Month: October 2018

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Naked man does backflip into aquarium shark tank…


Police say the man who jumped into a shark-filled tank at Ripley’s Aquarium on Friday is also believed to be a suspect in their investigation of a serious assault that occurred near another Toronto tourist destination.

Toronto police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said investigators looked at the suspects in the two cases, which happened on the same evening, and saw similarities.

“At this point, we believe that it is the same man,” she said.


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Police said that about 8 p.m. on Friday, a 34-year-old man was attacked near Dufferin Street and Saskatchewan Road, near Medieval Times, by a patron who earlier had been asked to leave the premises.

The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital. Douglas-Cook said the suspect is wanted on a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Later that night, at about 10:30 p.m., police received a call about an indecent exposure at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

“It was reported that a man took off his clothing and jumped into the shark tank on the main level of the aquarium,” police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante said earlier on Monday.


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Video posted to social media over the weekend shows the man swimming around in the tank with several sharks below him.

“Oh my gosh,” a woman can be heard saying.

Security guards asked the man to get out of the tank, Arrogante said. But as he appeared to be attempting to leave, he jumped in a second time. A video shows him doing a backflip into the water as spectators cheered and applauded.

“Eventually the man did exit the tank and put on his clothing and he did leave the premise,” she said.

Peter Doyle, general manager of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, said the man was not held by security personnel after he left the tank, as the aquarium does not detain guests as a matter of protocol.

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“We called the police and he took off in just his pants and shoes and left the building,” he said.

No one was harmed in the incident, including any of the sharks, police said.

Doyle said the welfare of the aquarium’s animals is “paramount.”

“This was an unusual incident and we’re going to press charges for sure,” he said.

Doyle said it’s the first time something like this has occurred in the five years since the aquarium opened.

In an interview prior to the man being linked to the assault case, Arrogante said the suspect could possibly face charges of mischief or incident exposure.

Left: Police have released a photo of a man they say jumped into a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada on Friday night. Right: The suspect wanted in an assault that occurred on the same evening.

Toronto Police Service

Police described the swimmer as 35 to 40 years old, five feet 10 inches tall and 220 pounds, with a tattoo on his lower leg. He was last seen wearing a dark-coloured hoodie, jeans and a green T-shirt.

The suspect in the assault was described as the same age and build, but with a teal shirt and missing teeth.

Douglas-Cook said police are asking the suspect to turn himself in, adding it’s “only a matter of time” before he’s identified.

— With files from Shallima Maharaj and Don Mitchell

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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May under pressure…


LONDON — Theresa May has been forced to scrap plans to sign up to a Brexit divorce deal after the prime minister came under intense pressure from her own Cabinet to pursue a more abrupt exit from the European Union.

A provisional agreement between EU and UK negotiators fell apart on Sunday after the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab flew into Brussels following threats from several Cabinet ministers to walk out of government and suggestions that Conservative backbenchers are now willing to topple May.

May had been hoping to sign up to a Brexit divorce deal early this week ahead of the crucial October European Council summit in Brussels later this week.

However, a provisional agreement between the two sides — that the UK could remain in a “temporary” customs union with the EU after Brexit as part of the Northern Irish “backstop” clause — caused fury among Conservative MPs who believe that Britain is being forced into remaining permanently tied to the EU.

“In the last few days UK and EU negotiators have made real progress in a number of key areas. However there remain a number of unresolved issues relating to the backstop,” a UK government spokesperson said on Sunday evening.

The backstop is the insurance policy for making sure the frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is maintained after Brexit. It will come into effect at the end of the proposed transition period, in January 2021, unless a new trading arrangement which protects the open Irish border is in place.

On Sunday the UK was set to sign up to a backstop arrangement which had been reported since early last week, in which the UK would remain in a customs union and Northern Ireland alone would stick to single market rules.

Business Insider reported on Friday that several senior members of May’s Cabinet had given May the weekend to change her position on the backstop or suffer a series of walkouts. A senior Cabinet source told BI that May was approaching a “killer moment” in her leadership, adding that “the prime minister needs to hear the mood by Monday.”

