Ellison: Politicians Shouldn't Try To Lead 'Occupy' Protesters

'The last thing they want is some politician telling them what to do.'

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison kicked off last week with a call for liberals to follow their political beliefs and support the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"In Washington what I’ve heard from a lot of people is, ‘If the movement turns violent, maybe it will be wise not to be connected to it,’" Ellison told TheUptake on Oct. 16. "Let’s get rid of super-playing safe, cowardly chicken-style, let’s lead with what we believe for a change and say, ‘These people are absolutely right to get out there and express their outrage with these conditions.’"

At the same time, Ellison told the Kansas City Star, it's not the place of prominent liberal politicians to try to lead the protesters. 

"This thing is jelling, but it has to have time to do it," Ellison said. "At this point, these (Occupy Wall Street) folks are so distanced from the political system that the last thing they want is some politician telling them what to do. They'll discover it for themselves."

Ellison followed his call for leadership with an attack on a vote by US House Republicans to rewrite environmental regulations on cement plants. House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) alleged that the EPA regulations "stand in the way of investment and growth."

In an email to constituents on Thursday, Ellison called the vote a stalling tactic to "avoid job creation."

"This is as dishonest as it is wrong," Elison wrote. "Environmental protections have been shown to create jobs and protect health. Clean air regulation that Republicans oppose will reduce toxic pollutants produced by cement plants and will prevent 2,500 premature deaths every year. This clean air regulation will also provide up to $19 in public health benefits for every dollar spent on reducing harmful air pollution. This is an investment we should make."

Other Sightings

  • Over Twitter and in a written statement issued by his office, Ellison said he welcomed the death of Lybian dictator Muamar Qadaffi. "The death of Moammar Gadhafi marks the end of an era of repression and tyranny for the Libyan people," Ellison wrote. "While we do not celebrate the death of anyone, we do feel relieved that the people of Libya no longer have to live under a violent dictator. "
  • Gary Boisclair, a conservative anti-abortion DFLer, in the 2012 election. Boisclair has also criticized Ellison for taking the oath of office on a Koran, alleging the holy book of Islam "mandates violence against Jews and Christians."


Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 06:43 AM
Peter Orszag,Obama Budget Director, founding director of the Hamilton Project, funded by Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin. Wikipedia indicates that Robert Rubin, Goldman’s ex-head, was one of Orszag’s mentors. Mark Patterson: Obama Administration: Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Lobbyist 2005-2008; Vice President for Government Relations Mark Peterson: Chief of staff to Timothy Geithner, Goldman Sachs vice president and lobbyist Steve Ratner: the shady billionaire financier who Obama appointed as his “car czar” and who resigned after it was revealed that his company, the Quadrangle Group, was apparently involved in “pay to play” for a billion dollars or so of New York State pension funds, and was under possible indictment by the New York AG and the SEC, also sits on the Advisory Council of the Goldman funded Hamilton Project
Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 06:44 AM
Robert Reischauer: a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2000-2009 and was its vice chair from 2001-2008. He too sits on the Hamilton Project’s advisory board. Alice Rivlin: Obama named Alice Rivlin to his so called deficit reduction commission. James Rubin: Son of Robert Rubin. Served as a headhunter for Obama per the New York Times article, "Rubin Proteges Change Their Tune as They Join Obama’s Team" Gene Sperling: advisor to Timothy Geithner on bailouts, Sperling paid by Goldman Sachs for one year of consulting work. Adam Storch: Obama Managing Executive of the Security and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement Vice President in the Goldman Sachs Business Intelligence Group Larry Summers: Obama chief economic adviser and head of the National Economic Counsel, Worked under Robert Rubin at Goldman Sachs John Thain: Obama Administration: Advisor to Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, Former Goldman Sachs Title: President and Chief Operating Officer (1999-2003)
Kevin O'Donovan December 07, 2011 at 11:04 AM
Good ideas and great writing must be in the Dickens family genes. The PATCH again provides a vehicle for good information and sources. OWS seems like an incomplete thought put into action. It seems to be emotionally driven, and offers no solutions. It seems to expect government solutions. We need to look in the mirror first. You can't have a "Great Society" without great people.
Amy Paddock December 07, 2011 at 01:14 PM
You should see the poor actions of people of power in all countries trying to use the idea of capitalism, often without the idea that those in charge will look out for their country interests, and the people of that country. Ethical does not necessarily mean "Moral". We have good examples of that. "Ethical" is being legal in most people's minds in business. If you find a way to go around those ethics, like the banks did in the housing market by dubious splitting of mortgages, it was "ethical" because they found a legal way to do it. Moral and Ethical are not the same thing. There is no such thing as Moral Capitalism, you can write a book about it, but most will only do what they think is "moral" or ethical enough. Checks and balances are important because of this. Greed is part of human nature and this is not the first time we have seen this take place. If I wanted to make sure that I knew how those who had a part in the downfall of the economy, I would hire those who knew who had a part in that downfall, to help me find the issues and make them do it. This listing that Charles puts down, only tends to make it seem that all were part of that problem, instead of looking at what was accomplished. Companies often do this as a way to fight their competitors. I know. There isn't any such think as "moral capitalism". You can make it sound good, but it doesn't exist in reality.
John Haluska December 07, 2011 at 02:03 PM
And Goldman Sachs supplied a similar list of personnel to the Bush Administration. So what's your point? The fact is there is no Moral Capitalism operating in the US today, Kevin knows it and Charlie, regardless of what name he hides behind, knows it too.
Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 03:54 PM
It does exists, two competitors. Ford and GM. Yes Amy, John, Bush did have Goldman Sachs people, so did Clinton. However Bush did not hire them during/after the subprime shutdown! No, if you have a group of narcissistic people that (as Amy pointed out) are out for only themselves you don't ask them to be in your administration. Ford is a great example of moral capitalism! Didn't want the money, stock went down to less than a dollar, sold 3 of its companies and shut down other two. The CEO took a dollar for salary while he drove to Washington. GM took their private jet, DC took their private jet, maybe Gore was with them talking carbon footprints?Their is a TON of smaller companies that are ma and pa shops in comparison that also show moral capitalism! You don't like my last name? Don't worry the admin's can see it.
John Haluska December 07, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Charlie, for the last time, define moral capitalism. Ford was a businessman and inventor who was a moral person in the context of his time and generally, by any standard, conducted his business in a moral, socially responsible manner. A capitalist is a personin who lives off the return on his investment, not off the earnings of a business he may operate or the earnngs of an invention. Bush's Goldman Sachs team helped lead us into our present economy. Those that are in now haven't helped. But again, while there are indeed moral people who are capitalists, that does not mean we are in or that there exists a system that can be called moral capitalism. Give us a definition.
Amy Paddock December 07, 2011 at 04:47 PM
there isn't people who really believe in responsible or "moral" capitalism. Not anymore. In order to exist in the market, there are people who set the markers, and that means in order to exist in the market, you end up playing the same game. It used to be quite common to have drinks at lunch and share stock trading information. I remember this. I also know that JP Morgan, S&P and many others are so deep in making bucks that they use any reason to obtain them. They justify it by saying "hey, it's business". What we are seeing know is no way, in any form "moral". Ethical only because they found a way to do it legally, and some "not so legal" ways by keeping people confused. Then there are those who have their own idea of what "moral" is, which is usually far departed from what the common person usually thinks. If you are an honest business person, you are constantly coming up against those who are dishonest and who will do anything to compete, including what I consider personally not "moral". Larger companies will actually lobby for "certain" regulation to make it harder for the smaller companies to compete. Tax breaks for larger companies are always given, while those in independent, smaller businesses are over looked. Tell me where any of this is moral? Most will just say "it's business" .
