Jonathan Samuel Mark
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My Heartfelt Plea To Al Franken To Run in MN-5

Al, you are a funny man, but this is no joke. Please run against Ilhan Omar in the 2020 MN-5 Democratic primary. (Mark Rain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Dear Al:

Hopefully you have been able to enjoy your time away from politics. You and your wife Fran welcomed your fourth grandchild earlier this year. You can look back on a long career as an actor, comedian, author, and two-term (almost) US Senator. You have accomplished more than most people could in five lifetimes.

But Al, the people in your hometown of St. Louis Park in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District need you. The people in the rest of the 5th district need you. Minnesota needs you. The wandering and lost Democratic Party needs you. America needs you. Your ancestral people the Jews need you. The world needs you.

We need you to come out of your forced retirement and run for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Minnesota’s Fifth District. The Democratic incumbent in that gerrymandered district, Ilhan Omar, is the most divisive figure in the House. In less than a year she has already alienated Jews, Venezuelans, 9/11 survivors, Blackhawk Down veterans, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Democratic congresspersons in swing districts, and millions of ordinary voters.

Omar is also mired in scandal. On July 18, 2019, PolitiFact interviewed Kevin Diaz, the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune’s politics editor. He oversaw an article about claims that Omar had engaged in a sham marriage with her half-brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in order to help Elmi gain permanent legal status in the US. Her continued live-in relationship with both her common-law husband (later also her second legal husband) Ahmed Hirsi and her legal husband Elmi after her so-called marriage to Elmi raises a lot of questions. Diaz criticized Omar’s stonewalling about this matter:

Our public records searches determined that in at least one period after she married Elmi, all three (Omar, Elmi and Hirsi) used the same address in Minnesota. It raises questions about the nature of the relationship if she is living with both the person she’s married to and her eventual husband.

What’s really made it hard is that she’s been unwilling to address any of these questions. That has fueled the controversy. We quoted her at length to say that these were mere accusations, that they were unfair, and that she shouldn’t have to address them. Be that as may, there was an undisputed instance of her filing her taxes improperly. And if you’re in Congress, you should explain that to your constituents.

And then there is Omar’s misuse of campaign funds. Omar paid her personal tax accountants, took a trip to Florida, and engaged in other non-campaign activities and then charged her campaign for it. (“Rep. Omar ordered to reimburse campaign committee after state board finds spending violations”, CNN, June 7, 2019). 

Omar is a two-bit chiseler already. Do you think that she will become more honest the longer she is in office? It rarely works that way.

Defeating an incumbent congressperson in a gerrymandered district is difficult. Only an outstanding candidate can do it. That’s where you come in, Al. 

There is still time for you to step in, defeat Omar, and prevent any further damage to the Democratic Party brand nationally. Most Americans still don’t know enough about Omar to judge her. They are busy living their own lives, and don’t care who represents one district in Minnesota. 

Yet President Trump knows an opportunity when he sees it. He is already positioning Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and AOC (D-NY) to be the face of the Democratic Party in 2020. In an August 20, 2019 tweet, Trump said:

Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!

By the time Trump is done working over Omar and the three other girls in her high school clique everyone will know who she is, and they won’t want to sit with her in the cafeteria.

Why give Trump the advantage of being able to tar the entire Democratic Party with the Ilhan Omar brush? As a successful entertainer you know that one cannot sell the public what it does not want. Who wants Omar? Some voters in solidly blue districts? So? Solidly blue districts are not a majority of the United States. 

Only you can do something about this sad situation, Al. Only you have the name recognition, clout and experience needed to defeat her. As the motivational speaker Stuart Smalley once said, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me.” 

Al, listen to Stuart Smalley. You too are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. They want you back in politics.

Or as it says in the Talmud, “where there are no other men, be thou a man.” No other Democrat, male or female, has the baytzim to run against Omar in 2020.  There are no other “men” besides you in MN-5, Al. It would be nice if there were, but I do not see any. Ron Latz won’t do it. It does not appear that Bobby Joe Champion will do it. As Paula Cole sang, where have all the cowboys gone?

So be thou a man, Al, the way David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir became “men” when they needed to be. They stood up for what they believed in and saved their nation from being thrown into the sea. Omar’s obnoxious incompetence means that you need to do the same before rising sea levels swamp us all while Omar bickers about who did or didn’t allow her to visit a country that she says she boycotts anyway.

And Omar conceitedly calls herself Trump’s “biggest nemesis”? What delusions of grandeur this paskudnyak has. Outside of some all-blue congressional districts Omar is more like Trump’s punching bag. It is no wonder that two Democrats in swing districts, incumbent Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Dan McReady in North Carolina, both refused to accept $2000 contributions from Trump’s supposed “biggest nemesis” Ilhan Omar. How often do politicians refuse contributions from incumbents in their own party?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a far bigger nemesis to Trump than Ilhan Omar will ever be. But Trump primarily attacks Omar and her friends, not Pelosi, and wisely so given Omar’s unpopularity. And if you defeat Omar in the 2020 MN-5 primary then she will be of no further rhetorical use to Trump in the 2020 general election. Omar will be busy marrying her relatives so they can get green cards.

No doubt some of your friends will be mad at you if you run against the incumbent Democrat in the 2020 Fifth District primary. But Al, you’ll make new friends. It’s that important. 

Time has passed since since some of your misguided colleagues pressured you to quit the Senate. They now realize that they made a big mistake. Sen. Gillibrand’s own campaign staff speculates that the reason she has trouble raising funds is that people blame her for forcing you out. Check out “Gillibrand Blames Garbage Fundraising Numbers On Al Franken” in Hot Air earlier this year if you haven’t heard (you probably have).

So here’s the thing, Al. As one door closes another door opens. Sure the Senate door is closed (for now). But the House door opens and beckons you inside.

Al, you’re rested. You’re ready. Your hometown of St. Louis Park is in the Fifth District. So do the right thing and run.

Let’s make the 2020s the “Al Franken Decade” all over again!

About the Author
Jonathan S. Mark is a graduate of Northeastern University and the University of Virginia. He owns and operates, which is dedicated to spreading negative information about Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
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