House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey were all poised to quit. Several Cabinet rebels are set to meet on Monday night to discuss what to do about the crisis in the party.


Andrea Leadsom.

Reuters/Neil Hall

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up May’s minority government is also putting huge pressure on May, with its leader Arlene Foster suggesting that she is “ready” to force a no-deal Brexit rather than accept the provisional deal agreed by UK negotiators.

The DUP is furious with plans for Northern Ireland to remain fully aligned with rules of the EU’s single market after Brexit as this would create new checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The row has left May’s premiership hanging by a thread with multiple reports suggesting that backbenchers are angling for the former Brexit Secretary David Davis to step in as an interim leader in order to deliver a “harder” form of Brexit outside customs and trade ties with the EU.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries said it may be time to “get Mrs May out of the way” in order to install Davis in Number 10 instead.



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HARVARD: Race can only help applicants' chances…


BOSTON (AP) — Harvard University intentionally uses a vague “personal rating” to reject Asian-American applicants in favor of students from other racial backgrounds, according to a trial that started Monday and carries weighty implications for dozens of other U.S. colleges.

Harvard’s legal team denied any discrimination in its opening statement at Boston’s federal courthouse, saying race is just one factor that’s considered and can only help a student’s chances of getting admitted. In its hour-long opening, lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions accused Harvard of intentionally discriminating against Asian-Americans through a “personal rating” score that’s used to measures character traits such as “courage” and “likeability.”

Dozens of supporters and observers packed into the courtroom and two overflow rooms Monday, a day after backers from both sides hosted separate rallies in the Boston area.

The trial began nearly four years after Harvard was sued by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit in Arlington, Virginia, that believes schools should not consider race when selecting students. It comes at a time when the nation’s elite colleges have come under mounting scrutiny over the way race factors into the admissions process.

The suit says Asian-American applicants bring stronger academic records than any other race, yet they are admitted at the lowest rate. The group says that’s because Harvard consistently gives them low scores on the personal rating, which, according to a document revealed by the group Monday, is only loosely defined in Harvard policies.

Lawyers for the group presented a document they say is Harvard’s only guidance on the personal rating. It was simply a numeral rating ranging from one, for “outstanding,” to five, for “questionable personal traits.”

Adam Mortara, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions, says the measure’s subjectivity creates an opportunity for racial discrimination.

“You have let the wolf of racial bias in through the front door,” he said.

Students for Fair Admissions is led by Edward Blum, a legal strategist who has fought against the use of race at other colleges, including a Supreme Court case in 2016 that upheld policies at the University of Texas.

Yet Mortara argued Monday the lawsuit is not a broader attack on affirmative action, saying Harvard has simply gone too far in its “zeal” to consider race.

“Diversity and its benefits are not on trial here. Students for Fair Admissions supports diversity on campus,” he said.

But Harvard’s lawyers argued the lawsuit represents an attack on the school and many other universities that consider race as a way to admit a diverse mix of students.

William Lee, a lawyer for the school and a member of its governing board, said race is just one of many factors that can work in favor of an applicant, getting no more weight than a student’s geography or family income.

“Race alone is never the reason a student is granted admission,” Lee said. “And race is never the reason a student is denied.”

He downplayed the influence of any single numerical rating, saying the final decision comes down to a 40-person committee that spends weeks reviewing and discussing applications.

The trial is expected to last three weeks, with two weeks for the plaintiff’s case and one for Harvard. The final decision will be made by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs.

The legal showdown begins amid a revived national debate over the role race should play in college admissions. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating Harvard over alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans, and Yale was recently announced as the subject of a similar investigation by the Justice and Education departments.

The Harvard case has captured the attention of many in the education world, including leaders of some colleges that say a loss for Harvard could put their own policies in jeopardy.

___

Follow Collin Binkley on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cbinkley



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'KARDASHIANS' Ratings Lowest Ever…


Home Television Kardashians Ratings Go Right off a Cliff, Last Week Was Lowest Ever,…


Tonight’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” may be key to its survival on E!

