David Strom

In the United States, all of us have a right to be represented in government, right?

Until now, one group of Americans has been grossly underrepresented. Just who is this underrepresented group? Gang members and cop killers.

Think about it: we discriminate against gang members and cop killers all the time. In most states, we don’t even let felons vote! And what could explain that except the fact that nobody has chosen to represent their interests in Congress.

Luckily, that is about to change. In their wisdom, the Democrat Party in Minnesota (known here as the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party, or DFL) has endorsed Keith Ellison as their candidate to replace 28-year incumbent Congressman Martin Sabo in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.

Much attention has been lavished on Ellison for likely being the first Muslim elected to Congress, and much controversy has surrounded his ties to the Nation of Islam and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The papers have also looked into his personal finances, discovering that he failed to pay his income taxes for 5 years, leading to an IRS lien on his house that only got paid once he decided to run for office (nobody knows the source of the funds which paid off those taxes, by the way). He violated campaign finance laws more often than any other candidate in Minnesota history, and racked up fines for willfully violating those laws.

But almost nobody has focused on Ellison’s most interesting behavior and connections — to gang members and people who assassinate police officers in political violence. The first public discussion of Ellison’s ties to criminals finally made it into the mainstream media October 19th, in a column written by Katherine Kerstin in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

What makes Ellison’s ties so interesting is not that he has relationships with criminals — after all, his primary career has been as a criminal defense attorney — but rather the nature of those ties. Ellison doesn’t represent criminals because in the American system of justice everybody deserves the best defense, but rather because in his view gang members are part of a misunderstood and improperly vilified group.

David Strom

David Strom is the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He hosts a weekly radio show on AM-1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis-St. Paul, available on podcast at Townhall.com.

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