Last week, in a shameful display of hyper-partisan grandstanding, Keith Ellison joined with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus in staging a walk-out during the vote to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Forgotten in this despicable demonstration of politics over people were Brian Terry and the Terry family. Brian Terry was a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was gunned down on the U.S./Mexican Border with guns that were provided to Mexican drug lords by the U.S. Government. Understandably, the Terry family is seeking a full account of the circumstances surrounding his death.
For more than a year, Attorney General Holder has hindered the congressional investigation into the failed government operation that led to Brian Terry’s death. The Attorney General has provided false and misleading statements to congress, and has fought off any attempt to find out the whole truth.
Instead of exercising their duty as representatives of the people, and insisting that Congress hold Holder accountable for his actions, Keith Ellison and the Congressional Black Caucus chose instead to once again expose their own hypocrisy.
Several months ago, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus were among the loudest voices demanding answers and justice for the family of Trayvon Martin. Rep. Bobby Rush wore a hoodie on the House floor. Keith Ellison tried to introduce the “Trayvon Amendment” before it was ruled out of order. Before many of the facts of the case were known, the CBC rushed to pass a resolution honoring Martin and claiming “racial bias” was the cause of his death.
When a white Federal agent is killed in Arizona by Mexican Drug Gangs with guns provided by the American government, the Congressional Black Caucus has no interest in truth, justice, or accountability. However, when a black teen is killed by a white man in Florida, the CBC will trip over each other in the rush to grab headlines and demand social justice.
In their unwillingness to hold Attorney General Holder accountable, Keith Ellison and the Congressional Black Caucus have confirmed once again that if you share their ideology and their skin color, you get a free pass.
In 2010, when the House voted 333-79 to censure Charlie Rangel for failing to pay his taxes, filing misleading financial statements, improperly seeking money from corporate interests for a college center bearing his name and setting up a campaign office in a subsidized, New York apartment designated for residential use, only one member of the CBC voted for the censure.
Keith Ellison not only voted against censuring Rangel, he even made Charlie a sizable campaign donation from his campaign war chest.
To their credit, MN DFL Reps. Colin Petersen and Tim Walz voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt. Joining them was Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) who isn’t running for re-election. Altmire voted in favor of contempt because he did the same under the similar conditions for Bush administration officials in 2008.
The actions of Peterson, Walz, Altmire, and the other 14 Democrats who voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt showed that there are still politicians out there who can put people over politics.
In the Fifth district, we have the opposite. We are represented by a politician in Keith Ellison who has demonstrated time and time again that politics come first, and people are a distant second.
Our district is the home to the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the entire country. We are also home to the largest unemployment gap between blacks and whites. In order to solve these sizable problems we need elected officials who will put the people first.
If I am elected I will do just that.
I will also ensure that government and elected officials are held to the highest standards of professional conduct, regardless of political party, ideology or skin color.
It’s time to restore integrity in politics; it’s time to Come Together.