Last week’s show scored their lowest number of viewers in years– just 809,000. It was the 35th most watched cable show last Sunday out of 50 entries.

The last time I wrote about the K’s ratings, they had settled into an average of 1 million a week, off about 400K from their past average.

But three weeks ago they dipped under 1 million for the first time to 919,000. The next week they were back up a notch over to 1.061 million. But then last week the whole thing collapsed.

I don’t know if this has anything to do with Kanye West, or the family’s basic odiousness. But if tonight’s show– we’ll see results on Tuesday– doesn’t bounce back, the party may be over.

See you Tuesday.

Author

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News. He writes for Parade magazine and has written for Details, Vogue, the New York Times, Post, and Daily News and many other publications. He is the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive,” a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals.



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COPS: Father tries to attack son with chainsaw, but son runs him over with mower…



BRISTOL, Tenn. – A Tennessee man lost one of his legs after his son, trying to fend off the 76-year-old’s chainsaw attack, drove over the older man with a lawn mower, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

The father, identified as Douglas Ferguson, of Bristol, now faces a charge of attempted second degree murder, according to the Bristol Herald Courier.

The incident happened June 28, but, because of the severity of the injury, authorities weren’t able to serve the arrest warrant until Tuesday.

Officials say Ferguson’s son was mowing the front lawn when his father went after him with the chainsaw.

“The son defended himself against the attack by running over the suspect with the lawn mower,” according to an SCSO press release obtained by the Kingsport Times-News. “The injuries that the suspect (Ferguson) sustained were as a result of the lawn mower striking and running over him.”

Ferguson, who was found bleeding from his leg and head, was taken to the hospital where doctors amputated his leg.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office said the two men have a long-running feud.

Ferguson was jailed on the attempted murder charge and for violating parole related to a previous aggravated assault, according to the Times-News. Bond was set at $25,000 for the attempted murder charge.



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Skateboards into rally…



Skateboards into rally...

(Second column, 10th story, link)


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Pastor freed from Turkey prays with Trump in Oval Office…


WASHINGTON (AP) — Freed American pastor Andrew Brunson fell to one knee in the Oval Office and placed his hand on President Donald Trump’s shoulder in prayer on Saturday, asking God to provide the president “supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him.”

Trump welcomed Brunson to the White House to celebrate his release from nearly two years of confinement in Turkey, which had sparked a diplomatic row with a key ally and outcry from U.S. evangelical groups.

Brunson returned to the U.S. aboard a military jet shortly before meeting the president. He was detained in October 2016, formally arrested that December and placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons.

“From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that’s not bad,” Trump said.

Brunson’s homecoming amounts to a diplomatic — and possibly political — win for Trump and his evangelical base. Coming on the heels of the confirmation of a conservative justice to the Supreme Court, Brunson’s return is likely to leave evangelical Christians feeling good about the president and motivated get to the polls in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Brunson appeared to be in good health and good spirits. When he asked Trump if he could pray for him, the president replied, “Well, I need it probably more than anyone ese in this room, so that would be very nice, thank you.”

Brunson left his chair beside Trump, kneeled and placed a hand on the president’s shoulder. As Trump bowed his head, Brunson asked God to “give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him. I ask that you give him wisdom in how to lead this country into righteousness.”

He continued: “I ask that you give him perseverance, and endurance and courage to stand for truth. I ask that you to protect him from slander from enemies, from those who would undermine. I ask that you make him a great blessing to this country. Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance. And we bless him. May he be a great blessing to our country. In Jesus’ name, we bless you. Amen.”

Brunson, originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, had lived in Turkey with his family for more than two decades and led a small congregation in the Izmir Resurrection Church. He was accused of committing crimes on behalf of Kurdish militants and to aid a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of engineering the failed coup. He faced up to 35 years in jail if convicted of all the charges against him.

Administration officials cast Brunson’s release as vindication of Trump’s hard-nosed negotiating stance, saying Turkey tried to set terms for Brunson’s release but that Trump was insistent on Brunson’s release without conditions. Trump maintained there was no deal for Brunson’s freedom, but the president dangled the prospect of better relations between the U.S. and its NATO ally.

