Ellison's YouTube Fact-Checked, Rival's Is Axed
The 5th District rep and his DFL challenger faced tough video reviews.
Disputed Figures on Income Inequality
Minnesota Public Radio said U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) was only half-right when he cited statistics about income disparities during a widely-viewed YouTube Town Hall video last week. Ellison contrasted rising income for the top 1 percent of earners with flat growth for the bottom 90 percent.
MPR PoliGraph fact-checkers said Ellison's breakdown masked income growth for some within the bottom 90 percent. But a commenter disputed MPR's analysis, saying that fact-checkers were confusing individual and household income statistics.
In a week's time, Ellison's video registered more than 380,000 views on YouTube.
Ellison Speaks on LGBT People, Jobs and Veterans
Ellison made several public appearances around the Twin Cities last week. On Friday, he spoke at the state's official Veterans Day ceremony in Inver Grove Heights (video):
When you stood up to defend our country, you weren't standing up to fight for some warlord or some king. You stood up to fight for the best principles of all mankind: democracy, liberty, justice.
On Wednesday in Hopkins, Ellison led a panel discussion (video) focused on the proposal to amend Minnesota's state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. (That measure will be on the 2012 ballot.)
On Tuesday, Ellison was in Minneapolis to speak about job creation at a rock-climbing facility, and for the opening of a new Minority Business Development Agency office. The MBDA is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
On Monday, Ellison was scheduled to speak at a meeting of the Fridley City Council, but he cancelled his appearance due to illness.
Fifth District Challengers
Meanwhile, the three candidates running against Ellison's re-election in 2012 drew attention from near and far last week.
The Canada Free Press posted an article last Tuesday about Lynne Torgerson, who is mounting her second challenge to Ellison (and her first as a Republican). "I do not believe that Keith Ellison himself is all that popular," Torgerson told the conservative news website. "I think he gets elected simply because he is a Democrat, and this has largely been a Democrat district."
At his campaign website, Republican Chris Fields drew attention to his appearance along with two other local black Republicans on WCCO-AM to discuss Herman Cain's candidacy for the GOP nomination for president. "I think he could be [a viable candidate]," Fields said on the program. "I think that people are attracted to his plain speaking. I think folks are attracted to a businessman—a no-nonsense businessman."
National media picked up on the story of YouTube's decision to pull a graphic campaign ad from Gary Boisclair, who is running against Ellison as a DFLer. Talking Points Memo and the Huffington Post quoted from Patch's interviews with Boisclair about his "sub-goal" of running graphic ads on TV, while Politico viewed YouTube's move as a test case for the freedom of political speech on the internet.