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Amy Klobuchar passed on prosecuting Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis cop in George Floyd death

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is in the running to be presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden’s running mate, found herself under fire Thursday for not prosecuting years ago a Minneapolis police officer who this week was videotaped kneeling on the neck of an African-American suspect who died in custody. The attention on Ms.…

Amy Klobuchar passed on prosecuting Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis cop in George Floyd death

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is in the running to be presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden’s running mate, found herself under fire Thursday for not prosecuting years ago a Minneapolis police officer who this week was videotaped kneeling on the neck of an African-American suspect who died in custody.

The attention on Ms. Klobuchar’s tenure as Hennepin County attorney, which had posed problems for her during her presidential bid, comes at a time when she is one of several women under consideration by Mr. Biden’s campaign as a possible vice presidential candidate.

The issue Thursday largely revolved around former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the cop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck in the infamous video who, with three other officers, was immediately dismissed from the force when the video surfaced.

During the eight years she was a Minnesota prosecutor, prior to winning her Senate seat, Ms. Klobuchar passed on opportunities to prosecute Mr. Chauvin and several other officers accused of dubious conduct, according to reports in The Guardian newspaper and left-wing outlets such as The Daily Kos and the Young Turks.

Mr. Chauvin had 10 complaints filed against him during his nearly 20-year career in Minneapolis, according to an archive kept by a private group, Minneapolis’ Communities United Against Police Brutality.

In one incident, Mr. Chauvin was involved in a fatal shooting of a stabbing suspect in October 2006 when Ms. Klobuchar functioned as Minneapolis’ district attorney. Ms. Klobuchar was elected to the Senate the next month. The grand jury in 2008 declined to indict Mr. Chauvin, the Guardian reported.

In 2011, when Ms. Klobuchar no longer held that post, Mr. Chauvin was involved in an even more high-profile shooting of a Native American. He was placed on administrative leave but was reinstated to the force when no formal charges were brought.

During her presidential campaign, some liberal activists criticized Ms. Klobuchar for a pattern of ignoring police misconduct during her tenure as county attorney. She was accused of aggressively pursuing all manner of lesser crimes while giving law enforcement officials a pass for allegedly more egregious conduct.

Mr. Biden has said he would select a woman for his 2020 ticket, and Ms. Klobuchar is reportedly one of the people going through the vetting process as a potential running mate.

Left-wing sources adamantly opposed that selection Thursday.

“Klobuchar has been called out for her actions as chief prosecutor before,” read a post at the Daily Kos. “But this latest story has to make absolute poison. Now way can Biden pick her now. Nor put her in his cabinet.”

Ms. Klobuchar joined several members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation in a letter May 26 to U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman that “called for accountability for George Floyd’s death,” according to their press release.

But critics said her statement was a milquetoast one that failed to adequately convey outrage over the incident.

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Amy Klobuchar drops out of Joe Biden VP sweepstakes

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday evening that she will not be Joseph R. Biden’s vice-presidential nominee. In an interview on MSNBC, the white Minnesota Democrat said she thinks Mr. Biden should pick a minority woman for the No. 2 slot on the party’s ticket. “I think this is a moment to put a woman of…

Amy Klobuchar drops out of Joe Biden VP sweepstakes

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday evening that she will not be Joseph R. Biden’s vice-presidential nominee.

In an interview on MSNBC, the white Minnesota Democrat said she thinks Mr. Biden should pick a minority woman for the No. 2 slot on the party’s ticket.

“I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,” she said. “I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,” she said. “And there are so many incredibly qualified women.”

Amy Klobuchar withdrawing her name from consideration to be Joe Biden’s vice presidential choice, saying “I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.” pic.twitter.com/DaLOoAAFhU
— Hiba Nasr (@HibaNasr) June 19, 2020

She cited the unrest over police brutality and racism, which grew out of a Minneapolis police killing, as a reason to do this.

“This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment,” she said. Picking a woman of color would be “a helluva way” to “heal this nation,” Ms. Klobuchar concluded.

