The so-called Democratic double standard on Rep. Keith Ellison has become a potent campaign issue in Minnesota, so why not Wisconsin?
Republican Senate candidate Leah Vukmir has torched Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin over her Ellison ties, accusing her of giving the Democratic congressman a pass on allegations of domestic abuse while taking a hard line on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“In her own words, Senator Baldwin worked side-by-side with Keith Ellison, and now refuses to condemn Keith Ellison’s woman-beating behavior or return his campaign donation,” said Leah Vukmir campaign manager Jess Ward in a Thursday press release.
The Vukmir campaign cited a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ellison’s Everybody Counts Everybody Matters leadership PAC in 2012, as well as her 2016 endorsement of his candidacy for Democratic National Committee chair.
“Two-faced Tammy will prejudge uncorroborated reports against Judge Kavanaugh, but she’ll stand proudly next to an accused woman-beating liberal, regardless if medical records indicate severe domestic violence,” said Ms. Ward.’
The Baldwin campaign did not return immediately a request for comment, but so far the first-term Democrat has kept quiet on the allegations made in August by Mr. Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan, who accused him of dragging her from bed while screaming obscenities at her in September 2016.
Mr. Ellison has denied the accusations. An investigation paid for by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party found them “unsubstantiated,” although the probe has been blasted as hopelessly conflicted. He has also asked for a House Ethics Committee investigation.
At the same time, Ms. Baldwin has made her opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination abundantly clear. She joined Democratic calls for another FBI investigation into the nominee, who was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of pinning her to a bed and groping her 36 years ago when they were teenagers.
Ms. Baldwin said she found Ms. Ford’s claims “to be serious, to be credible. And the normal way of dealing with things with presidential nominees would be to reopen the background investigation,” she said at a Sept. 24 event, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Kavanaugh nomination has created other headaches for Ms. Baldwin. She drew criticism for announcing that she would oppose President Trump’s pick for the high court on July 12, just two days after Mr. Kavanaugh was nominated.
Her campaign did a quick turnaround after making plans to host an Oct. 1 fundraiser in Washington, D.C., featuring Blasey Ford attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks.
After a spate of criticism, the campaign announced that the cocktail party would be held without the two attorneys. Ms. Katz has donated $8,150 and Ms. Banks has given $5,200 to the Wisconsin Democrat since 2011, according to FEC records.
The feisty Vukmir, a nurse and state senator, called her opponent’s quick decision “despicable” and said the event showed that “Baldwin and her Democrat colleagues will take advantage and fundraise off any situation — even the most egregious.”
A Marquette University Law School poll released Sept. 18 found Ms. Baldwin leading Ms. Vukmir by 53 to 42 percent.
Ms. Monahan posted 2017 medical records last month showing that she told a clinic that she had been in an abusive relationship with the congressman, who has confirmed that they broke up in 2016 after a long-term relationship but denied any abuse.
In Minnesota, Democratic Sen. Tina Smith has been hammered by Republican state Sen. Karin Housley over her support for Mr. Ellison, who gave up his congressional seat to run for Minnesota attorney general.
The abuse claims have also become a central issue in Mr. Ellison’s increasingly close campaign against Republican former state Rep. Doug Wardlow, who is running ads highlighting the allegations.