By Keith Ellison
As attorney general-elect, I’m continuing to collect as much advice as I can about how to arrange and lead the office to best serve Minnesotans. I thank the Star Tribune Editorial Board for providing theirs in “Advice for state’s next attorney general,” Nov. 8)
I ran for attorney general to carry on the office’s longstanding tradition — built for the past six decades by great attorneys general from Walter Mondale on — of ensuring a fair economy and civil rights for the people of Minnesota. I’m deeply honored that the voters of Minnesota have asked me to keep building it.
During the campaign, I said that the only condition anyone will have to meet to work in my office is being committed to the public interest of the people of Minnesota. That’s why I promised last month that my first legislative priority is to pass civil service protections so that staff in the office of the attorney general cannot be fired on the basis of partisan affiliation.
For these reasons and others, my campaign received the public support of Minnesota’s top legal leaders, including: four retired Supreme Court justices, two former attorneys general, two former solicitors general and eight former deputy attorneys general. They trusted me to run the office fairly and impartially, and I will reward their trust.
Since the election, I have also resigned my position as a deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee so that I can devote all my time to the people of Minnesota.
In the next days and years, I’ll continue gathering advice from people across Minnesota, just as I did over the course of my campaign. I’ve listened to thousands of Minnesotans who told me their stories and what they and their families needed from the next attorney general. What’s clear is that middle-class and working Minnesotans are struggling to keep up with the expenses of everyday life.
Minnesotans from all walks of life — farmers, laborers, students and small-business owners — all benefit from an attorney general who will stand up for them against economic predators, whether that’s by taking on drug corporations that aggressively raise the price of lifesaving medication, enforcing antitrust laws to make sure our family farms have a fair shot or making sure students aren’t saddled with insurmountable debt by predatory lenders.
As I move forward with the transparent, common-sense agenda that the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has historically led on — economic fairness, affordability of health care and safeguarding civil and human rights — Minnesotans can trust that no matter what color they are, what gender they are, how much money they make, how healthy they are, where they live, how they pray, whom they love or how they vote, they will have an attorney general on their side, fighting for their rights and for their prosperity.
Keith Ellison, a Democrat, represents Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District and is attorney general-elect.