In the interview, Ms. Klobuchar, who earlier had agreed to submit to the vice-presidential vetting process, said she told Mr. Biden of her decision to pull out Wednesday evening.

Mr. Biden promised months ago that his vice-presidential pick, should he be nominated, would be a woman, and the Democrats’ progressive base has become increasingly insistent it also should be a non-white woman.

That base is also suspicious of Ms. Klobuchar for reasons besides her being white. Her unsuccessful presidential bid mostly saw her run in the moderate lane, forthrightly opposing Medicare for All, for example.

She also was a prosecutor in Minnesota earlier in his career and progressives criticized her record of (supposedly not) pursuing police brutality cases, a charge that has become particularly acute in the weeks since a Minneapolis police officer with brutality complaints already lodged against him killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck.

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Klobuchar bows out of US Democratic race, will endorse Biden

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar ended her Democratic presidential campaign on Monday and will reportedly endorse rival Joe Biden in an effort to unify moderate voters behind the former vice president’s White House bid. She is flying to Dallas and plans to join Biden at his rally on Monday night. Pete Buttigieg, who withdrew from the…

Klobuchar bows out of US Democratic race, will endorse Biden

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar ended her Democratic presidential campaign on Monday and will reportedly endorse rival Joe Biden in an effort to unify moderate voters behind the former vice president’s White House bid.
She is flying to Dallas and plans to join Biden at his rally on Monday night. Pete Buttigieg, who withdrew from the race over the weekend, will also reportedly attend the rally and endorse Biden as well.
Klobuchar outlasted several better-known and better-funded Democrats, thanks to a better-than-expected third-place finish in New Hampshire. But she could not turn that into success elsewhere, as she struggled to build out a campaign that could compete across the country and had poor showings in subsequent contests.
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The three-term senator had one of this cycle’s more memorable campaign launches, standing outside in a Minnesota snowstorm last February to tout her “grit” and Midwestern sensibilities. Klobuchar argued that her record of getting things done in Washington, DC, and winning even in Republican parts of her state would help her win traditionally Democratic heartland states like Wisconsin and Michigan that flipped in 2016 to give Donald Trump the presidency.
She was hoping to own the moderate lane of a Democratic field that grew to some two dozen candidates. But that got much tougher when Biden joined the race in April, starting as a frontrunner and remaining there until Bernie Sanders started winning the early contests. Klobuchar also was quickly overshadowed by Pete Buttigieg, a fellow Midwesterner who shot from being the largely unknown mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to a top contender on a mix of intelligence, strong oratory and youthful optimism.
Buttigieg dropped out on Sunday, saying he no longer had a viable path to the nomination.
Low name recognition
Klobuchar entered the race with low name recognition compared with many of her rivals, a disadvantage she was still citing a year into her campaign. Outside Minnesota, the lawyer and former prosecutor was best known for her questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Even before she got into the race, Klobuchar was hit with news stories claiming she mistreated her Senate staff, and she had a higher-than-usual turnover rate in her office. Klobuchar said she is a “tough boss” but countered that she has several longtime employees, including the manager of her presidential campaign.
She also faced questions over her prosecutor past. In January, The Associated Press news agency published a story about Klobuchar’s office in Minneapolis having prosecuted the case of a black teenager accused of the 2002 shooting death of an 11-year-old girl. Klobuchar has cited the story to show her toughness on crime. But an AP/APM Reports investigation uncovered new evidence and myriad inconsistencies, raising questions about whether Myon Burrell was railroaded by police. The issue followed Klobuchar on the campaign trail, with protesters forcing her to cancel a rally in suburban Minneapolis days before Super Tuesday.
Klobuchar campaigned on her productivity in Washington, where she led more than 100 bills that were signed into law. And she criticized the more liberal candidates in the field, Senators Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, for running on promises she said they could not keep.
Rather than advocate for Medicare for All, for example, Klobuchar favored expanding the Affordable Care Act and working to reduce prescription drug costs – changes she said had a chance of passing and would make a significant impact. She supported making community colleges free but said she wouldn’t promise to do the same for four-year colleges and universities because the US cannot afford it.
“I’ve got to tell the truth,” she said during a CNN town hall at a college campus, where she acknowledged her position may be unpopular with younger voters.
Fundraising shortfalls
Klobuchar was one of the first candidates to outline a plan for addressing addiction and mental health, an issue she described as personal because of her father’s longtime struggle. Her accounts of growing up with a father suffering from alcoholism and watching him be forced to choose between prison or treatment were some of the most compelling moments of speeches, interviews and discussions with voters. Klobuchar said that her father described getting help as being “pursued by grace” and that it’s an opportunity all people fighting addiction deserve.
But Klobuchar couldn’t match her top competitors in fundraising. She raised about $11m in the last quarter of 2019 – roughly half of what Sanders and Buttigieg received. The lack of finances early on in the campaign meant Klobuchar was not able to expand her operation on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire until months after her rivals. She then scrambled to put an operation in place in Nevada, South Carolina and the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday.
Still, there were bright spots, including strong debate performances that helped bring in new donors. Her campaign credited Klobuchar’s showing in a debate days before the New Hampshire primary with helping her clinch a better-than-expected third place in the state’s primary, topping Warren and Biden. Klobuchar said she raised $12m in the next week.
During one debate she addressed sexism in the campaign, questioning whether a woman with Buttigieg’s experience would qualify for the stage. She also pushed back at fears of a female candidacy, saying, “If you think a woman can’t beat Donald Trump, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi does it every day.”
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Klobuchar, Buttigieg join other 2020 Democrats in skipping AIPAC

