Thursday, September 28, 2006

Too Hot For The Star Tribune

From a press release from Fine For Congress:

Minneapolis, Wednesday, September 27, 2006 – After an onslaught of repeated demonstrable distortions by the Star Tribune regarding legitimate questions of Keith Ellison’s associations with groups that preach hate and division, the Fine for Congress Campaign submitted a rebuttal Op/Ed to the paper to correct the record. The paper is refusing to let the Fine campaign be heard. The silenced Op/Ed is attached for your use and distribution.

"Some in the media and on the far Left would like to create the illusion that my criticisms of Ellison's intimate associations with groups that preach hate and division are somehow about race and religion. It is easier for them to defend the indefensible by deflecting attention away from these associations, both past and present," said 5th District Candidate for Congress Alan Fine.

"As the mainstream candidate in this race, I want to take this opportunity to share with you what some apologists of Keith Ellison would rather you don't see. Please see the attached Op/Ed which the Star Tribune is refusing to run."

Here is the Op/Ed in its entirety:

Much ink has been spilled on these editorial pages and those of the news sections since the September 12th primary election to create the illusion that my criticisms of Keith Ellison’s fitness to be the 5th Congressional District Congressperson are somehow about race and/or religion. And of course, they are not.

My criticisms of Ellison (which will continue) pertain to his fitness to serve due to the integrity of his own words and actions (past and present) which are, in my opinion, an indictment against his candidacy. Ellison has been a lawmaker with a record of lawlessness. He has a history of intimate associations with individuals and groups that preach division and hate rather than inclusiveness and unity.

Moreover, Ellison’s current associations are still questionable and his answers are incomplete. For example, in this campaign, he has taken political contribution from individuals that represent the leadership of a group that leading Democrats like Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin agree have intimate ties to terrorism.

Separately, we have so many important issues that we face as a district, state and nation. This requires strong leadership, common sense, an inclusive approach, and a refined heart amongst those who represent us.

I want to serve in Washington because I care deeply about our future.

In Washington, I will be a strong advocate for the environment and human rights. It is often said that the test of a generation is to leave the next even better off. This isn’t just a statement about economics. We have a responsibility to pass on to our children and grandchildren the gift of true freedom and a healthier environment than the one we have inherited.

Affordable and quality healthcare is one of the most challenging issues of our time. Too often in Washington, partisan politics gets in the way of reasonable reforms. I intend to work across Party lines to help ensure that each and every Minnesota has access to affordable and quality healthcare.

One-size-fits-all education does not work. Background, cultural influence, varying life goals and the variety of learning styles among children necessitates broad curriculum leeway and varying approaches to instruction. Therefore, I support education as a national priority, but primarily with local and parental control.

We were ill equipped and ill informed as we engaged in an armed conflict in Iraq. If we were going to go at all, we should have listened to those on the ground, and entered with stronger international coalitions, broader international support, more troops and a plan to win the peace. We must leave Iraq soon. I recommend that we enlist the support of our allies in reaching this objective while assisting in the long-term stability of the situation, if at all possible.

Internationally, we should continue to build a global vision amongst the nations that seeks an end to war, state-sponsored terrorism, genocide and famine. Moreover, we should stand by our allies and we should never accept political contributions from individuals and organizations that are considered to have associations with terror groups.

There has been an unacceptable increase in crime and violence, especially in the city of Minneapolis. The long-term solution involves giving hope to those who are hopeless through economic development, job creation, education, community work programs and family support programs. But we also must support, both morally and with the proper tools, our dedicated law enforcement. As your Congressperson, you will find strong support for community building, community safety, respect for the law and law enforcement.

I believe we have done a good job keeping a lid on taxes, but we must hold the line on federal spending which includes eliminating pork. In Washington, I will work tirelessly to continue to ease the tax burden, ensure fairness in our tax code, and maximize the effectiveness of government programs while standing strong against runaway spending and deficits.

I am a mainstream voice with a track record of leadership that transcends Party labels. I am both a businessman and teacher, a parent and a native 4th generation Minnesotan. I bring a unique blend of experience to Washington. So, I encourage you, the voters of the 5th Congressional District; Greens, Independents, Democrats and Republicans alike, to look beyond the rhetoric and illusions and join with me in my campaign for Congress. To learn more about my campaign, please visit my website at

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