Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Letter to Progressives: Why Keith Ellison Must Win

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Places » Minnesota Donate to DU
 
dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 02:46 PM
Original message
Letter to Progressives: Why Keith Ellison Must Win
Letter to Progressives: Why Keith Ellison Must Win

Tuesday, September 12, is the big day. On Tuesday, Democrats from CD 5 will pick the replacement for 28-year incumbent Martin Sabo. At this point, the race is too close to call between frontrunners Keith Ellison, Ember Reichgott Junge, and Mike Erlandson.

On this election eve, I want to express why I feel why this primary is so important, why it represents far more than the political futures of just these candidates.

First, Keith is a grassroots candidate. The others are not.

You have seen Keith for years at community meetings and events. He speaks at large peace rallies, has fun at Minneapolis Gay Pride, marches for immigrant rights, and quietly attends vigils for victims of violence. If you have been on the streets or at community meetings, you have seen Keith.

Keith's rivals have their own positive experiences, of course. Reichgott Junge spent a number of years in the Minnesota Senate and had some legislative success. Erlandson has spent much of his adult life working for Martin Sabo and has certainly picked up some knowledge of D.C. shenanigans. These experiences have very little to do with grassroots organizing work, or actually with any lengthy experience in actually listening to people.

How will you feel if you see grassroots candidate Keith Ellison lose the primary to someone with better insider connections or just more money? What could you say about the power of the people in electoral politics?

Second, Keith is the endorsed candidate. The others are not.

This race has been going on for over six months. Citizens participate in the very inclusive endorsing system by going to caucuses and sending representatives on to endorsing conventions. Thirteen candidates participated in speeches, debates, and Q & A sessions in the hope of winning the DFL endorsement. At the CD5 convention, the delegates found a candidate that we could all support and agree on: Keith.

What will the endorsement process mean if a well-financed rival can buy the primary a few months later? Who will then be willing to mobilize at the precinct causes? What sort of persuasion will get citizens to spend their Saturdays at the various district conventions? Why bother, if expensive television ads can replace the role of the citizen-activist in the party?

Third, we must beat back the power of racism and religious sectarianism.

This campaign has been a dirty, Rovian experience. Attacks on Keith's race (African-American) and religion (Muslim) have passed from Keith's rivals to Republican blogs to the pages of the Star Tribune. Keith has endured references to being in the company of "looming but silent black men in dark suits." He has been attacked for not paying parking tickets and for a garage that needed paint.

By lightly coding the racism, it has been possible for some voters to act on racist assumptions without examining them. Two race myths have been used. The false association with the Nation of Islam has allowed some to believe that he might be a Dangerous Black Man. The parking tickets and missed deadlines references allow some to believe that he might merely be an Irresponsible Negro.

The reality, of course, is that Keith is one of the warmest and most personable people you will ever meet, neither dangerous nor lazy. Those who know him best and longest speak with admiration about how he stood up to anti-Semitism and gay-bashing, even at the height of his work with the Million Man March or during him most passionate U of M law school days.

The question for me, however, is whether or not race and religion should be a legitimate factor in Minnesota campaigns in 2006. Aren't we beyond that? Shouldn't we be having at least a few discussions about policy issues concerning war, healthcare, civil liberties, and the environment?

Fourth, we must undermine the power of money.

Reichgott Junge has received large contributions from Republicans and insurance industry executives (while claiming she will reform health care). Erlandson accepts money from defense contractors and Iraq war profiteers (while claiming to be a peace candidate). Keith gets his money from unions, the DFL, and friends. They all get money from law firms and lawyers. You can check the documents at www.fecinfo.com

Who do you want your next U.S. Representative to be answering to?

Fifth, Keith Ellison will broaden the base. The others will not.

Keith's win will give encouragement to Northside residents, who have been beaten down by decades of racism, violence and neglect. Keith's win will encourage electoral participation by his supporters, including Somalis and other immigrants, the peace community, the environment community, and progressive religious community.

Now try to imagine how Mike Erlandson and Ember Reichgott Junge could possibly reach out to underrepresented communities. I can't. Can you?

Last, Keith Ellison is the very best candidate for all progressive issues.

Many of you have seen Keith at your meetings, or heard him talk at your rallies. You know where he stands. Clearly, he will be one of the very strongest advocates in Congress for ending the disastrous war against Iraq, as well as standing up against any new wars that the imperialistic neocons might be planning. Clearly, he will advocate intelligently for education, the environment, GLBT rights and civil liberties. He brings to that work inspiring words, intelligence and thoughtfulness, accurate information, and his own charismatic charm.

Did you know that only two legislators, both Republican, passed more legislation than Keith in the Minnesota House? Many people would consider that body as a hostile work environment for Democrats, but Keith worked very well there. He has an extremely rare combination of passionate convictions and personal warmth, so he is able to take strong moral stands while working with those across the aisle. He has the strength to stand up to the Bush agenda, yet do so with humanity, warmth, and class.

During all the smears against Keith, have you ever heard stories about any angry outbursts or even defensiveness? Keith doesn't storm out of meetings or call his opponents names. He takes passionate positions for justice, yet he doesn't make enemies. Consider the contrast with his rivals in the primary. All the pretty slogans in the world won't get us better policy. All the best insider connections in Washington won't compensate for thin- skinned peevishness and a wounded sense of entitlement.

What we must do.

