Hagedorn: Make government ‘leaner, meaner’

Published 9:57 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

GOP-endorsed 1st Congressional District candidate Jim Hagedorn said he wants to support President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Jim Hagedorn

Hagedorn, 56, is running against District 26A Sen. Carla Nelson, Steve Williams and Andrew Candler to compete in the general election and likely face DFLer Dan Feehan. Colin Minehart is also running for the DFL nomination.

“Big choice between what the Democrats offer — to take us back to the Obama policies — and the way I want to keep working with Republicans and like-minded people in Washington to keep moving in this direction,” Hagedorn said Friday during a visit to the Freeborn County Fair.

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Hagedorn said he wants to ensure the country’s borders are secure, have a “peace through strength” military, pause refugee resettlement from countries hostile to the United States and help make America “prosperous.”

“We want to do that not by transforming the government into some sort of European socialist state,” he said. “We want to transform the government and make it leaner, meaner and more responsible to people.”

Hagedorn said he supports work requirements for welfare, the Second Amendment and religious freedom and does not support abortion.

He said he wants to serve on the Agriculture Committee if elected and would like to see programs implemented to ensure farmers remain in business during tough economic times.



Hagedorn said he understands concerns about the impacts tariffs implemented by Trump are having on the farming community.

“Lots of people get, though, that he ran on that issue,” he said. “He thought that China, Mexico, other countries were taking advantage of the United States, and he wanted to reset the trade with them. And so in the process of doing that, there’s going to be threats of retaliation, there’s going to be these things with tariffs, and they’re going to hopefully work it out.

“I believe that the president in the end wants to make it better for all — steelworkers, farmers, consumers, agribusinesses.”


Economy, health care

Hagedorn said the economy is experiencing more than 4 percent growth under GOP leadership, with welfare spending down and regulatory reform taking place. He expressed support for dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which he said increased premiums and deductibles and made health care unaffordable.

“It’s a calamity,” he said.

To replace the law, Hagedorn suggested having a certain amount of tax-free income to cover the costs of medical care, prescription drugs and health insurance, with accounts available for routine medical care. He said competition is needed across state lines, along with pooling for businesses so they can receive quality health insurance packages. He anticipated competition would reduce costs.

Hagedorn said cost transparency and dismantling the “federal regulatory apparatus,” to allow doctors and hospitals to make decisions and set care standards are also needed to control prices.

He discussed having a separate, catastrophic health insurance pool for people who need extensive care.

“That’s what we did in Minnesota,” Hagedorn said. “And it worked in Minnesota. And so if you give all of these responsibilities to the states, I think in the end we are going to be in a situation where people are going to live better lives, and it’s going to drive the cost down and give them the coverage they deserve.”



Hagedorn said Trump has taken the strongest stance on Russia as president since Ronald Reagan by developing relationships and supplying defensive weapons to Ukraine and Poland.

To Hagedorn, the toughest approach Trump has taken on Russia is his support for U.S. oil drilling, which he said has “put the screws” to Russia’s economy based on the country’s reliance on oil drilling.

Hagedorn said he supports the tax bill, calling it “a good first step” toward tax reform. He said individual tax reform is now needed.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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