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November 6, 2006
Two Reminders Of Minnesota's Choices

Minnesotans go to the polls tomorrow with some tough decisions to make, and two articles should remind them of the stakes. Joel Mowbray writes about MN-05 Congressional candidate Keith Ellison in his Front Page article, "CAIR's Congressman":

Barring a cataclysmic event, Minnesotans tomorrow will elect the first-ever Muslim to the U.S. Congress, and odds are the media serenade won’t be far behind.

What remains to be seen, though, is how many journalists will be willing to strike a discordant note by questioning Keith Ellison on his Nation of Islam past or his open embrace of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group founded by two self-identified supporters of Islamic terrorism.

Defenders of the Democratic frontrunner thus far have dodged most legitimate questions, instead choosing to smear critics as Islamophobic bigots. The tactic has worked, enabling Ellison to win comfortably the September 12 Democratic primary—and soon the general election.

But no amount of obfuscation or misdirection changes some simple facts: Ellis had a much deeper involvement with the Nation of Islam than he’s acknowledged, and he has forged an extremely close alliance with CAIR. The organization’s officials, in fact, have helped raise over $50,000 for Ellison. These are obviously legitimate—and necessary—questions, but few in the mainstream media have the stomach to go against the tide. And with Ellison becoming the first-ever Muslim Congressman, the media “tide” isn’t hard to predict.

Read all of Mowbray's reporting on the subject, which follows Scott Johnson's valiant efforts to show the media how to do their jobs. Speaking of Scott, he has written a lengthy analysis at Power Line showing that Mike Hatch has acted unethically in his attempts to bully a judge into ruling for him through ex parte conversations:

Persuasive evidence establishes that Hatch has committed serious violations of the rules of professional conduct governing lawyers -- and then lied to cover them up. The violations involve more than mere technical mistakes. The violations are of the sort that properly can lead to an attorney being severely disciplined if not disbarred from the practice of law. ...

Hatch's public statements that only one call had occurred, that it had been one minute in length (counting the transfer from the clerk’s office), and that it was not of the substance or duration Judge Leary had said were deliberately misleading. It is not a crime to lie to the press, but it is improper under the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct for a lawyer to "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" (Rule 8.4(c)). Another rule flatly states that a lawyer representing "shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person." (Rule 4.1(a)).

Moreover, it is also professional misconduct knowingly to file a false, sworn affidavit. Hatch’s affidavit, made under penalty of perjury, is cagier than his public statements, but still deceitful: "I talked to Judge Leary. The call lasted one minute." This was, at best, a quarter-truth. In context, it appears to have been deliberately false and calculated to mislead.

Once again, Scott does the reporting that our local media should be doing themselves, and gives Minnesota voters the information they need to cast an educated vote in tomorrow's election. Be sure to read all about the DFL's chosen candidate for Governor at Power Line.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 6, 2006 6:36 AM

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