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Keith Ellison, left, and Chris Fields

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Chris Fields: The Fifth District deserves better

  • Article by: CHRIS FIELDS
  • October 30, 2012 - 9:30 PM

Counterpoint

Since I started this campaign my focus has been on running to represent the misrepresented.

I have crafted a platform that is focused on closing the largest unemployment gap between black and white workers in the entire country, as well as the largest achievement gap in education between black and white students. Both are found right here in our Twin Cities.

By 2050 the United States will be 51 percent minority. If we allow these gaps to persist here and throughout the country, America's economy will be incapable of sustaining itself. By working together we can expand the economic pie and secure a future of inclusion and progress for all who choose to take responsibility for themselves, their families and our community.

But the divisive, self-serving, even narcissistic, practices of the past will not achieve this goal. We need change and the time to act is now.

For over a year I have challenged Rep. Keith Ellison's focus and commitment to the people of the Fifth Congressional District.

Congressman Ellison has been in public office for 10 years. By now we should have seen measurable progress given his "deep community ties."

Recent editorials laud the congressman for being an effective advocate for those in our district, including those facing foreclosure ("Ellison serves district well," Oct. 29). If that is true, where were the public complaints while the Obama administration, under the Wall Street-dominated bias of its Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, ignored homeowners in need of mortgage modifications, siding instead with banks that fought to wait out adjustments to their balance sheets and servicers who profited from defaulting borrowers?

No, Congressman Ellison is not a fighter for the people of the Fifth District. He talks a good game, but he has chosen to focus on his own celebrity, international issues and pointless legislation, such as reparations for slavery, in lieu of maintaining a focus on the pressing needs of his true constituents.

While his public stature has grown, paychecks for the middle class, benefits for seniors and family net worth have gotten smaller.

He has become an expert at pursuing foreign policy ideas that policymakers on both sides of the aisle regard as irrational. He can be counted on faithfully to seek new ways to demonize and vilify political opponents.

During a recent debate Ellison had a public meltdown and called me a "lowlife scumbag," "stupid" and "gutter dweller," and repeatedly has called me a liar without proof or justification.

If this were a single misstep perhaps he should be given a pass; sadly, it's not.

He has made himself an icon for the dysfunction in Washington that turns so many Americans away from politics and towards self-defeating cynicism.

President Obama said, "When you don't have a record to run on, you paint your opponent as somebody people should run away from."

Since I have retired from the Marines I have focused on building bridges and giving the people of the Fifth Congressional District a credible alternative to Keith Ellison. I offer a great understanding of the challenges we face and real experience at making government effective and efficient. Having been born and brought up challenged by unprecedented circumstances, this great country allowed me to make a success of my life through public service.

I am asking the voters of the Fifth Congressional District to allow me the opportunity to take my experience, my passion and my dedication to serve all, while helping the most vulnerable among us.

Now is the time to renew our common interest in order to secure shared prosperity.

If elected I will provide the leadership and focused attention needed to move us all forward.

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Chris Fields is a Republican candidate for the U.S. House.

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