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GOP candidate accuses Ellison of being ‘militantly anti-America’

Few things send the trolls to their checkbooks faster than hysterical hyperbole. So … Mark Zdechlik of MPR writes: “In a fundraising email Republican Chris Fields calls 5th District DFL Congressman Keith Ellison’s ‘militantly anti-America’ because Ellison sought to cut funding for the Iraq war, among other reasons. The email reads, in part: ‘He attacked the Pledge of Allegiance, voted countless times to throw our troops serving in harm’s way to the wolves and teamed up with Barney Frank to destroy the banking industry. Not surprisingly, he’s the proud co-chairman of the radical Congressional Progressive Caucus.’ ” And Barney Frank destroyed the banking industry …

Authorities aren’t the only ones puzzled how something like this could go on for months. Paul Walsh and Larry Oakes of the Strib report: “Football and basketball players at Browerville High School were repeatedly sexually assaulted by teammates in showers, elevators and hotel rooms, according to criminal charges that have authorities puzzled that the attacks continued for months without anyone complaining or investigating. The charges against two recent graduates filed in Todd County District Court Thursday describe a series of assaults that began after a team practice last summer and culminated in incidents of sexual penetration in a Minneapolis hotel during the state basketball tournament in March. An attorney for one of the young men said his client has been singled out for prosecution for doing something that also was done to him, as well as ‘100 kids from the past 20 years.’ ” What!?

With T-Paw still high on Mitt Romney’s Veep list — according to pundits who are never wrong about these things — Ann Melby Shenkle on the site compares Massachusetts to Minnesota: “People complain about taxes in Minnesota just like people complain about taxes everywhere, but the visitor to Minnesota can not help but notice that Minnesota works pretty well. While other states are rushing to pile on ultra-conservative social policies, efforts in Minnesota to legislate against gay marriage ran smack up against General Mills. General Mills, one of the largest and most powerful business entities in the state, issued a public statement that decried the unconstitutional and unjust aspects of anti-gay legislation and made the strong point that adopting such policy diminished business potential significantly. … Neither Pawlenty nor Romney, as governors, left a lasting impression on their complex and issue-oriented states. Or, in the case of Romney, a few impressions were left that he would prefer not to include in his present thinking. … In two prosperous and forward-looking states, Governor Romney and potentially Governor Pawlenty are a long way from a first choice by the people they once governed.”

For the most part, Minnesota and Wisconsin are still escaping the worst of the drought. Says Tom Webb at the PiPress: “The widest drought to grip the United States in decades covers two-thirds of the nation, and it’s showing no signs of abating, a new report warned Thursday … But in the Heartland, one swath of the Midwest has escaped it, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map — and that’s right here, in eastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. The Drought Monitor found 98 percent of the High Plains was abnormally dry, most of it in severe drought (although patches of North Dakota have escaped). And 74 percent of the Corn Belt was in drought, most of it severe. Minnesota has been far luckier. While this has been a hot summer, and parts of the state need rain, most of Minnesota isn’t in a drought.”

Somehow these sorts of defenses rarely work as planned. But, Emily Gurnon of the PiPress writes: “She sat in the front row in his class, directly in his line of sight. She always dressed nicely. She lingered after class and sought his advice on career matters. Those were among the statements former adjunct William Mitchell College of Law professor Clark Calvin Griffith, 70, gave to a probation officer, ostensibly describing how a 24-year-old student victimized him. Griffith was charged with indecent exposure after he unzipped his pants on a busy St. Paul street in front of the student, then kissed her. ‘The defendant stated that he was the victim of a sexual assault and described this experience as very traumatizing,’ Ramsey County District Judge George Stephenson said, quoting a presentencing report during a sentencing hearing Thursday … Griffith also told the probation officer who prepared the report that ‘women want sexual power over men,’ said St. Paul prosecutor Steve Christie.” The discussion, sir, is over how they get it.

Another PiPress story, this by Andy Rathbun, says: “A new study shows the Twin Cities has seen an increase in dangerously hot summer weather, and that has health officials concerned. The Union of Concerned Scientists studied data taken at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport from 1945 to 2011, and found the average number of hot days has risen by about 4.5 days over the period. Heat waves, defined in the study as three or more consecutive days of dangerously hot weather, are also on the rise — up from an annual average of two to three during the period, according to the Cambridge, Mass.-based environmental group. And nights are becoming hotter and more humid, the study found, making it harder for people to cool down.” What do Concerned Scientists know? Why I heard George Will say just the other day …

In “The Big Lebowski,” The Dude recovers his stolen car from the impound lot and asks if the cops have “any leads” on who took it and trashed it … and gets laughed at. It’s not so far from reality in Minneapolis. Masako Hirsch of the Strib reports: “The Minneapolis police website says only hit-and-runs that involve ‘serious injuries or fatalities’ will be probed. The Accident Investigation Section has dropped from seven investigators to two in recent years, said spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty, and the police ‘don’t have the manpower’ to investigate every hit-and-run. The policy appears to be unique among large agencies in the Twin Cities — sheriffs’ representatives in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, St. Paul and Bloomington police and the State Patrol routinely investigate hit-and-runs, with or without injuries. Of the nearly 1,000 reported hit-and-runs in the past 12 months in the city, 700 didn’t result in injuries.” Certainly there’s a private industry answer for this problem, right?

