5th District

Republican red meat in Rochester

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

ROCHESTER – Minnesota’s Republicans held a pep rally at the Mayo Civic Center Thursday night, a full-throated partisan crank-up for this weekend’s state convention.

Barack Obama (more than Hillary Clinton), Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, liberalism and the “Democrat” Party were repeatedly, if predictably, bashed. “Look at what the Democrats
offer us – Barack Obama and Al Franken are the most radical extremists this country has ever seen,” said state GOP chairman Ron Carey, decrying their “left-wing values.”

Surveying the conventional wisdom writings of what he called “the pundits” who have predicted a “slaughter” of Republicans in November, Carey predicted that “the joke’s gonna be on these folks.”

The party trotted out a couple of its congressional candidates who are facing decidedly uphill battles in deeoly blue districts come November and gave them a few minutes in the spotlight.

Ed Matthews, who is trying to take down Rep.Betty McCollum in a district that has been held by Democrats for 60 years, mentioned “change” in Washington almost as incessantly as Obama has. He said his platform is grounded on God, the U.S. Constitution and the Republican Party’s platform.

Barbara Davis-White, who is trying to knock off first-term Rep. Keith Ellison in the deeply blue Fifth Congressional District, called him “a liberal.”

“BOOOOOOOOOO,” the crowd replied.

“We cannot let our country die under the influence of Democrats and socialism,” she said, adding that Ellison is “a man who’s threatening our national security.”

Sen. Norm Coleman, whose endorsement for a second term is expected to be the centerpiece of the convention, made a brief, surprise, appearance when he introduced Sen. Tom Colburn, who gave the keynote address of the night. “Six more years,” members of the crowd roared.

“You are what defends liberty,” Colburn told the Republicans, saying the party can “regain our footing” if the party keeps its focus on Islamic radical terrorism and the federal government’s deficit spending. “There’s a culture in Washington that kicks the can down the road,” Colburn said. “It’s time that stops.”

Officially, the convention kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday.

Staff writer Nina Petersen-Perlman on Ellison’s food-stamp challenge

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison announced today he will spend $21, the national average for food stamp benefits, on food for the rest ofellison.jpg the week as a part of the “There Shall Be No Needy Among You” campaign.

The Democrat is joining with Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, to back the campaign, which is part of a yearlong effort to raise awareness on poverty issues. It also corresponds with both the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, said in a statement that he could think of no better way to celebrate the month-long holiday. “To do so with my brethren in the Jewish Community is especially fitting because it underscores poverty does not discriminate; it knows no age or gender; no religion or race.”

Goals for the “Food Stamp Challenge” include raising the minimum food stamp benefit, fully restoring food stamp access to all legal immigrants and allowing households to deduct childcare expenses and exclude military pay when determining eligibility, according to the release.

In Minnesota 264,000 people receive food stamps, and 200,000 more are eligible to receive them.


Ellison says Nazi analogy ‘probably inappropriate’

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

In this Star Tribune story by Washington reporter Jake Sherman, and in an Associated Press report cited here by CBS News, Rep. Keith Ellison is backing away from his comparison of 9/11 and the Nazi-era Reichstag fire.ellison.jpg

Big Question commenters by and large seem to have endorsed a two-part rule for Nazi analogies proposed here in a recent post.

Questions: With his latest statements, is Ellison now in compliance with the Big Question rule? Either way, should the matter be considered closed?

A note on the Ellison story

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Some readers may have noticed the disappearance of a brief post concerning whether Rep. Keith Ellison would appear on various broadcast and cable news shows. There was some miscommunication between a Star Tribune reporter and a spokesman for Ellison.

As it’s unclear now which programs have invited Ellison on and what he has decided, we thought it best to remove the post. Sorry for any confusion.

Ellison’s ‘Reichstag’, 9/11 controversy to hit the cable big time

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Rep. Keith Ellison’s latest controversy is going national.

In aellison.jpg Star Tribune article Monday, reporter Mike Kaszuba described Ellison’s appearance before a local atheists’ group. Most provocatively, Ellison told his audience that the 9/11 terrorist attacks seem to him “almost like the Reichstag fire”… in that “it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”

Columnist Katherine Kersten gave Ellison the once over for that and other parts of his remarks in today’s paper.

There’s more attention on the way. Kaszuba has been informed that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will air an extended segment on the controversy today at 3 p.m., to be repeated at 6 p.m.

Fox’s Bill O’Reilly is also said to be preparing a segment.

No word yet on whether Ellison will appear in either place. One reason he might want to would be to clarify a point that he addressed in his interview with Kersten.

Kersten reports that Ellison told her plainly that he does not believe 9/11 was a U.S. government plot. He made a rather more indirect statement when asked about this at the atheists’ meeting. He said: “The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.”

That leaves at least some room to wonder whether he’s holding back what he really thinks for fear of being dismissed.

Ellison may be better served by saying what he believes on this matter in no uncertain terms.

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