Good morning, and welcome to Monday. It was a busy weekend. Tomorrow people vote. Here’s the Digest.
1. Ellison says there is no video of domestic abuse because it never happened. Keith Ellison, one of the leading candidates to be Minnesota’s next attorney general, confronted allegations Sunday of domestic abuse of a former girlfriend that surfaced days before the election that will decide the party’s nominee. The allegation that the physical abuse was caught on video was posted to Facebook late Saturday night by the woman’s son, four days before Minnesota’s primary election, where Ellison is facing off against four other Democrats for the open attorney general’s seat. Ellison is a six-term 5th District congressman and the perceived front-runner in the race. In a written statement Sunday, Ellison denied the incident. He said he was in a “long-term relationship” that ended in 2016 but he denied the allegation of abuse. “I still care deeply for her well-being,” he wrote. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.” (MPR News)
2. Activist disrupts Omar campaign event. A campaign event for state Rep. Ilhan Omar was disrupted Saturday night when Laura Loomer, an alt-right provocateur with a history of attacking Muslims on social media, confronted Omar and Michigan congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib. Loomer was part of a group that confronted Omar and Tlaib at the event at Holy Land deli in Minneapolis. In an interview late Saturday, Loomer, who previously worked for Project Veritas, said she has been traveling the country investigating Muslim candidates for office, including in Minnesota. She declined to say how many people were with her. (Star Tribune)
3. Lori Swanson’s office releases former employee’s court records, and he sues. A day after a former aide accused Attorney General Lori Swanson of using her elected office to advance her political career, Swanson responded Friday by releasing the aide’s criminal record — in e-mails from the attorney general’s office. In response, the ex-aide, D’Andre Norman, sought a restraining order against Swanson. He contends some of the convictions Swanson made public had been expunged by court order. The remarkable sequence of events came just days before Swanson, Minnesota’s three-term attorney general, will compete in the DFL primary for governor. (Star Tribune)
4. There are still rules about what you can wear to the polling place. Local election judges have always had lots of rules to enforce and tasks to accomplish. For decades, the job has included some fashion-policing. But on Tuesday, they’ll be attempting to do that part of their work while interpreting both Minnesota state law and a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding what people can and can’t wear to their polling place. Minnesota Statute 211B.11 prohibits both political attire and campaigning in polling places. The Supreme Court on June 14 ruled that it was a violation of voters’ free speech rights to prohibit political attire. The court did not, however, rule that Minnesota’s prohibition on campaigning at a polling place was unconstitutional. Political attire, which is now allowed because of the high court decision, might include a shirt stating that ‘Conservatives Rock!’ or ‘Liberals Rule.’ A tea party symbol, a Black Lives Matter shirt or a button referencing hot-button issues such as immigration and abortion could be worn because there’s no ballot question specifically related to those issues. But wearing clothing with the name of a candidate who’s on the ballot in this election would still be prohibited. (Mankato Free Press)
5. The DFL candidates for governor mixed it up a little. The three leading Democrats in the primary race for Minnesota governor tried to distinguish themselves Friday on issues like guns, immigration and recreational marijuana less than one week before voters head to the polls. Swanson defended a recent attack television ad she put out against Walz claiming he’s missed 63 percent of his votes in Congress. “That’s a factual ad,” she said. “These are important times in Washington,” Swanson added. “I think it’s important to do your basic job and show up to vote.” Walz said he is running a positive campaign and was disappointed Swanson “chose to go down the low road” and participate in “name calling.” He said as a congressman, he balances constituent and family services with his time in Washington, D.C. (MPR News) And Tom Hauser hosted the DFL candidates on his show yesterday where they talked about the plans for taxes and health care. (KSTP TV)