Late cloud over Keith Ellison’s bid for Minnesota attorney general

In this July 18, 2018, file photo, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asks a question at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing in Washington. Ellison decided to leave Congress for a chance to make a difference as his state's attorney general, but an ex-girlfriend's late accusation of domestic abuse clouded what had been his race to lose. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee and first Muslim elected to Congress, sought his party’s nomination Tuesday (Aug. 14) for Minnesota attorney general in a race clouded in the final days by an ex-girlfriend’s allegation of domestic abuse.

The allegation surfaced the weekend before Tuesday’s primary when the son of Ellison’s former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, posted on Facebook that he had seen angry text messages from Ellison to his mother and a video that showed him dragging Monahan off a bed.

Monahan, a Minneapolis political organizer, said via Twitter that her son’s posting was “true” but did not respond to an Associated Press request to review the messages and video. She later told Minnesota Public Radio News that she would not release the video because it is “humiliating.”

Ellison denied any abuse or threatening messages and said the supposed video “does not exist because I have never behaved in this way.”

Ellison, 54 and divorced, is a six-term congressman and a leader within the Democratic Party. He became deputy chairman of the DNC last year after falling just short of the top job.

Ellison was among candidates rushing to file for Minnesota’s attorney general office after incumbent Lori Swanson made a late decision to run for governor.

He said he wanted to push back against President Trump’s policies that he argued were hurting people, adding that he admired Democratic attorneys general in other states who had done so. He said his priorities included protecting former President Obama’s health care law and restoring so-called net neutrality provisions scrapped by the Federal Communications Commission under Trump.

With a huge fundraising advantage and star power over his opponents — including a visit from 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders — Ellison was considered the heavy favorite before the Monahan allegation surfaced.

Also running in the Democratic primary were state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, former Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley and attorney Matt Pelikan.

(Kyle Potter writes for The Associated Press.)

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  • Remember, this thing only affects the campaign if someone is a Democrat. Republicans love making excuses for atrocious behavior from their candidates.

  • I personally don’t like the guys politics or past affiliation with the Nation of Islam. That being said, dropping a salacious story the day before a vote reeks of dirty politics. And until the alleged video is released and someone files a police report; this is to be ignored.

  • So dragging someone off a bed is now considered “domestic abuse?” Funny how the threshold for “abuse” is always so much lower for Democrats, e.g. Al Franken being forced out of the Senate because he was filmed pretending to touch a woman’s breasts while she was sleeping. He never actually touched her body at all, yet that was still considered “abuse.” Meanwhile, the Groper-in-Chief gets plenty of “Mulligans” for having multiple affairs and divorces and gets elected POTUS even after it’s discovered that he deliberately walked in on women changing their clothes during his Miss Universe pageant and even after he’s caught on tape bragging about groping women by their genitals. And so the blatant hypocrisy continues – Democrats bear the brunt while Republicans walk.

  • I am inclined to believe the story. I have no reason to act like a Roy Moore supporter and dismiss serious personal impropriety out of hand or demonize an accuser.

    I am also inclined to believe that even if Ellison made it through the primary, Republicans will capitalize on it as a political point whether true or not. So one way or another this story only hurts Ellison.

  • #P!ssOff

    You already tried attack the accuser and you will always deflect when a Republican acts badly. So it’s not like you care much for #MeToo except when convenient.

  • Republicans are going to use the story to attack Ellison whether true or not. They are sleazy that way.

  • You had no need for niceties like Due Process and Fact-Checking when Evil Republican Roy Moore was the target du jour.

    But now it’a new “jour”, ain’t it? Liberal Democrat Ellison’s stepson says he said and did some bad things to Mommy, and that there’s a bad video a-lurking out there.

  • You should direct that elsewhere Unlike apologists and deflecting miscreants, I have standards. I believe the accuser here as well as with Moore and expect the same fallout for Ellison.

    It’s not like republicans wait for a story about democrats to be verified before using it for attacks. You have never done that. You even repeat stuff long debunked. So pardon me if I laugh at your sudden desire to vet a story first.

    I am not an apologist for personal misconduct, like you are being.
    I don’t engage in whataboutism in an effort to comdone bad behavior. I leave that to you.

