Letter: Feehan is more open-minded

Published 7:58 pm Thursday, October 18, 2018

The residents of this region have an important choice to make in the coming weeks. Who will represent Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives? Will it be a public servant known for his time in the military and as a teacher, or a person labeled by a commentary writer in the Washington Examiner as “the worst Republican candidate in America,” known for bombastic and bigoted blog posts?

The choice lies between Democrat Dan Feehan and Republican Jim Hagedorn. Feehan is a decorated Iraq War veteran and former middle school teacher, and served as an acting assistant secretary of defense in the Pentagon under the Obama Administration. Feehan is defined by his commitment and dedication to serving others. Hagedorn, however, was born the son of a Congressman and made a career working for the D.C. establishment at the U.S. Treasury Department.

The attack ads against Feehan by Hagedorn’s campaign also pale in comparison to the disparaging remarks he has made about minority communities on his blog, Mr. Conservative. As a woman living in the district Hagedorn seeks to represent, I am particularly disgusted and insulted by his comments, which include calling two female senators from Washington state “bimbos in tennis shoes,” and his description of the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers as an effort “to fill the bra” of justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

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Someone with these views can and will not work to represent the interests of those they see as objects. Hagedorn tried to defend his posts as satirical, but as former First Lady Michelle Obama said, being a politician doesn’t change who you are, “it reveals who you are.” He can call them whatever he wants, but at the end of the day, Hagedorn’s remarks do just that — they reveal his character, or even his lack of it.

In contrast, Feehan is driven by the idea that — in his own words — “everybody matters or nobody matters.” Feehan is a champion of women, as he is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and has promised to work to protect reproductive rights and freedoms. What’s more, Feehan was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for his work to ensure equal rights for all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity. I hope you would agree that we (women especially) need to elect the more progressive, open-minded candidate on Nov. 6. That candidate is Dan Feehan.

Kaci Schneidawind