Monday, June 4, 2012

Keith Ellison at the 2102 DFl Minnesota State Convention

Keith Ellison was one of the speakers Saturday morning at the Jun2, 2102 DFl Minnesota State Convention.  He spoke of his view of Voter ID. Labeling it an "ugly stain".  He also spoke of what he called a "Republican austerity program", apparently blaming it for the latest job numbers.

Ken Martin introduced Keith Ellison:
It is now my pleasure to introduce a true progressive.  Keith Ellison is passionate about helping Minnesota  communities work together toward solutions to the problems they face. He is working toward a nation of opportunity and fairness where everybody counts and everybody matters. Keith believes in creating a stronger America, which means building a stronger economic future for working Minnesotans.  He is working for an America where all men are created equal regardless of their race, gender or who they love.  He is committed to creating an electoral system free of corrupting the taint of big money .. corporate money, where  politicians are beholding to their constituents, not their corporate contributors.  Keith's vision of America is one that all who value equality and fairness should share. The chair of the congressional progressive caucus, and a champion for all, please join me in welcoming the Congressman from the 5th Congressional District, Congressman Keith Ellison. 

Keith Ellison:
Thank you Ken. Hey everybody.  How you doing DFL.  How is the DFL today.  Thats good. Cause we got to be all fired up and ready to go. We have a big challenge in front of us right now.  And when I think of the challenge that we have. it is a challenge, its simply a challenge between those of us who embrace community and those who say that you are on your own.  Those of us who believe that our government has a responsibility to make the rules fair, promote equality, and protect us.  And those who believe that you know is all about giving as much money as you can to wealthy and taking as much as you can from the poor. We gotta be in the middle of a divide and we've gotta stand there and call for the American Dream for everyone in this state and in this country. We've gotta stand for the American Dream.  Now one element of the American Dream, one element of the American Dream is the right to vote. The right to vote. You know when this country was founded, it was not enough, it was not enough to be a white male to vote. You had to be Protestant and you had to own property.  But then there was a revolution. And the Jacksonian revolution came, and then being a white male was good enough to vote. But then we had the civil war, and we defeated the Confederacy, and we said that men could vote. And then women said, wait a minute, what about us, and women won the right to vote in 1920.  And then, and then we had some trouble again with the right to vote and so the civil right movement , fought and fought and fought for the right to vote and we got rid of the poll tax, we passed the 1965 voting rights act. And then, young people, young people, give a hand for young people .. young people said look if your gonna send me off to Viet Nam and tell me that I can carry a gun and get shot, but I can't vote, that's bogus. And the 18 year olds won the right to vote. And so if you look at, if you look at America, our great country, we have seen an expanding an expanding right to vote we have been increasing the right for people to participate and to chose their government. And so today this voter id bill is a ugly stain on our trajectory on our right to vote.  Expanding the franchise for everyone. So I'm holding in my hand a pledge to vote no.  Does, hold it up, if you got one hold it up,  hold it up, if you got one get it up, come on now I don't see it. Put it up in the air.  If you got one I want ask you to sign it.  I signed mine already, it says Keith Ellison.  I put my email in there, I put my zip code, and I put my telephone number, and I said I will pledge to vote no.  Will you pledge to vote no with me to this ugly Constitutional amendment?  Now let me tell you in other states, in other states where they have passed these ugly amendments, ugly things have happened.  An 86 year old world war II  veteran, somebody who went to defeat Hitler was denied the right to vote in Ohio just a few months ago. Eleven Nuns in Indiana were told that they didn't have Government issued identification card so they told that they could not vote.  Thats wrong.  Eight six year old Dorothy Cooper of Tennessee. In that state who couldn't vote because of her race, could not vote.  But in 1965 she got the right to vote and voted in every election since, was told that she could not vote because she did not have a government issued ID. You know what?  This is anti-Minnesota.  Its wrong and we've got to fight for the right to vote in Minnesota all the time, every time.
Now look they got me on a timer so I gotta hurry up. But I want to tell you that we have got to have a working pro-job majority in the US Congress.  So I need you, thats right a pro-job majority , how 'bout that.  You all don't know, now let me just tell ya, we just saw the job numbers in May were not that hot, only about 69,000 jobs created.  Did you know that the government cut 13,000 votes under the Republican austerity program? We gotta reject this austerity program and we got have more people that are for jobs, pro-jobs who understand that a Police Officer a Firefighter, a Nurse, a person who check… makes sure our water is clean, those government public workers are just as good, just as valuable, and just as important as anybody else. So what..  we need your help, we need your help to elect Mike Obermueller in the 2nd District, who's gonna take out John Kline.  Any body from the 2nd district around here? All right now. We need your help to elect Brian Barnes in the 3rd district.  Any body from the 3rd District?  Third District over there you guys. We need your help to elect Jim Graves to take out Michele Bachmann in the 6th District. And we need your help to elect Rick Nolan to take out Chip Cravaack in the 8th. We need a pro-job majority, we need a pro-job majority.   We need a pro-job majority in Congress, and we need a pro-job majority in the Minnesota House where I was proud to serve with my good friend Paul Thissen over there.  So look everybody I'm about to sit down, but I want you to know, that this election, this election does turn on your participation. You are the leaders, you are the vanguard, you are the one's in your neighborhood who everybody knows.  We need you to stand for expanding the vote to defeating voter id, and I'd be very happy if you would join me in supporting ranked choice voting which I think is something very good as well. We need to be there for the LGBT community and we need to be there for civil and human rights for all people. Because let me tell you it is true the slogan of  my campaign is everybody counts, everybody matters.  Say it with me everybody counts, everybody matters, everybody counts, everybody matters.  And that is not only an outcome, thats not only standing for civil rights for all, thats not only standing up for working men and women and the right to collectively bargain, thats not only standing up for the environment.  It is also engaging people in their own, in their own better life.  That going out and reaching out to everybody to let them participate in making this life a better life.  It is not just an outcome it is also a process, so you guys get out there and you get everybody to those polls because we gotta to win this thing and we gotta win big.  Come on Minnesota let's do it. Thank you very much.  

