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Fields Tries to Leverage Debate Outburst into Fundraising

The Republican challenger for Minnesota’s 5th District is asking supporters for money to counter Ellison’s comments.

GOP challenger Chris Fields has been quick to try to capitalize on a debate with 5th District Rep. Keith Ellison that devolved to name-calling and personal attacks.

In a fundraising e-mail the day after Thursday’s debate, Fields reminded supporters that Ellison called him a “low-life scumbag” and a “gutter dweller.”

“Throughout this campaign, Ellison has also referred to me as a ‘liar’ and ‘stupid’, and even went as far as to refer to the entire GOP base as a ‘bigoted party,’” he wrote. “Friends, I urgently need your help to fight back against these abhorrent attacks. Will you help us take new TV and radio ads live immediately by making an emergency contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more right away?

The dispute began when Ellison disputed some of Fields’ assertions—and ratcheted up in intensity when Fields questioned Ellison’s role in alerting a local news outlet about a dismissed temporary restraining order.

The men were soon arguing about their past marriages. At one point, KFAI News Director Dale Connelly put himself bodily between the two political rivals.

Following the debate, Ellison said:

"In response to my opponent's false statement, I made an uncivil reference to him. I should not have done so. I acted beneath my personal standard as a public official, and I apologize. …

"His untrue reference to the terms of my divorce was over the line, but my comment to him was over the line too. His tactics are no excuse for my departure from civility.

"I will not allow this to happen again, and I regret my action."

The two were to meet again Tuesday at the Minneapolis Urban League, but that debate has been cancelled, the Star Tribune reported Monday morning.

Greg Staffa October 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I hope this isn't the real Keith Ellison were seeing. I was a Union member which is one of Keith Ellison biggest Union donors. During the Delta Merger I lost my job due to discrimination. I took it to court and won but before things were righted I slipped through the cracks. Quickly the union was voted out and I was left alone. I had lost my job and by 2009 I lost my home. December 2009 I became homeless. My story was on the front page of the Star Tribune. Keith Ellison claims to fight against discrimination. He claims to fight for workers. And one day Keith Ellison reached out to me. For the first time while homeless I found hope. Hope because Ellison had connections to the people at Delta. He told them during the merger he was going to hold them accountable. It gave me hope because according to my union contract My work injury that left me disabled should never have cost me my job and home. So Ellison reaches out to me via twitter and says "Contact at my office" I am quickly told that Ellison is too busy to meet with me. It confused me because it was Ellison who reached out to me. So I reply to Ellison via twitter what I was told and he replies that what I was told wasnt true and he needed to find time. At some point Ellison blocked me on twitter. That was 338 days ago. Still no meeting. If Keith Ellison can't keep his word to a homeless man then who? Keith you can reach me at Greg.staffa@hotmail.com But maybe Ellison thinks the Homeless are scumbags
Larry Petermen October 22, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Ok, one more time -- Chris Fields -- you are on the Patch all the time giving your opinions -- how about answering a question from a possible constituent -- when you are going to explain the lawsuit over your fundraiser? You speak so loudly everywhere else but our silent here...We know you read this -- so how about an answer. Your silence is speaking volumes about you...
Michael Hindin October 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM
The tea party repoublicans have led a relentless attack aginst Representative Ellison because of his Muslim faith. The last three campaigns including LynnTorgerson, Gary Boisclair and others have shamelessly accused Representive Ellison of being a radical Islamist while President George Bush asked Representative Ellison to be a goodwill ambassador to newly emerging Middleast countries and Ellison did his patriotic duty to our country. Representative Ellison has a long history of working with Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizatios starting as a state representative. After much abuse I can understand why a man can lose his cool. He was also man enough to apologize.
Michael Hindin October 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM
There are people in his office who are trained to assist you. You need to follow directions and contact his office directly and not Representative Ellison. Representative Ellison referred me to his staff several times and they provided excellent assistance each time.
Michael Hindin October 24, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Chris Fields was blatently unawair of Representative Ellisons's record and attacked him for serving President Bush's call for a credible goodwill ambassador. Fields is probaly unawair of the Republican Party welcoming the segregationist Dixiecrats with open arms after tthe passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Segregationists like strom Thurmaond and Jesse Helms became Republican powerhouses in the US Senate and set back civil rights and environmental justice for decades. President Johnson lost the south by signing the Civil Rights Act and the Republicans recruited angry white men as candidates and voters while suppressing minority voters in every way possible. The party of lincoln left lincoln in 1964.

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