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Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Ellison says he won't attend Trump's inauguration

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Keith Ellison will not attend the inauguration this week of Donald Trump, saying on Monday he will not “celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”

Ellison made the announcement on Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday and cited that he was standing with Rep. John Lewis in his decision — an African-American civil rights icon who was beaten and jailed in the 1960s fighting for civil rights.

Lewis said last week he didn’t consider Trump a “legitimate president,” which sparked the president-elect to take to Twitter to criticize Lewis, saying he was “talk, talk, talk” and that he should work more on his district which he called in “horrible shape” and “falling apart.” Since Trump’s tweets, more than 15 members of Congress have said they will boycott the Friday festivities in Washington. Lewis and Ellison are both members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“No question I am standing with John Lewis and the millions of people around the country who have been targeted by @realDonaldTrump,” Ellison posted on Twitter. “The time is always right to do what is right. And in the face of so much hate, the right thing to do is reject it.”

The other ten Minnesota Congressional delegation members – three Republicans and seven Democrats – confirmed plans to attend the inauguration, including both Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.

Ellison is vying to be elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee – a purely political and partisan job. He says he will resign his House seat if chosen by members in February. 

Sens. Klobuchar, Franken will say no to AG nominee Sessions

WASHINGTON -- Both Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken said Friday they will not support their Republican colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general.

"His record and views on critical issues of justice including the Violence Against Women Act, immigration, voting rights and freedom of the press have led me to conclude that I cannot support his nomination," Klobuchar said in a statement to the Star Tribune today. "The 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act was supported by the vast majority of senators as well as every Democratic and Republican woman senator ... Sen. Sessions voted against it."

In a statement, Franken said the AG must be committed to protecting "the rights of all Americans, especially those most vulnerable to discrimination."

"I do not think he is the best man for the job. I cannot vote for an attorney general who is not fully committed to equal justice for the LGBT community, minorities, immigrants and women and Sen. Sessions' answers failed to reassure me that he will be an attorney general for all Americans."

Both senators are members of the Judiciary Committee, which held two days of hearings on Sessions' nomination this week.

Because cabinet nominees only require a simple majority to get approval, Franken and Klobuchar's no votes are not likely to affect the outcome since Republicans hold a slight majority in the U.S. Senate.