John Haluska December 07, 2011 at 04:50 PM
What we had in this country is a social contract where everyone was treated fairly and paid their own way according to their ability to do so. What the Radical Right now wants is laissez-faire capitalism, which is essentially let the rich do what they want without obligation to the society that made them rich or to those who by their won hard work and sacrifice built that society. On the one hand there is the Radical Right, servants to the rich, who are engaging in class warfare to make their masters richer. On the other is the Reasonable and Responsible Center working diligently for all of society and especially for the middle class and the poor and those others who need help, especially now, namely our children, and our elderly, and our sick, and our disabled. What the Radical Right chooses to ignore is that we are all in this together and, as Paul Wellstone said, we are all better off when we are all better off.
Kevin O'Donovan December 07, 2011 at 05:03 PM
John, Moral capitalism is offering and delivering goods and services as described, free of coercion and deceit. Consumers pick and choose. Consumers decide what they are willing to pay. Suppliers try and meet that challenge and if they are successful they are rewarded with a profit. Your picture of a happy world went the way of Stalin. Ask immigrants from the Ukraine,Poland,and Russia,how sweet it was. If you want to live in a place that provides you with your basic necessities, at the cost of your freedom, because that is the price established in Soviet markets, prisons, slave plantations, and mental hospitals, I'm sure that you and Amy have options. If you hope for both material improvement and freedom, you only have one option, and that is Capitalism. Get an education, develop a marketable skill, and get a job. Develop yourself in a way that is beneficial to others in your community. Create wealth. Pay for your own things and help other people along the way. Consumers create the market. In the Obamanation and under Communism the government dictates the market, what is available, what is enough, and finally the price. Merry Christmas.
Chris Steller (Editor) December 07, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Charlie, please don't introduce terms like "libtard" to Fridley Patch. The Patch terms of service prohibit "defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or offensive" content.
John Haluska December 07, 2011 at 06:55 PM
It seems incivility and rude language and behavior are all core values of the Right. as is, apparently, ignoring the question. Enjoy the Winter Solstice, one and all, and may the New Year bring peace and a generous and caring spirit to everyone, including both Kevin and Charlie. Namaste.
Amy Paddock December 07, 2011 at 08:09 PM
And where is the "moral" capitalism? Certainly, this last time around we didn't see it, we certainly can go back in history to show that if we leave Capitalism on it's own, with both ends of the rope, that it only leads to corruption by those who feel they are morally justified by using the example you just did. Honest - in being "ethical" doesn't work, does it? Certainly not without proper checks, and once checks are initiated - they are fought against by those who have the power to do so, and if they can find another way around it, it will happen again.
Amy Paddock December 07, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Actually, your reference to Stalin is off here. What ever the economic "model" is, it can be corrupted. Again, I bring back to human behavior and it's historical value in Capitalism. If someone sees areas where it is misused, and in this case there are very definite examples, and there are attempts to make it harder to act on that misuse, then your argument is that people want a pure Socialist Model? It is not a good argument to use that those who fight to make sure that isn't done - or that it will be harder to do - are some how socialists of "Stalin" economic model. Some, and that probably includes you, don't really know much about the Stalin model anyway. Your example of what you think "moral capitalism" is, doesn't cover the problems we face today either. If you give an economic problem to someone who uses it not just to promote a better economy within a country, or many - but to abuse it towards their own personal gain, while many suffer - how could you call that "moral capitalism"? You can't, unless you too use the term "moral" for your own personal gain. Coping out by saying someone is in support of a more socialistic economy type because they ask you to define your idea of "moral capitalism" is an attempt to divert. There have been many people involved in the downfall of our economy - none of them working for a socialist economy model. Back again in your court.
Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 08:41 PM
I guess John does have a problem with the same language he uses, as well as not understanding an answer several times. Topical double standard of the wondering left. This question has been answered.
Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 08:59 PM
Lol, you should talk John. Hey Chris, I'm on Hopkins patch.... And maybe your liberal baby sitting of john should look both ways. neocon Morally idealistic conservatatives. neocon is short for neo-conservative. Neocons separate themselves from Republicans that are traditionally fiscal conservative. Slang - Crusading republican. Slang - Neocons exist separated into two very distinct groups. Thelargest, group one, are the people below the 99th income percentile. They are religous and/or war-mongering blowhard lemmings who follow the second group; The second group is made up of the top one percent. They cut taxes for themselves, borrow trillions (second term pending), and their behavior is largely the subject of this blog. Of necessity, they pay Rove to pipe tabloid for the Rats. Lemmings rather. Whichever, they both work. Vlugar - White bible thumping trash. " John Haluska 1:49 pm on Monday, December 5, 2011 Let me help out Kevin and friends here. Moral Capitalism from the perspective of the Kochs, Norquists, O'Donovans, and other Teapublicans and Latter Day Neocons possibly is: Take the moneyand run, just don't share, and don't drive over any Republican babies with your get-away car, unless, of course, there's no chance they'll ID the driver. " John needs a time line on WHY we are here, along with a mirror and a copy of Glen necks Common Sense
Amy Paddock December 07, 2011 at 09:51 PM