Vote on Tuesday. If you don't know your polling place, go to http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us / or cal 311 for Minneapolis info. If you've moved and you're not registered, prove your current address by either bringing a state ID with your new address, an old-address state ID with a current utility bill or cell phone bill, or go to the poll with a registered neighbor. (Other methods are found at www.sos.state.mn.us )

Call your friends in the Fifth Congressional District. Remind them that polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm, and that lines are usually short for primaries. Talk to them about how crucial this particular vote is. Call them right away, before you forget.

On Tuesday, greet friends with, "Hi! Did you vote yet?" Suggest to the coffee server or receptionist or clerk to do the same.

This is history. Let's make it.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. you bet
We in the 5th are indeed very lucky to have such a great progressive DFL endorsed candidate. I'm looking forward to casting my vote for Keith tomorrow and making history of which we can be proud.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yep. Sounds like a plan.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R. Keith Ellison is needed in Congress! Let me briefly count the ways:
* He represents progressive values on the war(s), on health care, and on civil and human rights, the environment and education
* He's a fighter for the under-served
* He's a hard worker
* He's served in the Minnesota Legislator and he's ready to bring his energy and knowledge to a higher office
* He would bring representation to people who have not been represented in his district
* He would be the first Muslim elected to Congress, a population that is severely under-represented in this big country of 300 million
* He has gained respect and support from many in the Jewish community here, and a Jewish American newspaper endorsed him in the race
* He is a great person. Someone you'd want as your friend.

:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Spike from MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Get real Kat. No wonder your candidates never win.
I mean, just look at your friggin' list. There are a number of things missing that are absolutely vital for a person to get elected scam their way into office these days. Here's just a few:

* A solid record demonstrating that corporations will retain their stranglehold on our duly-elected representatives.
* Ardent supporter of policies which guarantee the rich will continue to amass wealth at the expense of the poor.
* Ability to fight hard to ensure the will of the people will never be represented.
* Willing to do whatever is necessary to promote oppression and racism.
* Willingness to reach across the aisle and work in a bi-partison fashion in order to better serve corporate interests.
* Proven skills at being a complete lapdog for the DLC. Or the RNC. Or both.

Kat, I think you may want to re-evaluate the candidates you support. Do they have even ONE of the qualities on my list? If not, they might as well hang it up. Face it. They're just not viable candidates. :sarcasm: <---- But only sort of.

OK, I K&R'd it anyway. But just this once. ;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. LOL! You speak the truth
:)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Spike from MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-13-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. Sorry Kat but I just couldn't resist.
You set yourself up for that one. ;) Of course, I get to eat my words (and am more happy to do so) because Ellison won. Yay! But unfortunately, what I wrote in my previous post still holds true all too often.

Of course, Ellison's victory celebration might be short-lived. The real battle may still be ahead of him and the attacks have already started. Before leaving for work today, I flipped on the TV to catch the election results and the GOP is already going after him. They referred to him as an "extremist" and said something to the effect that he was "associated with people like Louis Farrakhan." I didn't quite catch the last part because I was laughing so damn hard at them calling Keith Ellison an "extremist" that I missed it. Bwahahaha!! Yeah, I know. I shouldn't have laughed. I should have gotten angry but damn, that just struck me as being so funny I couldn't help it. Yeah, that Keith Ellison. He's a goddamn extremist alright. Good gawd, the Repugs are already getting desperate and it's only the day after the primary. I can only imagine what other terms they'll try to label him with before this is all over.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'll sure be voting for him, and it will be another one of the
proud votes in my life.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. I do not reside in the 5th, but your second reason would be enough
to turn me off.

Yes, I realize that people in Minnesota do these things differently.

In the rest of the country, candidates speak to the voters, present themselves to the voters, not to party activists.

Most people do not have time and energy to go to caucus night, then to county convention, and then to state convention, and perhaps some more in between.

One reason why so few of us know about candidates, even in other districts, is that once they got the party endorsement, they really do not care about the voters. And if someone dares to disobey the party mandate, wow on him/her. This person is a pariah, a damaged good.

Except, of course, when it is Lourey, I suppose.

Many here said they will vote for Lourey. If you are one of them, then your second point is moot (I am trying to use a "nice" term).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. Proud #5 Here. What a great guy and if you endorse him, I do!!! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. We made the Greatest Page!

Let's keep it there!

:kick:


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mister Ed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-11-06 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
10. Thank you for a thoughtful and well-written post. K&R. eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. Time to Vote!
eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Today is Election Day.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Vote your hopes, not your fears.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Vote for peace, human rights and economic justice.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Vote for Keith Ellison.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cynthia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Well done! 5th district
You voted your hearts, not your fears. Do you think the Karl Rove's will ever get it? People want to hope for something better. They want to dream of a future that is brighter. People want to get behind someone with integrity, who does the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

Hooray for Keith Ellison! Winner of the 5th district primary, he will win in November and represent us in Washington.

The people have spoken.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Demrock6 Donating Member (717 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
17. Today is the day! Go Keith!
I wish I could vote for him. I am going to forward this thread to a friend in the district who was thinking of sitting the primary out.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
18. Today is the day!

Make history!

Courage, Minnesota!



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. If you haven't voted, it's time to vote!


:kick:


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-13-06 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
21. You made it happen!

Congratulations, Minnesota 5th!

Courage, Minnesota!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 16th 2014, 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Places » Minnesota Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC