The Far Left Democrat Party going even farther Left via Rep. Keith Ellison
Redacted from an article BY SETH MCLAUGHLIN
The Washington Times
Rep. Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat seeking to be the next leader of the DNC, is once again being dogged by accusations of past anti-Semitism and black nationalism that haunted his 2006 campaign, which saw him become the first Muslim elected to Congress.
It’s like deja vu for Rep. Keith Ellison. More than a decade after he persuaded Minnesota voters to look beyond his controversial past and reward him with a seat in Congress. Mr. Ellison is now asking national Democrats to do the same as he seeks to lead their party.
The first Muslim elected to Congress, Mr. Ellison is now running to lead the Democratic National Committee when the party will attempt to rebuild in the wake of yet another election spanking. But the congressman’s bid has been complicated by questions about his views on Louis Farrakhan, the politics of Israel and black nationalism.
Writing under the name Keith Hakim, Mr. Ellison penned columns while at the University of Minnesota Law School in which he defended Nation of Islam chief Mr. Farrakhan against accusations of being a racist and an anti-Semite.
Mr. Ellison also said a separate black state might be a better option for black Americans than affirmative action.
Additionally, he’s faced criticism for the lead role he played as a member of a Black Law Students Association, inviting black nationalist speakers to the University of Minnesota — events that drew opposition from campus groups representing Jewish, women and gay and lesbian students.
Joshua Wirtschafter, who led the Jewish association at the time, says he saw Mr. Ellison more as a defender of free speech rights than a backer of the speakers’ separatist views. “Even in that period, he did not endorse the anti-Semitic messages of black nationalist speakers,”
“I think the man should be judged in his 30s and 40s and early 50s, rather than his exploration in his 20s of black nationalism,” he said. “I saw Keith try out the big firm lawyer role, I saw him trying out the black nationalist role, and neither of them fit him.”
Instead, Mr. Ellison cut a career path that saw him take over as executive director of the Legal Rights Center, a nonprofit group that provides legal representation for poor people. He won his seat in Congress in 2006.
For a DNC struggling to figure out how it lost an election that appeared, earlier this year, to be sewn up, Mr. Ellison offers a back-to-basics approach. He says the party needs to empower local activists and parties and drive a progressive agenda that resonates with the working-class voters that ditched Democrats in the 2016 election.
He has called for expanding Social Security, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, protecting voting rights for unions, decriminalizing marijuana, countering climate change criticism, standing up for illegal immigrants, increasing taxes on the rich and strengthening collective bargaining for union and labor groups.
(Huh! The above are all the things most of us do no want and that is why we voted for Trump. Maybe, like Barack Obama, Ellison thinks he just has to be more effective in presenting the message rather than the content itself?)
The field also includes New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison and Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, who was urged to enter the race in part because of concerns over Mr. Ellison’s past and liberal leanings.
The Minnesota congressman has already earned the support of some of his party’s biggest names, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Bernard Sanders, who ran for Democrats’ presidential nomination this year.
Two dozen members of the House, activist group MoveOn.org and powerful labor unions are also backing his bid.
(These recommenders constitute damn good reasons not to have the Democrat Party back in power and return to the disaster Barack Obama created) jsk
Ellison’s momentum, however, has been slowed by his initial reluctance to make clear he would give up his congressional seat to be a full-time chairman, and by warnings from the Anti-Defamation League over his lack of support for Israel.
Others have noted that Mr. Ellison helped lead a march in Minnesota in response to the 1992 Rodney King verdict, telling the Minnesota Star Tribune: “Black people do not live under democracy. You don’t have an obligation to obey a government that considers you to be less human.”
Mr. Ellison was born in Detroit and graduated from Wayne State University, where he converted from Catholicism to Islam, before moving to Minneapolis for law school.
Mr. Ellison entered the Minnesota legislature in 2002 and made a name for himself as a champion on environmental, labor and voter rights issues, said Rep. Frank Hornstein, who entered at the same time and sat next to Mr. Ellison in the state House chamber.
The questions about Mr. Ellison’s views on Mr. Farrakhan surfaced when he ran for Congress in 2006, and he tried to put them behind him by telling the Jewish Community Relations Council that “I should have come to that conclusion that they were anti-Semitic earlier than I did.” “I regret that I didn’t,” he said.
(The chameleon-like characteristics of politicians are always amusing and terrifying to observe. How easily politicians shed past awful positions to please the current circumstance and audience. And, I don’t believe a word Ellison now says.) jsk
II There will be Democrat Party Forum in Detroit, Feb 4, 2017 with 10 possible candidates for Democrat Party Chairman
“The Democratic Party welcomes all Americans from all backgrounds. What we do not welcome is people discriminating against others based on who they are or how they worship,” interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile said in a statement to The Hill.
(You may remember that Donna Brazile, anchored one of the Hillary Clinton debates and is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary. Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught.)
CNN has dropped her as an analyst but the Democrat Party has no such reservations. She thus completes the group of nefarious characters mentioned above who are in the camp of Keith Ellison)
Ellison and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez are viewed as the favorites to be the next DNC chair. Those two and five other candidates — New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Chairman Jaime Harrison, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former DNC official Jehmu Greene and Idaho Democratic official Sally Boynton Brown — have participated in all of the DNC’s Future Forum events at cities across the country.
The official field of candidates will likely narrow by Feb. 21, when the contenders are required to submit petitions signed by 20 DNC members.
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