Norm Coleman

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Norm Coleman

Norman Bertram "Norm" Coleman (born August 17 1949) is an American politician and Republican U.S. Senator from Minnesota since 2003. He will be up for re-election in 2008.

Coleman was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received his B.A. from Hofstra University and his J.D. with high honors from the University of Iowa.

He spent 17 years with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, holding the positions of chief prosecutor and solicitor general of the State of Minnesota. He was mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota from 1994 to 2002. Previously a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Coleman switched to the Republican Party of Minnesota in 1996.

In 1998, he unsuccessfully ran for governor of Minnesota against the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III and the victorious Independence Party (then known as the Reform Party of Minnesota) candidate, Jesse Ventura.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002, defeating former US Vice President Walter Mondale and succeeding Dean Barkley, who was serving the unexpired term of Paul Wellstone.

Coleman is a member of four Senate committees including the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He is also Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. In 2004, Coleman campaigned for the chairmanship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, but was narrowly defeated for the post by North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole in a close 28-27 vote. Coleman's Northstar Leadership PAC made over $200,000 worth of contributions to other Republican senators that were up for reelection during his failed campaign for the NRSC chair[1] (

In December, 2004, in connection with his position of Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Coleman called for United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan to resign because of the "UN's utter failure to detect or stop Saddam's abuses" in the UN's Oil-for-Food program and because of fraud allegations against Annan's son relating to the same program. Senator Coleman is a known critic of the United Nations in general.

In May 2005, Coleman's subcommittee held hearings on their investigation of abuses of the UN Oil-for-Food program. The subcommittee claimed to have found evidence that British Member of Parliament George Galloway and former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua (amongst many others, including American corporations), had received "oil allocations" from Iraq in return for being "political allies" of Saddam Hussein's regime. In unusual testimony of a British MP before the US Senate, Galloway forcefully and articulately rebutted the charges in testimony that left Senator Coleman largely silent and apparently cowed. Galloway said that the accusations against him were false and part of a diversionary "smoke screen" by pro-Iraq war US politicians to deflect attention from the "theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth... on your watch" that had occured not during the Oil-for-Food program but under the post-invasion Coalition Provisional Authority, a theft largely perpetrated by "Haliburton and other American corporations... with the connivance of your own government." Galloway pointed out several apparent errors in the subcommittee's dossier, some rudimentary. This May 17 appearance before the committee drew much media attention in both America and Britain[2] ( The video of the testimony is available on the subcommittee website, and Galloway's remarks are included in the official record with all the other related documents.

Since then Senator Coleman has expressed reservations about supporting CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) unless the interests of domestic sugar including Minnesota's sugar beet industry are accomodated[3] (

Coleman, who is Jewish, has two children, Jacob and Sara, and a wife, Laurie Coleman, an aspiring actor.

External links

Preceded by:
Dean Barkley
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
Succeeded by:

Template:End box Template:MN-FedRep Template:Current U.S. Senators


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