History between Ilhan Omar and Safari Restaurant goes back years

The relationship between Safari Restaurant in Minneapolis and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s political campaigns date back to 2016. The money flows both ways.

The restaurant and related entities were named in an FBI search warrant made public last month in connection with the alleged Feeding Our Future scandal, which involves money from a federal program to feed low-income children. No one has been arrested or charged.

Alpha News and other outlets have reported on campaign donations received by Omar from figures associated with Safari Restaurant and related companies.

But her relationship with the establishment goes back to the beginning of her political career, and most of the money has flowed to the restaurant.

As a candidate for state representative, Ilhan Omar listed Safari restaurant as a vendor, according to records on file at the state Campaign Finance Board. Records show two events were held at the restaurant, one event in each of the years 2016 and 2017. The relationship continued after she made the jump to the U.S. Congress.

Here is a picture of Omar celebrating her win in the August 2018 Democratic primary at the restaurant. Records at the Federal Election Commission for Omar’s campaign list twelve entries for Safari Restaurant, from 2018 to the most recent one in May 2020. Her federal campaign spent almost $10,000 at the venue over the years, on food, beverage, and space rental, with an additional $1,100 from her statehouse days.

Although she was not in attendance, in the summer of 2021, the restaurant hosted a rally on behalf of Feeding Our Future’s fight against the state Department of Education. Other local politicians were there for the event, however; a video of the proceedings was taken down and is no longer viewable.

One politician who attended, state Sen. Omar Fateh, announced he is returning $11,000 in donations received from individuals related to Safari, directly or indirectly. The Mayor of Minneapolis is another local politician who reportedly accepted cash from Safari-related donors.