Karen Monahan refuses to disappear. Much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party, the courts may soon catch up to Rep. Keith Ellison. The moment approaches when a Hennepin County District Court will release Ellison's 2012 divorce records, even as Ellison, the frontrunner to become Minnesota's attorney general, has appealed to prevent the motion.
The heightened inquiry into Ellison's past comes at the heels of allegations that Ellison was emotionally and physically abusive towards Monahan, a progressive organizer for the Sierra Club. While Democrats from DNC Chair Tom Perez to woke Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have dismissed Monahan's allegations, local reporters at Minnesota's Star Tribune filed the motion to acquire Ellison's divorce records.
Kim Ellison, the congressman's ex-wife, has continually asserted that the attorney general candidate was never abusive and that Monahan's allegations are inconsistent with Keith's behavior. In a press conference today, Kim alleged that Keith is attempting to conceal the records at her behest, as the divorce records will only reveal her struggles with depression and multiple sclerosis, not abuse or misconduct. Kim herself is a private figure, and one, who like Monahan, does not have any evident political motivations in accusing or defending Ellison.
Rightly or wrongly, this push to drop an October surprise on Ellison, who faces a shrinking lead in the attorney general race, arrives after a month of political malpractice in the Democratic Party's handling of sexual misconduct allegations. Senate Democrats immediately called for the ruin of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a sole compelling but unverifiable allegation of sexual assault with zero contemporaneously corroborating witnesses and multiple people asserting that they had no memory of the event surrounding the allegation in question. Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton continue to make public appearances, with few in the Democratic Party willing to mention that the former president has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to outright rape, with plenty of evidence.
The Ellison situation puts reporters in a bind. Monahan has multiple witnesses contemporaneously corroborating that she told them about abuse, including a doctor's note. CNN even reviewed text messages she exchanged with Ellison in which she mentions his physical abuse, and he does not refute it. In addition, a woman accused Ellison of domestic violence — though, notably, without evidence — in 2006. Despite all of this, national Democrats have committed themselves to hear no evil and see no evil.
So, it seems that reporters and the courts have filled the void.
While Democrats have coalesced around a campaign theme of incivility, it seems that the Fourth Estate has responded to both what Democrats say and what they refuse to. It's a lose-lose situation, but who can you blame for this potential breach of privacy for a private citizen, Kim Ellison?
I'm not sure who to affirmatively blame, but I'm guessing it's not the Fourth Estate, attempting to fulfill their duty to warn the men and women of Minnesota that the person about to take charge of their state law enforcement may have respect for only half of them.