Rep. Keith Ellison and one of the Republican candidates in the Fifth District's November election tend to disagree on many issues—from deregulation of businesses to the effectiveness of social programs. But this past week, they've been in agreement on a couple issues. However, they strongly disagree about the controversial appointment of Richard Cordray.
The National Defense Authorization Act
On New Year's Eve Day, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, expanding the power and scope of the U.S. government to fight the "War on Terror." However, the president said he had reservations about key parts of the law. ABC News reports that this includes "a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge."
The legislation has drawn severe criticism from liberal groups, civil liberties groups, Democrats and even Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who called it “a slip into tyranny.” So it's not a surprise that there would be some commonality between the two candidates of different parties.
Along with being against spending additional money on Afghanistan, Ellison said the bill threatens civil liberties, saying, "Everyone from the ACLU to the FBI has expressed concerns about the bill. By preventing the military from transferring detainees to U.S. prisons, the bill essentially ensures that Guantanamo Bay will never be closed."
, said in a statement to Patch that he agreed with Ellison, saying, "There is no way I would've ever voted for a bill that allows for the detention of Americans without due process."
However, Fields said Ellison could have gone further.
"Ellison is Co-Chair of the Progressive caucus," Fields said. "That caucus has 105 members whereas the Tea Party caucus has roughly 60. Ellison has the numbers to have a much bigger impact but he lacks focus and leadership."
Ending the Violence in North Minneapolis
At the funeral service for a toddler struck and killed by a stray bullet in north Minneapolis on Dec. 26, 2011, Ellison, along with Governor Dayton, were in attendance and called for an end to the violence in north Minneapolis.
Fields, echoed Jan. 4 sentiments in a statement to Patch on Jan. 9, saying:
"It can not be another day or just a another sad turn of events. If there was ever a reason for civil disobedience, this is it. As a community we must speak with a resounding voice. Not just the people of Northside but all people."
The Appointment of Richard Cordray to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Ellison and Fields hold very different views on the recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Rep. Keith Ellison took to Twitter last week to support President Barack Obama.
"Yep, Obama did good by recess appointing #Cordray to lead #CFPB," Ellison tweeted on Jan. 4.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Democrats saw Obama the move as "reinforcing one of his main re-election themes, which is that congressional Republicans want to thwart his every move," and Ellison expressed this in a Jan. 4 tweet:
"Rs blocked Richard Cordray’s appointment to lead CFPB b/c they object to consumer protections to rein in tricky, abusive practices."
However, in a statement to Patch, Fields said if this was President George W. Bush making a similar appointment, a politician like Ellison would "undoubtedly join in if not try to manufacture more outrage." He also said, "The agency will be nothing more than a bureaucratic nightmare that doesn't make anyone's daily life better but sucks billions out of the government. This new agency will give Washington lobbyists, lawyers and special interests another target to throw money at in hopes furthering there cause."
Forbes is reporting that under Cordray, the CFPD today began supervising non-banks such as student loan companies and mortgage servicers. Unlike Fields, Ellision has said he expects Cordray to make a real difference for Minnesotans.
Ellison tweeted on Jan. 4 that Cordray "means Minnesota will be protected from abuses by predatory lenders" because in the past, Cordray "pursued credit rating agencies who gave bad AAA ratings, sued scammers who bilked elderly, secured $700M+ from A.I.G."
Democrat Keith Ellison also faces Republican challengers , and Democrat in November's election.
Editor's Note: None of the three responded to Patch's request for comments. We welcome them to share their views on the above topics in the comments section below.