Congressman Keith Ellison is still campaigning to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. Jews and Israel supporters remain concerned over his past comments against Israel and in support of Hamas.
Now the Minnesota Democrat is looking at a new stumbling block to his aspirations as his past tax troubles and campaign finance issues are being brought forth as ammunition against him. The Hill reports that Keith Ellison is now even facing attacks over how he once had his driver’s license suspended. His former wife Kim Ellison even fell on her sword for him taking the blame for unpaid parking tickets and citing her multiple sclerosis as an excuse for mistakes that were made when Kim served as his campaign chair in Keith’s first Congressional run in 2006.
The publication quotes California Democrat Bob Mulholland as saying, “One Republican said to me, ‘You’re going to elect a tax cheat who drives without a license?’ It’s absurd.”
“If Ellison were running as a Republican, ” Mulholland added, “Democrats would attack him as a tax cheat, so I have no idea why Washington insiders are urging the grassroots to elect another insider. If you can’t drive or pay taxes, you can’t organize your life, so I concluded early on that he can’t organize for this job.”
And Congressman Ellison spoke with Politico in its podcast this week. “Everything is fair game and it’s interesting. … [But] I’m 53 years old, ” Ellison said in POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “I have four kids. My youngest child is 20. Some of the things they want to hit me for, I was younger than her when I wrote them. And so, come on. At some point, we all are human beings who have evolved over the course of 25 years, and yet we want to freeze each other in time.”
On his defense of Louis Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March Ellison said, “It’s hard for people who are not in the experience to understand it, but there are times in your life when somebody is speaking up in a bold, brave way against circumstances that you find intimidating, make you feel personally vulnerable.”
“And when the march started getting really attacked, I wrote back and tried to defend the march, and I thought it was important to defend the person who called the march. I came to learn that defense wasn’t deserved. Why? Because I just saw those guys as big on fundraising, using the platform to pander to people’s anger and fear without really giving them back much. And scapegoating other groups. Not just Jews but you name it: gays, black preachers, other Muslims. We had a long list.”
Well Keith Ellison is not backing down. He just posted a blog in The Huffington Post titled “Why I’m Running For Chairman Of The Democratic National Committee.”
“I decided to run for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee for the same reasons I ran for the Minnesota State Legislature and for the House of Representatives: because I believe working people need to have someone fighting for their interests, ” wrote Ellison. “And I believe the Democratic Party is the only party that can do it.”
“Democrats win when we harness the power of everyday people and fight for the issues they care about. Standing with working people is the soul of our party, ” he added. “We must be with them fighting for a better wage, for affordable college, for the right to join and stand with a union, and for the end to prejudice and hate crimes. When voters know what Democrats stand for, we can improve the lives of all Americans, no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation.”
Interestingly, Congressman Ellison did not mention anything about all of the criticisms or about his previous positions on Israel. If Keith Ellison wants to head the DNC someday he is going to have to deal with these issues sooner or later.