Democrat Al Franken is airing a new radio ad saying Republican Norm Coleman is "getting reeled in to the scandal" surrounding recently indicted U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. The ad says Coleman took three fishing trips to Alaska "paid for by Stevens and his friends."
Coleman is donating $20,000 of the $30,000 he's received from Stevens' PAC to charity. His campaign said the remaining $10,000, which came in the 2002 election cycle, has already been spent.
Coleman campaign spokesman Cullen Sheehan: "The campaign will be donating any funds received in this cycle from the Northern Lights PAC to childhood cancer research. The Senator believes firmly in a presumption of innocence. But it is clear our political opponents will attempt to use this issue as a distraction from Al Franken's violation of tax law in at least 18 states, including Minnesota and his violation of New York's Worker's Compensation Laws."
The liberal Talking Points Memo speculates that Coleman's initial hesitance in returning any money may have come because Coleman's chief of staff is married to Stevens' chief of staff.