Basim Sabri, man behind pro-Abdi Warsame fliers, says he prefers Hitler to Lilligren

WarsameLilligren.jpg
Warsame (left) easily defeated the incumbent Lilligren and will become the first Somali on the City Council.
Yesterday, a political action committee associated with Basim Sabri, a controversial developer who has a longstanding beef with Minneapolis City Council member Robert Lilligren, covered the Sixth Ward with fliers smearing Lilligren and urging voters to cast their ballots for Abdi Warsame.

RELATED: Robert Lilligren's campaign accuses Somali challenger of using homophobic tactics

Hours later, it became clear that Warsame had comfortably defeated Lilligren, thereby becoming the first Somali to win election to the City Council (Lilligren, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe who was first elected in 2001, is the council's first Native American).

Warsame won nearly two-thirds of first-choice votes, compared to just shy of one-third for Lilligren. With a margin that substantial, Warsame was probably headed toward victory even without the last-minute boost from Sabri. Nonetheless, the fliers and Sabri's over-the-top dislike for Lilligren caused quite a stir.

Asked about the fliers by the Star Tribune yesterday, Sabri offered up this response: "Anybody who ran against Lilligren would get my support ... If Hitler ran against Lilligren, I personally will support him."

As you'd imagine in light of comments like that, Warsame is trying to distance himself from Sabri. After we covered the flier fiasco yesterday, Warsame's campaign sent an email with the subject "disgusting campaign tactics." Here's what it says:
It has come to our attention that Basim Sabri and his political action committee, on their own volition, have distributed pamphlets concerning today's election. We firmly denounce these tactics and affirm that the "Vote Warsame for Ward 6" campaign had nothing to do with it. We condemn the pamphlet and we are appalled that Abdi Warsame's name was used on it.

"Vote Warsame For Ward 6" campaign has always run a clean campaign, and the actions of Basim Sabri and his political action committee are disgusting.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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14 comments
mattmn
mattmn

Basim Sabri is one of the biggest slim balls ever to walk the earth.  I moved out of my house and neighborhood because of his threats and harassment .. HE HATES GAY PEOPLE.. HE IS A DOUCHEBAG SLUMLORD USEING THE SOMALI COMMUNITY TO HIS ADVANTAGE..  this has nothing to do with racism.. THIS MAN IS PURE EVIL!!

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

My wife had a job in a restaurant Basim Sabri owned, about 25 years ago.  She quit after about a month because he was such an outrageous scam.  She's laughing her head off right now that he was the one smearing Lilliigren. Not out of any spite toward Lilligren but because in her estimation, that is exactly the kind of scummy thing Basim would do.  As for Lilligren, he was doomed by last year's redistricting.  His personal issues, whether or not they were in the past, didn't help him any either.

Tracy Eberly
Tracy Eberly

The citizens of Minneapolis get the govt that they deserve. I live in Mpls. and I know my neighbors. Robert played the gay and Indian cards to get in and it is fitting that the Muslim card is being played to beat him.

Tracy Wahl
Tracy Wahl

Look Mark! Basshole is at it again!

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

learning the key American values of dishonesty and cheating..

j.reiter
j.reiter

Holy-moley!!  Where are the racism police on this one?  (MichelleBachmann / DigitalProtocal)  I am surprised the tops of your heads are not blowing off in response to such a horrendiously racist and anti-semetic statement.

And Rupar, where is your outrage? Does it only present itself when Republicans or those nasty white people are accused of Racism? Only a couple of days ago you nearly lost it in explaining the transgression the Chisago Repubs committed.  Maybe now that Citypages has a real reporter (Jason Derusha) you can ask for a little mentorship and learn how to be a real reporter.

Audrey Johnson
Audrey Johnson

Basim Sabri is a convicted felon who has done time. To have his support is not a good thing he is a thug and a criminal. Good luck all you newbies, do you remember Brian Herron? Sabri uses people and has no concern but to get his way. And why are you giving this scumbag any print City Pages? Really?

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Ha Ha, one Tax and Spend Liberal for another Tax and spend lib. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

@swmnguy Yup.  Redistricting really did him in.  The DFL engine really threw him under the bus when they allowed the redistricing commission to change his ward as much as they did.  

Anonymous
Anonymous

@Audrey Johnson Sabri hates Lilligren because Lilligren tried to put the breaks on Sabri's many and on-going illegal development efforts in the 6th ward.  

Now that Lilligren's out of the way and Sabri "helped" Warsame, don't you think Sabri expects to be paid back with less scrutiny and an fast-track through city planning and zoning departments?  

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