MINNEAPOLIS, MN: The Minnesota Star Tribune has endorsed Ilhan Omar’s primary opponent Antone Melton-Meaux in Tuesdays primary in the 5th Congressional District in Minneapolis. (Fifth District endorsement: Melton-Meaux, for integrity and progress). The Star Tribune is the largest newspaper in Minnesota. Their editorial puts the issues of the race in a stark context. They summarize the case against another term in congress for Ilhan Omar as clearly as it can be stated.
More importantly, the Star Tribune makes the positive case for Melton-Meaux. One that the candidate has been making himself in a remarkable political debut. The race has attracted national attention, with Melton-Meaux swamping Omar in fundraising the last quarter, $3.2 million dollars to $700,000.
The primary is Tuesday, August 11th.
The Star Tribune stated in their endorsement:
“The DFL primary contest between first-term Rep. Ilhan Omar and Antone Melton-Meaux for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District has become one of the fiercest in the country. After careful consideration and interviews with both, the Star Tribune Editorial Board recommends Melton-Meaux, a first-time candidate with strong progressive values that align well with the district, as well as consensus-building skills honed as a professional mediator.”
“Melton-Meaux brings a different sensibility to this race. One grounded in helping resolve disputes to move forward — a skill this country is much in need of. His thoughtful approach holds out the promise of building common ground. Whether it’s health care, criminal justice or affordable housing, Melton-Meaux appears progressive, but pragmatic.”
While Omar wants to lead a movement, Melton-Meaux seeks to serve the Fifth District.
“On law enforcement, Melton-Meaux told the Editorial Board regarding the death of George Floyd: “I’ve had my own issues with police. Even being detained as a law student by two white officers. I know that could have been a knee on my neck but for a few circumstances.” But instead of Omar’s calls to defund and even dismantle the police, Melton-Meaux would work to create a system in which police are held accountable for their actions.”
“There are many ways to fight for change, Few of them easy when tackling entrenched systems and interests. Omar says she will “fight hard for big ideas.” But the point of the fight, after all, is the change. And that often requires the ability to forge alliances and persuade.”
“As a mediator, Melton-Meaux said he has learned how to talk to different sides “in a language that’s familiar to them,” offering “a value proposition they can buy into.”
Omar’s 2018 victory launched her into the national spotlight:
“As the first Muslim woman and first refugee elected to Congress. But her time has been marred by missteps, including remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic, an outsized number of missed votes, and campaign-finance issues.”
“Interestingly, the DFL Party has chosen to make an issue of Melton-Meaux’s finances, filing a late complaint that his campaign used “shadow” companies for his bid, a step the campaign told supporters was necessary because the Democratic Party blacklists companies that work for the challenger to an incumbent.”
“That gave Lee Hayes, a spokesman for Melton-Meaux’s campaign, a chance to note that Omar has sent more than $1.6 million to her husband’s D.C. political consulting firm, E Street Group, and is herself the target of a Federal Election Commission complaint regarding travel expenses.”
It is just these kinds of ethical distractions that the Fifth District could do without.
“In the Editorial Board interview, Omar took little responsibility for her rocky start. Instead largely blaming her critics. And saying her failing was perhaps in not realizing what a “special unicorn” she would be in Congress.”
“Both Omar and Melton-Meaux have compelling stories that, in their own ways, are quintessentially American. Omar’s refugee story is well-known. Melton-Meaux is the descendant of American emancipated slaves. His mother grew up picking cotton, and his father used service in Vietnam and the GI bill to put himself through college and lift his family into the middle class.”
“Melton-Meaux rose to become an attorney and mediator who also has worked on foster children’s cases through the Children’s Law Center and dedicated time at the Conflict Resolution Center and College Possible. Melton-Meaux fully grasps the needs of the diverse constituency he hopes to represent, and, if given a chance, is the kind of leader who could unite a fractured district.”
The voters of the 5th congressional district will give their verdict on Tuesday.
While endorsements don’t always sway votes in elections, they are a sign of changing sentiment about Omar in Minneapolis. All Americans want a representative government that seeks solutions out of our common interests and a sense of decency.
That is something that many in the Democrat Party seem to forget.
When the ashes of what’s left of the Democrat Party is lying in shambles after Donald Trump’s reelection, Melton-Meaux will be an important voice in its restructuring. Its only future for reemergence is as a legitimate voice of a sensible centrist opposition party.
One that can work with Republicans to solve issues.
The hysteria of provocateurs and leftist hypocrites like Ilhan Omar will have little currency in that process of restoring America. She is about to find that out on Tuesday.