Minnesota Democrats aren’t on the same page around what’s unfolding in the Middle East. A DFL state senator, Ron Latz of St. Louis Park, attracted sharp criticism yesterday over his remarks on Palestinian youth during a press conference about what has transpired in Israel. Latz, who is Jewish, spoke at length and in graphic terms about ways he says certain Palestinian youth have been taught to target Jewish people with violence. Thirteen of his DFL colleagues released a joint statement
Thursday calling the comments dehumanizing, inflammatory and unbecoming of an elected official. If this dispute or others like it linger, a party fracture could have political implications heading into the 2024 election. DFL Party Chair Ken Martin issued a statement urging politicians to tamp down rhetoric and “avoid applying broad generalizations to entire groups of people.”
Sen. Latz also exchanged testy emails recently with another DFL senator, Omar Fateh of Minneapolis. The Minnesota Reformer captured the terse exchanges between the colleagues, which was also over turbulence in Israel and Gaza since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that killed hundreds. If internal emails between senators are getting out, you know things are tense.
Republicans have their own issues to deal with, including a major showdown coming to a head in Washington as soon as today. It’s judgment day for U.S. Rep. George Santos, who has been dogged by allegations he misspent campaign funds and lied about his background when running for Congress last year. He faces an expulsion vote, with his fate resting on how many of his fellow Republicans vote to boot him from office. It takes a two-thirds majority for removal. The AP explains that
only five House members have been expelled in history. Santos warned he could sue.
Fresh polling data is out from MinnPost. Potential constitutional amendments around reproduction rights and equality enjoy majority support in the poll. The same survey shows a possible rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in next year’s presidential race could be tight in Minnesota. MinnPost teamed with Embold Research for the survey, which uses
a newer methodology than live-interview polls. Read the results here. MinnPost says it’ll have more stories over the coming week.
Federal Judge Wilhelmina Wright is ready to retire. The U.S. District Court judge was the first Black woman to serve as a federal judge in Minnesota. She was appointed by former President Barack Obama. She will retire in February. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor has the details.
A $500 million planned renovation of the Minnesota State Office Building, commonly called the SOB, is about to start. KSTP-TV says the project begins next week. Site preparation just to the north of the building. The tunnel between the SOB and the Capitol will also shut down. We’ve reported here on other major Capitol campus changes afoot.