“We do not pay ransom in this country,” Trump said.

Where previous administrations kept negotiations over U.S. prisoners held abroad close to the vest, Trump has elevated them to causes célèbres, striking a tough line with allies and foes alike.

Trump thanked Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had resisted the demands of Trump and other high-level U.S. officials for Brunson’s release. Erdogan had insisted that his country’s courts are independent, though he previously had suggested a possible swap for Brunson.

The U.S. had repeatedly called for Brunson’s release and, this year, sanctioned two Turkish officials and doubled tariffs on steel and aluminum imports citing in part Brunson’s plight.

Trump said the U.S. greatly appreciated Brunson’s release and said the move “will lead to good, perhaps great, relations” between the U.S. and fellow NATO ally Turkey, and said the White House would “take a look” at the sanctions.

Trump asked Brunson and his family which candidate they voted for in 2016, saying he was confident they had gone for him. “I would like to say I sent in an absentee ballot from prison,” Brunson quipped.

Evangelical voters overwhelmingly voted for the president despite discomfort with his personal shortcomings, in large part because he pledged to champion their causes, from defending persecuted Christians overseas to appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court. In the space of seven days, less than a month from the midterm elections, Trump delivered on both fronts.

Prominent evangelical leaders such as Tony Perkins have championed Brunson’s case, as has Vice President Mike Pence. First word of Brunson’s arrival back on American soil Saturday came from Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Perkins tweeted just after noon that he had landed at a military base outside Washington with Brunson and his wife, Norine.

Erdogan said on Twitter that he hoped the two countries will continue to cooperate “as it befits two allies.” Erdogan also called for joint efforts against terrorism, and he listed the Islamic State group, Kurdish militants and the network of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Relations between the countries have become severely strained over Brunson’s detention and a host of other issues.

A Turkish court on Friday convicted Brunson of having links to terrorism and sentenced him to just over three years in prison, but released the 50-year-old evangelical pastor because he had already spent nearly two years in detention. An earlier charge of espionage was dropped.

Hours later, Brunson was flown out of Turkey, his home for more than two decades. He was taken to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, for a medical checkup.

“I love Jesus. I love Turkey,” an emotional Brunson, who had maintained his innocence, told the court at Friday’s hearing.

Brunson’s release could benefit Turkey by allowing the government to focus on an escalating diplomatic crisis over Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to The Washington Post who has been missing for more than a week and is feared dead after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was killed in the consulate; Saudi officials deny it.

Trump maintained the two cases were not linked, saying Brunson’s release amid the Khashoggi investigation was “strict coincidence.”

Turkey may also hope the U.S. will now lift the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, a move that would inject confidence into an economy rattled by high inflation and foreign currency debt.

But Brunson’s release doesn’t resolve disagreements over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, as well as a plan by Turkey to buy Russian surface-to-air missiles. Turkey is also frustrated by the refusal of the U.S. to extradite Gulen.

___

Associated Press writer Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul contributed to this report.

___

Follow Darlene Supervile on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap



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Too much money is too good a problem for Dem hopefuls…


Record-breaking campaign hauls in House races across the country have left some nominees with an enviable conundrum: How can they possibly spend all the money?

At least 60 House Democratic candidates reportedly raised more than $1 million each in the third quarter of the campaign cycle that ended Sept. 30, eye-popping sums that defy even the most optimistic of projections. But with Nov. 6 less than a month away, some political observers have wondered publicly whether a candidate could have too much cash. 

That was the question from the Twitterverse when Roll Call reported last week that Democrat Amy McGrath had raised an astounding $3.65 million in the third quarter — one of the largest sums reported so far — in her bid against Republican Rep. Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th District. “How do you even spend that much money in KY-06?? Wow!” tweeted Alixandria Lapp, president of House Majority PAC, a super PAC tied to House Democratic leadership. 

One response came from Democratic campaign veteran Brandon Lorenz: “Yard signs?”

A joke, but seriously, Democratic strategists say the fundraising hauls could pose a real challenge to any campaign, especially in areas where the money goes a lot further. The way a campaign responds to the largesse could be a clear indication of how well — or how poorly — it is run.

