The trouble with Keith

MinnPost photo by Mike Dvorak
Rep. Keith Ellison's victory came just days after allegations of emotional and physical abuse were raised by the son of a former live-in girlfriend, Karen Monahan.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include new information from Keith Ellison’s media availability.

It is a political event that has a prominent place on the must-do list for any campaign: After a hard-fought primary, the losing candidates get together with a party’s nominee to pledge their support. People who just days ago were rivals of varying degrees of bitterness get together and act like reunited family.

The DFL’s 2018 edition of this de rigueur event, held on Thursday, was probably doomed from the start, given circumstances beyond the party’s control. But it went ahead anyway, since not having it would raise more questions than holding it.

The problem wasn’t the people who had joined the press conference, held in the State Office Building in St. Paul. State Party Chair Ken Martin announced that losing candidate Erin Murphy was throwing her support to winner Tim Walz. And the titular head of the party, Gov. Mark Dayton, was there to switch his endorsement from Murphy to Walz. “Obviously primaries are a big family food fight, but at the end of the fight we’re still a family,” Martin said.

No, the problem with the unity message arose because of two people not in the room: Attorney General Lori Swanson and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.

Swanson, who finished third in the DFL primary for governor, hadn’t asked to attend, which was probably for the best, because she wasn’t invited. “We invited Tim Walz and Erin Murphy today and we wanted to focus on those candidates that represented our values and ran positive campaigns focused on the future of Minnesota,” Martin said.

Walz had been unhappy when, in the final week of the primary, Swanson launched a TV attack pointing out that Walz had missed almost 60 percent of votes in the U.S. House this year in order to campaign. A mailer echoing that message was sent out simultaneously by an independent expenditure committee created to boost Swanson’s candidacy, one that by law is not allowed to coordinate with any candidate.

“When I got asked last week [about the TV ad and mailing] I just said I was disappointed in how it was run because I know what the DFL stands for,” Walz said. “I saw two campaigns run our way, and those are the two campaigns standing here.”

‘At this point we support him’

And then there is what might be dubbed The Problem with Keith. The U.S. Congressman from Minneapolis easily won the party nomination for attorney general, getting nearly half the vote over four party rivals. But the victory came just days after allegations of emotional and physical abuse were raised by the son of a former live-in girlfriend, Karen Monahan. For weeks, Monahan had been using social media to talk about an abusive relationship, without naming Ellison. But she confirmed her son Austin’s description of what she termed “narcissistic abuse,” and said Ellison once grabbed her by the ankles and pulled her forcibly from a bed during an altercation.

Ellison denies the abuse and denies the existence of a video of that incident, which Austin Monahan says he viewed and that Karen Monahan says she recorded but won’t release.

As of now, Ellison is on the ballot — with the DFL label beneath his name. “Keith is our nominee … and at this point we support him and we continue to support him,” Martin said Thursday.

Party attorneys are looking into the allegations, including reviewing emails that Karen Monahan has posted on social media that include conversations between her and Ellison.

Thursday's DFL unity press conference
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Speakers at Thursday’s DFL unity press conference included state Rep. Erin Murphy, Rep. Tim Walz, state Rep. Peggy Flanagan, DFL chairman Ken Martin and Gov. Mark Dayton.

In the meantime, the DFL and its candidates need to decide how closely they want to be tied to Ellison. Most have endorsed the #metoo movement and have called on elected officials accused of wrongdoing to resign, including U.S. Sen. Al Franken. Ellison, however, is a vigorous campaigner with a strong organization that has long helped the party’s get-out-the-vote efforts. As deputy chair of the national party, Ellison also has a national base, especially in the progressive wing of the party. Having him absent from the campaign is not something the party leaders would prefer.

On Thursday, Martin said it would be up to individual candidates to decide how or if they’ll appear with Ellison.

So Will Walz and Flanagan appear with him? “We’re focusing on our campaign,” Walz said. “We’re not campaigning with any campaign right now other than ourselves.”

Ellison did appear at Walz’ election night party, but left after just a few minutes and did not appear with Walz or Flanagan. When Walz was asked about the allegations by Monahan and her son, he said: “We take these allegations seriously. I believe there is a process in place to start seeing what’s behind those allegations. I have not spoken to Congressman Ellison since these allegations came out.” Not having to answer the questions about Ellison Thursday might have been the first positive thing to come out of the primary for Murphy.

