Keith Ellison (D-MN 5) — KeyWiki Progressive/Marxist Profiles


By: Trevor Loudon
Editor: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

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KeyWiki.org Page: http://keywiki.org/index.php/Keith_Ellison

Election Facts for 2014:

– Party – Democrat
– State – Minnesota
– Location – Minnesota 5
– First Elected – 2006
– Candidates in 2014:
Keith Ellison – D – Incumbent Undeclared
No Declared Opposition Listed

Keith Maurice Ellison is a Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 5th District of Minnesota. He is also a Co-Chair on the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and of the Populist Caucus.

Background

Keith Ellison was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He moved to Minnesota in 1987 to attend the University of Minnesota, Law School, where he earned his law degree in 1990.

Keith Ellison has represented the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007. The 5th District includes the City of Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs. He previously served two terms representing Legislative District 58B in the Minnesota State House of Representatives, from 2003 to 2007.

Ellison is a Muslim convert and was affiliated with the radical Nation of Islam from at least the late 1980s, until he ran for Minnesota State Representative in 1998.

Influence

Keith Ellison was elected as Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 112th Congress. Working together with other members of the Caucus, “Keith helped shape historic health care and Wall Street reform, raise the federal minimum wage, start the process to end the War in Iraq, strengthen veterans’ benefits, combat hate crimes and create guarantees of pay equality for women.”

Ellison serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Democratic Steering Committee which determines the party’s platform and committee assignments for Democratic members.

The House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over the banking system, stock exchanges and the housing and insurance industries. The committee also handles policy matters including monetary policy, international finance and combating terrorist financing.

The Committee also oversees the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Export-Import Bank.

Communist Connections

Kathleen Soliah

In February 2000, Ellison gave a speech at a fundraising event sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the pro-communist National Lawyers Guild, on whose Steering Committee he had served. The event was a fundraiser for a former member of the Maoist-terrorist Symbionese Liberation Army, Kathleen Soliah, after her arrest in St. Paul (under the name “Sara Jane Olson”) for the attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers in 1975.

Though she is white, Ellison referred to Soliah/Olson as a “black gang member” and thus a victim of government persecution. He described her as one of those who had been “fighting for freedom in the ‘60s and ‘70s” and called for her release. (She subsequently pleaded guilty to charges in Los Angeles and to an additional murder charge in Sacramento; she is serving time in California.) He also spoke favorably of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur, a former Black Liberation Army member who has been hiding in Cuba since 1984 – last year she was placed on the FBI’s domestic terrorist’s list with a one million dollar reward for her capture.

Communist Party Approval

In August 2006, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) welcomed Ellison’s probable election to Congress, comparing him to the late far left senator Paul Wellstone:

If Keith Ellison is elected in November to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, he will bring to the U.S. House of Representatives a fresh progressive voice in [the] tradition of Paul Wellstone. He will also be the first African American congressman from Minnesota and the first Muslim in the U.S. Congress.

Ellison is a well-known civil rights attorney and an established progressive leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He received the Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party’s endorsement at the district convention in May, enjoys strong support from organized labor, and has been endorsed by the state AFL-CIO.

Peace and justice activists have been volunteering in increasing numbers in the Ellison campaign to refocus attention on Ellison’s program. Ellison calls for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, a universal, single-payer health care system, protection and extension of civil rights to all, including gays and lesbians, and responsible stewardship of the environment.

In the Minnesota House, Ellison supported legislation to raise the minimum wage. He has spoken at peace rallies in the Twin Cities area. He pledged to fight all attempts to erode the Voting Rights Act. He founded the Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota.

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Conference

From May 22 to May 25, 2008, the CPUSA founded Coalition of Black Trade Unionists held their 37th International Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

Rep. Ellison urged delegates to put the housing crisis “in its proper context. We’ve had 30 years of frozen wages. However, in 1984, CEOs made 42 times more than the average worker. But in 2005, CEOs made 411 times more than the average worker. As a result we consume less and borrow more. Our wages stagnate, while the rich get richer.” Ellison called for a “grassroots movement married to legislation.”


Abayomi Azikiwe, Keith Ellison (April 6, 2008)

Michigan Coalition for Human Rights

Detroit Workers World Party leader Abayomi Azikiwe greeted Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota during the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights annual dinner on April 6, 2008. Azikiwe serves as Chairman of the MCHR board.

Meeting with Activists from the September 24, 2010, FBI Raids

On November 5, 2010, Rep. Ellison held a meeting with five of the activists, mainly members of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization, FightBack! faction, who were raided by the FBI in September. “While unclear about what legislative action he could take on their behalf, Ellison conveyed dismay with the raids.” The activists encouraged Ellison to circulate a “Dear Colleague” letter to other members of the Progressive Caucus asking for support of an investigation of the FBI’s actions. “Ellison reminded them that he could not interfere with an ongoing investigation.”

FRSO member Sarah Martin, one of the activists who attended the meeting stated:

It was a reasonably good meeting. He certainly understands the seriousness of this and although political times are pretty horrible right now… he’s gonna pursue doing a “dear colleague” letter with the progressive caucus… He kept saying of course, he can’t stop this Grand Jury but he’s gonna do everything he can. He met with us! This is Congressman Keith Ellison, and he met with us in person and gave us you know, a good time – which is — didn’t happen at the Senator’s office.

