Keith Ellison visits with constituents at Broadway Pizza - Steve Timmer photo
by Steve Timmer
Nov 3, 2018, 6:00 PM

Keith Ellison is the only choice for Attorney General

Keith Ellison has been written about more here at LeftMN than probably any other politician. Here are the stories about Keith that you get when you search his name here. There are several about the current attorney general race that show up on the list, too.

I have followed Keith’s time in Congress especially; he has been our guest at Drinking Liberally (he doesn’t drink, but he comes and speaks anyway) several times. He is our most popular guest, bar (so to speak) none. I have come to know Keith Ellison personally, and since the last redistricting, I got to trade Erik Paulsen for Keith as my congressman. It is the best trade I ever made.

I endorse Keith Ellison wholly and unreservedly for Attorney General of Minnesota.

It is my pleasure and an honor to do so.

Keith Ellison came to Drinking Liberally just before the election in 2012 to speak out against the voter suppression amendment that was placed on the ballot by the Legislature the last time it was controlled by Republicans. Doug Wardlow, Keith’s opponent in the attorney general race, was, naturally a whole-hearted supporter of it in his only term in the Legislature. Wardlow was also febrile in support of the gay marriage ban amendment.

But Wardlow went the extra mile to try to get a “right to work” [for less] amendment on the ballot, too. That one failed, partly because Wardlow got a little too febrile late one night and didn’t answer the bell when rung by Speaker Kurt Zellars. There are several stories floating around the halls of the Legislature about why that was the case, none of them flattering to Doug Wardlow.

At any rate, both the voter suppression amendment and the gay marriage ban amendment went down pretty convincingly, and mirabile dictu, they took the Republicans down with them, including one of the amendments’ biggest champions, Doug Wardlow.

To paraphrase Jesus as recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew, By their fruit will you know them. That’s really trenchant advice. The best way to understand Doug Wardlow as a policy thinker and potential policy actor is to look at his prior deeds.

Wardlow says, Pay no attention to the bigot behind the curtain of my history; I’m a new person now and will be fair and even-handed with everybody.

And, as I have observed before, I am Louis the Sun King.

In addition to his championing these odious amendments, Doug Wardlow’s record of having a fidelity to the rule of law is bad. In his very first law job, as a clerk at the Supreme Court, he wrote a political blog on the side, in violation of not only the rules of the Court governing employees, but the ethical rules that apply to all courts as well. It was a miserable and shocking thing to do. I wrote about it:

Doug Wardlow’s blogging while clerking scandal

Retired Justice Paul Anderson, who sat on the Court at the time, said a day or two ago that when he learned about it, he thought that Wardlow should have been canned on the spot for this grievous ethical lapse.

Doug Wardlow, the scofflaw in his first professional job, disrespecting the Court and the rule of law, now wants us to believe he’ll enforce the law even-handedly?

I don’t think so.

If you read the last link, you’ll see that Justice Anderson, and Vice President Walter Mondale and Skip Humphrey, both former AGs, don’t think so either.

Now after committing the truly unpardonable sin of writing a political blog while working for the Supreme Court, and championing three dreadful proposed constitutional amendments which helped usher Wardlow out the door of the Legislature, we’re up to 2013. (I could talk about Wardlow, a vicious little pup way back in high school, when he helped hound a gay classmate to attempt suicide. But I won’t; this is getting long enough.)

At this point, Doug Wardlow turns over a new leaf, right? [hysterical laughter]

In reality, he went to work for the Alliance Defending [some people’s] Freedom [to be bigots]. There, he took an unnatural interest in school restrooms and tried to protect the right of a Michigan funeral home to fire a transgender employee. The ADL is James Dobson’s baby, a guy who may have gotten a brain transplant from Increase Mather (yeah that was his real name; probably an early member of Quiverfull) who has some celestial explaining to do about his involvement in the Salem witch trials.

These people really run in packs. I have written other stories about Doug Wardlow:

Deconstructing Doug Wardlow part one: Marching to the beat of a long-dead drummer

Deconstructing Doug Wardlow part two: The theocrat

Deconstructing Doug Wardlow part three: The advocate

Performing feats of pseudo-religious legerdemain

And, of course, this one:

Doug Wardlow’s blogging while clerking scandal

They each describe a part of what makes Wardlow, well Wardlow. Doug Wardlow is so special in so many ways.

I said that I know Keith Ellison personally. In the whole time I have known him, I have never seen him once be abrupt or rude to anybody. When you are talking to Keith at a gathering, you have his undivided and complete attention, regardless of who you are. Imagine for a moment Doug Wardlow having the conversation in the image above. It’s laughable, isn’t it?

Doug Wardlow makes being nasty to somebody part of his daily regimen. Like brushing his teeth.

Keith was not only the first Muslim congressman; he was the first black congressman from Minnesota. He has resisted and dealt with racism and Islamophobia with uncommon grace. I’ve been in parades with Keith where you could hear the racist sidebars from a few people in the crowd. But he just keeps on, giving low fives to the kids.

Keith Ellison works a parade - Steve Timmer photo

Keith Ellison works a parade – Steve Timmer photo

I am sure that the racists, Islamophobes, and homophobes making the remarks in those parade crowds will be voting for Doug Wardlow.

But I hope you won’t. I hope you’ll give your vote to Keith, somebody who cares about people, all people, not just a chosen few.

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