Democratic US presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg announced this week that they will not attend the annual America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference next week. They join presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have also said they will skip the annual meeting in Washington, DC.  Officials from the Buttigieg and…

Klobuchar, Buttigieg join other 2020 Democrats in skipping AIPAC

Democratic US presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg announced this week that they will not attend the annual America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference next week.
They join presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have also said they will skip the annual meeting in Washington, DC. 
Officials from the Buttigieg and Klobuchar campaigns said the conference, normally attended by a bipartisan array of US political figures, overlaps too closely with the critical Super Tuesday primary on March 3. This year’s AIPAC event will be held from March 1-3 in Washington, DC.
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The AIPAC event is an annual gathering of pro-Israel leaders and personalities intended to highlight ways to strengthen US-Israeli ties and show support for the state of Israel. For years, it has been a must-attend for aspiring politicians from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
The progressive wing of the Democratic slate, Sanders and Elizabeth, earlier said they would skip the conference amid liberal concerns about AIPAC’s unwavering alignment with the conservative Israeli government. Sanders tweeted during the weekend that he is “concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”

The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference. 1/2
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 23, 2020

In response, a group of 300 US rabbis called Sanders’s comments “outrageous” in an open letter to the Vermont senator. “AIPAC is one of the last remaining vehicles in American politics that proactively seeks to bring Americans from across the political spectrum together to achieve a common goal,” the letter stated.
Pressure not to attend came from liberal advocacy groups such as MoveOn and IfNotNow, who accuse organisers of the event of employing “anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric”. By not attending, the groups said, the Democratic candidates can demonstrate their progressive bona fides.
In a tweet on Thursday, IfNotNow praised the candidates’ decision as a “historic moment”.
“In recent memory, there hasn’t been an election year with the majority of Democratic presidential candidates skipping the AIPAC conference,” the group said. “Until now.” 
Earlier this week, activists protested outside of former Vice President Joe Biden’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, campaign offices to demand he, too, skip the conference. Biden has previously rejected calls to boycott the meeting, saying he would be there to “convince them to change their position”. His campaign has not publicly confirmed his attendance.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is the sole Democratic presidential hopeful scheduled to address this year’s conference.
A number of prominent Democrats, however, are still on the schedule, among them Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus and one of the House managers in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. A number of Republicans will also be attending, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Last year’s AIPAC conference also got the cold shoulder from Democratic candidates. Warren, Sanders, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and senators Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand all skipped the 2019 gathering.
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