Have Democratic governor Tim Walz and his DFL colleagues in the legislature turned into “oppressors”? Or is state representative John Thompson just desperate to escape the consequences of his own actions and law-enforcement record? I’m betting on the latter while passing plenty of popcorn, as the oh-so-avoidable nightmare for Minnesota Democrats continues.
Yesterday, Thompson refused to resign after several arrests for domestic abuse emerged after a traffic stop that revealed Thompson using a Wisconsin drivers license. Not only did he and his wife dispute whether any domestic abuse occurred, Thompson suggested that he was being oppressed by demands for his resignation:
Rep. John Thompson said Monday that he will not resign amid reports of previous domestic abuse allegations that his wife and a group of supporters denied in a news conference outside the State Capitol.
“If you’re not careful, the oppressor will have you believe that they’re the ones being oppressed,” said Thompson, DFL-St. Paul. “One of the greatest quotes I’ve ever heard in my life is your life begins to end when you remain silent about things that matter the most. I will not remain silent. I will not be resigning.”
Thompson’s wife, who referred to herself as Lea Austin-Thompson but whose legal name is Aleatha, told reporters that they “no longer have the permission” to publish details about her and her family’s life. But she then proceeded to discuss her reaction to recent news coverage on public records related to police calls that described multiple cases of alleged choking and punching by Thompson, at times in front of children, in three cities between 2003 and 2011.
“I am not now nor have ever been an abused woman,” Austin said. “I am not a victim of domestic abuse. I’m not going to say that we didn’t have any issues but we’ve worked on those things.” She later clarified that she did not recall the details of the cases as described in the incident reports first reported by Fox 9 earlier this month. The Star Tribune has since obtained the documents through public records requests.
In the middle of this presser,
one another clown showed up as a distraction:
Needless to say, the protestations of Thompson and his wife won’t do much to help his cause. The police didn’t just happen to show up to these calls, as the Washington Post noted last week. They got called by witnesses in one incident and then by one or more women alleging abuse by Thompson, and the calls resulted in at least one misdemeanor conviction:
The first incident allegedly occurred in Superior, Wis., in October 2003, according to police reports posted online by a Fox 9 reporter. Police responded to reports of a disturbance at a grocery store parking lot, and bystanders pointed to Thompson, a woman and a 5-year-old girl. Thompson allegedly ran away from police but was eventually apprehended. Thompson’s girlfriend told police that he “repeatedly hit her in the face with openhanded and closed fist strikes,” a report states.
Thompson later pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct, the Star Tribune reported.
In August 2004 in Eagan, Minn., a girlfriend alleged Thompson choked her following a dispute, threatening, “I’ll choke you until you can’t breathe anymore.” He allegedly slapped her as she tried to get away. When she tried to call police, she said, Thompson dismantled the phone. Shortly after, when she tried to run out and call for help from a neighbor’s residence, Thompson allegedly dragged her back inside, closing and locking the door as she screamed for help.
As the girlfriend tried to fight back, according to the report, Thompson allegedly punched her in the face and then threw her onto the kitchen table, breaking it.
The woman said her daughter and Thompson’s two sons witnessed the violence. The case was subsequently referred to child protection and the Dakota County attorney for prosecution, Fox 9 reported. It’s unclear if charges were filed.
There’s plenty more at the link. It’s unclear whether the woman in all these cases is Thompson’s current wife, but even if it is, she certainly called police often enough to raise questions about whether she’s telling the truth now about Thompson. On top of all this, a jury convicted Thompson last week of yet another misdemeanor in a 2019 incident at North Memorial Hospital, this time for obstruction of justice.
Plus, Thompson might face expulsion over yet more behavioral problems:
The House ethics committee on Friday held an initial hearing related to a previous complaint against Thompson. That complaint was filed last month by Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, over Thompson twice calling Lucero a racist on the House floor. Members took no action because Thompson requested more time to find a lawyer.
Thompson has serious problems, and he’s creating even more for the DFL the longer he continues in office. If the DFL had any sense at all, they will push quietly for expulsion at the ethics committee hearing. Of course, if the DFL had any significant competence, they would have vetted Thompson better in the first place.