FRSOer Tracy Molm, another of the activists who attended the meeting, stated:

[We asked Ellison to write] a “dear colleague” letter to Obama directly… He said that he’s going to look into a “dear colleague” letter, and try to get other progressive people in Congress to sign onto it also.

Socialist Connections

Wellstone Action

In 2009, Keith Ellison was listed as a member of the Advisory Board of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization founded on the political legacy of that state’s late Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) affiliated Senator Paul Wellstone.

Ellison served on the board alongside DSA members Frances Fox Piven, Julian Bond and Deborah Olson, as well as DSA affiliates Heather Booth, Peter Edelman, Leo Gerard, Jim Hightower, Gerald McEntee and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich.

21st Century Democrats Support

21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years.

The long-time Board Chair of 21st Century Democrats was Democratic Socialists of America member Jim Scheibel, a former Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Keith Ellison was one of 17 key progressives endorsed by 21st Century Democrats in the 2010 election cycle.

Ellison was also supported by them in 2006.

Midwest Academy Awards

In 2011, Keith Ellison was honored with a “Progressive Leadership Award” by the Democratic Socialists of America-controlled Midwest Academy – a school based on the teachings of radical “community organizer” Saul Alinsky. Then Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, a long time DSA supporter, was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award,” at the same event.

Economic Policy Institute

In 2013, Keith Ellison was listed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington D.C., Economic Policy Institute.

The EPI is led by long-time Democratic Socialists of America member Larry Mishel and the Board has always been dominated by DSA affiliated labor unionists and academics. On the current board, Ellison serves alongside DSAers Mishel and Teresa Ghilarducci, and DSA affiliates Barry Bluestone, Jeff Faux, Leo Gerard, Bob King, Robert Kuttner, Gerald McEntee and Robert Reich.

“God Willing… Border Will Become an Irrelevancy”

In June 2010, Ellison spoke at a Network of Spiritual Progressives conference, during which he stated the following on border security:

No security policy position can be premised on military might. …The way it works is we are a country guided by ideals of equity, generosity and engagement in our relations with other nations and those philosophical ideals create safe borders… and, God willing, one day the border will become an irrelevancy.

Also speaking at the conference was avowed Marxist and onetime DSAer, Michael Lerner, Editor of the pro-Palestinian Tikkun Magazine. According to an account of the conference by Baltimore Sun columnist Marta Mossburg, who attended the two-day event, Lerner compared Tea Party activists to Hitler at least five times. Another speaker at the event was DSA “friend” Heather Booth, founder of the DSA-dominated Midwest Academy, which teaches the community organizing tactics of radical, Saul Alinsky.

Young Socialist Staffer

Irene Schwoeffermann, an affiliate of the DSA youth wing Young Democratic Socialists, has worked for Rep. Ellison.

“Progressive” Connections

Take Back America Conferences

Keith Ellison was on the list of 237 speakers at the 2007 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the DSA of America-dominated Campaign for America’s Future.

Keith Ellison was also on the list of speakers at the follow-up 2009 America’s Future Now conference, which was also organized by the Campaign for America’s Future.

He was back in 2010 at the aligned Take Back the American Dream conference in 2011.

Demos Event

On May 31, 2012, the Institute for Policy Studies’ stated that their “partner” organization Demos, The American Prospect and “our supporters, celebrated our work over the past year. We also honored three incredible leaders who have advanced our vision of shared economic prosperity, inclusive democracy, and effective government. Thanks to all for helping us be at our best in this critical moment.”

2012 Transforming America Awardees were Sheila Bair, Leo Gerard and Ai-jen Poo.
Honorary Chairs included Congressman Keith Ellison.


Keith Ellison, John Conyers and DSA Member and PDA National Director, Tim Carpenter

Progressive Democrats of America

Keith Ellison has close ties to the IPS/DSA-led Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

The Peoples’ Inauguration

Progressive Central: The Peoples’ Inauguration was held on January 19, 2013, at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Washington, D.C.

The event was sponsored by PDA, The Nation, National Nurses United, Democrats.com and Busboys and Poets, a restaurant owned by IPS Trustee Andy Shallal. The event was advertised and promoted by the IPS.

Keith Ellison addressed the lunchtime session by video.

According to PDA – “In the 113th Congress, some PDA-backed Democrats planned to introduce pieces of legislation that enjoy widespread support among the American left – but would, in all likelihood, be met with stiff opposition.”

Rep. Keith Ellison pledged to introduce a bill backed prominently by the DSA-led National Nurses United Union, to implement a tax on all financial transactions, the so-called Robin Hood tax.

Progressive Democrats of America 2012 Endorsement

In 2012, Keith Ellison (MN) was one of 14 leftist Congressional and Senate candidates endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America.

Conservatives, Libertarians, 9/12 Projects, Tea Parties: Time to Clean House and Senate in 2014!

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This research is part of KeyWiki.org’s ongoing efforts to expose Progressives throughout our political system. Funding for KeyWiki furthers our efforts to bring true transparency to American politics and hold our leaders responsible for their past actions. Donations can be made at Trevor Loudon’s site: New Zeal – http://www.trevorloudon.com/. More information on the Enemies Within can be found in Trevor Loudon’s latest book, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” Trevor’s books can be purchased at http://www.pacificfreedomfoundation.com.


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