Monday, June 05, 2006

Heavy Baggage

Ellison letter addresses his past ties:

State Rep. Keith Ellison, the DFL endorsee in the Fifth Congressional District race, has sent a letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council in an attempt to quell concerns about his connections to a group viewed by many as anti-Semitic.

Ellison said that when he had ties to the Nation of Islam for about 18 months in the mid-1990s he failed to scrutinize the positions of the group and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, and "wrongly dismissed concerns that they were anti-Semitic. I should have come to that conclusion [that they were anti-Semitic] earlier than I did. I regret that I didn't."


Mark Rotenberg, head of Minnesotans Against Terrorism, general counsel of the University of Minnesota and a Jewish Minneapolis resident who is supporting Reichgott Junge, said, "folks are extra-concerned about his past association with known anti-Semites, anti-whites and anti-Catholic spokesmen. There are other strong, experienced, progressive Democrats in this race who don't have that kind of heavy baggage."

More on Ellison from Power Line:

Before Keith Ellison's past views and associations are excused, can we get them straight? Was Ellison "Keith Hakim"? Was he a member of the Nation of Islam? What were his associations with the group? Over what period of time? Has he terminated these associations? If so, when? I should think that these questions would be of great interest to Fifth District voters specifically and to Democrats generally.

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