From the mixed-up files of Rep. Ilhan Omar: Finale

In their Ilhan Omar story today, Patrick Coolican and Stephen Montemayor refer repeatedly to Power Line as conservative. Let it be noted, however, that their story tacitly reveals the Star Tribune to be a pillar of Minnesota’s leftist/progressive establishment. Coolican and Montemayor note in passing (italics added): “Campaign e-mails disclosed by the campaign finance board also show a concerted effort to quash the Elmi story. An August 2016 internal e-mail written by campaign spokesman Ben Goldfarb, a veteran DFL operative, suggested reaching out to political newsletter writer Blois Olson ‘and shut it down with him as we do with the Strib.’”

I reported on the emails in part 2 of this series; I posted the emails themselves for readers to see with their own eyes in part 4. Coolican and Montemayor not only fail to follow up on their quote from the Goldfarb email regarding stories he has shut down at the Star Tribune, they omit Goldfarb’s statement that he has “talked to the Strib and they are generally in a good place (they get that there are not 2 legal marriages and are not pursuing the brother angle), but have pieced together that the person she is legally married to is not the father of [her] children, on the website, etc. They are asking for confirmation of that.”

In part 10 of this series I posted a copy of my message to Star Tribune editor Rene Sanchez:

Dear Rene: As of this afternoon, the Star Tribune has yet to run a single follow-up story to the June 8 Condon/Coolican story on Ilhan Omar’s 2014-2015 joint tax returns filed with a guy she wasn’t married to while she was married to another man. Is it conceivable to you that the Star Tribune would have left a story like this about a state Republican star after the initial report? It’s not to me.

Have your reporters asked what other years Omar filed jointly with Hirsi? If so, what was her response? If not, why not?

I have written ten pieces on Power Line about the campaign finance board file on Omar’s campaign. The Star Tribune has yet to run one. Why not?

The Omar “crisis committee” emails appear in the file under docket number 35 [PDF omitted]. They show Omar’s crisis manager Ben Goldfarb getting a handle on the “crisis,” i.e., Power Line’s exposure of Omar’s plural marriages and related issues. Speaking privately among his friends, Goldfarb commented that “Someone should reach out to talk off the record [with Blois Olson] and shut it down [i.e., the story reported by Power Line] with [Olson] as we do with the Strib” (page 19). I ask that you comment on this. Have you ascertained what other stories Goldfarb might have been referring to?

Goldfarb reports to the crisis committee members that he has “talked to the Strib and they are generally in a good place (they get that there are not 2 legal marriages and are not pursuing the brother angle), but have pieced together that the person she is legally married to is not the father of [her] children, on the website, etc. They are asking for confirmation of that” [(page 38)]. I wonder if you might want to comment on why the Star Tribune was not “pursuing the brother angle.” When Patrick Coolican contacted me for his first story on the issues that week, I asked him who they said Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (Omar’s then legal husband) was. “They won’t tell me,” he said.

I would appreciate your comments.

Thank you, as always, for your courtesies.

Scott Johnson

Today’s story was obviously in the works at the time I wrote Sanchez, but my questions regarding the Goldfarb email stand. I have received no response from Sanchez. The silence of the Star Tribune in response to these questions seems to me a fitting place to end this series.

FOR THE BACKGROUND TO THIS SERIES, see “From the mixed-up files of Rep. Ilhan Omar.”

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