Was anyone surprised by the subjects that were discussed in First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn’s August 21st Hagedorn Report email?
Sure, there were a lot of headlines that Congressman Hagedorn could have commented on : Select Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report on Russian interference in the 2016 election https://www.lawfareblog.com/collusion-reading-diary-what-did-senate-intelligence-committee-find; Trump’s Mankato “Rally of Lies” http://mnpoliticalroundtable.com/2020/08/18/trumps-mankato-rally-of-lies-and-hagedorn-hypes-non-existent-bill/ ; concerns over the Post Office; and, of course, the ongoing questions over his staff’s “irregular spending” http://mnpoliticalroundtable.com/2020/08/16/mn01-questions-of-incompetency-trump-waste-fraud-and-abuse-allegations-against-jim-hagedorn/.
Nope … Congressman Hagedorn does not want to profess his views on those subjects in emails to the general public … instead his focus was on Fighting Unfair Trade Practices; Minnesota PPP and PPE update; Rochester International Airport’s Small Community Air Service Development grant; and IRS Delays.
Surely, important subjects yet some questions.
Remember that President Trump famously said that “trade wars are good, and easy to win“, so why is Congressman Hagedorn worried ? Brazil was the largest U.S. ethanol export market BUT Brazilian purchases are down 32% from their peak in 2018 and appear likely to decline again in 2020. So, Congressman Hagedorn was one of twenty who signed a letter that was lead by representatives of Illinois and Nebraska… also signing the letter was Minnesota’s Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson … so the question should be asked — would Dan Feehan have also signed the letter. Actually, the question should be –– don’t ya want a Representative who will do more than just sign a letter ?
The second subject matter was remind everyone that “Minnesota has benefited greatly from the Trump administration’s strong leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” Congressman Hagedorn cited the medical supplies that Minnesota has received … without mentioning when they arrived and in small print that the items were supplied “through private sector, state and federal collaboration“. Gosh, does anyone else remember the March stories of Minnesota hospital rationing and the May story of the Trump Administration diverting supplies to other States. Comparing the Hagedorn Report data to the MN Dashboard https://www.mn.gov/covid19/data/response-prep/critical-care.jsp, reveals that the State of Minnesota did the vast majority of the acquisitions. Obviously, it is good to know that Governor Walz did his job, yet why is Congressman Hagedorn concerned when Vice President Mike Pence wrote on June 16, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that there “isn’t a coronavirus second wave“?
The third item is classic Hagedorn Hype regarding the competition for federal grant dollars for community airports. The Department of Transportation received grant applications from 57 airports seeking a combined $37 million in aid. Fewer than one in every three of those requests was granted, for a collective total of $12.2 million to 18 airports. And Congressman Hagedorn is claiming victory while Minnesota’s Eighth District Congressman Pete Stauber lost out.
The winners definitely were slanted toward Party Of Trump-held districts (15-3)
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama ($750,000);Terri Sewell AL07
- Yuma, Arizona ($775,000); Paul Gosar, AZ04
- Chico, California ($500,000); Doug LaMalfa CA01
- Grand Junction, Colorado ($950,000); Scott Tipton CO03
- Athens, Georgia ($750,000); Jody Hice GA10
- Dubuque, Iowa ($775,000); Abby Finkenauer IA01
- Twin Falls, Idaho ($900,000); Mike Simpson ID01
- Lake Charles, Louisiana ($200,000); Clay Higgins LA03
- Rochester, Minnesota ($750,000);
- Columbia, Missouri ($800,000); Vicky Hartzler MO04
- Greenville, North Carolina ($750,000); Greg Murphy NC03
- Atlantic City, New Jersey ($400,000); Jefferson Van Drew NJ02
- Roswell, New Mexico ($750,000); Xochitl Torres Small NM02
- North Bend, Oregon ($750,000); Greg Walden OR02
- Erie, Pennsylvania ($292,000); Mike Kelly PA16
- Abilene, Texas ($1 million); Jodey Arrington TX19
- St. George, Utah ($370,000); Chris Stewart UT02
- Pullman, Washington ($780,000). Cathy McMorris Rodgers WA05
Among the losers was the Duluth International Airport which submitted an application for a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation that would fund about 70% of the $1.1 million project cost to provide nonstop air service via United Airlines to and from Denver. Their application included numerous letters of support from politicians, including DFL Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith; Representative Pete Stauber(GOP); Duluth Mayor Emily Larson (DFL); and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL). Sorta make ya think that the DFL leaders probably pushed just as hard for Rochester as Duluth … and since Tim Walz had previously successfully obtained airport grants, is there any reason to think that Dan Feehan would not do the same ?
Oh, and another aspect of the funding story that Congressman Hagedorn does not mention is that he voted against the funding (January 8 2019 H R 267 Roll Call 23).
The last item discussed was the Minnesota delegation’s reaction to a “June 29 report from the National Taxpayer Advocate identified an estimated 4.7 million paper tax returns backlogged at the IRS”. Is anybody surprised that IRS employees work can’t be done from home ? And that when there is a two-month shutdown, that processing refunds would be delayed ? Plus the processing of Paycheck Protection Program “loans” and Trump checks, would have been deemed a higher priority by the Trump Administration. So, everyone in the Minnesota delegation signed a letter … so not really a big deal.
But Congressman Hagedorn needed something to boast about.
Conversely, what should have been a big deal is what is happening if you are waiting for a refund check to be delivered via the Post Office …. or a purchase from a small business … or medication … or bills … or dividend checks! That subject is ignored by Congressman Hagedorn … and based on his statement after Saturday’s vote against H R 8015 Delivering For America Act, he does not want his constituents to focus on his views that it was a “partisan attempt” led by a “despicable” woman to “undermine Americans’ public trust in government during the closing months of an election.” The bill was passed on a bipartisan vote with comments from Republicans like Ohio’s Fourteenth District Congressman Dave Joyce who said “The finger-pointing on non-partisan issues like the USPS has got to stop. Now is not the time to deprive the USPS of the resources necessary to effectively carry out its basic operations.”
Oh, by the way, Congressman Pete Stauber voted for the Post Office funding.
With every vote taken and press release issued, it becomes more and more clearer that Jim Hagedorn is not only doing nothing but self-promotion and is not a moderate Republican but just a shill for the Trump Administration.