The population of Mogadishu is moving to Minneapolis, through the miracle of chain immigration. I don’t know whether there is any limiting principle to this or whether all of Mogadishu will one day reside along the Mississippi, but in any event, the Somali influx is already impacting Minnesota politics.
Despite being “natural conservatives”–imagine what they must think of abortion and gay marriage!–the Somalis have so far been reliable Democratic voters. This has created one of this year’s most interesting local races, in which Phyllis Kahn, a left-wing Democrat who has represented her district in the Minnesota House of Representatives for 42 (!) years, is being challenged in a primary by one Mohamud Noor. Kahn has long enjoyed the perks of a Democratic insider, including the privilege of owning a $1 house on prime Minneapolis real estate. But so far, all of that seems to avail her little as she fights for her political life against Mr. Noor.
The race first came to widespread attention when a fight broke out between Kahn and Noor supporters at a precinct caucus. Next, in a historic first, a Democrat finally stumbled across voter fraud in Minnesota:
The Hennepin County attorney’s office is investigating whether a private mailbox center in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood has been improperly used as an address for more than 140 voters.
State records show that 419 Cedar Avenue S. has been used by some of the voters as far back as 2008. [Ed.: In other words, since Al Franken’s 2008 campaign.]
No one lives at the address, which is a Somali-dominated commercial building housing several small businesses and a popular mail center.
The investigation reignites a long-running debate about voter fraud in Minnesota and is the latest flash point in the highly competitive race between Capitol stalwart Rep. Phyllis Kahn and Mohamud Noor, who would become the first Somali-American elected to the Legislature if elected. Kahn was denied the DFL endorsement in April due in part to Noor’s ability to turn out Somali supporters. An August primary will decide the fate of the race.
The Kahn campaign alleges that usage of the fake address has been orchestrated by the Noor campaign:
“The Kahn campaign has reason to believe that the Noor campaign has been behind the registrations of new voters at this address,” Rice writes in an email sent to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, among others. “Further, we have reason to believe that many more, perhaps hundreds of people have been using 419 Cedar Avenue South as an address to register and vote in the Primary election on August 12, 2014 in the race between Kahn and Noor.
Kahn’s lawyer has filed a second complaint, too: Phyllis Kahn alleges election judge called her “old Jewish lady,” opponent “Muslim brother”:
One alleges that a Minneapolis elections judge named Fadmo called Kahn “an old Jewish Lady” while interpreting the primary ballot for a Somali man who was recently at City Hall to cast his absentee ballot. On the other hand, Fadmo characterized Noor as “our Muslim brother,” the complaint says.
Steve Sailor asks a reasonable question:
If the Somali voter passed the citizenship test, why isn’t he literate in English? Why does he need fellow Somali Fadmo to tell him which squiggle on the ballot represents “our Muslim brother” and which squiggle “an old Jewish lady?”
Such “irregularities” have been going on for a while, but they are only now coming to light and being reported in the local press. Why? Because a Democrat’s ox is being gored, and the Democrat in question has her lawyers on the case. In the meantime, we can all enjoy the spectacle as the Democratic Party’s internal contradictions try to resolve themselves.