More trouble ahead? 

Party media handlers ended the press conference after just 19 minutes, and then stepped in to end an impromptu press gaggle in the hallway with Martin that followed.

But the hurried exit isn’t going to make the problem go away for the party. Since one of those Ellison defeated Tuesday was Matt Pelikan — who actually won the party’s endorsement in June — the DFL now has to decide whether to endorse Ellison in place of Pelikan.

Had the allegations not come to light, Saturday’s meeting of the central committee in Cambridge would have been quick and celebratory. Walz, Flanagan and Ellison all would have gotten the party’s imprimatur and headed off toward November. That’s what two DFL aligned labor groups — state and local government workers organized as AFSCME Council 5 and the AFL-CIO state board — did Thursday.

On the same day, however, another national Democratic ally, the National Organization For Women, called on Ellison to withdraw from the race. “Keith Ellison says he wants to protect women from domestic violence and sexual assault,” the organization stated. “That starts by believing survivors.”

Yet while Walz and Flanagan likely will get the star treatment Saturday, more trouble may be in store for Ellison. Martin said he wasn’t certain that an endorsement would come out of Saturday’s meeting, and that it would be up to central committee members.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
The press conference spilled into the hallway as DFL chair Ken Martin continued taking questions.

Ellison’s campaign spokesman Sam Fettig said he doesn’t know if the candidate will attend the central committee meeting. Ellison kicked off a door-knocking effort Friday morning near North Commons Park in Minneapolis with a group of supporters. UPDATE: Ellison said this morning that he will attend the meeting and seek the DFL endorsement and expects to get it. In his first press conference since the allegations surfaced, Ellison again denied the charges of abuse and said he will continue to talk to supporters and others to keep or regain their trust.

At the press conference, Dayton said that since he’s in “semi-retirement,” he wasn’t invited to the central committee meeting, adding, “thank goodness.” The DFL governor said he still supports Ellison, who he endorsed one day after the congressman filed for the office in June.

Rather than talk about Ellison on Thursday, Dayton focused on GOP nominee Doug Wardlow. “Given Mr. Wardlow’s proven priorities in terms of divisive social issues, I think it would be very destructive to the state and all the agencies that depend on that office in a non-partisan, non-political way,” Dayton said. “So I continue to support Keith Ellison for attorney general.”

When asked about the allegations, he said “I don’t know. We’d all  like to know the truth. The trouble is it’s hard to find the truth when it’s yes and no.”

Comments (43)

  1. Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/17/2018 - 10:50 am.

    Ellison

    I am not a fan of Ellison. I did not vote for him, nor had I planned to prior to the allegations. That being said, the idea that Ellison should drop out or that other Democrats should be shamed for not distancing themselves from him is ridiculous.

    She made a single allegation of physical abuse. She claims he pulled her off a bed by her ankles. He denied that it ever happened. Does that make him persona non grata? Does that end his political career? If the answer is yes, that seems horribly unjust.

    The lesson of #MeToo should be that you need to take claims seriously. The seriousness of the alleged abuse, the frequency, the number of alleged victims, the evidence supporting the claims – these are the kinds of things that need to be taken into account. Its shouldn’t be that the accused get crucified once an allegation has been made.

  2. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/17/2018 - 10:59 am.

    Keith Ellison needs to come clean. There are two sides to every relationship along with all that we imagine or think that we see. I see a breakup, perhaps complicated by depression and surely over the high political stakes in exposure of what is almost always embarrassing or painful (life in a fish bowl).

    I voted for the DFL endorsees in this election to an extent unequalled for me, and not for Ellison, though I will probably support him given what little I know, but if this gives us a Republican AG, I’ll ‘hate’ him forever.

    I think the absolute position of NY Senator Kirstin Gillibrand is a stupid thing discounting human nature and behaviors of all genders, and that facts matter. Al Franken should not have resigned without everyone knowing the facts and whether they rose to a high enough level of seriousness and that Rep. Ellison should effectively address this matter or drop out of the AG race.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/17/2018 - 11:26 am.

      Coming clean

      Ellison has denied that it happened. If that is the truth, than he has indeed come clean. If it didn’t happen, I’m not sure what else he can say or do.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/17/2018 - 01:20 pm.

      Its out there

      The woman was on CBS and laid out her claim, he grabbed by the ankle and dragged her off a bed during an argument. It lasted 2 minutes and was the only time he ever laid a hand on her in a relationship that lasted three years. If its true does it rise to the level of seriousness that you require? It doesn’t for me.

    • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/18/2018 - 08:15 am.

      I guess you’re both right, but as someone who knows our species is on a branch of great apes where sex between a pair either happens when the alpha male allows it or does not see it as in chimpanzees or whenever it makes sense for females and their male suitors (in that order) as in bonobos, what matters to me most is whether Ellison can win when so many know so much about human sexuality that is complete bunk and would and have that bunk codified for their behavior and in our laws to make hypocrites of us all.

      I have to vote for people who appear not to have a clue about human nature for the most part, and it is times like this I begin to understand and perhaps may emulate those who do not vote at all (probably will vote as one of today’s Republicans as MN AG is not the nightmare I would choose). I would still feel much better eking out a living and procreating out on the savannahs of Africa some hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago than dealing with all this crap today.

      How do you suppose Karen Monahan will vote in the AG race?

  3. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/17/2018 - 11:00 am.

    Where’s the cheese

    Ah, so we’ve begun looking back and forth for the bait in the trap for Ellison. Nice job of making it the “trouble with Ellison” when there is exactly one accusation, perfectly timed, and without proof.

    • Submitted by Nancy Hall on 08/17/2018 - 11:45 am.

      What about Innocent until PROVEN guiltly?

      I agree that we are moving too quickly to condemn someone without any proof. We let them throw Al Franken under the bus; we should not make that same mistake here.

      • Submitted by Zack Smith on 08/17/2018 - 07:02 pm.

        Good advise from elders

        My wise grandmother once said that it was wrong for people to get into married couples private lives. She was appalled at the media for talking about JFK’s numerous extra martiaL affairs.

        She was abused herself.

        She said what adults do behind closed doors is their business whether it is right or wrong. I agree.

  4. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/17/2018 - 11:02 am.

    Ellison accusation

    I think we need to discuss levels and a definitions abuse. After a three year relationship Ellison’s accuser says a two minute encounter in which Ellison grabbed her ankle and dragged her a bed and yelled at her to get out of his house was the only time that he ever put his hands on her. That may be simple assault, but abuse? Should this be career ending? Should his fellow Democrats shun him because of of this? I don’t think so.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/17/2018 - 11:16 am.

      With the assumption being

      That it ever happened. Like any accusation, it needs to be investigated to the fullest extent possible. If no corroborating evidence can be found, that’s as far as it can go. It may not be a perfect outcome, but there can be no other, lest we devolve to the rule of the mob, and dispense with any notion of ACTUAL justice, in favor of chaotic retribution.

  5. Submitted by Susan Maricle on 08/17/2018 - 08:21 pm.

    The trouble with the DFL

    As with Al Franken, they are distancing themselves from the party’s top vote getter because of allegations. How did moralizing work for Al Gore distancing himself from Bill Clinton?

    None of us know what happened. Ellison probably would be the last person to call himself a saint. Besides, what are we losing by demanding that officeholders and public figures be saints? If that were the case, we would have been deprived of FDR, Robert Byrd, JFK and MLK.

    Concern trolling, conflating public images with private lives, and conflating one’s own experiences with others’ has led us into an era of McCarthyism and Puritanism. It comes down to this. If you don’t like a candidate, don’t vote for that candidate. But be prepared to live with the alternative.

    When the DFL phones for money, I have told them that I support individual candidates, not the party. (They don’t call anymore). I hope Keith campaigns by himself. He doesn’t need the DFL to drag him down.

  6. Submitted by John Webster on 08/17/2018 - 11:31 am.

    I admit to being wrong about Ellison’s chances in the Democratic primary: I thought the allegations of abuse would sink him politically but he won by a large margin. But the alleged abuse should be the least of Ellison’s problems. He is the most radical candidate in the last 50 years to win the nomination for a major office in Minnesota. He is obviously very anti-police, not just someone who opposes police misconduct. He recently showed that he opposes any type of border security when he publicly wore a shirt that included the words (translated) “I don’t believe in borders.”

    Covering Ellison’s campaign will be a test of the integrity and the professionalism of the political media in Minnesota. Will journalists here – 90+% of whom will vote for Ellison and who support his agenda – question him closely about exactly how he intends to operate as Attorney General? What will his priorities be? He recently said one priority would be “pay equity” for women – what does he mean by that? There are already state and federal laws that prohibit unequal pay for substantially the same work. Does Ellison intend to file lawsuits to enable judges and bureaucrats to mandate pay scales in the private sector using the discredited theory of “comparable worth”? Will his office join the lawsuit (that has recently been returned to a state district court) that wants to “desegregate” all public schools via a metro-wide involuntary busing program?

