“I know I did something bad”

The Democrats hold a one-vote majority in Minnesota’s state Senate. They used that advantage to pass an unprecedented barrage of far-left legislation in the 2023 session. Their skinny majority is now in jeopardy, however, because a DFL senator has been arrested for burglary.

This account is from a local news outlet in Alexandria, Minnesota:

A state senator from Woodbury, Minnesota has now been charged with burglary for breaking into her stepmother’s home in Detroit Lakes.

Nicole Mitchell, 49, told police that she broke into the house to retrieve some of her late father’s belongings, including his ashes.
Mitchell was dressed all in black and wearing a black hat, the complaint said. The officer said he discovered a flashlight near her that was covered with a black sock, apparently modified to control the amount of light coming from it.

The complaint, filed in Becker County District Court in Detroit Lakes, charges Mitchell with one count of first-degree burglary, a felony.

“I know I did something bad,” the complaint quoted Mitchell as saying after she was told of her right to remain silent.

The state senator broke in through a basement window and apparently stole her stepmother’s laptop, among other things, before being apprehended:

The senator acknowledged that she had entered the house through a basement window that had been propped open with a black backpack, the complaint said. Officers found her Minnesota Senate ID inside it, along with her driver’s license, two laptop computers, a cellphone and Tupperware containers, the complaint said. She indicated that she got caught soon after entering.

“Clearly I’m not good at this,” it quoted her as saying.

I suppose we should be glad to learn that one of our state senators doesn’t have a lot of experience as a burglar. Here’s the point, though: Republicans have called on Mitchell to resign. That would lead to a special election, which, if won by the GOP candidate, would flip control of the Senate. The Democrats’ leadership is determined to avoid any loss of power, so Mitchell is now changing her story. She put out this statement an hour or two ago:

The idea that Mitchell broke into her stepmother’s house via a basement window at 4:45 a.m. to carry out a wellness check is laughable. It is worth noting, in that context, that the stepmother says she is afraid of Mitchell and has applied for a restraining order against her.

This situation, and especially Mitchell’s just-issued statement, have been a source of local hilarity. Walter Hudson is a GOP representative and a rising star in the party:

My interpretation of these events is that the leadership of the DFL Party has decided to brazen it out. True, the facts are not good, and Mitchell’s admissions that she “did something bad” and “[is] not good at this” are hard to work around, as are the break-in and the stolen laptop. The arresting officers had body cams, and I am pretty certain those videos will not put Senator Mitchell in an innocent light.

But to Democrats, power is everything. They apparently don’t mean to give it up without a fight.

Instead of resigning, Mitchell apparently intends to continue voting. I am not sure whether she is still in the local jail in northern Minnesota, but the Democrats have, post-covid, adopted rules that permit remote voting, so that senators and representatives never actually have to be present in the Capitol. And some of them never show up. If Mitchell tries to vote from jail, it will test the limits of the Democrats’ new rules.

Behind the entertainment value of this bizarre episode is a deadly serious reality. Mitchell has two years to go on her term. If a special election puts that seat in Republican hands, control of the Senate will flip. That won’t enable the Republicans to do anything good, but it will allow them to stop the bleeding as Democrats propose one appalling bill after another. That, of course, is what we hope for.

Stay tuned.

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