The following is an outline of potential questions. I'll probably only have time for a few of them, so these are more or less in the order I'll ask. Quite a bit will depend on his answers, and frequently interviews veer off the expected track. I have no idea what Brian or Doug might ask. But for now, the show will go something like this:
Okay, Mr. Ellison. I'm a white, Jewish moderate. In today's climate, I'm a flaming liberal but I'm still basically a moderate. There's no way I'm going to vote for a Republican, but I don't really want merely to vote against the other guy. In a three minute stump speech, convince me to vote FOR you.
(potential follow-up) When Joe Lieberman was running for Vice President in 2000 CE (I assume you're with me on the "common era" part), he was proud of being an observant Jew and didn't work on the Sabbath. He turned that into a joke, insisting that he would be on the job "24/6". Muslims pray six times a day; do you follow those precepts and do you have a joke about it? (Follow up questions: Do you speak arabic? Have you been on a Hadj?)
You're on the Election and Civil Law Committee in the Minnesota Legislature. Do you think the 2004 presidential election was stolen? How can we ensure that everyone who wants to vote gets the opportunity, and that all the votes are counted fairly? Yes, that's a big question. You have three minutes. Go.
Being elected to the House of Representatives from Minnesota's 5th Congressional District is akin to a lifetime appointment. Given the political views of the district, some people feel that sending the most liberal person available to Washington is a moral imperative. Do you think this is the case? How would you live up to liberal expectations? If not, how would you answer those who do?
What literature has influenced you? Science fiction?
How will your background as defense attorney influenced you in Congress?
How can we ameliorate the effects of global warming? Kyoto Treaty?
You co-sponsored a bill urging the US senate to pass the Stem Cell Research Act of 2005. In the House, will you continue to support scientific research even if the religious right goes after you?
We have just a few minutes left. What questions would you like to be asked, and how would you answer them. Shockwave Riders are smart and cynical listeners, so don't get all mushy on us: What issues do you think ARE important TO YOU that aren't being talked about.
And another question for LiveJournal Assembled: What science fiction book should I give him? (Must be cheap, and available at Dreamhaven or Uncle Hugo's.)