    Is the news media in Minnesota up to the task?

  7. Submitted by Mary Ann Rihardson on 08/17/2018 - 11:35 am.

    Keith Ellison

    I don’t think Keith Ellison should have to resign from the race and I’m tired of the ridiculous democratic party not sticking up for their candidates. Republicans stand with their people no matter what. And shame on Keith Ellison’s ex for even putting this out there but now saying she lost the video. This was done on purpose because she’s pissed that they’re not together. Whether it happened or not she shouldn’t have aired it because it is their personal lives and has nothing to do with him doing his job. I’m tired of this bs, we already lost a great candidate Al Franken over something that never happened. How much is she getting paid to air this? I smell dirty politics! If the Democratic party doesn’t stand behind Keith Ellison, I will never vote democratic again! PERIOD! Stop being wimps and stick together like a real party should.

  8. Submitted by Lawrence Baker on 08/17/2018 - 11:38 am.

    Ellison

    Democrats should not engage in a kangaroo court like they did with Franken. Women candidates should think: could this happen to me? Have I ever hit a man, thrown something at him, posted abusive content, cheated on him, or was sexually abusive – any of the above, even once in your life? And what level of evidence would you want to see to expel you best friend from political office for being accused of any of these things?

    Now rethink the accusation agains Ellison.

  9. Submitted by jim hughes on 08/17/2018 - 11:40 am.

    Does anyone care?

    Does anyone – in the media, the party, or groups like NOW – even care if this story is true? Or is that irrelevant today, and the only important question is “will you say publicly that you believe the woman”?

  10. Submitted by Michael Ofjord on 08/17/2018 - 11:50 am.

    Prejudicial headline

    I agree that the headline is biased already without having the facts. Is the trouble with Keith, or is it the trouble with journalists who think the accused is always guilty? Is his sex, race or religion part of why it is assumed he is guilty? Are we capable of even figuring that out or attempting to?

    I know a man who was falsely accused of harassment by a woman. Relationships are almost always complicated. The psychology of relationships and who is allowed to be victims is complicated, but I believe women, in general, have more permission to be victims, and thus speak out. A man may be a victim, and not even know it, because of “male psychology,” or may feel he is not able to speak out, as his masculinity may be called into question. If Ellison has committed a crime, then certainly he has to face the consequences. Absolutely. But, he seems to be condemned before the truth is out. Shame on the National Organization for Women for assuming one sex is always telling the truth. No one sex always tells the truth, be it a man or woman.

    That said, it remains that journalists need to be as unbiased as possible, and leave opinions to the opinion page. That includes the headline of this article.

  11. Submitted by Kurt Anderson on 08/17/2018 - 12:00 pm.

    Need for definitions / scaling / measurement

    I agree with the general tenor of the comments above (yes, and I am one more man weighing in on the topic). We need to navigate between the Trumps and Weinsteins who view women as their personal playgrounds, and the Mme. DeFarges of the world who are ready to behead any nonconformist (dare we say politically incorrect?) thinkers or actors on the subject. I would scale and judge the behaviors, to the extent credible, according to the following factors:
    1) How outrageous was it? (say on a 1 to 5 scale?)
    2) How coercive was it? (same)
    3) How may times was it repeated? (the actual number)
    and
    Multiply 1-3 together for comparison with other widely publicized situations. And then:
    4) If and only if the target was over age 25 at the time, discount it by 5 percent for each year that has passed since each incident (.95 to the nth power, n=the number of years)

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/17/2018 - 12:03 pm.

    Should we eject talented politicians without evidence?

    I don’t think we should eject talented politicians in the absence of evidence or incompetent response. Franken blew it by remaining silent for several days and then issuing muddled and uncredible responses. One was left with the reasonable conclusion that at least some of the accusations against Franken were credible, if that wasn’t true, it’s on Franken.

    Ellison seems to realize that it’s important to deny accusations (if they’re untrue) without attacking the accuser- he’s thus far refused to offer any ideas behind what might motivate his accusers, and if he’s smart he won’t go there. I think he’s a smart guy.

