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Ellison’s Money Problems

Representative Keith Ellison has a problem (or 2) with money in politics.

In a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus blames “big money” (aka: corporations and super PACs) for Republican Governor Scott Walker’s recall win in Wisconsin. He announced plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United which he claims allows for unfair election funding practices.

“In a state of only six million people, $60 million was poured into the race, $50 million of which went to Governor Walker. And almost half of that was spent by outside groups — most of them not based in the state of Wisconsin,” says Ellison in his op-ed.

Back in Minnesota though, Representative Ellison is raising “big money” for his own congressional campaign and it’s not all from individual citizens of Minnesota’s Fifth District.

According to a recent fundraising letter sent by Ellison’s competitor, retired marine Chris Fields, Ellison has raised and spent over one million dollars thus far on the 2012 election, with more than 80% of donations coming from outside Ellison’s district.  FEC reports show large numbers of donors from California, New York and Washington, DC.

Ellison holds a 20 to 1 fundraising advantage over his competitor due in large part to the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by Political Action Committees, some funded by the very “special interests” Ellison is pushing to silence with his amendment.

His own fundraising efforts seem to be in direct contradiction to his political rhetoric.

“The Wisconsin election shows that we will not have a government of, by and for the people as long as we have politicians who are bought and paid for by special interests,” says Ellison.

Using this rationale, are we to assume that Representative Ellison is beholden to his own special interest donations?

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