Flashback: Democratic Candidates Raise Millions in Second Quarter Fundraising

Wheat from the chaff

Good campaign managers will know how to manage their money so they have an “arc of spending” throughout the campaign, said Ian Russell, who spent six years with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and now does congressional consulting for Beacon Media. 

“We would tell clients, ‘It’s not worth spending the money at a certain point.’ They might as well light a fire with it in the middle of the room,” he said. “Hopefully, they have a team that can start spending earlier.”

Mike Fraioli, whose firm Fraioli & Associates provides campaign consulting to Democrats, said campaigns rarely make it all the way through their wish lists for spending. 

“If you have that much more money, all your broadcast is covered, now you buy TV Land, the Hallmark Channel,” he said. “You just keep going down your list.”

He brushed aside concerns that candidates run the risk of “voter fatigue,” turning off potential supporters by bombarding them with too many advertisements and face-to-face appeals. 

“There is a long list of candidates who would like to have that problem,” he said. 

And complaints about having too much cash are hard to find.

Having worked on many campaigns, some that were well-funded and some that were under-funded, I was never at a point when I was like, ‘Oh, I have too much money,’” said Brian Smoot, a partner and founder of marketing agency 4C and a former political director at the DCCC. “That has never happened.”

McGrath’s $3.65 million, for context, is 69 times the $52,000 median household income in the district in the heart of Kentucky’s bluegrass country.

And that’s only half of the $6.65 million the Marine veteran’s campaign has raised since it launched in August of last year. She finished the third quarter with $1.7 million in the bank.

As to how she was going to spend the extra cash, her campaign is remaining tight-lipped. 

“I’m not especially inclined to tell a reporter (i.e. the public) how I’m spending my extra money late so that our opponent knows what to anticipate. So, I’ll have to politely decline comment for now,” McGrath campaign manager Mark Nickolas said in an email.

Barr’s campaign did not return a request for comment.

More Democratic dough

McGrath is among the top fundraisers this cycle, but other Democrats aren’t far behind. Thirty have raised more than $2 million each and eight have raised more than $3 million, DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico said at a Bloomberg News breakfast last week.

Luján declined to say which campaigns he was referring to, and candidates don’t have to report their third-quarter fundraising totals to the Federal Election Commission until Oct. 15.

Besides McGrath, more than 20 other candidates have reported third-quarter hauls of $1 million or more. Almost all of those are Democrats running for the House, where they have a better chance of taking majority control.

They include Josh Harder, who raised $3.5 million in California’s 10th District; Andrew Janz, who reported bringing in $4.3 million in California’s 22nd; and Elissa Slotkin, who raised $2.6 million in Michigan’s 8th, according to figures from Daily Kos Elections, which has been keeping a tally of third-quarter fundraising results over $1 million.

Much of that money is coming from small, individual donations, candidates have said.

Again for context, New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill splashed headlines over the summer for raising $1.9 million in the second quarter ending June 30, which was more than what many Senate candidates raised during the same period. 

Some of the candidates who have reported the largest numbers have benefited from national profiles. McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, filmed a campaign ad that went viral. Janz, a local prosecutor, has benefited from the progressive fury directed at his opponent, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump loyalist who has attempted to block the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 campaign. 

Democrats attribute the windfall to voters who have been riled up since President Donald Trump’s unexpected victory two years ago, and say it shows they will have more than enough momentum to net the 23 seats needed to retake the House.

New calculus

Being able to post such big numbers so late in the campaign season has been a complete game changer for Democrats, said Russell of Beacon Media. 

Republicans, meanwhile, are reporting numbers on par with what they raised in 2016, according to The Washington Post. 

The GOP’s national campaign committees were crushing their Democratic counterparts in fundraising at the beginning of the year and could have easily underestimated their opponents until late in the summer when the third quarter numbers started to trickle out, Russell said. In those cases, candidates might have thought they could easily “extinguish a lot of Democratic hopes early on” by saturating the airwaves.

“The thing they didn’t realize was that the Democrats had the money to fight back,” he said. “I guarantee you that was not in the plan.”

