Attorney General Challenger's View: Ellison absent on crime, casting doubt about his leadership
From the column: "What has Ellison been focused on instead? Pushing a so-called climate lawsuit against American energy and manufacturing companies."
The news landed like a hammer. Violent crime in Minnesota had surged 21% over the past year. The sharp increases in murders, aggravated assaults, and property thefts inflict massive negative impacts on our communities by undermining neighborhood safety, trust in government, and the ability of businesses to operate.
Unfortunately, Attorney General Keith Ellison, our state’s chief law-enforcement officer, has been absent on this issue, showing little concern for one of his top job responsibilities: ensuring a safe and functioning society by putting criminals behind bars.
What has Ellison been focused on instead? Pushing a so-called climate lawsuit against American energy and manufacturing companies while we’re in the middle of an energy and inflation crisis.
In fact, instead of fighting crime, Ellison has been so concerned with attacking the law-abiding and hardworking men and women at these companies that he’s recruited big-money forces from New York and California to help out with his case. Ellison introduced the lawsuit in the summer of 2020 while everyone was focused on addressing COVID-19 and crime was starting to spike. Working on the case were two attorneys he hired to work in his office whose salaries were being paid by New York City billionaire Michael Bloomberg and the New York University School of Law.
That’s right, instead of state attorneys serving as government workers — who are paid by and answer to taxpayers — these lawyers are getting their paychecks from Bloomberg, who appears to be trying to purchase a Minnesota state government office to wage a legal war against his political opponents.
Are we dealing with a massive conflict of interest here? Are these two attorneys, working in a Minnesota state government office, prioritizing the needs of Minnesota taxpayers or the wishes of Bloomberg? What happens if the AG’s office is called upon to pursue a company owned by Bloomberg?
The issue has gotten so bad that the Minnesota state Legislature had to consider legislation to rein in Ellison’s use of privately paid attorneys inside of our state government. And when confronted during an interview with MPR, Ellison feigned ignorance, claiming, “I don’t dig into who the donors are, so I’m hearing about this all from a third party. But, according to the critics, the foundation that Michael Bloomberg started. …”
So, Ellison apparently didn’t do his due diligence when hiring these Bloomberg lawyers or he’s not being honest about how it happened. Either way, it doesn’t give you much confidence in his leadership.
This entire episode shows that it’s time to retire Ellison at the ballot box this November, and it’s why I’m running against him. Minnesota needs an attorney general’s office that will finally get its priorities straight and that answers to Minnesotans rather than billionaire and Hollywood elites.
Ellison seems more than happy to ignore a massive spike in crime as he teams up with Bloomberg and actor Leonardo DiCaprio to try to take down the American energy industry.
If I’m elected, I’ll fire those Bloomberg-paid attorneys, tell DiCaprio he can keep his money, and get back to what our attorney general should be doing: enforcing the rule of law, protecting Minnesotans from serious threats to their rights, and keeping Minnesotans safe.
Jim Schultz of Minnetonka is the Republican candidate for Minnesota attorney general. He wrote this for the News Tribune at the invitation of the Opinion page.