Yes, I am voting for Keith Ellison for Attorney General (AG) of Minnesota. I cannot afford not to. Most of my loved ones cannot afford not to. I’m sure that many of your loved ones cannot afford not to, either. Let’s look at some reasons why.
Minnesota is a First Past The Post (FPTP) State. That means that the first person who passes a certain threshold of votes gets the position. Aside from discouraging participation in the democratic process, FPTP trends towards a two-party system. As I have said before, Ranked Choice Voting would solve a number of problems that FPTP creates, including providing more chances for there to be candidates to choose from. Because of this, any vote for Noah M. Johnson (Grassroots - Legalize Cannabis) or any write-in vote is a vote for Doug Wardlow (Republican).
His main opponent (Wardlow) works for the Alliance Defending Freedom , a hate group ; indeed, Wardlow himself is transphobic and homophobic , and his campaign has been running on racist and Islamophobic tropes. Ellison stands up for LGBTQ+ equality .
The role of Attorney General is much more important than people realize. The AG is the state’s chief legal officer, representing and providing legal advice to over 100 agencies, boards, and commissions of the government of Minnesota. The AG deals with human rights, which is a state-level issue, and LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. If the federal government goes off the rails on an issue , or if the governor wants to prosecute something and doing so is a violation of our rights, the AG is there to keep it from harming us.
If the allegations against Ellison are true and if we have Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan (DFL) as Governor and Lieutenant Governor, he’ll step down and the Governor will appoint a new AG who will fight for us as Ellison would have. Wardlow would actively try to harm us as a people. His record shows that.
Wardlow plans for a partisan purge of the AG office , which is frightening. Though the post of Attorney General is run on a political platform, the office itself is a legal office; it mostly does investigations.
I could go on about how Wardlow is a terrifying prospect for the citizens of our state, and how Ellison is our best chance to continue to be a progressive place to live. In fact, Naomi Kritzer already has; I suggest you read what she has written. None of us can afford to have Wardlow as AG.
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“About Our Office.” About the Office of Attorney General Lori Swanson, www.ag.state.mn.us/office/.
“Alliance Defending Freedom.” Southern Poverty Law Center, www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/alliance-defending-freedom.
Bierschbach, Briana. “Lots of Minnesota Attorney General Candidates, but What's the AG Do?” Minnesota Public Radio News, 12 June 2018, www.mprnews.org/story/2018/06/12/minnesota-attorney-general-race-what-does-the-ag-do.
Faircloth, Ryan, and Dave Orrick. “Doug Wardlow, LGBT Rights and the Gay Man He Allegedly Bullied in High School.” Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 29 Oct. 2018, 1:13PM, www.twincities.com/2018/10/27/doug-wardlow-lgbt-rights-and-the-gay-man-he-allegedly-bullied-in-high-school/.
“Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Equality.” Congressman Keith Ellison, ellison.house.gov/issues/civil-and-human-rights/gay-lesbian-bisexual-and-transgender-equality.
Jones, Hannah. “Meet Doug Wardlow, the Throwback Homophobic Candidate on Minnesota's 2018 Ballot.” City Pages, City Pages, 27 Aug. 2018, www.citypages.com/news/meet-doug-wardlow-the-throwback-homophobic-candidate-on-minnesotas-2018-ballot/491670151.
Marans, Daniel. “Racism Rears Its Head In Keith Ellison's Attorney General Race.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 9 Oct. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-ellison-minnesota-racism-islamophobia_us_5bbb7a71e4b028e1fe3fe03a.
“Muslims Speak Out in Support of LGBT Equality.” GLAAD, 28 June 2011, www.glaad.org/2011/06/28/muslims-speak-out-in-support-of-lgbt-equality?response_type=embed.
Pugmire, Tim. “GOP AG Candidate Wardlow Vows to Fire DFL Attorneys.” Capitol View, Minnesota Public Radio, 12 Oct. 2018, 9:46AM, blogs.mprnews.org/capitol-view/2018/10/gop-ag-candidate-wardlow-vows-to-fire-dfl-attorneys/.
Van Berkel, Jessie. “Doug Wardlow Says He'll Set aside Partisan Past If Elected Attorney General.” Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 30 Sept. 2018, 9:06PM, www.startribune.com/wardlow-says-he-ll-set-aside-partisan-past-if-elected-attorney-general/494705541/.
Zigo, Tom. “Lambda Legal Applauds Rep. Ellison's Resolution Calling for Better Policies To Protect Transgender Americans.” Lambda Legal, 28 Sept. 2017, www.lambdalegal.org/news/dc_20170928_lambda-legal-applauds-resolution-for-better-trans-protections.