Glen Necks? Hey, ah - this Glen Beck guy can weave a story that sounds as good as any conspiracy theory all in the name of his idea of good, as long as he doesn't have to be held to the same idea. Please say you do more then read Glen Beck!? NeoCon can be used as it was meant to which is why Chris referenced your use of your term and not Johns. NeoCon or Neo Conservative. Look it up when you have the chance. Chris is pretty respectful, and this article is open to all areas that are in district 5 . Patch has a set of rules it applies to all areas.
Kevin O'Donovan December 07, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Amy, I think everybody can feel the same sense of frustration that you have. I do think laws and agreements have been broken, and that very few seem to have been held responsible. Capitalism is the best system to lift people up to a higher standard of living. There are solutions to the problems we face, but they are too complex for slogans. In a way though I think we can all agree that decisions made in a panic can have unforseen consequences. Laws against, fraud and theft have been broken. People bought more than they could afford. Insurance companies sold coverage that they had inadequate assets to cover. Stocks are being gambled on, instead of invested in. Too many people are trying to suck on hind teat and live off the fat ( A southern expression for laziness and indolence). The government over promises, and over regulates. It is a ship that has exceeded its capacity,and at the helm is an incompetent navigator. We don't have to mutiny or jump ship but we do have to survive the storm. Soon we'll replace the captain and crew. Then we begin a new journey.
Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 10:54 PM
LoL, I told you I was on my phone. Auto correct! No conspiracy if you read the book. Yes, I read more than Glen BECK, I also read History unlike Neocon or Neo Conservative is not flattering either way, you look them up! If John can't take the heat.... Don't whine about it after you use the a similar term.
Charlie Dickens December 07, 2011 at 10:56 PM
How about NEOCON Chris?
Amy Paddock December 07, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Kevin, my frustration? A well seasoned, experienced business person, with grass root lobbying experience for independent business and political knowledge would say that it should be everyone's frustration.
John Haluska December 08, 2011 at 12:22 AM
For those who need some help in deciding if NEOCON is pejorative consider for those who follow American politics above the bumper sticker level it’s shorthand for Neo-Conservative or Neo-Conservatism of the American variant. In this country it got its start in the 20's or 30's from what most call the far left (many attribute its start to the Trotskyite concept of permanent revolution). Eventually it was taken up by the Radical Right, who found it much of its theory valuable in assembling its rationale for the U. S. foreign policy of G.W. Bush - things like preemptive war and imposing democracy. En-route to Bush's administration was a stop in Reagan's administration in the guise of Jean Kirkpatrick, a strong NEOCON. Between Reagan and Bush II Neo -conservative thought also picked up an bad dose of Social Darwinism that in turn has attracted those who inject religion (i. e. a shortcut to the Rapture) into politics and have a fear of what they don't understand, such as science. Think of the modern NEOCON movement as a disease of the Right and realize that those who carry it display not just an ignorance of things such as political history and theory, economics, science, geography (excepting Michele Bachmann), and government, among basics, but also xenophobia, ultra nationalism, social elitism, etc., not to mention incivility, rudeness and an inability to carry on a rational discussion without being racist and bigoted. Fortunately only a few who post here are infected.
Charlie Dickens December 08, 2011 at 03:02 AM
John, I have no idea what that first sentence is supposed to say! Punctuation is a great thing, so quit making bumper stickers. Again, if you choose to insult that's fine. Just don't whine about it. Yes, John. You can't carry a rational discussion without being a racist or bigoted. After all, twas you who cast the first stone! Neocon, and Libtard are just like moral capitalism are on the internet for you to look up, and it doesn't matter where it came from. It matters only how you use it and what it means. Here's another one. The Libtroll spreads guilt complexes by invoking flaky sociological theories with no basis in reality. If you're not sure whether someone is a Libtroll, politely disagree and see if he calls you a racist. Libtrolls can also be identified by their hatred of the West, their liberal accent, and the overpowering stench of white guilt. http://m.urbandictionary.com/#define?term=neocon
John Haluska December 08, 2011 at 03:48 AM
I guess I forgot two other characteristics of the Right. First, it seems they may be a sensitive lot. Second, they evidently turn to non-standard references when faced with a word with which they aren't familiar. While I usually consult a reference librarian, in the case of Neo-conservatism there is nothing wrong with Wikipedia's presentation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism). I avoid the Urban dictionary. It tends to be simplistic and vulgar, but perhaps that's appealing to some?
Amy Paddock December 08, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Urban dictionary? Why use that? there is a whole history of neo-conservatism.
Charlie Dickens December 08, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Yes, but then wiki did not define the word either! I guess you can't figure out how to use wiki to define moral capitalism? Must not have been on a bumper sticker.
John Haluska December 08, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Well, this certainly is an opportunity to grow our vocabulary - Libtard?, Libtroll? I wonder where those are defined?
Charlie Dickens December 08, 2011 at 04:32 AM
Want links John, then you can look up Neocon as well.
James Sanna (Editor) December 08, 2011 at 02:34 PM
The previous two comments were deleted because they violate Patch's terms of service, which state users may not post or upload content that is "defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or offensive."
Kevin O'Donovan December 08, 2011 at 09:35 PM
At the end of the movies "As Good As It Gets" and Monty Python's "Life of Brian there is a closing song "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life".It occured to me that this would be a great theme song for a flash mob, sing along, accompanying OWS. A sense of humor is more appealing than a steady, simmering rage.


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