Hometown editorial board knocks Ilhan Omar

The editorial board of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hometown newspaper slammed the Minnesota Democrat on Wednesday for “past missteps” and a “series of unforced errors.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board, which said each month “seems to bring a fresh problem,” focused in large part on the recent disclosure that Omar violated state state campaign finance rules.

The board added that what’s “even more disturbing” is that she and her current husband Ahmed Hirsi filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 – when Omar was still married to another man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi.

“It’s against the law in Minnesota to file jointly unless one filer is legally married to the other,” the board wrote. “Last year Omar told the Star Tribune that she had married her partner ‘in her faith,’ and had earlier divorced her first husband ‘in her faith.’ That’s fine for religious purposes. But for tax purposes, only civil marriages qualify.”

“It’s not known whether she benefited materially by filing jointly,” the board added. “That is something that voters, who are obliged to follow tax laws no matter how painful, are entitled to know.”

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board last week ordered Omar to reimburse her former campaign committee almost $3,500 after finding she had used campaign funds for personal travel. The board also ruled that she would have to pay a civil penalty of $500 for using campaign money to travel to Florida.

The newspaper’s editorial board went on to argue that Omar is “no stranger to controversy,” adding that she could have “avoided nearly every infraction by taking simple measures in advance to determine whether her actions would pass legal muster.”

“Omar’s political rise has been marred by a series of unforced errors, including intemperate remarks and tweets earlier this year that were widely perceived as anti-Semitic,” the board wrote, referencing comments Omar made about the U.S.-Israel relationship.

The board highlighted the significance of Omar, a Muslim woman and Somali refugee, being elected to Congress, while adding that “more is expected of her than the symbolism attached to her victory.”

*story by The Hill