    Moore was scum before the accusations came out. It did not make me feel less of him. Ellison does not deserve defense nor his accuser deserve attack just because of timing here.

    It looks serious and will definitely be used against him in the general election by Republicans regardless of veracity.

  • There are plenty of differences between Roy Moore and Keith Ellison – Roy Moore stalked a number of teenage girls at the mall during his thirties and there were multiple women who came forward to attest to the fact that he sexually assaulted them while they were still minors. Keith Ellison had a spat with his ex-girlfriend who was of age and things got a little heated. Big huge difference.

  • Right. But I am not going to mimic the behavior of Moore’s supporters and dismiss the accusations out of hand or attack the accuser like they did.

    If the stories are true, he should drop out. If they are not, he will still get hammered for it if he makes it out of the primary.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that you probably can’t blame a GOP fabrication for this. The vote coming up is the Democratic primary. Qui Bono? Who benefits? A squeaky clean Democrat in the primary.

  • As I recall, I kept trying to call for Due Process and Fact-Checking even with the zombie Democrat Al Franken(stein)’s #Metoo mess. How’s that for fairness?

    (And I didn’t even do any extended lectures about liberal John Conyers trying to do his congressional duties in his underwear!!)

    But I admit, I don’t bother calling for DP & FC much anymore. My position tends to mirror yours: the (insert opposing political party here) will simply try to make use of the #Metoo story whether it’s true or not.

  • No you didn’t. You were trying to use him to deflect from Moore. You are condoning bad behavior in general.

    The thing about bullshifting arguments are they point to the speakers terrible character. Rather than condemn bad behavior, it seems to excuse it. Trump supporters love doing it because they are kg low character in general.

  • why do you believe it? Do you know something everyone else doesn’t?
    One of the problems with our political system today is that you seem to have to destroy your opponent.
    It’s sad really; for all of us- regardless of which side of the aisle we are on.
    No one is perfect. Everyone has personal issues. I guess there are some red lines that automatically (should) disqualify a given candidate; but, when does the public ever learn where a candidate stands on an issue?

  • It’s not my fault that Frankie decided to steal the #MeToo show at the,worst possible political moment.

    (Sketchy Democrats always messing themselves up around here!!)

  • Good to know you got caught fibbing on that point and are now trying to pivot from there.

    Republicans are in no condition to comment on the sketchiness of anyone. Especially in this election season when they are running several neo-nazis.

  • I didn’t, Floydlee did.

    But his supporters do serve a model on how not to act in light of this sort of thing.

  • The same reason you dismiss it out of hand. A fake story would be more damaging after the primary. Plus in most of these cases, the accusations turn out to be true.

    “One of the problems with our political system today is that you seem to have to destroy your opponent.”

    We are in a post shame political system there. If people in general had the moral fiber to drop out of a race because they were caught doing inappropriate things, Trump would have never made it out of the primaries. Its gotten to the point that satire and political drama writers can’t come up with plausible material. Real life has become so ridiculous and over the top that you literally can’t make it up.

  • See, I was with you until you brought up trump. I’m not sure how old you are, but there is stuff everywhere.
    Debbie wasserman Schultz
    Dennis hassert

    Everyone has something. The question is where to draw the line. If perfection is the expectation; then nobody qualifies to run for office – except you. 🙂

  • FYI – I don’t dismiss it out of hand; HOWEVER, a guy shouldn’t be crucified until there is some proof against him in either the legal system or public eye.
    That is how the system is supposed to work.

  • Seriously, any candidate in years past with our president’s pedigree of bad behavior would have dropped out of a campaign.

    90% of the minor stuff you would have attacked Obama or Clintons for is given a pass, condoned or ignored by Trump fans.

    “The stuff” is everywhere but I don’t find anyone except conservatives these days using that as an excuse to condone bad behavior. Whataboutism and deflection is the go to argument with them now.

  • We already know Republicans would use such stories, real or imagined, against him. The guy is a liability now. The way the story is playing out, I am not seeing a lot of reasons to be skeptical.

