UPDATED 8:00 PM
Thomas Perez will receive the backing of four Democratic governors this evening, according to CNN. This is significant because only 17 of the 50 state governors are Democrats.
Terry McAuliffe (Virginia) and John Hickenlooper (Colorado) are two Democratic bagmen with some shady respective dealings in the past:
Virginia and Colorado had margins of victory for Hillary in the 5% range for the 2016 Presidential election. (Libertarian Gary Johnson got over 5% of the vote in Colorado.) Although both states have now gone blue three consecutive election cycles, their governors will officially wield the influence–and sleazy connections–endemic of “swing state governors.”
Much less consequential will be Governor Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island…?) and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.
Perez’s (rumored “more progressive”) competitor Keith Ellison, meanwhile, has the following high-profile endorsements: Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Georgia representative John Lewis, and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard.
Original post continues below:
The Hill reported that Keith Ellison‘s adversaries are working to sink his credibility and ensure a more “establishment” candidate, like Thomas Perez, will become the next DNC chair.
Re-ignited issues that were reportedly raised to derail Ellison in his first national campaign, when he won a four-way Congressional race to represent Minnesota’s 5th district with 56% of the vote, include past tax troubles, campaign finance violations and minor legal issues that once led to his driver’s license being suspended.
Ellison’s wife at the time claimed responsibility for all the issues, according to The Hill:
At the time, Kim Ellison said that memory loss associated with her multiple sclerosis was the reason for the unpaid traffic tickets, late campaign finance reports and household bookkeeping errors.
Mr. Ellison, since divorced from Kim, paid over $18,000 to “settle a federal lien against him over unpaid income taxes from between 1992 and 2000,” according to The Hill.
The drivers license was suspended “multiple times” due to unpaid tickets, which Ellison acknowledged in 2006.
Ellison’s potential DNC voters are not impressed in some cases. The Hill:
Bob Mulholland, a DNC member from California and one of 447 who will vote in the February election, says he has not backed a candidate yet but will not support Ellison.
“One Republican said to me, ‘You’re going to elect a tax cheat who drives without a license?’” Mulholland said. “It’s absurd.”
“If Ellison were running as a Republican, Democrats would attack him as a tax cheat, so I have no idea why Washington insiders are urging the grassroots to elect another insider. If you can’t drive or pay taxes, you can’t organize your life, so I concluded early on that he can’t organize for this job.”
An anonymous DNC member who supports Thomas Perez noted the appearance of impropriety may be more damaging “across the aisle” politically than anything Ellison has actually done, and reportedly told The Hill:
“Every time he makes a statement about Donald Trump’s irresponsible policies, Republicans will come back and say, ‘Who is he to talk about being irresponsible? He couldn’t even get his finances in order and got sued by the state of Minnesota, or he can’t even hold on to his driver’s license without getting it suspended.’”
“Layer on that the statements he made about Israel — a lot of this stuff is blown out of proportion, but Republicans will never hesitate to blow things out of proportion. It will diminish his credibility significantly and take the focus away from where it needs to be.
“Look — these things happened a long time ago and sometimes young people do things incorrectly and that’s probably a large part of this. But the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. Republicans went after Hillary Clinton for something out of law school 50 years ago in Arkansas. That’s what they do. It is a problem to have someone with baggage from the get-go.”
[According to Wikipedia, Hillary graduated from Yale law school in 1973, which was 43 years ago.]
Ellison’s support for the Nation of Islam is under scrutiny. Among charges of anti-Semitism, NOI is dealing with current leader Louis Farrakhan‘s rumored past characterization of Adolf Hitler as a “great man.”
Ellison denounced the NOI in 2006. CNN:
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