Republican attorney general candidate Jim Schultz is requesting an investigation into whether St. Paul city leaders unfairly targeted his campaign in an effort to help incumbent Democrat Keith Ellison.
In a Monday morning letter to St. Paul city attorney Lyndsey Olson, Schultz lawyer Christopher Madel responded to Olson’s cease and desist letter sent the previous Monday, which accused Schultz of violating Minnesota law by running a campaign ad that “[had] the appearance” of claiming an endorsement from the St. Paul Police Department.
Madel’s letter on behalf of Schultz called the accusation “absurd” and Olson’s letter “the sort of political vendetta more worthy of Chicago than Minnesota.” He also requested from the city attorney any documents relating to Attorney General Ellison or referencing Schultz, in accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
“Because it is obvious that your letter is part of some partisan scheme, we have determined it is necessary to investigate this matter further,” he wrote.
Madel’s letter included a screenshot showing Olson’s personal campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) Party and DFL House Caucus in 2017, and examples of activity on her Twitter account supporting Ellison.
“[I]t just so happens that [St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter] and the Attorney General not only share the same political party, but are also friends. Moreover, your personal contribution history miraculously appears to align with the Mayor and the Attorney General,” he wrote.
In a Monday press release, Schultz campaign manager Christine Snell portrayed Olson’s cease and desist letter as a distraction from Ellison’s “increasingly remote” chances of winning reelection.
“Ellison, whose dangerous defund-the-police policies have caused violent crime to skyrocket across our state, has zero endorsements from sheriffs or law enforcement organizations in Minnesota, despite serving as Attorney General for the past four years, and his partners on the far-left are trying to hide that fact,” Snell said.
She added: “It is particularly disturbing that Mayor Carter, who as a key ally of Keith Ellison almost certainly is the party behind this unethical and very possibly illegal use of government resources, and who certainly approved this letter being sent, took part in this. We demand a full investigation into this effort using government resources to keep the public from knowing that Keith Ellison has no support from law enforcement.”
Schultz boasts the endorsements of 37 county sheriffs, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the National Troopers Coalition, and the Ramsey County Deputies’ Federation. According to Monday’s press release, the Republican political newcomer will “announce additional law enforcement endorsements in the coming weeks.”
Alpha News recently reported on audio clips from the late 1980s and early 1990s in which Ellison, then a young lawyer and political activist, attacked Minneapolis police officers as an “occupying force that views the inner city as enemy territory.”