Hagedorn, Torkelson address county Republicans

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Kris Schneeberg, far right of New Ulm, receives the Brown County Republican of the Year Award at the Brown County Republican Convention at the Brown County REA Auditorium in Sleepy Eye Saturday. From left, Brown County Republicans Sam Arsers, Scott Waldner and Mary Bartz.

SLEEPY EYE — First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn called his first month in Washington D.C. “interesting,” addressing the Brown County Republican Convention at the Sleepy Eye REA Auditorium Saturday.

“As Sleepy Eye and Brown County go, so goes the district,” Hagedorn said. “We won the election by a narrow margin (over Democrat Jim Feehan), 1,300 votes.”

Hagedorn addressed the negotiations on the border wall that President Trump is tying to a new government spending bill.

“After the shutdown, we have the negotiations ongoing. We’ll see what happens,” Hagedorn said. “I think the president has asked for some very reasonable things.”

Hagedorn was asked to serve on the Small Business and Agricultural Committees which he said fit hand in hand.

“If they don’t do well, our small towns start drying up, “We’re doing everything we can do develop small towns and agriculture,” Hagedorn said. “You have great leaders here in Southern Minnesota with Rep. Paul Torkelson and Sen. Gary Dahms. Paul worked hard on Highway 14 and everything else. Gary’ stands between you and a more socialist Minnesota. Gov. Tim Walz wants a gas tax, legal recreational marijuana, single-payer healthcare and 50 percent renewable energy, which isn’t feasible because we don’t have the technology.”

Hagedorn said President Donald Trump wants border security and ending 40 years of border chaos.

“It’s ridiculous the Democrats stand in the way of that. They don’t want the president to win anything,” Hagedorn said. “It’s politics. But the president made a great speech the other day about standing strong for our country and peace through strength. He’s an excellent leader. He’s the right leader at the right time.”

Hagedorn called the Democrats “the party of weakness and open borders with more regulations and taxes. He called the Democrats’ new Green Deal “the most non-American thing anyone ever devised that would turn the whole country upside down, drive up costs and put America at a competitive disadvantage.”

Hagedorn said he sees eye-to-eye with Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat, on many things.

“I hope the Democrats are done with trying to get rid of the President and their far left ideas,” Hagedorn said.

Hagedorn said the shutdown created a late start for the new Farm Bill.

“I don’t think people want the Democrats’ radical new ideas like very restrictive gun control and pollution from air travel and methane from livestock,” Hagedorn said. “It would be devastating for people on fixed incomes and rural America. Do we want things to be as clean as possible? Yes, but not if it destroys our economy. Our air and water are cleaner now than in any point in our history and much cleaner than many of our trading partners.”

“They’re just off the charts left right now, even fourth-trimester abortions,” Hagedorn said. “The President wants reasonable things. Money for physical structures and more border patrol agents to protect the country and to re-establish the rule of law. Many Democrats won’t support him on that out of politics and spite.”

Rep. Paul Torkelson said he is a Transportation Committee minority leader and is a co-author on the Highway 14 expansion project legislative bill. He said he backed St. Peter legislator Jeff Brand as the bill’s main author in order to make it more passable.

Torkelson said he is still very concerned about the State of Minnesota’s computer issues with driver’s license offices.

“I’ve had a few face-to-face meetings with Gov. Walz on the MnLARS situation, Torkelson said. “He is engaged and wants to try and fix it. But it’s very challenging. So far he’s left out the (funding to reimburse) Deputy Registrars. I think that’s a real problem.”

Torkelson said he also working on a property tax relief bill for landowners with buffers.

Brown County Republican Secretary Kris Schneeberg received the Brown County Republican of the Year Award.

fbusch@nujournal.com

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