Ellison Report: Fee to See Politicians Invites Plutocracy
Rep. Keith Ellison spoke against admission charge for congressional town hall meetings.
This is a daily selection of new and views on U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Fridley's representative in Congress.
On MPR's Capitol View, Tom Scheck reported Tuesday that the American Legion's national convention will be held from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1 in Minneapolis. President Obama, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Gov. Mark Dayton and Rep. Keith Ellison will be some of the speakers at the event.
Town Hall Fees
Ellison was a guest Tuesday on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. Guest host Rev. Al Sharpton interviewed Ellison for a segment called "Town Haul."
Sharpton introduced several clips that showed GOP leaders being heckled in town hall meetings.
"You see, actual voters were very unhappy," Sharpton said. "Turns out the GOP isn't too keen on those YouTube moments, so they've come up with a solution: Just silence the poor and middle class in their district. Their solution? They've actual started to charge their constituents to ask them questions."
Ellison then gave his take:
"I say shame on them. You know, democracy means, uh, the rulership of the people and these three congressmen who are charging to get access to them really are proving this fear that our country could be lurching toward plutocracy: rulership of the rich."
On Wednesday at blogging site Pajamas Media, Ron Radosh wrote about Van Jones' interest in creating the "American Dream Movement." Radosh is an adjunct senior fellow at The Hudson Institute and professor emeritus of history at the City University of New York. Jones is President Obama's former green jobs czar.
"While Jones introduces it as a left version of the Tea Party, it is more accurately thought of as a 21st century version of the Communist Party’s Popular Front of the 1930s," Radosh writes of the "American Dream Movement."
In his blog, Radosh wrote that Ellison supports Jones' idea:
“I’m so glad that he has clearly recognized that we as progressives cannot concede patriotic themes to the right wing. Why would we ever do that? Everything we love about this country — the right to vote, equality before the law, the right to organize—these things were won by patriotic Americans.”