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Top Democrats quiet on Ellison accusations

Plus: Karen Monahan says she will not release video at center of allegations against Ellison; U to award Prince honorary degree; St. Paul residents to get new garbage cans; and more.

Rep. Keith Ellison
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

At The Huffington Post, Daniel Marans says, “All but a few prominent Democrats and progressive groups have stayed silent on an ex-girlfriend’s allegations of domestic abuse against Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a progressive leader and deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee running for the state’s attorney general. Their reticence to speak reflects a desire to see more evidence before judging his guilt, rather than an interest in shielding him from scrutiny, top progressives said privately. The DNC, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Our Revolution and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who led calls for the resignation of then-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), declined requests for comment. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Credo Action, Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin and spokespeople for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a key Ellison ally, did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s inquiries.”

At MPR, Briana Bierschbach says, “The former girlfriend accusing DFL Congressman Keith Ellison of physical abuse said she never intended for the public to know about an alleged video that captured the abuse and she doesn’t plan to release it. The video and what it shows has become a focal point as Ellison tries to refute a single incident of alleged domestic abuse just one day before a critical election. Ellison has denied the accusation and says no video exists. Karen Monahan, Ellison’s former girlfriend, says there is video, but for several reasons, she won’t make it public.”

Also at The Huffington Post, Kevin Robillard reports, “The Wisconsin Republican Party is attacking one of the leading Democrats challenging incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, arguing her opposition to a major development deal with the Taiwanese technology manufacturer Foxconn is hypocritical because she backed a separate financing deal in the state six years ago. The GOP is zeroing in on legislation for a tax-increment financing deal that then-state Rep. Kelda Roys pushed in 2012. … The $3 billion Foxconn deal, which would create an estimated 13,000 jobs at a manufacturing plant in Racine County, has become a major issue in this year’s governor’s race. The deal is unpopular in public opinion polling, especially in rural parts of the state, but is supported by both Walker and President Donald Trump.”

At NBC News, we get this from Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann: “Minnesota, which holds its primary contests on Tuesday, might not feature the buzziest Senate race, the No. 1 gubernatorial matchup or the most talked-about House contests for this November. But it holds the distinction of hosting the MOST notable contests — up and down the ballot — we’ll see for any one state in 2018, especially for its size.”

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Better late than never? Jon Bream writes in the Star Tribune: “After many rumors over the years of possibly recognizing the state’s most famous musician who never attended college, the University of Minnesota is finally going to officially present Prince with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Sept. 26. … President Eric Kaler and Regent Darrin Rosha will deliver the degree to Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson. Students from the U’s School of Music will perform a tribute to Prince.”

Big Day. The Star Tribune’s James Walsh writes: “New trash carts are rolling into St. Paul. Starting Monday and running through the next six weeks or so, the city will deliver 74,000 new garbage carts to property owners. The delivery is part of the city’s Citywide Garbage Services, to begin Oct. 1. All residential properties with up to four units will receive a new cart.”

For the Strib, Lee Svitak Dean writes, “Rodale Books has stopped production and distribution of “Tales from a Forager’s Kitchen,” by Minnesota author/blogger Johnna Holmgren ( because of potentially dangerous misinformation on eating certain raw wild items, specifically mushrooms and elderberries. Holmgren, who lives in the woods in Washington County, has a wide following on social media, particularly Instagram where she has more than 130,000 followers. Her book was published in May. BuzzFeed first wrote about the issue on Aug. 1, in an article detailing the concerns of health experts, as well as highlighting critical comments from foragers that appeared on Amazon’s reviews of the book.”

CNN has this story out of the Mayo Clinic. “One winter afternoon last year, Duane Engebretson sat in his stepdaughter’s hospital room at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, trying to figure out how she could escape. Alyssa Gilderhus, 18 and a senior in high school, had been a patient at Mayo for about two months, ever since having a ruptured brain aneurysm on Christmas Day. Mayo neurosurgeons saved her life, but she and her parents were unhappy with the care she was receiving in the rehabilitation unit, and they say they repeatedly asked for her to be transferred. But they say Mayo refused to let her transfer to another hospital, even after a lawyer wrote a letter asking Mayo to make the arrangements.”

At MPR, Ron Trenda says, “Our Monday afternoon high in the metro area was a full 65 degrees warmer than our average high temp just four months from now. Short term, there’ll be no need for mittens. Highs will be in the 70s across much of Minnesota on Tuesday, with some 80s in the Twin Cities metro area and points to the south and southeast … . We have a chance of rain in the forecast. Scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm could spread across parts of northern Minnesota overnight this Monday night, then into central and southern Minnesota on Tuesday.  Lingering scattered showers/isolated thunderstorms are possible in southeastern Minnesota Tuesday night and Wednesday.”

Stribber Miguel Otarola reports, “Hennepin County residents facing deportation could soon get legal help from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid if they can’t afford an attorney. A $275,000 contract with the county, being considered Tuesday, would link the nonprofit’s attorneys with residents undergoing deportation proceedings in immigration court. A portion of the contract — $25,000 — would go toward creating materials in different languages that inform foreign-born inmates of their rights when they are booked into county jail. … The County Board approved the fund in December on a divided vote and sought partners to handle the legal services.”