  • Kinda true; but not really. Follow me: In the past, Republicans called out Clinton and others (teddy kennedy) for various types of sexual misconduct. Bill allegedly raped, assaulted or had extramarital affairs with multiple women and not only served two terms but was LOVED and defended by the democratic establishment. You can go back to the “it’s the economy stupid” days and find statements from democrats telling conservatives that character didn’t matter; so it didn’t.
    Teddy kennedy killed a woman, covered it up and was considered the Lion of the senate. He was revered and protected for decades by the media who loved the kennedys and the Democratic Party.
    All that being said, you still do not understand what I have told you and the other HRC supporters on this page – people would have voted for Satan himself before they voted for Clinton. They do not forgive trump for his behavior. They do not condone it. In fact, it makes them uncomfortable and uneasy when compared to their own beliefs and morals. BUT, they still chose him over her. That is how much she was disliked.

  • Fibbing on **what** point? You had fun piously attacking Moore, till Franken suddenly became the star of the show — and with some juicy pix as well. Remember the juicy pix, dude?

  • Still defending the Alabama bigot/scofflaw/embezzler/child molester even after his ignominious exit from public relevance. Franken, whom you tried to pretend was the same kind of guy, admitted fault for his actions and stepped down voluntarily. Moore is still pretending he was maligned unfairly. You are still defending him. Nobody is defending Franken, not even Franken.

    So yes, you were caught fibbing there.

  • The Access Hollywood tape alone would have caused virtually any candidate of any party to throw in the towel. Bill owned up to the extramarital affairs during the campaigns. Trump owns up to nothing and lies like a cheap rug on a regular basis.

    Remember when Republicans were the family of “values voters” and “family values”? Yeah that was pretty much proven to be a pile of crap today. 🙂

    “Teddy kennedy killed a woman, covered it up and was considered the Lion of the senate. ”

    And had that not happened, he probably would have been president.

    “All that being said, you still do not understand what I have told you and the other HRC supporters on this page ”

    You suffer from brain damage. Anterograde amnesia. The inability to form new thoughts or memories after November 2016. HRC has no relevance in the world today. Hasn’t for over 2 years. There are no supporters of her anymore than there are Walter Mondale supporters or Mitt Romney supporters.

    “They do not forgive trump for his behavior. They do not condone it.”

    Wrong. They are continuing to make excuses for it by digging into the past and they deflect from talking about what he does. You support Trump through avoidance. Your bullshifting arguments imply you condone his bad behavior.

    Nobody has to give a crap about the election anymore. Nobody has to give a crap what you have to say about Obama or the Clintons. They’re gone and not relevant to any current events now. You bring them up constantly to avoid talking about Trump or making excuses for him.

  • I am just wondering why would he be running for a state AG position after national office? Seemed like a step down.

  • Bill never owned up to anything – still hasn’t.
    Not sure what your family value today comment means.
    Kennedy shudda went to jail, but everyone excused / ignored his behavior. He shudda got kicked out of the senate at a minimum but had the balks to grill Clarence Thomas.
    The election still matters because you equate trumps bad behavior with conservatives acceptance of the same. My point is I wasn’t voting for HRC; so by default I settled for trump. That being said, I do agree with 95% of what he has done.
    Finally, the reason why I keep bringing up Clinton and Obama is because Democrats excused their bad behavior and now accuse trump of the very same things. If you want to call out trump for pu$$y grabbing (or bragging about it), then you’d better be consistent and mention Clinton raping and destroying women in the same breath.
    Be honest.
    To say that the sins of Obama or Clinton never existed because it’s 2018 is intellectually dishonest.

  • The “Bill committed rape” thing was not only unproven (but repeated regardless by conservatives) but the accuser changed her story under oath.

    So not only are you unconcerned with whether something is proven through due process, you repeat stories which are likely to be false for its own sake. Even if the story with Ellison is false, Republicans don’t care and will use it regardless. Just like you have already done.

    Moreover you apparently are afraid to discuss what Trump does. Pretending an irrelevant past has to be discussed instead.

    You agree with Trump and you cover for his garbage by deflection. Two years in, if you can’t discuss what a president does in office, you have nothing of value to say when it comes to politics.

    Nobody has to give a crap about Obama or Clinton in 2018.

  • OMG!! The republicans selected a multiple offense wife beater with ties to a domestic terrorist group to be attorney general…
    Yep-let’s talk about how democrats are righteous; I’m around all day.

