming a Congressman, Chip Cravaack woke up with a target on his back after taking a long time Democratic Congressional District from Jim Oberstar,” the event invite reads.

Coleman’s American Action Network (AAN) PAC has backed Cravaack. In early August, Coleman’s AAN bought ads in the Duluth News Tribune support of Cravaack. AAN had listed Cravaack as vulnerable and is supporting his campaign.

AAN has been a target of government watchdog groups because of its political activity. Earlier this year, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the groups. CREW alleges that AAN spent more money on supporting Republicans and defeating Democrats than is allowed for a 501(c)4 organization.

Coleman isn’t the only high-profile politician to be lending Cravaack a financial helping hand. Michele Bachmann’s MICHELLE PAC has given Cravaack $5,000 so far this cycle and her campaign gave Cravaack its fundraising lists.

Cravaack leads the early race with $268,000 on hand at the end of the second quarter. DFLer Tarryl Clark had $132,000 by the end of June and Jeff Anderson, who had just entered the race in the 2nd quarter, had $3,500. Rick Nolan entered the race early in the third quarter, so no fundraising numbers are yet posted for him, although he’s earned a number of high-profile endorsements.

Norm Coleman: Voting rights are a ‘privilege’

Posted on: March 30th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Former Sen. Norm Coleman stopped to talk with Pajamas Media at last weekend’s True the Vote conference hosted by the King Street Patriots in Houston. The conference trains conservative activists in how to monitor polls and push for tighter voter ID laws. In the interview, Coleman downplayed assertions that voter fraud cost him the election against Sen. Al Franken in 2008 but called voting “one of the greatest privileges that democracy affords,” comparing voter ID to showing an identification card when writing a check at McDonald’s.

“Some places require an ID to cash a check at McDonald’s; if it’s good enough for McDonald’s it should be good enough for one of the greatest privileges that democracy affords, and that’s the right to vote,” said Coleman.

Republicans at the Minnesota Legislature have also made similar claims that voting is like buying alcohol, cigarettes or plane tickets.

The interviewer pressed Coleman about his race with Franken and alleged voter fraud, but Coleman balked a bit. “I’m not complaining about my race,” he said, later added, “ACORN didn’t support a lot of Republicans and we’ve seen a lot of about fraud.”

He added, “My race was decided by 301 votes; ACORN registered 43,000 people in Minnesota.”

The Texas Independent, which covered the weekend’s conference, quotes Coleman as saying he still believes “there remain serious questions about how the recount was conducted.”

King Street Patriots aim to recruit 1 million volunteers to monitor 2012 elections

Posted on: March 27th, 2011 by Mary Tuma 5 Comments

King Street PatriotsOn the heels of the Texas House’s recent passage of the voter photo identification legislation, Houston tea party group King Street Patriots rolled out its voter integrity initiative True the Vote to the nation this weekend.

At the close of the summit, KSP president Catherine Engelbrecht said her group aims to mobilize teams of three people to oversee each voting precinct in the country, totaling roughly 1 million tea party volunteers nationwide by the 2012 presidential election. (more…)

Norm Coleman’s American Action Network accused of violating tax status

Posted on: March 8th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Citizens for Ethics in Washington filed an IRS complaint against former Sen. Norm Coleman’s American Action Network Tuesday alleging that the group violated its 501(c)4 status by working to elect Republicans. CREW posits that AAN used its tax status to protect Republican donors from disclosure and spent the majority of its resources on political campaigns instead of educational activities, as required under the law.

“The American Action Network and Sen. Coleman have every right to work to elect more Republicans, but they can’t violate the tax laws to do it,” CREW’s Melanie Sloan said in a statement announcing the complaint. “No one is exempt from following the tax laws. If a group wants to take advantage of privileges like protecting the identity of donors, it has to follow the obligations that go along with that. Here, that would mean spending the majority of resources on activities unrelated to political campaigns. AAN didn’t play by the rules.”

CREW stated that when AAN applied for a nonprofit certificate from the IRS, it stated the primary purpose of its activities would be advocating for economic and national security policies with only a “minor portion” of its activities being political. AAN also told the IRS it only planned to spend $2.5 million in 2010. Instead, it spent $18 million supporting or opposing candidates.

Much of the activity was in the form of advertisements attacking Democrats over health care reform and urging them to vote against health care reform, even though the bill had already passed when the ads were bought and no further votes were pending.

“[T]he timing of the advertisements was not related to any scheduled vote on repealing health care legislation,” the complaint reads. “The House went into recess at the end of September, and no votes were scheduled on H.R.4903 or any other bill repealing the health care law.”

One such advertisement was against Rep. Tim Walz in the amount of $275,000.

