The end of last month brought a dismal jobs report that showed only 69,000 new jobs had been added, causing the unemployment rate to tick up to 8.2 percent.
On his campaign website, challenger Chris Fields argued that the unemployment is driven by policies like those Ellison supports.
Job growth is at pathetic levels. Americans are out of work. Things are especially bad in the Fifth District, where we have the largest unemployment between blacks and whites in the entire country.
And what is Keith Ellison’s jobs plan? More government regulation.
Yes, you read that right – Keith Ellison believes that government should create jobs by forcing more burdensome regulations on our businesses. That way, the businesses will have to hire legions of new employees to figure out how to comply with the new regulations.
Around here we call that plan “keith-o-nomics”, since it is the kind of plan that could only be dreamt up by a career politician like Keith Ellison.
Friends, you know like I do that government doesn’t create jobs. Our businesses are already drowning in regulations. In order to get our economy back on track we need the government to get out of the way!
But Ellison noted in a news release that public sector job cuts offset bigger private sector job growth:
The latest dismal unemployment report proves that government has more than just a cheerleading role in creating a vibrant economy. We’ve seen two years of private sector growth and the American people need to see more. But state and local governments are actually contributing to the jobs crisis. The public sector lost 13,000 jobs in May. We’re in a slow recovery that started in June 2009 but the public sector doesn’t seem to realize it and has cut 600,000 jobs since then. This includes more than 250,000 workers in public education. This public sector shrinkage cannot sustain an economy and shows again that austerity does not create prosperity.
Government has a role to play by producing jobs and stoking the economy.
Fields is taking Ellison’s communications director to task for dismissing the challenger’s candidacy. Fields’ campaign posted audio on YouTube of Matt Roznowski saying the following at the Loring Pasta bar May 3:
He’s not on anyone’s radar. He’s not a serious challenger. And you know, he’ll get 20 percent. But this is a very Democratic district, so it’s a pretty safe seat for Keith.
Said Fields: “Keith Ellison has already raised over a million dollars for this race. How much money does it take to defeat a challenger who is "not serious?"
Ellison has also taken to YouTube. The incumbent ran a video of what he called “Minnesota Week” that highlighted his visits around the district. The video is modeled after the White House’s “West Wing Week.”
(Both Fields' and Ellison's videos can be viewed above.)