My Point of View: Hagedorn has been at many events in district

Published 6:37 pm Monday, September 16, 2019

My Point of View by Aaron Farris

Aaron Farris


Congressman Jim Hagedorn has been working tirelessly for the wonderful people of Minnesota’s 1st District since the moment he was sworn in. Since then, Congressman Hagedorn has called on House Democrats to bring a vote to the floor to ban infanticide, been working with Governor Tim Walz and the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Chao to finish Highway 14, and been a very vocal supporter of the USMCA trade deal (a win-win-win for everyone), along with many other great conservative policies!

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Here in Freeborn  County, Congressman Hagedorn has visited with small business owners to hear what would help them succeed, and even invited Albert Lea Small Business owner Robert Hoffman to testify in front of the U.S. House Small Business Committee. On Aug. 22, Congressman Hagedorn visited Good Sam in Albert Lea to learn more about how their long-term care serves Freeborn County, and how he can help them with that care. Congressman Hagedorn was also here for the 2019 Governor’s Fishing Opener, the 100th anniversary of Minnesota Freezer Warehouse, the Third of July Parade and the Freeborn County Fair!

Congressman Hagedorn has also promised to hold 21 town halls in every county in the district, and he has already held six in only a little more than nine months in office, one of which was in Albert Lea. Compared to some of Minnesota’s other members of the Congress, that’s pretty impressive! Since the start of the 116th Congress, Congressman Dean Phillips, D-Minnesota, has only held three. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota, has only held two. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has claimed that she held one, but it was more of a roundtable discussion with panelists supporting Medicare for all, so I count that as her having held zero town halls since taking office.

I have been to a couple of the Congressman’s town halls in large part because I enjoy hearing how he is helping the district in so many ways. At the Freeborn County (Albert Lea) town hall, I was vehemently appalled, as were many others, at the behavior of those on the left who came to the town hall to disrupt the event, heckle the Congressman and display their rudeness for everyone to see. Throughout the townhall you saw people yelling at him as he was answering questions, passing notes to each other telling each other what to say to him and encouraging far-left, ridiculously unrealistic policies like the Green New Deal, socialized health care and stripping citizens of their Second Amendment rights. There was even one question asking the Congressman why he didn’t support the Election Integrity Act. Congressman Hagedorn’s answer was very straightforward: “I don’t support the federalization of elections.” Election security and things like those are state matters. They should not be federalized because that takes away a state’s right to determine how they will run their elections.

I don’t think that those kinds of people who attend town halls realize that town halls are not campaign events. They are official events for constituents to ask questions about what their Congressman has been doing, let he/she know how they can help, and to ask their Congressman where he/she stands on the issues. Town halls are not for disrupting the Congressman while he/she is trying to answer a question, they are not a place for making a scene and getting name recognition or media attention, and they are not the kind of event where you are supposed to go into a separate room, get questions handed to you and go berate a Congressman for an hour and a half. Again, town halls are official events, not campaign events. More people need to realize that because I was so embarrassed seeing some of the people from Albert Lea act like that at the Freeborn County town hall. Some were respectful, it was not all of them, but it was a majority.

At the same town hall, you had one person try to bring Congressman Hagedorn’s wife into the political discussion about where they live. Rule  No. 1 of any argument, let alone political ones, is that you don’t bring yours/someone else’s family into the discussion. It is below the belt and not acceptable for anyone to do. I know Congressman Hagedorn’s wife, and she is an amazing person who is phenomenal at what she does, and she is someone who would never, ever stoop to this person’s level.

Congressman Hagedorn has been working 24/7 for Minnesota’s 1st District. I think when people read about experiences at town halls, whether it be on the news, on social media or in the opinion section of this paper, they should go to one themselves and decide with the first hand experience that they attain from listening to Congressman Hagedorn. Keep up the great work, our wonderful Congressman Jim Hagedorn!

Aaron Farris is the secretary of the Freeborn County Republican Party. He is the party’s youngest activist.