It’s a time-honored tradition in Washington—when people are focused on a problem that you don’t want them focused on, create a distraction. Today, people are concerned about job creation, the economy and the national debt. So obviously Keith Ellison is talking about… “big money in politics”.
I get it. It’s a slick move on his part. Try and focus attention on something that sounds sexy—everyone hates "big money," right?
Keith Ellison knows that he is vulnerable on the issues that really matter, so he wants to create a distraction. He doesn’t want you thinking about the dismal job numbers, or the unemployment gap between whites and minorities in the Fifth District.
I’d rather we focus on the issues that matter to everyday citizens, but let’s indulge Keith for a minute and look at the issue of money in politics by examining the Ellison political campaign money operation.
Here are the facts:
- Keith Ellison has raised and spent over one million dollars so far on this campaign.
- More than 80% of Keith’s money comes from outside of the Fifth Congressional District.
- Political Action Committees, many of which are funded by “big corporations,” have given Keith over $200,000 this election cycle, and over $1.1 million since 2006.
- Ellison’s campaign currently has a 20:1 fundraising advantage over my campaign. By the end of this campaign he will outspend me by over 1,000%.
Keith routinely sends out fundraising emails claiming that he is under attack and that he needs more of the people’s hard-earned cash to “fight the smears.” You’re supposed to believe that only your money can help him defend his record.
Keith has raised more cash in the last three months than I’ll raise this entire campaign. In fact he has raised and spent more in the last six months than his last two opponents raised during their whole campaigns combined.
So why does Keith Ellison need more money?
Since 2006 Keith has funneled over $400,000 from his campaign war chest to other campaigns and political committees. He has made thousands of dollars in contributions to the campaigns of established incumbents like Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel. This is the kind of legal money-laundering scheme that could only be dreamt up by incumbent politicians who crave power. Tony Soprano would be envious of the scheme that Keith Ellison and his crew have come up with.
It makes you wonder—doesn’t saying you need money for your re-election bid and then giving that money to another candidate in another state kind of make you a bag-man?
If Keith Ellison really wanted to get the money out of politics, he could lead by example and pledge not to raise one more dollar for this campaign- he clearly already has plenty. He could take me up on my offer to hold a debate in every city in the Fifth District, and we could make this a campaign that is focused on the issues people care about most.
But he won’t. Because he can’t win a race on the issues. He can only win this race like he has always done it—with a campaign built on distractions, division, fear, and yes, "big money."
Instead of focusing on the issues and his district, Keith will keep on raising money from “the 1%” and big evil corporations. He'll keep shaking you down for your hard-earned cash and then send that money off to some other state. And while he's doing this his staff will keep writing articles for him about the corrupting influence of money on politics.
He’s just hoping you won’t notice that while he says one thing, he does another.