Here are two gals who thought big. Paul McEnroe of the Strib writes: “Two Minneapolis women, longtime friends who each have a history of bankruptcy, have pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.6 million from ING, the international insurance and investment firm where they worked, according to documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Angela Patrice Madison, 41, and Tracy Dione Jackson, 42, face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 for the crimes, which took place from 2003 through last March. Court appearances have not been scheduled. Madison, who worked in ING’s Minneapolis office as a policy plan coordinator, admitted in a pleadings document that she was personally responsible for stealing about $1.1 million while handling requests from clients.”

The Strib’s editorial page thinks the Legislature should re-think how we do ballot initiatives: “The state was dragged into this minefield during the 2011-12 session when the GOP majority in the Legislature voted to send the two sensitive issues to the ballot. … We’d agree that [Secretary of State Mark] Ritchie’s versions are more descriptive. But we’re not satisfied that either his or the Legislature’s titles for the voting amendment fairly and accurately presented the important constitutional changes it contains. It’s disingenuous not to use the terms ‘photo ID’ or ‘voter ID’ — the shorthand known to most potential voters. … Most states require supermajority legislative approval for constitutional amendments, and some require that the questions appear on the ballot in two consecutive elections. And some states avoid the title squabbles by numbering amendments. Those ideas — and any other best practices from other states — should be on the table in Minnesota in 2013.” Or … we could simply require that the Legislature confine its talents to “job creation” legislation.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/27/2012 - 08:39 am.

    By “Militantly Anti-American”

    I can only assume Mr. Fields (together with Michelle Bachmann) limits his view of “American” to “conservative,” wealthy, white, Judeo-Christian men of European extraction who, in the minds of such people, are in danger of losing their fabled (though never quite real) positions at the top of society in terms of money, power, and ability to bully everyone else,…

    and believes the Rep. Ellison by virtue of his position as an elected representative professing a non-Judeo-Christian faith perspective and a progressive perspective on society represents a threat to the very lives of all such “true” American men.

    • Submitted by Andrew Lewis on 07/27/2012 - 09:27 am.


      The article mentions nothing of Michele Bachmann, wealth, faith, race, or ethnicity. Greg is trolling. And Chris Fields is correct about everything except ‘militant’. Mr. Ellison is a radical and far out of step with many of his constituents. But Minneapolis is Berkeley-North and there’s been no legitimate challenge to his fundraising capabilities or majority of support. Maybe a Democrat should run against him…

      • Submitted by Virginia Martin on 07/27/2012 - 12:30 pm.


        I guess Ellison can’t be too far out of step since he was easily elected, and will be so again. I don’t believe he is “radical” or far left. He is black and he is Muslim and that seems to have some people all up in arms.
        The things you consider radical, many of us consider simple common sense and caring about his constituents and his country, not just the rich and radical right and TPers. I can’t vote for him, but since he votes in the way I think he should to carry out our values, I do send money occasionally. He is most of all an American who had nothing handed to him.

      • Submitted by Cecil North on 07/27/2012 - 12:37 pm.

        Who’s anti-American?

        Who are you, Fields, or anyone else to call another American “anti-American”? In my view, calling people “anti-American” because you disagree with their politics is the purest form of anti-American behavior.

  2. Submitted by Bruce Bruemmer on 07/27/2012 - 09:59 am.


    …you know Chris Fields identifies himself as a black man, right?

    Somewhere it would be nice to see reporters actually identify people. Fields is running against Ellison in the 5th. Even Zdechlik did not come right out and say it. Basic reporting, guys.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/27/2012 - 12:41 pm.

      Uh . . .

      What does the color of Mr. Fields’ skin have to do with his criticisms of Rep. Ellison?

      • Submitted by Bruce Bruemmer on 07/27/2012 - 02:20 pm.

        Read the first comment.

        You don’t think it is odd that a black man would (as written by Kapphahn above) limit “his view of “American” to “conservative,” wealthy, white, Judeo-Christian men of European extraction…?” I find that bizarre. In any case, I don’t think the writer knew much about Mr. Fields (which I certainly did not until I checked his web site).

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/27/2012 - 03:04 pm.

          Your comment . . . .

          was not indented under Mr. Kapphahn’s comment. It appeared directly under Mr. Lambert’s column. And Mr. Lambert had made no comments about skin color.

          I don’t know how much Mr. Lambert knows about Mr. Fields.

        • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/27/2012 - 04:31 pm.

          Actually I Don’t Think This is Odd At All

          For another example of such a black man, see Michael Steele and just about any other “conservative” Republican male of color.

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/27/2012 - 10:13 am.

    There once were societies where a dominant culture brooked no opposition, dissent, or alternative philosophies, religions or wold-views. The “others” were first shouted down, then labeled and demonized, then transported and then…

    I’m not so sure that we want to go there.

    After all, wasn’t America formed in opposition to that sort of thing?

    Dissent is the foundation of democracy.

  4. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 07/27/2012 - 04:47 pm.


    I think we’re getting there, Neal. It seems to be something we always have to be on guard against. The majority, the dominant culture, will almost always want to stamp out alternative voices and opinions, especially if they come from someone who is “not like us.”
    Or is it that the dominant culture will always look for “dangerous views” in those who are not like us, especially if combined in a black person who is a Muslim,

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