U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison offered a public apology Thursday after calling his opponent "a lowlife scumbag" during a contentious radio debate in which the Fifth Congressional District candidates traded insults and accusations.
During the debate on KFAI-FM, sparks flew when Chris Fields accused Ellison of paying a Washington, D.C.-based political research firm to dig up dirt on Fields, whose ex-wife filed for a restraining order against him in 2006 when they lived together in Southern California. Fields has since remarried.
Ellison called Fields stupid for discussing the domestic dispute, then denied that he had anything to do with the release of information.
"You're a scumbag," Ellison told Fields. "You're a lowlife scumbag."
Said twice, for emphasis.
It shouldn't be surprising for anyone who has followed Ellison's career that he would say something intemperate -- he's often an intemperate fellow. This is kinda dumb, though -- the 5th CD is so DFL-heavy that just about any politician with a pulse and the letter "DFL" after his/her name would win the election. Given the number of ambitious pols in the 5th, it's kinda surprising that Ellison is still the standard-bearer there, just as it is that Betty McCollum continues to be the DFL pick in the neighboring 4th. These are two of the least impressive people in Congress and yet they are nearly impossible to move.