    If he wants to really squash these accusations I think he’ll file a defamation lawsuit and demand that the video if it exists, be entered into evidence. Of course you only do that if you KNOW there is no video. Given a choice between paying damages or producing the video most accusers would produce the video, if they don’t Ellison could credibly claim that this is a false accusation.

    On the other hand, as long if the video doesn’t exist or is never produced, Ellison might well be able to ride this out.

  13. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/17/2018 - 12:06 pm.

    Me Too should beware of rush to judgment

    The culture is focused on the need to respect the claims of those who cite abuse — well women, anyway, since men are still the silent minority of victims. However it’s unwise to forget that there are far too many examples in our history of accusations made against a black man quickly believed regardless of denial or due process, the man is punished, then the facts come out later.

  14. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 08/17/2018 - 12:27 pm.

    Can’t wait….

    Can’t wait for …the Keith and Tim picture!

    Can’t wait for … the Keith and anyone picture!

    Can’t wait for …the Keith “no borders t- shirt” picture on the GOP literature!

    Can’t wait for… the Lori and Tim picture!

    Can’t wait for more “embarrassing” statements for the leader of the DFL – tax and spend Mark Dayton…

    “Given Mr. Wardlow’s proven priorities in terms of divisive social issues, I think it would be very destructive to the state and all the agencies that depend on that office in a non-partisan, non-political way,”

    Should not this statement be applied to Keith, Lori, Tim, or the other members of the DFL group?

  15. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/17/2018 - 12:44 pm.

    Concurrence

    I would largely concur with the above comments. As I noted in another post, making accusations while denying others the chance to see the alleged evidence is McCarthyism. And Democrats adopting this standard is unilateral disarmament if the GOP’s male politicians always fight these accusations tooth and nail. If this works against Ellison, look for this to happen again and again around the country.

    To my knowledge, males (a real man is more than a male) who abuse or even harass women typically engage in a pattern of behavior over a long period of time. When one woman makes an allegation of one incident, it’s worth looking into. If others come forward, that’s closer to fire than smoke. But I need more than a single accusation from someone who says there is a tape, that can’t be found, and you can’t see it anyway. If we allow the words of one person to destroy the career of a successful politician, Katie bar the door. Any man who is a Democratic politician will have a target on his back.

    “I have a list of 119 Communists in that State Department here in my brief case.”

  16. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 08/17/2018 - 12:46 pm.

    Abuse Video

    If you are going to accuse an ex. boyfriend of abuse and claim to have a video of the incident in an attempt to destroy his career, you shouldn’t be able to refuse to disclose the video on the grounds that it is too painful for you to watch.

    These witch hunts need to stop. Why should an accuser automatically have more credibility than the accused? Particularly if the accuser claims to have collaborating evidence she refuses to share.

    And I am not a Keith Ellison supporter.

  17. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/17/2018 - 01:09 pm.

    Alligators

    So far we have an allegation of an instance of abuse, where the person making the allegation claims to have supporting evidence but refuses to provide it. The burden is still on the person making the claim to support that claim.

  18. Submitted by joe smith on 08/17/2018 - 01:10 pm.

    What level of abuse is tolerated?

    There is no excuse for a man to grab a woman by the ankles and drag her off a bed. If this ends up being a true account, Ellison must go. If in fact he did say “bitch take out the garbage” and physically attacked her over trash, that shows total disrespect to women. Because it only happened once we should excuse it?? If this account is accurate by his ex girlfriend and the Left stands by Ellison it makes a mockery of the #metoo movement.
    Gotta wonder if it was a GOP man accused of the same thing, would he be treated by the Left with such tolerance. Me thinks not!

  19. Submitted by John Webster on 08/17/2018 - 01:13 pm.

    The Real Trouble

    I admit to being wrong about Ellison’s chances in the Democratic primary: I thought the allegations of abuse would sink him politically but he won by a large margin. But the alleged abuse should be the least of Ellison’s problems. He is the most radical candidate in the last 50 years to win the nomination for a major office in Minnesota. He is obviously very anti-police, not just someone who opposes police misconduct. He recently showed that he opposes any type of border security when he publicly wore a shirt that included the words (translated) “I don’t believe in borders.”

    Covering Ellison’s campaign will be a test of the integrity and the professionalism of the political media in Minnesota. Will journalists here – 90+% of whom will vote for Ellison and who support his agenda – question him closely about exactly how he intends to operate as Attorney General? What will his priorities be? He recently said one priority would be “pay equity” for women – what does he mean by that? There are already state and federal laws that prohibit unequal pay for substantially the same work. Does Ellison intend to file lawsuits to enable judges and bureaucrats to mandate pay scales in the private sector using the discredited theory of “comparable worth”? Will his office join the lawsuit (that has recently been returned to a state district court) that wants to “desegregate” all public schools via a metro-wide involuntary busing program?

    Is the news media in Minnesota up to the task?

  20. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 08/17/2018 - 03:48 pm.

    From 2010-2017 EEOC Saw Rise of Abuse Complaints: 56% Not Guilty

    The problem with many in our community is they automatically believe that anything that a woman says about a man is truth.

    This is not the best way to work through a situation, and the National Organization for Women, which I have supported in spirit as a kid and into my adult years, has permitted one of their spokespersons to make a comment which defies our legal principles, as found in our U.S. Bill of Rights, that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    The notion that all women are saints is a gross underestimation of reality. For instance, please see:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sexual-victimization-by-women-is-more-common-than-previously-known/

    In one defense law firm’s awareness, people who falsely accuse their former or current partners of abuse have shared traits.

    Some of this is for revenge, which I experienced at Dayton-Hudson Department Store Corporation’s Financial Division in 1986, and was vindicated by our EEO AA investigative team.

    In a recent meeting with a nationally known sex therapist and psychiatrist in Minneapolis, I described both being raped by a former girlfriend while I was asleep, and my actions involved in six subsequent allegations made either by women who were retaliating against me for standing my ground in a tenant dispute; and by women who were more interested in their fantasies of my family’s prestige: (Attorney-Dad; CRNA-Step-Mom); boarding school in Norway; language, cultural study, and academic pediatric public health research, in Costa Rica; having attended an internationally-renown liberal arts college in Saint Paul, world travel, former residence in prestigious downtown Minneapolis, MN, lakes-area neighborhood; a clique’s disregard for me in a college dorm due to awareness of depression (i.e., poor understanding and discomfort with the notion of mental illness).

    The eminent psychiatrist noted that in all cases, my actions were not sexual harassment or abuse.

    I am concerned that Keith Ellison may also be a victim of this kind of treachery. I am also involved in the DFL and stand with ethically founded harassment and rape survivors of all genders. I associate myself, as a man who was raped by a woman, with the #MeToo Movement.

    The following link offers more information on the firm’s awareness (not a Minnesota firm):

    https://domestic-violence-law.com/false-accusations/

    I voted for Keith this month, despite conversations and a disagreement on one of his policies — which was based on his favor of the good of the many despite the needs of a vulnerable few, at one of his annual BBQs in north Minneapolis.

    Allegations without proof (medical data, law enforcement data, reliable witnesses, audio & video data that is authentic and actually published, etc.) mean nothing. Our community should ride on strong evidence, not speculation, braggadocio, or mere words by one who may have ulterior reasons, other than actual truth and evidence of abuse or complex criminal behavior.

    I will continue to stand up for Keith, despite our disagreements, as he is a worthy candidate with no history of provocative, proven, misconduct. He has a favorable record in http://www.Martindale.com. If his accuser is lying, she may be found guilty of defamation of character, libel, and slander, as may be true. If not, she should come forward with her videos. If she was not significantly injured, and if the restless evening was based on a mutual problem, she might be advised to forgive, forget, and move on with her life.

  21. Submitted by Dorothy Crouch on 08/17/2018 - 05:16 pm.

    I am highly suspicious of the accusation of sexual abuse against Keith Ellison coming out as it did right before the election. When will we ever learn? As a woman I am very much against the MeToo movement and the damage it can do to the lives of the accused. No proof required! Al Franken was certainly treated badly over an incident that did in no way amount to sexual abuse but was instead a political take-down based on old irrelevant material. Democrats should back off from casting doubt but continue to support Ellison.

  22. Submitted by David McCoy on 08/17/2018 - 05:32 pm.

    The Governor continues…

    …to amaze.

    After declaring that the state and its agencies need a “non-political, non-partisan” AG, he repeats his support for Ellison.

    Keith Ellison, non-political and non-partisan? One can only shake one’s head in disbelief.

