Loose threads in the curious case (2)

Minnesota state representative Steve Drazkowski reminds me of the legendary story of the time Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862. Lincoln is said to have greeted Stowe, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Rep. Drazkowski is the state representative who filed the complaint against Ilhan Omar with the state campaign finance board. In the course of its investigation the board found that Omar had filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with a man to whom she was not married — while she was married to another man (who may be her brother).

Those tax returns are two datapoints suggestive of the fraudulent nature of Omar’s 2009 marriage to Ahmed Elmi. They are datapoints that Omar can’t evade or talk her way around. Indeed, she won’t even try. It’s not her style.

Instead, when asked about the tax returns by the Star Tribune, she declined to respond through spokesman Jeremy Slevin. In his nonresponse Slevin essentially accused the Star Tribune of “colluding” with Power Line in bigotry: “Whether by colluding with right-wing outlets to go after Muslim elected officials or hounding family members, legitimate media outlets have a responsibility not to fan the flames of hate.”

This is an old act that should long since have worn thin. Like the dog that didn’t bark in the Sherlock Holmes story, however, it is a clue.

Yesterday morning Rep. Drazkowski held a press conference at the state capitol in in St. Paul. He called for a congressional ethics investigation of Omar. The Star Tribune covered it here. It’s not going to happen, but it’s a thought.

Arriving at the press conference a few minutes early, I chatted with Rep. Drazkowski about where we are now in the curious case. One of Drazkowski’s Republican former colleagues had provided him a photo of the portrait below that he found hanging in the offices of the Star Tribune when he arrived for an interview with the editorial board. It faithfully reflects the hagiographic treatment Omar has grown accustomed to receiving from the newspaper.

Beneath the portrait was text paying tribute to “Ilhan,” as it was headed. The text beneath the portrait opened (my transcription): “Coming to the United States from Somalia at age 12 brought mixed emotions for Ilhan Omar. Expecting to be welcomed with open arms she was surprised to learn this wasn’t always the case.”

Speaking of acts wearing thin…

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