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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/9/17

Honorable Keith Ellison: Please Run for Minnesota's United States Senate seat! (Gov. Dayton could appoint you as well)

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Keith Ellison official portrait
Keith Ellison official portrait
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Congress of the United States, Author: Congress of the United States)
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Who better to be Minnesota's next US Senator? Keith Ellison is my own personal choice, and probably this is the first article nationwide to suggest this directly. Read his positions on a variety of issues, and remember that Bernie Sanders wanted him to the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. We have seen and heard Keith in action, and we think he would make a great US Senator. Will Minnesota agree? The Governor could also appoint him, rather than a mere "caretaker" to fill in until the November 18 election.

I would like to see Representative Keith Ellison run in the November 2018 election for the soon-to-be vacant Minnesota Senate seat formerly held by Al Franken. Certainly, the most likely caretaker Senate choice to serve out Franken's term after being appointed by Governor Mark Dayton will be Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, a longtime associate of Mr. Dayton's, but on a more permanent and stronger note, Governor Dayton could appoint Keith, rather than appoint a "caretaker."

To quote Janet Hook's excellent recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

"If a caretaker were named to the post, that would turn the special election into a wide-open contest in an already busy year in Minnesota politics. Because Mr. Dayton isn't running for re-election in 2018, the open governor's seat has attracted a phalanx of candidates in both parties. The state's other senator, Amy Klobuchar, is also on the ballot, although she is considered a safe bet for re-election. Other Democrats considered possible appointees are Attorney General Lori Swanson, and members of the House delegation including Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison."

Republicans are approaching the 2018 midterms with some strong advantages. They have only 8 seats to defend, while Democrats must defend 26 seats, and ten of those are states that voted for Trump. Common knowledge of the GOP is that they are targeting Missouri and Indiana as winnable.

It is clear that the GOP will go all out to win back this usually Democratic seat, and many possible candidates are all in play. In the 2008 election, Franken won by just 312 votes, before easily winning his re-election in 2014. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report is initially rating the 2018 race a tossup, at least until the field of candidates takes shape and becomes more defined.

However, clearly many of the daily actions taken by Trump plus his Tweets harm the GOP for the midterms. The Alabama Senate election could prove me entirely wrong, or, if not outright wrong, prove that I am merely some kind of idealistic skeptic listening to different drum beats than those coming over Fox News (no relation whatsoever, by the way....)

Mr. Trump's newly low approval ratings and hostile reception nationwide for the GOP health-care and tax efforts have sparked many Democratic faithful's hopes for picking up new Senate states in Arizona and Nevada. Just last week, Democratic Ex-Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, became a very strong candidate for that Senate race.

We have all been gnashing out teeth about Alabama, and the UK's Economist had the final word I think in terms of prognostication and polls until this coming Tuesday: there are just too many variables to come close to making anything resembling a good prediction.


This article is about Keith Ellison, however. We all know he was Bernie's choice to head the DNC, but that didn't happen for lots of hidden and a few transparent forces working against that. He has an important position as a kind of Deputy DNC Chairman under Tom Perez and has been doing vital work on the stump, as of course so has Bernie Sanders, in his travels to Rust Belt states to explain the grim realities and the many egregious short comings of the so-called Tax Reform.

Who, then, is Keith Ellison? After law school, Ellison worked for three years as a litigator specializing in civil rights, employment, and criminal defense law, then became director of the nonprofit Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, which specializes in the defense of indigent clients. After leaving the Legal Rights Center, Ellison entered private practice Ellison has been involved in community service. He served as the unpaid host of a public affairs talk program at KMOJ radio, and has volunteered as a track coach for several organizations, working with youth between the ages of five and 18. He said, "It's a great community-building device because it's for all ages and all genders. Everyone can find a way to fit in."

From his Congressional Website, we learn his position on some key issues:

A. It's Time to Make College Debt-Free~~~No student should be punished for investing in her future, which is why debt-free college is such an important idea.

B. We The Podcast by Rep. Keith Ellison~~~how people outside of the billionaire and millionaire class engage the economy.

C. Don't Block Remittances to Somalia~~~Rep. Ellison wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on why we must make it easier for Somali-Americans to send money home.

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)

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