  23. Submitted by Zack Smith on 08/17/2018 - 06:08 pm.

    I am no fan of Ellison

    But here we go again. Martin and his minions may decide against the will of the voters if Ellison will receive the DFL nod on Nov ballot. Just like in 2016 when MN voted for Bernie Sanders 61+ percent and most MN super delegate votes went to Hillary.

    The political system is so corrupt on many levels. We must change it from the ground up starting with the current MN DFL hierarchy up to Washington.

    Although I see no hope.

  24. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 08/17/2018 - 07:59 pm.

    Suspicious

    I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to women’s claims of abuse, but also believe the accused are innocent until proven guilty. I am fully aware of the tension between those positions.

    Apart from the level of violence alleged by Ellison’s accuser – not wanting to call any level of physical abuse unimportant – two serious questions should be asked before judging Ellison disqualified: why did his accuser wait until four days before the primary to go public; and if there is evidence of this abusive action, why won’t she show it to anyone?

    A third question occurs to me: are there perhaps Republicans behind this?

  25. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/17/2018 - 10:38 pm.

    Sigh

    I was suspicious of the timing of stories regarding employees in Lori Swanson’s office being asked to do campaign-related work, and I’m equally suspicious of the timing of the alleged abuse by Mr. Ellison. Moreover, and in both cases, an allegation is not – should not be – a conviction. **Saying** that someone did ‘x,’ no matter how sincere-sounding the accusation might be, does not prove that the person accused actually **did** ‘x.’

    For an old guy, I’m reasonably cognizant of the #metoo movement, and while I’m certainly willing to be educated further, it’s my understanding that the thrust of the movement is that women’s stories of assault and harassment deserve to be – must be – taken seriously. If my interpretation is close to being correct, then let’s take this allegation seriously.

    “Taking it seriously” doesn’t mean, however, that such an accusation must automatically be accepted at face value. If Mr. Ellison’s former significant other has proof of this apparently singular event, she is, I think, obligated to produce it. If it’s “too painful” for her to watch, she should avert her eyes. Equally important, I think, is another issue. Unless something kinky is going on, why would someone record ordinary, run-of-the-mill, daily activity in a relationship? But that brings me back to the first point. If you’re going to accuse someone of unsavory behavior, simple justice requires that some proof be provided that what you say is true. So far, we don’t have that proof, and unless/until there’s some credible evidence to support the accusation, a shadow is being cast over Mr. Ellison that he does not deserve.

    • Submitted by Rosalie O'Brien on 08/18/2018 - 08:34 am.

      Thank you, Ray

      I’m an old gal, and I of course agree that women’s stories of assault and harrassment must be taken seriously. But I think your last paragraph makes an excellent point. And I think that as we move forward on the #metoo front, we need to think long and hard about where the line gets drawn between incidents in serious relationships that involve volatile temperaments and extreme circumstances but are not fairly characterized as abusive or constituting harrassment or assault, and ones that are.

  26. Submitted by Lynn Levine on 08/18/2018 - 08:18 am.

    “I was watching my podcast”

    Has anyone, like me, ever felt the anger generated by having a legitimate issue to air with someone who puts on headphones and kind of pretends you are not there. We will never know what really happened, but Ms. Monahan presenting herself as a totally innocent victim of Keith’s rage seems odd to me, especially in the context of the statements made by his ex-wife of many years stating that this is behavior she herself has never seen.
    I am particularly disappointed by NOW asking for his resignation, and the notion that “all women must be believed all the time”. I know it is true that we women have been outrageously under believed in the past. I have my own stories to tell. But I do not feel that the proper response to the me-too movement is to automatically condemn any man that is accused of any thing by any woman, ever.
    Do I favor Keith because I like his politics? Possibly. But this is no small thing. Keith has been a wonderful representative. I do want to see him be the Attorney General. I think he’d be great at it, and so many, many people who are at the bottom of the economic heap will be protected by Keith’s policies, in a way they will not be by any other AG.

    • Submitted by Susan Maricle on 08/18/2018 - 10:03 am.

      Lynn Levine nails it

      Her last sentence perfectly encapsulizes why SOMEONE does not want Keith in office.

      I have always felt Keith’s worst enemies aren’t Republicans, but fellow Democrats. Think back to his first run for CD5: the head wagging, the claims of “unfit to lead.” Republican attacks are what they are. Democratic attacks are couched in “I’m very troubled.”

