Welcome to WCCO.com’s 2018 political guide!
We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate, Governor, U.S Congress, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewer’s questions.
Above is the video and below are the answers Keith Ellison provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.
Responses from Keith Ellison, DFL candidate for Attorney General:
The Trump Administration’s new E.P.A rollback of Coal Pollution Regulations allows states to decide how much to cut emissions. What is your stance on the Clean Air Act and what policy would you propose if elected?
I oppose the Trump Administration’s reckless rollback of the Clean Power Plan, which endangers our health, environment, and economy. As Minnesota Attorney General, I will join other states in taking the Trump Administration to court over this dangerous attack on the health of Minnesota families and our clean air. I support Minnesota’s ongoing efforts to reduce air pollution and grow our state’s green energy economy.
Should Minnesota legalize and regulate sports gambling?
I believe any action Minnesota takes on sports gambling should be carefully considered, to ensure any changes work for the people of Minnesota. As Attorney General, I will direct my staff to work closely with the Minnesota Legislature to study this issue and consider any changes to our policy. Should Minnesota decide to move forward with any changes to sports betting, my priority will be to ensure a strong responsible policy that protects Minnesota consumers.
Should people convicted of non-violent drug offenses be released from prison and their records expunged?
The attempt to crack down on drug crime has resulted in the disproportionate imprisonment of people of color, especially young black men, for non-violent offenses. From 16 years as an attorney specializing in public defense, I learned first hand that punishing these people further does not keep us any safer; true justice means allowing these individuals to seek rehabilitation, treatment, and training to re-enter our society as productive people leading full lives in their communities.
Should Minnesota approve restrictions on gun purchases and/or ownership?
Bump stock ban? “Red flag” law to allow police to confiscate weapons from a person who is a danger to himself or others? Universal background check? Assault weapon ban?
I am proud to be a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate. Gun violence has disrupted the lives of Minnesotans of all ages and all walks of life across the state. I saw firsthand Washington’s failure to act on public demands to enact common sense gun safety solutions. As Attorney General, I will work to prevent gun violence by fighting for laws that require universal background checks for gun sales, a ban of the sale of assault weapons, large capacity magazines and bump stocks, and by keeping guns out of the hands of people who pose a risk to themselves or to others, including domestic violence offenders. I will also defend Minnesota’s laws by standing with the Attorneys General of 17 other states to fight bad federal legislation that will undermine our ability to establish and enforce our state gun safety measures.
Should Minnesota cities be allowed to declare themselves “sanctuary cities” and decline to cooperate with federal officials to enforce immigration laws?
Law enforcement officers already have some of the hardest jobs in our state, keeping communities and residents safe across Minnesota. I support Minnesota cities ensuring that their peace officers focus on serving the communities they live in and work for, not doing the federal government’s work for them. Our law enforcement officers work hard everyday to protect and build relationships with the communities they serve, including our immigrant neighbors.
There is an an effort by state attorneys general to sue pharmaceutical companies for their role in helping create the opioid crisis in America and Minnesota. Will you support those efforts by filing a lawsuit on behalf of Minnesota?
Pharmaceutical companies must be held accountable for the deceptive and aggressive marketing tactics that have fueled the rise of the opioid crisis in Minnesota, and throughout our country. As Attorney General, I will lead on lawsuits that would provide essential resources for opioid enforcement, prevention, and treatment services here in Minnesota.
Should the penalty for certain violent crimes in Minnesota be the death penalty?
I oppose the death penalty, which is disproportionately applied to the poor, people of color and, in too many cases, the innocent. With the rise of DNA testing and other scientific advances, more and more cases once thought settled are being revisited and overturned. We must keep the possibility of greater justice alive.
Should Minnesota release non-violent drug offenders currently serving Minnesota prison terms?
The attempt to crack down on drug crime has resulted in the disproportionate imprisonment of people of color, especially young black men, for non-violent offenses. True justice means allowing these individuals to seek rehabilitation, treatment, and training to re-enter our society as productive people leading full lives in their communities.