Keith Ellison’s campaign for Minnesota attorney general is smearing Republican opponent Doug Wardlow for previously working for an organization labeled an “extremist group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
“Wardlow has proudly worked for an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled an anti-LGBTQ ‘hate group,’ testified against allowing trans students to use the restroom of their choice, and called the United States Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage equality a ‘totalitarian impulse,’” Ellison’s team wrote in an August 27 Facebook post.
The SPLC, however, often smears “good people with false charges of bigotry,” as Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen recently wrote, saying the organization has “lost all credibility.” In fact, SPLC was sued earlier this year by former Islamic radical Maajid Nawaz for including him in its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”
The SPLC eventually reached a settlement with Nawaz, and was forced to make a public apology. Nonetheless, liberals like Ellison continue to push the SPLC’s characterization of conservatives as “extremists,” with the former Democratic congressman questioning his opponent’s views on “civil rights laws.”
“On the anniversary of the March on Washington, Minnesotans deserve to know if Wardlow would enforce the civil rights laws Rev. Dr. Martin King Jr. dedicated his life to fighting for,” Ellison wrote on Facebook, taking a speech given by Wardlow out of context.
“We should not have laws in this country or state that are based on ethnicity or race. And in fact, that’s a principle of the United State Constitution, the supreme law of the land,” Wardlow, the former Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, said, noting that the Constitution’s “Equal Protection Clause” was put into place after the Civil War to end “racial discrimination” in the country.
Ellison’s campaign, however, used the 20-second clip to question whether Wardlow supports the work of Martin Luther King, all the while avoiding evidence that Ellison is not licensed to practice law in the state.
In a Monday press release, Wardlow published a detailed account that showed Ellison surrendered his law license in 2012 and is no longer eligible to practice law in Minnesota, but is still running for the state’s top law enforcement position. Ellison and his campaign have said nothing of the accusations, and the story has gone uncovered by the major media outlets in Minnesota.