      A previous commenter mentioned Eric Black’s article about how Mike Hatch, whose protegées are Debra Hilstrom and Lori Swanson, is reshaping the DFL. I think MinnPost should follow this story, or in particular, the money trail. Bank deposits? Mortgage or college tuition paid? A publishing deal for Monahan’s book?

  27. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/18/2018 - 08:43 am.

    Timing

    I wouldn’t make to much of “timing”. Time is ubiquitous, no matter what happens, it happens at some point in time, an almost any point in time can look suspicious or be associated with something else going on at that point in time.

    I’m not saying no one ever has a reason for doing something at one time and not another, but it’s too easy to impose our own motives upon others based on coincidence.

    At any rate, it actually makes sense that someone with information about dark behavior would come forward when a bad actor is seeking public trust, what are we supposed to do? Remain silent until AFTER the person gets elected. Is there some kind of expiration date on revelations?

    Let’s just acknowledge that we can’t know the motives of any accuser and focus on the credibility of the accusation.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/18/2018 - 10:14 am.

      Timing matters

      According to her, this happened almost a year ago. Even factoring in some time to “process”, she had plenty of time to come forward with this. After all, she is making allegations against a man who was already in a position of public trust (as an elected legislator).

      So why didn’t she come forward sooner rather than wait until her timing could impose maximum damage?

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2018 - 01:27 pm.

        See, you’re not talking about timing, your talking motive

        Like I said, timing doesn’t tell us anything other than when the accusation was made. You’re asking about motive and you cannot logically draw any conclusions about motive by looking the time. Why did she wait? Why now? There are all kinds of plausible answers to those questions but it doesn’t matter. All that really matters is whether or not the accusation is credible. We can’t dismiss the claim or decide whether or not it’s credible based on it’s timing. If this recording exists, all that matters is that the recording exists and this accusation if true. If the recording does not exist, than all that matters is that it does not exist. The motives for making the claim one way or another are essentially irrelevant.

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/23/2018 - 09:03 pm.

        Well

        It was her son that came forward…

  28. Submitted by Julie Stroeve on 08/18/2018 - 02:38 pm.

    allegations

    election eve disclosures by family members are at best suspicious. at my age (66) I’m just not going to assume guilt by allegation. maybe Ellison and Monahan had an argument — couple do, you know — maybe one or both were drunk or under the influence (though Ellison doesn’t drink) — maybe schedules required Monahan to leave the premises and refused…and on and on and on.

    we don’t know what took place before, during, or after the allegations that the couple fought and Ellison physically removed her from the bed. so let’s all calm down until we know the facts. her son made a really risky, potentially career-busting remark on FB about 3 minutes before Primary Day. why then? why not when the removal from the bed was done? was Monahan injured? did she suffer emotional abuse? was the relationship on the rocks already and she knew the end was in sight? what did they say to each other during the argument and why was everyone so keyed up?

    I just can’t see how this undermines Ellison’s ability to be a great Minnesota Attorney General. Monahan has a lot of ‘splaining to do. oh, and let’s see the tape.

  29. Submitted by joe smith on 08/20/2018 - 07:35 am.

    I thought the whole

    #metoo was about believing the accuser without putting her through the humiliation of proving what she claimed? I see that changes when the person being accused is a popular Left leaning DFL male.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2018 - 01:15 pm.

      Once again… your wrong.

      The “whole point” of “me too” was never about eliminating proof or evidence. The point is that accusations aren’t dismissed out of hand DESPITE evidence and credibility. It’s about ending the practice of humiliating those who have been abused, not about eliminating the need to prove allegations. The reason we celebrate the courage of those who come forward is precisely BECAUSE they willing to endure the humiliation.

  30. Submitted by Russell Booth on 08/20/2018 - 08:47 am.

    Hell hath no fury like…

    If the #metoo movement is about women derailing careers of men by making allegations with no requirement that they be verified at all, that would be a problem, wouldn’t it?

    You may have forgotten about DFLer Al Franken (who was mentioned 8 times above).

    Someone (like NOW?) might prove me wrong, but I believe that the #metoo movement has a valuable social justice goal that is not related to scorned women getting revenge.

  31. Submitted by Susan Maricle on 08/20/2018 - 10:01 am.

    My understanding of #metoo

    Was that it calls attention to the pervasiveness of violence against women, and that it removes the stigma of suffering in silence. Despite experiencing physical and emotional abuse 40 years ago, I am not of the mindset today that “It happened to me, so he must be guilty, too.”

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