Better last-minute than never? A new ad has hit the airwaves in Minnesota today emphasizing Keith Ellison’s “extreme views,” and even more so the extreme allegations made public by his former girlfriend. The ad, which comes from the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), gets a $100,000 boost as voters go to the polls to decide whether to make Ellison the state’s top law-enforcement officer:
A new statewide ad highlights charges that Ellison physically and verbally abused women. The issue has dogged the congressman throughout his bid to become Minnesota’s next attorney general.
“Keith Ellison’s former girlfriend says he repeatedly assaulted her—and forcibly dragged her off her bed by her ankles while screaming profanities,” the ad says. “In 2006, another girlfriend accused Ellison of abuse, saying he ‘berated’ and ‘pushed’ her.” …
The ad goes on to link domestic violence to the ability of women to fight back against their abusers, highlighting Ellison’s support for gun control. It says the Democrat’s position would “make Minnesotans less safe,” adding that Ellison’s “own patterns of abuse shouldn’t allow him to threaten our rights.”
RAGA seems to have gotten into this game a little late. These have been issues all along, but the group says that they want to make one last emphasis on Ellison’s disqualifying record:
RAGA spokesman Zack Roday said Minnesota voters deserve to hear about Ellison’s “radical” record on issues of public safety.
“Every time it matters, Keith Ellison is on the wrong side of public safety issues: cop killers over law enforcement, criminals over children, sex offenders over victims,” Roday said in an email. “Keith Ellison’s extreme views and personal shortcoming are disqualifying; he is a dangerous choice for attorney general.”
Fair enough, but Ellison opponent Doug Wardlow has been making that case himself. The Wardlow campaign launched this ad a week ago on Minnesota television, bringing up Ellison’s public campaign on behalf of domestic terrorist and murderer Sarah Jane Olson, aka Kathleen Soliah:
Olson/Soliah was quite the cause celebre here in Minnesota, with several local politicians lining up to defend her after decades on the run from the law. Ellison was among those more vocal about Olson/Soliah being a political prisoner, right up until Olson/Soliah shocked supporters by pleading guilty to murder in a Bay Area armed robbery during her time with the Symbionese Liberation Army. That may be why police have endorsed Wardlow, although it may not be the only reason why.
Wardlow is certainly within range of winning the election today. Ellison only got 37% in the most recent Star Tribune poll, although SurveyUSA put him slightly ahead of Wardlow last week (44/40) in a poll with an MoE of ±5.3%. It’s the closest statewide race in Minnesota, and big turnouts are expected in MN-08 and MN-01 that could carry Wardlow to victory. If Minnesotans are paying attention to TV ads, this could also convince a few DFL voters to leave the AG spot blank.