The complaint also says that AAN coordinated its campaigns with other Republican groups:

“Just weeks after the IRS granted AAN section 501(c)(4) status, AAN began, at the behest of Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, coordinating with American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other outside groups seeking to influence the 2010 elections.”

And Coleman’s status as a party leader and his recruitment of high level Republicans also demonstrates AAN’s political nature, CREW told the IRS.

“In fact, most of AAN’s officers and directors are Republican party leaders, fundraisers, former members of Congress, and/or former aides to Republican presidents or congressional leaders,” the complaint said. “These close ties to Republican leaders further support the need for the IRS to conduct an investigation to confirm CREW’s conclusion that AAN’s primary purpose is political activity.”

CREW is asking the IRS to investigate AAN’s 501(c)4 nonprofit status, which allows nonprofits to engage in political activity but only if it constitutes a minor portion of the organization’s activities. CREW stated that a big problem with AAN is the independent expenditures created by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

“Citizens United put a for sale sign on every ballot box across the country,” said Sloan. “It is time for Congress to act and put this genie back in the bottle. Elections should be won by the candidates with the best ideas, not by innocuous sounding groups funded by anonymous donors with secret agendas.”

Michael Steele to announce RNC intentions on conference call tonight (UPDATED)

Posted on: December 13th, 2010 by Patrick Caldwell No Comments

UpdateFox News has now revised its article to indicate that Steele will seek a second term as RNC chair. That shift comes after Tim Mark at FrumForum reported that Steele would in fact run to retain his position. Steele himself is not expected to give official word until the conference call this evening.

The speculation over Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele’s future with the group will come to an end tonight. At 7:30 p.m. EST, he is scheduled to speak with members of the RNC during a conference call. Fox News’ sources indicate that Steele will announce that he will not seek a second term during the call, but the chairman has remained coy about his decision. The next RNC chair will be selected when the organization’s members meet in the middle of January.

Steele’s two years as chairman of the party been filled with both positives and negatives for his image. In terms of results, Steele has overseen two of the most successful years for the GOP; when he took the helm in early 2009 the party was in a state of crisis after Barack Obama swept Democrats to wide majorities in both chambers of Congress, but the GOP regrouped in 2010 and won historic margins in Congress for the midterm elections.

At the same time, Steele himself has been plagued by a continual series of gaffes that distracted from his other work, and the party closes 2010 with its future weighed by over $15 million in debt. Though the RNC chairman is not selected by any form of popular vote, rank and file Republicans have turned against Steele. Almost half of Republican voters would oppose Steele if he ran for the chairmanship again according to a recent poll.

A host of other candidates are already in the race no matter what Steele announces Monday night. Wisconsin Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus is projected as an early front runner. He has already wrapped up the support of Wisconsin’s GOP and is backed by influential Mississippi Gov. and former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour. Also among those running: former Michigan Republican chairman Saul Anuzis, Gentry Collins who was the RNC’s political director until he resigned last month with a scathing letter against Steele, and former RNC co-chair Ann Wagner.

Those currently running have fairly low public profiles, much like Steele before he won the chairmanship in 2009. That could come back to haunt the party, though, as these individuals’ past ties will be subjected to greater public inspection if they win the chairmanship. Anuzis, for example, has defended Young Americans for Freedom, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center termed a hate group over its white nationalist statements.

If suspicions that Steele will not run again are confirmed, other possible candidates may be willing to enter the race. Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman has been speculated about as a possible candidate earlier this year. He recently stated that he would not oppose Steele but did not deny his interest in running if the current chairman steps aside. Coleman — who helped found the conservative nonprofit American Action Network after he lost his Senate election in 2008 — would likely have the highest name recognition of any candidate if he chooses to run.

Mike Duncan, Steele’s predecessor as RNC Chair and current chairman of American Crossroads, is weighing whether to run for his old position. American Crossroads was the biggest outside player in the 2010 midterm elections, becoming a symbol for undisclosed spending after Citizens United. Duncan would be a major player if he puts his hat into the ring. The RNC chair is primarily responsible for party fundraising, so Duncan’s success leading American Crossroads would augur well for his ability to lead the RNC out of its debt problem as they seek to reclaim the White House in 2012.

Looming recount may allow Pawlenty to position himself for 2012

Posted on: November 5th, 2010 by Patrick Caldwell No Comments

Mark Dayton (Photo: Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota Governor 2010)Haunted by memories of the 2008 Senate election between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, Minnesota is bracing for yet another contentious recount, this time to determine the state’s next governor.

Just as the drawn-out recount in 2008 had national implications — for months, Franken was prevented from becoming the key 60th Democratic vote in the Senate (more…)