Thursday, October 30, 2008
At an event organized by the Somali American Community, a non-partisan organization in Minnesota, US Congressman Rep. Keith Ellison campaigned for fellow democrat, Al Franken, in his meeting to an electrified crowd of Somali-Americans.
Ellison declared that his вАЬfirst two years in Congress were just to
set a foundationвАЭ but that he is now experienced and can move things
forward. вАЬI need more friends in the Senate and Congress вА¶ honestly, we
are in a good shape this time but I need you to help me get Al Franken
elected to the SenateвАЭ he said.
Ellison talked to the crowd about his close relationship with the Somali community and their empirical role in his last election. Somalis are said to have helped Rep. Keith Ellison defeat his 2006 election rivals, Tammy Lee (IP), Alan Fine (R), and Jay Pond (G) by about 30%. вАЬYou have graciously given me your votes and trust and I am very grateful and proud to serve as your representative,вАЭ Ellison said.
In speaking against FrankenвАЩs opponent Republican Senator Norm Coleman, Ellison said, вАЬHe has voted with President Bush almost always and that he hasnвАЩt done anything to advance peace in the Middle East or Somalia.вАЭ
A Rasmussen poll taken on Tuesday night has Coleman leading Franken 43% to 39% in the hotly contested seat for the US Senate. Independent candidate Dean Barkley has 14% of those surveyed, while 4% are undecided.
Regarding Somalia, Ellison told the attendees that he is concerned about the political situation in Somalia and has been studying and working to bring peace to Somalia and the region. He said вАЬAside from the other information available to me as a representative, I have been advised by the senior representative and the African Sub-committee chairman Rep. Donald Payne, officials from the region and many friends from the Somali community.
He continued, вАЬI met the deputy speaker of the Kenyan Parliament, Farah Maalim and other officials in my short visit to Nairobi this year.вАЭ
вАЬI want you be patient вА¶ as the power of dripping water could move a mountain, we will, Insha Allah, find peace for Somalia,вАЭ Rep. Keith Ellison assured the crowd.
In September, Ellison introduced H. RES. 1424, a bill supporting accountability for abuses in Somalia. This bill is currently pending as the country deals with elections and the вАШeconomic melt downвАЩ.
Among the many community leaders in attendance was Abdullahi Ugas Farah, a prominent Somali traditional leader. Farah is visiting the U.S. to inspire Somalis to help their native country and talk with American officials about the real intricacies of the Somali crisis. вАЬI am here to encourage my people to help reconstitute their country and tell American leaders about the true nature of the situation in my countryвАЭ he said.
Addressing Somali-Americans, Abdullahi said вАЬbecause we know and trust his intentions, you must help Rep. Keith Ellison in order for Keith to be helpful to the situation in Somalia, you must also elect Al Franken to the senate.”
Engineer Hassan Mohamud вАЬHassanowвАЭ told Mshale that he was encouraged to see the Somali issue get traction. вАЬI am not only going to vote for both Rep. Keith Ellison and Al Franken … Actually, I am going to vote for them tomorrowвАЭ said Mr. Hassanow.
An estimated sixty to eighty thousand Somalis have recently, beginning in 1991, have immigrated to Minnesota and quickly became an important part of the voting block.