Letter: Hagedorn tactless at town hall meeting

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2019

In Aaron Farris’s letter to the editor on Nov. 22, it appears he misread my previous statement about Rep. Hagedorn’s lack of accomplishments. I wrote, “In contrast, Rep. Pete Stauber, a Repulican from Minnesota’s 8th District who is also serving his first term, has co-authored a couple pieces of legislation, which passed the House with bipartisan support. Hagedorn has nothing like this to show for his time in office yet.”

While Hagedorn has sponsored legislation, none of his bills have passed the House. The zero stands.

At his town hall in Dodge Center on Nov. 23, Hagedorn implied that none of his legislation has passed yet because he is “thoughtful” in his approach and wants “bills that have some meaning.” Way to kick sand on Stauber’s bipartisan accomplishments.

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Hagedorn was also tactless to an elderly gentleman named Walt who pressed him, with civil questioning, about both ethanol standards and USMCA legislation. Hagedorn grew agitated and brushed him off with, “Sir, you’ll get your chance. I guess you’re not going to let me talk.” Perhaps he realized it’s bad optics to bluntly dismiss a veteran, because later Hagedorn said to Walt, “Sir, I appreciate your service to the country. Thank you for standing up and defending us, but we have to let other people speak, OK? Let’s move on.”

Hagedorn isn’t interested in listening to constituents who don’t agree with him, even when they’re polite. Walt had asked, by the way, what provisions in USMCA would protect small farmers and small businesses. Hagedorn began his answer with, “Well that won’t protect it. It’s trying to expand trade, which is good for all of agriculture, all farmers and all small businesses.”

In other words, it’s going to drive prices down, which won’t benefit small rural players or labor. Small farmers need higher prices. Our congressman gives lip service to small farmers, but his policy positions give him away as a corporate stooge. He votes to give most advantages to large farmers and agribusiness, which is depopulating the 1st District’s rural landscape.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Albert Lea