Recording Shows Keith Ellison Suggesting That He Would Undermine Republican Legislature

A new recording released by Doug Wardlow’s campaign shows Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-05) seemingly suggesting that he would use the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office to undermine a Republican legislature.

It is unclear exactly when and where the recording occurred, but it appears to be recent, since Ellison is discussing his attorney general campaign. In the recording, Ellison notes that state attorneys general, as opposed to the U.S. attorney general, run “for their own election certificate.”

“It is a job where you have your own election certificate, and you’re charged with your own public trust because people elect you,” he continues. “So, if the state legislature passes laws that don’t make sense, but are constitutional, then, you know, I’m going to have to cross that bridge when I get to it.”

Wardlow’s campaign called the video an indication that Ellison “won’t enforce constitutional laws passed by Republicans.”

“This proves Ellison’s press conference is a total lie—and confirms what we’ve known all along,” Wardlow added, referencing a press conference Ellison called just moments before the release of the video. During the conference, Ellison announced that his “first legislative priority in the Attorney General’s Office will be to ensure nonpartisan fairness.”

“Minnesotans need to know they have a clear choice for a people’s lawyer who will represent all Minnesotans,” Ellison said Monday morning, according to a campaign press release. “While my opponent has promised to run his office on the basis of political party, I will fight for the rights of every Minnesotan, regardless of race, religion, gender, zip code, or political party.”

Wardlow’s campaign has been dogged by allegations of its own, including that the Republican bullied a peer in high school to the point of attempting suicide. Wardlow called the accusations “categorically false” and a “desperate smear campaign,” according to MPR News.

Ellison’s Monday morning press conference was called in response to a recently released recording of Wardlow in which he claims that he would fire a number of Democrats if elected. His campaign later clarified that while Wardlow “will appoint assistants and deputies who believe in the rule of law and the constitution,” there “will be no litmus test for party affiliation,” The Star Tribune reports.

With both candidates reeling from controversies, not to mention the domestic-abuse allegations against Ellison, the latest polls show Wardlow with a seven point lead over his opponent.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

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