2010 Election Guide: Keith Ellison, DFL incumbent

by Andre Eggert

How will you address the federal budget deficit?
We need to cut the military budget by getting rid of outdated Cold War weapons systems, cutting the nuclear arsenals [and] getting rid of obsolete military bases.
We need to let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire âĦ allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices to get the lowest possible prices for our senior citizens, and get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
How would you work with members of the other party to reduce the gridlock in Congress?
Reducing gridlock requires cooperation on both sides. The Republicans have been the party of âÄúNo.âÄù I remain interested in working with any Republican who wants to solve the critical issues in front of our country. We need a willing partner, and we havenâÄôt had a willing partner to negotiate with.
Would you support a second stimulus bill?
Yes. My second stimulus would have three parts.
I think we should have something called the Local Jobs for America Act. We would put money into local jobs. Help police, fire, EMS, teachers, public works. Local jobs for local government to make sure we maintain services for people.
[I support] [Works Progress Administration]-style jobs bill that maintains local infrastructure like paths, picnic tables and other things that are so in need of repair. âĦ
We need a national infrastructure bank âÄî a federal government-capitalized project that âĦ has public-private partnerships that would do massive
infrastructure projects.
What should federal immigration reform look like?
We should ensure a clear path to citizenship or permanent status for people already in the United States.
That clear path would include any fines, back taxes, learn English, âÄî although  IâÄôm against English as a national language âÄî secure and make a priority family reunification, create a workable employment verification system âĦ stiff penalties for employers who knowingly hire people who are not  legally authorized to work âĦ and the DREAM [Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors] Act.
I certainly would oppose any Arizona-style immigration law that would promote any kind of racial profiling.
The DonâÄôt Ask, DonâÄôt Tell policy was recently overturned by a federal judge. Do you agree with the ruling, and what would you do for gay rights on the national level?
Yes. I donâÄôt believe sexual preference should be a factor in military service. âĦ ItâÄôs not the governmentâÄôs business of who you want to be with âÄî thatâÄôs your business. âĦ
IâÄôm a supporter of the Matthew Shepard Bill, anti-hate crimes bills and human rights generally.
Do you support the health care legislation passed last session, and should there be further federal action on health care?
Yes and yes. We need a public option. ThatâÄôs going to be essential to holding down exorbitant increases in premiums that weâÄôve already seen these insurance companies impose. Only a public option will make them compete fairly and not try to take advantage of the American public. âĦ
There should be clearly-written provisions for a state to adopt single-payer if that is their choice.
Do you support cap and trade legislation?
Yes. I support carbon reduction legislation. ItâÄôs going to promote jobs and lower our carbon footprint. ItâÄôs important legislation.
Do you agree with the Supreme CourtâÄôs Citizens United decision? Why or why not?
Absolutely not. The history of election law has been that corporations are not persons; [they] donâÄôt have the human and civil rights and freedom of expression of a person. A corporation has no soul to save, no physical body and lives forever.
The Supreme CourtâÄôs decision was absurd and itâÄôs a danger to our democracy.