Russell’s schedule is a sign of the times.

“It’s one of the reasons why I’m doing a bunch of shoots this week,” he said during a layover while crisscrossing the country to file campaign ads. “These numbers are unbelievable. I’ve been in politics a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

As for any leftovers, Fraioli had this pro tip: Throw a big party for everyone who helped.

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Right-wing march in London turns violent…



Right-wing march in London turns violent...

(Third column, 17th story, link)


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Dems worry about Ellison allegations as state AG race tightens…


 

The Minneapolis Democrat has denied the charges, and an investigation paid for by the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party could not corroborate the woman’s claims.

 

But the allegations have taken a toll, and the race between Ellison and former state Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) is neck and neck.

 

A poll conducted for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio last month showed Ellison leading Wardlow, 41 percent to 36 percent, even as Democratic candidates led their Republican rivals up and down the ballot in other contests.

 

The poll showed more voters, 31 percent, said they had an unfavorable impression of Ellison than those who said they had a favorable impression at 20 percent.

 

Voters and Democratic activists here say the allegations are weighing on the party’s prospects — and, in some cases, their own thoughts about the liberal firebrand whose star seemed to be on the rise.

 

“Unfortunately, it’s hurting him and Republicans are using it to bring down other Democrats,” said Roberta Humphries, a retiree who volunteers for Democratic candidates.

 

 

 

“Curiously, Tina Smith has chosen to believe Keith Ellison’s ‘categorical’ denials, affirming his support for him and openly campaigning with him,” Housley said in a statement. “It’s time to put an end to the hypocrisy and give Minnesotans the clarity they deserve.”

 

Smith has not mentioned Ellison in recent weeks. She is still listed as having endorsed his campaign on Ellison’s website.

 

Wardlow’s campaign is using the allegations in hopes of discrediting Ellison.

 

“Keith Ellison has been accused of domestic violence by multiple women. Even the National Organization for Women has called for Ellison to end his campaign,” the ad says.

 

Ellison’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Ken Martin, the chairman of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said he has not seen evidence in the party’s weekly polls that the allegations are dragging down other candidates.

 

But he said the allegations have made the race for attorney general much closer than it should be in a blue state and in a year in which Democrats benefit from a tailwind.

 

“It’s going to be a close race. It shouldn’t be a close race,” Martin said in an interview. “It’s a concern to me, it’s a concern to all of the Democrats who work in politics in this state.”

 

Martin said an additional investigation from state or local law enforcement “is necessary and prudent.”

 

The party’s handouts, which typically highlight their entire slate of candidates, now omit down-ballot contenders like Ellison, a hint that it wants to steer clear of the controversy.

 

Ellison, a rising star in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who narrowly lost a race to chair the Democratic National Committee last year, made an unexpected jump into the race for a statewide office back home.

 

Ellison decided to run for attorney general after the incumbent, Lori Swanson (D), made a late entry into the race for governor. 

 

 

Republicans believed they had little hope of beating Swanson, had she run for reelection.

 

Party strategists privately said they missed an opportunity to recruit a candidate stronger than Wardlow, who served a single term in the state House before losing reelection.

 

Some Democrats said the timing of the allegations just before the primary raised eyebrows.

 

“It’s a tragedy that this thing came out the way it did,” said Chuck Dewey-Smith, a Democratic activist who runs a health-care website. “We don’t know the truth of what happened, but I’m getting sick of this trial by news cycle.”

 

The Minnesota poll showed 21 percent of voters believe the claims of domestic violence, while 22 percent did not. Fifty-seven percent said they were unsure.

 

The allegations “really disappointed me because I liked” Ellison, said Liz Fleming, a retiree in Bloomington who does not count herself as a Democrat or a Republican. “That will affect how I vote.”

 

Democrats say they hope to make the race a binary choice between Ellison and Wardlow, whom they paint as an arch conservative.

 

“We want to take allegations of abuse seriously,” said Matt Klein, a state senator who represents a suburban St. Paul district. “The alternative, Doug Wardlow, is simply unacceptable.”



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