Keith Ellison’s past decade-long support for Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, his suggestion of dual loyalty from American Jews when speaking at a fundraiser for Muslim leaders, and his cozy relationship with some of the worst pro-BDS, anti-Israel groups, has disrupted what seemed like a clear trajectory to Chair of the Democratic Party.

The Nation of Islam is calling BS on Ellison’s claim he wasn’t a big supporter of Farrakhan. The Chicago Tribune reports:

But Ellison’s status as the front-runner last week came under threat after CNN revived articles Ellison wrote in praise of Farrakhan while Ellison was a grad student — 20 years ago — and found footage of him appearing to criticize Israel. That prompted Hillary Clinton‘s biggest donor, Haim Saban, to on Friday call Ellison an “anti-Semite.”

And on Wednesday, an editorial published in the Nation of Islam’s house organ, The Final Call quotes at length from articles Ellison wrote in the 1990s in which he praised Farrakhan as “a sincere, tireless and uncompromising advocate of the Black community and other oppressed peoples in America and around the world” and wrote that Farrakhan “is not an anti-Semite.”

Illustrated with a photo of what the Final Call says is Ellison hawking copies of the Nation’s paper while at the University of Minnesota, the editorial by editor Richard B. Muhammad noted that Ellison went by the last name Ellison-Muhammad at the time and had helped organize a Minnesota delegation to Farrakhan’s Million Man March.

“If Mr. Ellison once believed those things about the Minister and changed his mind, that’s his business,” Muhammad wrote. “We will leave Allah (God) to judge and handle the hypocrites.”

http://politics.mn/2006/09/29/mde-exclusive-picture-of-ellison-distributing-nation-of-islam-newspaper-in-1998/

For *some reason* people who care about maintining a viable Democratic Party are questioning whether Ellison, already one of the most radical left-wing members of Congress, might prevent any serious effort to prevent Democrats from becoming a coastal party.

There has been a furious reactionary effort by Ellison supporters to accuse those exposing Ellison’s past as engaging in a “smear campaign”:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=keith+ellison&oq=keith+ellison&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j0l9j43i53.229751.231488.0.231935.13.7.0.6.6.0.125.532.6j1.7.0...0.0...1ac.1.LPsA8Dl5nvM#hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&q=keith+ellison+smear+campaign&tbm=nws

Even Lee Fang, who ran a REAL SMEAR CAMPAIGN against the Koch Brothers when he was at Think Progress, is getting in on the act:

Israel-hater extraordinaire Max Blumenthal also is upset with the attacks on Ellison, which he considers part of an international Zionist conspiracy, which tells you everything you need to know:

Ellison did just pick up an endorsement from the AFL-CIO, but there are efforts by a certain power couple to stymie Ellison’s bid.

The Hill reports, Pressure grows on Perez to enter DNC race (emphasis added):

Calls are growing for Labor Secretary Tom Perez to enter the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Perez has several close allies among the state Democratic chairmen who are privately urging him to run for party leader, along with support from parts of the labor movement.

Some leaders in the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, are furious about the group’s early endorsement of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) for DNC chairman and are looking to Perez for an alternative.

Perez is believed to be weighing other career options, including a run for governor in his home state of Maryland in 2018. His decision on the DNC race is expected soon.

Two sources close to Perez told The Hill that President Obama and Vice President Biden have privately encouraged Perez to seek the position. Obama and Perez are expected to meet in person next week, the sources said.

“As the President has said, Democrats have many important decisions to make and some soul searching to do — and that includes selecting the next leader of the Democratic Party,” a White House official told The Hill.

“It is important that that the next chair of the party takes office not just with the president’s support, but with the support of Democrats across the country.”

The Associated Press has a similar report:

While White House aides say that Obama is unlikely to publicly comment on the race, behind the scenes his backers have been speaking with Democratic donors and potential candidates to see who else might be persuaded to run, according to several Democrats familiar with the discussions. These Democrats were not authorized to publicly discuss those private discussions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

High on the White House’s list of preferred candidates is Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who’s weighing whether to run for the party job or for Maryland governor, said the Democrats. A vocal contingent is pushing for a Latino leader at the DNC, arguing that the growing demographic group is crucial to the party’s future and should be represented at the highest levels.

Looks like Obama is trying to throw Ellison under the bus to save the bus.