The first interesting feature is that Keith Ellison, who accused Sarah Palin of "over blown rhetoric", would choose to use the rhetoric of "take out" their opponents.  Sadly Keith Ellison merely takes advantage of normal figures of speech, used in every day descriptions, for negative political purposes while using essentially equivalent phrases himself.  There is nothing wrong in his use of this phrase, only the comical irony of his having condemned others.

So what about the fear mongering over Voter iD? How did his examples stack up?  Well not so well...

From ThinkProgress
Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades, was denied a chance to vote in the state’s primary contests today after a poll worker denied his form of identification, a recently-acquired photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The poll worker rejected the ID because it did not contain an address, as required by Ohio law.  A local Veterans Affairs employee told the Plain Dealer that the decision not to include the address was likely made at the federal level, and because VA IDs are accepted at any location, “the actual address of a veteran isn’t as critical to us.” Carroll was offered a provisional ballot, but the type was too small for him to read and “I was kind of perturbed by then,” he said.
The 12 Nuns in Indiana were told by Sister Julie McGuire, they could not vote in the 2008 Democratic Primary, due to outdated passports.
They had been told they would need the photo id's, but had chosen not to and came to the precinct anyway.  "However  the convent will make a "very concerted effort" to get proper identification for the nuns in time for the general election." 
As for Dorothy Cooper, she went to get her free Voter ID with her birth certificate, which was not her current name.  She did not have her marriage license showing her current name.  She was only denied getting a voter id card at that time.
"Her lack of a valid marriage license is likely due to the fact that she’s outlived two husbands. Under the Tennessee law, Cooper will still be able to vote via absentee ballot, which does not require photo ID. But standing outside her normal voting precinct, Cooper told the Times Free Press she will miss going there to vote."
So as for actually denying anyone the right to vote, this is simply more of the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt that is being spread about the Voter ID issue.  The people got their problems corrected for the general election, and Dorothy Cooper never was denied voting, just the free id at that time.

Rep. Keith Ellison's idea of fairness is clearly equality of outcome, not opportunity.  He is promoting that "Government" creates jobs.  Unfortunately for his argument, government really can only foster the creating of an environment where private enterprise can flourish and create jobs.  With out that, the government created jobs cannot be created, because there is simply no one and no money to pay for them.  Printing money does not create an economy, only those "evil" corporations, small businesses, and farms can do that.  Strangle them with excessive punitive regulations from the EPA, and other agencies and you are creating the antithesis of a "pro-jobs"  environment.

That Keith Ellison is out of step with the majority of Americans is evident by contrast from a Gallup Poll
The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession.
I would heartily recommend considering the positive message from a man who has fought for America for 21 years as a Marine, and is uniting people now in the 5th District.  Watch Chris Fields speech from the Republican Convention

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