Ellison updates county DFL on AG office’s activities

Staff photo by Gage Cureton Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison speaks at a Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) picnic at Hermann Heights Park Thursday.

NEW ULM — As part of a three day tour of south central and southwest Minnesota, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison visited New Ulm and spoke at a Brown County Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) picnic at Hermann Heights Park Thursday.

According to a press release from the state Attorney General’s office, Ellison is touring the state to meet with constituents and state legislators to hold public roundtable discussions and listening sessions.

Ellison, a former congressmen , updated Brown County DFL members about what his office has been doing since November 2018 and about current actions by his office.

Ellison said his office and the office of Governor Tim Walz are working to “make and help people afford their lives.”

He referenced a binding written opinion he issued in May that states public school districts may not restrict student participation in graduation ceremonies because of unpaid meal debt.

“I issued an opinion that said ‘yes they can (graduate),'” he said.

In an effort to hold telecommunications companies accountable, Ellison said Minnesota is suing Comcast and other companies over allegations of price fraud and potential price hacks that customers were unaware of.

“There’s a lot of people who pay through the nose for a telecom service,” he said. “But they don’t always get it.”

Ellison also spoke of Minnesota’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, a maker of the opioid painkiller OcyContin. Minnesota first sued Purdue Pharma in 2018 for allegations of fraud, unlawful trade practices and false advertising.

“We’re holding the big drug companies accountable,” Ellison said. “We’re suing because of false advertising.”

Ellison said that state is also holding insulin manufacturers accountable for rising prices.

He thanked those in attendance for their contributions to the 2018 midterm elections and urged members to continue participation and to vote.

“Who is going to be the moral voice of America, of Brown County, of Minnesota,” Ellison said to attendees. “It’s not me — it’s you because you sent us here.”

Ellison will hold a roundtable discussion on wage theft 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Mankato Labor Temple, 310 Mckenzie St. S., with Russ Hess, President of the Southeast Minnesota Area Labor Council, and a listening session with Mankato-area state legislators 6 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Student Union, room 245, at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Senator Nick Frentz, Rep. Jack Considine and Rep. Jeff Brand will be in attendance.

Ellison is meeting with state legislators, community leaders and workers during a three day tour of south central and southwest Minnesota Thursday through Saturday. He’ll also attend a listening session on the cost of pharmaceutical drugs 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Worthington High School Saturday with Rep. Rod Hamilton.

Gage Cureton can be emailed at gcureton@nujournal.