  • Come on man! Powerful white male who controls the system. Weak females to timid to speak out.
    You seem to choose to look away for your own benefit.
    Let’s, let’s not discuss Bills past because it doesn’t matter to your storyline.
    But what about the #metoo victims? Shame on you. It never goes away for them.

  • Come on yourself. You have frequently taken unfounded rumor, exaggeration and debunked garbage as the basis of bullshifting arguments. Get bent. You are proving my point.

    You are contradicting your initial post where you wanted to see a story proven (or adjudicated) before passing judgment.

    We are long past the point where any of that is possible with those people you use for bullshifting arguments . But you use it anyway. Just like I said Republicans would do to Ellison regardless of the truth of the current story.

    I don’t have to defend the past here. I don’t even need to address it. You are actively defending atrocious actions in the present with a nonsense deflection argument. One which btw actively endorses bad behavior because “they did it too” (even though it is seldom actually true)

    You are full of it. Just a lame apologist for a corrupt, bigoted, dishonest, incompetent

  • OMG, you have just contradicted your initial post where you were skeptical of the story and we’re waiting for further confirmation.

    Worse still you are trying to excuse it by claiming others do as well. All that dies is make you sound like scum who has no problem with bad behavior.

  • Dude. Chill.
    I still stand by my original post. Innocent until proven guilty; even though I don’t like the guy.
    However, should the evidence indicate his guilt; I’ll be curious to see how / if you defend him or if you you don’t; that you are “stuck” voting for him.

  • It turns out the story didn’t hurt him in the primary. Without a doubt the Republicans will use the story, whether true or not. I am inclined to believe it. His competitor is slime. The guy makes a living shilling contributions for defending people breaking anti-discrimination laws

    I don’t live in Minnesota so I am not forced to do anything with the guy. But I can see why you would expect people to defend him based on “other people do it as well”. Because any act can be excused if you can claim others are doing the same, amitirte. 🙂

  • He’s in deep crap. I am getting the feeling he ran for that office in order to get away from national level scrutiny. But then again, MN is such a goofy state electorally that who knows what will go on.

    His competition is a lawyer for an organization I have zero respect for (ADF), the man is a pox on legal professional conduct.

    No great choices there. I am not a resident of MN. My own local elections are a doozy

  • the bottom line is that we all accept our villains if they are on our side. There’s a bit more to that, but with human nature, that’s how it normally works.
    Football is a great example – player X is a drug using wife beater who doesn’t support his kids; therefore I hate him and he should be suspended. Until; I find out he is traded to my team and is a huge asset as a receiver.

  • Not my election. I can claim high ground here without having to hold my nose. Given it is not even a major elected position, I suspect it will just go based on party lines anyway.

    Sorry buddy but “they did it in the distant past” is never an excuse for current bad behavior, nor ever will be. Especially since the majority of times it didn’t even happen as you claimed.

    Bullshifting is a nonsense argument. 🙂

  • And neither are gay and trans people being lynched in America, so feel free to stop being an attention whore yourself.

  • Nope, I’ve done plenty of research. No lynchings. Feel free to provide links to prove me wrong.
    Frankly, I’d be willing to bet money you have no idea what a ‘lynching’ actually involves.

  • Just pointing out some interesting mini-hypocrisies and overt leftist political biases there on somebody’s part, during the #Metoo days.

    And even today, you ain’t into Due Process and Fact-Checking, especially for those whose political positions you disagree with.

  • No you aren’t because you aren’t condemning bad behavior, just looking for excuses.

    The whole premise of bullshifting is that you approve of current bad behavior because someone else allegedly did it.

    Face it, you are an immoral person.

  • Dragging a girlfriend off a bed could be abuse. It depends on the situation. I wish that men would get over the idea that women are to be treated as objects. To me, it’s particularly disappointing when a man like Ellison or Franks does that, but it’s no reason that there should not be serious consequences.

    The sad thing is that there is so much domestic violence against, and so many men still think that it’s OK, that it’s hard not to believe accusations.

    It’s not clear to me how Trump’s horrible behavior and the willingness to overlook it should give anyone else a pass.

    The Franken photo shows him with his hands on her breast. It’s true that she was wearing a flak jacket, but why would he even think it was OK or funny to do that?

    It seems to me that it’s good that Democrats are willing to call out men who abuse women. The fact that many Republicans do not appear to be willing to call out their own is shameful.

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