Daily Digest: Despite allegations DFL endorses Ellison

Good morning, and welcome to Monday and the start of another work week. Here’s the Digest:

1. Ellison wins DFL endorsement. Members of the Minnesota DFL Party central committee endorsed U.S. Rep.  Keith Ellison for attorney general on Saturday amid allegations of domestic abuse. In a vote Saturday conducted using paper ballots, 82 percent of delegates supported endorsing Ellison for the November general election. After the vote, state DFL Chairman Ken Martin issued a statement saying the party “stands with (Ellison) in his campaign and we look forward to working together to keep this seat.” Ellison was in attendance at the gathering but left after the vote. Last weekend allegations surfaced that Ellison yelled profanities at his former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, and dragged her off a bed. Ellison has denied those claims. In a speech to the packed auditorium of delegates Saturday, Ellison again denied abusing Monahan. “Despite everything, I still care about her as a person and I don’t want anybody to say anything insulting to her at all,” Ellison said. “I want you know that I am committed to listening to all of the voices of every victim of abuse. I recognize and hear those voices of so many women who were silenced when they needed to be heard.” (MPR News)

2. History will be made no matter which ticket wins in governor’s race. It’s a virtual certainty that Minnesota will make history this year by electing the state’s first American Indian woman as lieutenant governor. Republican Jeff Johnson’s running mate Donna Bergstrom is a member of the Red Lake Band, while White Earth tribal member Peggy Flanagan is running with Democrat Tim Walz. And they are part of a trend. Native American women are showing up on ballots across the country this year in unprecedented numbers, according to Mark Trahant. “This year has just been extraordinary,” said Trahant, editor of the national native news website, Indian Country Today, and a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes of Idaho. (MPR News)

3. ‘Pink wave’ hitting Minnesota. Voters in last Tuesday’s primary election put Minnesota’s first all-female U.S. Senate contest on the Nov. 6 ballot and increased the odds that the state will for the first time send a woman of color to the U.S. House, two signs of a national “pink wave” of women candidates running this year. The trend is shaping up as historic. Across the country, record numbers of women are nominated for U.S. House and Senate seats. Women now hold 23 seats in the U.S. Senate and 84 in the House of Representatives. In Minnesota, many women are running for the Legislature after a recent dip in the number of female state lawmakers. (Star Tribune)

4. Girl whose struggle led to legal medical marijuana dies. Amelia Weaver, the Hibbing girl whose fight with a rare form of epilepsy led her parents to the center of the campaign for medical marijuana in Minnesota, died Thursday. She was 12. “Warrior Amelia, after a lifelong battle with Scn2a, passed away today,” parents Josh and Angie Weaver posted on their “Fighting for Amelia” Facebook page. “We did not take one single moment with our Amelia for granted. It was the greatest privilege of our (lives) to be Amelia’s parents. There are no seizures in Heaven sweet girl.” After suffering from seizures in early childhood, Amelia was diagnosed at age 4 with a condition caused by a gene mutation that produces a particularly devastating form of epilepsy. Learning of success stories in other states for epileptic children treated with medical marijuana, the Weavers embraced the campaign to legalize the drug for medical purposes in Minnesota. They found a willing ally in then-state Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, who authored a legalization bill in the 2014 session. (Forum News Service)

5. Trump administration moves away from oil conservation. Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs. The position was outlined in a memo released last month in support of the administration’s proposal to relax fuel mileage standards. The government released the memo online this month without fanfare. Growth of natural gas and other alternatives to petroleum has reduced the need for imported oil, which “in turn affects the need of the nation to conserve energy,” the Energy Department said. It also cites the now decade-old fracking revolution that has unlocked U.S. shale oil reserves, giving “the United States more flexibility than in the past to use our oil resources with less concern With the memo, the administration is formally challenging old justifications for conservation — even congressionally prescribed ones, as with the mileage standards. The memo made no mention of climate change. Transportation is the single largest source of climate-changing emissions. (AP)

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