Ilhan Omar: “Unethical and Unbecoming”

UPDATE July 30, 5:10 p.m. 

In an article from Fox 9, Ilhan Omar, has issued the following statement regarding her violation of House Rule 9.20:

“A number of speaking engagements, including these, were scheduled and confirmed prior to my election, swearing-in, and instruction on Minnesota House rules. In the transition, we didn’t realize that we would need to look back and apply these rules to previously confirmed engagements. It’s regrettable that Rep. Drazkowski didn’t approach me directly with his concern so I could address this oversight. To address this concern, these honoraria will be returned to the institutions through their scholarship funds as soon as possible.”

According to the news release from  Rep. Steve Drazkowski,

“Rep. Omar voted to adopt the Permanent Rules of the Minnesota House – which includes Rule 9.20 – on February 16, 2017, 12 days before her first paid MNSCU speaking engagement.”

This statement by Rep. Drazkowski is in direct conflict with Omar’s statement that she was unaware of the Minnesota House rules prior to her paid speaking engagements.

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Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar (DFL-60B) accepted payments from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) last year, which is a violation of Minnesota House Rules according to Minnesota State Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), who spoke early Monday in a press conference.  Drazkowski calls Omar’s behavior “unethical and unbecoming” of a state representative serving on the Higher Education and Finance Committee.

“It’s clear to me that Representative Omar abused the power of her office and her committee assignment for personal financial gain, which is truly disappointing,” Drazkowski said in a press release.  “Despite being fully aware that accepting these payments violated the rules of the Minnesota House, she not only kept the money but failed to disclose it for as long as she could to avoid an ethics hearing and an endorsement headache.”

Omar, a first term member of the Minnesota House, is currently running for United States Congress to replace Rep. Keith Ellison in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.  Drazkowski said Omar filed her legally required Statement of Economic Interest on June 20, 2018 – which was well after her June 17 congressional endorsement and the filing deadline.  It was after this filing that it was learned Omar accepted more than a dozen honorariums, including two from MNSCU.  Omar was fined the largest fine allowed under law for the late filing of her Statement of Economic Interest and records show that she paid the late filing fees out of her campaign finance funds:

Photo: MN Campaign Finance Board

The information in the late-filed statement revealed that Omar was paid $2,000 to serve as a keynote speaker at Normandale Community College at an event held on February 28, 2017.  On April 19, 2017, Omar was paid $500 to deliver a keynote speech at an Inver Hills Community College event.

Less than two weeks after her appearance at Inver Hills Community College, Omar and State Senator Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley) submitted a joint letter to the House and Senate chairs of the Minnesota Higher Education Finance committees requesting the committee “increase investment in both the Minnesota State and the University Systems.”

Rep. Drazkowski states Omar clearly violated rules that are in place to prevent a house member from receiving payment from an organization that has business before the legislature. Drazkowski referenced Minnesota House Rule 9.20 which states, “Acceptance of an Honorarium by a Member: A member must not accept an honorarium for a service performed for an individual or organization that has a direct interest in the business of the House, including, but not limited to, a registered lobbyist or an organization a lobbyist represents.”  Ironically, Omar voted to adopt the Permanent Rules of the Minnesota House, which includes House Rule 9.20 just 12 days before her first paid speaking engagement at MNSCU.

“Representative Omar’s willingness to accept money from institutions that are dependent on her committee and vote for their funding is the textbook definition of unethical,” Drazkowski said in a statement. “Because of her decision to withhold disclosing this information until after the Legislature adjourned sine die, we are unable to formally file ethics charges against her.” In addition to serving on the Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee, Omar also serves on the Civil Law and Data Practices Policy and State Government Finance committees and is in a house leadership position serving as an assistant minority leader.

Drazkowski stated that if the ethics committee were to find Omar in violation of House Rule 9.20, the end result would be to demand her to return the payments. “With that in mind, Representative Omar needs to return these payments to the MNSCU campuses immediately,” he said.

In addition to MNSCU, Omar has also received honorariums from outside the state of Minnesota including The African Network of Southwest Florida ($800), CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) Arizona ($1,500), CAIR-Chicago ($1,500), CAIR- San Francisco ($2,000), The Muslim Legal Fund of America ($6,000) according to her campaign finance report:

Photo: MN Campaign Finance Board

Further examination of Omar’s Financial Disclosure report shows Midwest Reliable Transportation, LLC – a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) company run by Omar’s “cultural” husband Ahmed Hirsi receiving a total of $18,022 over the past two years from unspecified sources.

Omar has raised eyebrows since entering the Minnesota political arena. She made headlines when Scott Johnson of Powerlineblog.com broke the news that Omar possibly committed immigration and marriage fraud based on a tip he received from the blog Somalispot.  Johnson reported that Omar was “legally” married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a man believed to be her biological brother.  Meanwhile, Omar posed for family photos with Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her children, during her campaign. Hennepin County records showed a marriage license between Omar and Elmi dated February 2009.  There was no license in Hennepin County on record for the marriage between Omar and Hirsi during the time of her campaign for state house, although Omar claimed that Hirsi is her “cultural husband.”  Omar’s attorney Jean Brandl wrote to Johnson on Omar’s behalf stating that Johnson’s questions regarding Omar’s marriage was to prevent Omar from being elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, saying”…there are people who don’t want an East African Muslim woman elected to office and that this is right out of ‘Donald Trump’s playbook.'”

Recently, Omar did divorce Elmi, the man believed to be her brother in 2017 and her divorce attorney according to court records was Carla Kjellberg.  Earlier this month, Drazkowski asked the Campaign Finance Board to look into a $2,250 payment to Kjellberg that was listed on Omar’s 2016 Campaign Finance report:

Once elected into the Minnesota House of Representatives she continued to stir up controversy. Omar voted against a measure that would allow insurance companies to deny payouts to families of terrorists. She was one of only two Minnesota representatives to vote against this measure. Rep. John Lesch (D-St. Paul) was the other no vote.  He justified his vote by saying he was against the bill because it allowed an insurance company – not a court – to decide what constitutes an act of terrorism under the statute and said the bill needed to be more specific to be effective.

In June 2018, Omar filed to run for the seat held by Rep. Keith Ellison, in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district and was endorsed by the DFL later in the month.

With so many unanswered questions regarding her campaign finances, her financial disclosure reports, her marriages and why she would vote to allow insurance companies to pay families of terrorists makes one think if Omar is running for United States Congress to help America or to transform it into her own vision.

The video of the press conference as well as the Deplorable Housewives viewpoint on the matter is attached below.

 

 

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