It’s Time to Restore Integrity in Politics

Should politics or people come first? If elected, I will ensure government officials are held to the highest standards of professional conduct, regardless of political party, ideology or skin color.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Maury Ballsteen July 03, 2012 at 02:57 PM
It would be great to see you (or anyone, honestly) elected and have a documented change to point to. Unfortunately, the partisan bickering by grown up children has made citizen participation in politics tiring at best, and exasperating at its worst.
Jim July 03, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Chris, Holder was held in contempt of Congress because he shutdown the program and was looking for ways to prevent criminals from buying guns. Why else would the NRA become involved and lobby to hold Holder in contempt? Therefore, I ask you again, Why do Republicans vote to allow criminals to buy guns? If you refuse to answer the question then you are refusing to deal with the problem.
Maury Ballsteen July 03, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Jim, I think you need to reread the story. Holder was held in contempt because he allowed criminals to buy guns, and then tried to cover it up. Not because he shut down a program. I don't think any Republican's are voting to allow criminals to buy guns. That statement is an example of reguritating dogma. The degree that which both parties force the perpetuation of misinformation in this country is staggering.
Jim July 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Maury, I think you need to look at all of the details. Federal agents were tracking criminals who bought guns at gun shows using a loop hole in the system. John McCain, before 2008, and other have tried to close the loophole but have been prevented by the NRA. When Brian Terry was killed by one of these guns, AG Holder suspended the program to take a closer look at what happened. The NRA and Republicans, a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA, were frightened that people would begin to see the big picture and realize that our guns laws have a gaping hole which allows criminals to buy guns. Therefore, they created this deceptive crisis in order to mask the real crisis. The contempt vote of AG Holder was nothing more than a shiny object to deflect attention away from the real problem - criminals allowed to buy guns. Therefore, my statement that Republicans are voting to allow criminals to buy guns is both factually correct and substantiated.
Maury Ballsteen July 03, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Jim. Your statement is an opinion. Calling it anything more than that is an act of self delusion. You can believe whatever you want, and maybe you are even right. But dressing up opinions as facts doesn't make them facts. It just makes the statement's author appear unreliable. As do snarky, sophomoric comments about either political party.


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