Hagedorn Hype : Government should not be picking winners and losers (unless MN01 is picked)

In 2018, Jim Hagedorn won Minnesota’s First District seat by a scant 1,315 votes, so one would think that the 2020 rematch with Dan Feehan should be close … but early reports are that his constituents seems to like what Jim Hagedorn has delivered.

As mentioned in last week’s commentary when Congressman Hagedorn “applauded” an Obama-created “green energy” program grant that he wants voters to know he “delivered” for them … “it’s the start of election season when incumbents hope voters forget their previous statements (and votes) and instead just appreciate funding for programs their communities want“. [see http://mnpoliticalroundtable.com/2020/06/08/believe-it-or-not-mn01-jim-hagedorn-proclaims-obama-green-energy-program-essential-to-quality-of-life-in-southeast-minnesota/ ]

So, this week’s Congressman Hagedorn is reporting another grant that was awarded that will benefit the First District

Promoting Agriculture Education and Skilled Labor I was proud to announce this week that South Central College in North Mankato was awarded nearly $500,000 to develop an Advanced Agriculture Technology program, which will equip students with the training needed to operate high-tech precision agriculture equipment. I’m committed to expanding AG education in southern Minnesota to help keep students in our rural communities and family farms


Background : The $499,657 grant over three years will combine courses in agribusiness and mechatronics to create a new 16-credit Advanced Agriculture Technology (AAT) certificate.  The grant was one of 12 grants approved (out of more than 30 applicants with most getting $500,000.)

How much Congressman Hagedorn was involved in the application process is unknown but this is not the first time that the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded grants to Minnesota … in fact, Second District Congresswoman Angie Craig announced a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant in February. 

Hmmm … so if Congresswoman Craig was able to announce an award, is there any reason not to think that if Dan Feehan had won, South Central College would have gotten the same award ? Shouldn’t the grant be awarded based on the merits of the program … not who the sitting Member of Congress is … and what he needs for his re-election … district?

Actually, the surprise is not that South Central College earned a grant (after all, it is a really good idea), but instead that Jim “Mr. Conservative” Hagedorn is “committed to expanding” education … with federal dollars.

Gosh, didn’t you think that “Mr. Conservative” view of education was that this was a function of the state and local governments … after all candidate Jim Hagedorn preached that his congressional priorities would be “slashing federal spending through top-to-bottom reviews of all federal agencies” and “limiting government by returning power to the states”. Yep, “Mr. Conservative” advertised himself as a Congressman who would use “hard charging commonsense to promote the brand of conservatism established by America’s Founding Fathers, reintroduced by Senator Barry Goldwater and perfected in modern times by President Ronald Reagan” Hmmm … you might recall when Mr. Reagan called for the total elimination of the U.S. Department of Education and massive cutbacks in the federal role in education.

And, how many times have you heard the conservative refrain “Government should not pick winners and losers” yet this award picked 12 and rejected 18 leaving the question, was this award based on the fact that the Trump Administration wanted to give Congressman Hagedorn something to use in campaign literature ?

Ya gotta think that if Dan Feehan had won and made the same announcement of a grant for South Central College, that candidate Hagedorn would be complaining about the rampant spending and launch into his “People should fend for themselves” refrain.

Nope, “Mr. Conservative” won … and now it’s election season, so Jim Hagedorn is grabbing at every spending program that hits his district so he can to hold onto his seat.