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Desperately seeking to gain more attention than Stewart Mills’ hair, First Congressional District candidate Jim Hagedorn is doing what he did before seeking office twice before.
Trolling on the internets about hot button issues like same sex marriage and immigration reform.
It’s true that some of those buttons are cooling rapidly. On June 30, 2015, Rachel Stassen-Berger reported in Why were Minnesota Republicans quiet about the Supreme Court’s marriage decision?:
. . . when the court decided to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation, we in Minnesota again heard an overwhelming outburst. The reactions came pouring in — from state and federal leaders — even though Minnesota had legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.
On that day, the statements were one-sided. “A great day,” “love is love,” “I could not be more proud,” the statements said.
Official statements from opponents were absent.
Bluestem later found some reactions from Republican state lawmakers via Facebook, but like Stassen-Berger, we missed one official statement: the Hagedorn Statement on SCOTUS Marriage Ruling. Hagedorn, the GOP candidate in the First in 2014, bucks the trend of Minnesota Republicans by urging action, while calling the ruling “extra-constitutional misconduct” committed by “five lawyers acting as an oligarchy.”
Here’s Hagedorn’s statement:
Our Republic is facing a constitutional crisis perpetrated by America’s far-left and the Democrat Party.
Increasingly, the President and Supreme Court have acted as legislative bodies, usurping the powers granted Congress to write our nation’s laws. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling instituting same-sex marriage – a decision applauded by “Twin Cities Tim” Walz – is the latest in a long list of extra-constitutional misconduct.
Keep in mind that leading up to the court’s sweeping gay marriage ruling, 31 states (via legislation or referendum) affirmed marriage as between one man and one woman. Yet, five lawyers acting as an oligarchy (along with other federal judges) replaced the laws of more than 3/5ths of the states and nullified the cultural values of thousands of elected state legislators and millions of referendum-voters.
As a candidate who strongly backs the 10th Amendment, which grants states the right to govern on matters not addressed in the U.S. Constitution, the court’s decree is very troubling because it moves us further from the goal of taking power from Washington, D.C. and returning it to states and American people.
Liberals will use this victory as a weapon to, first and foremost, attack Christian organizations and attempt to police the thoughts and actions of those who disagree.
The centerpiece of the Democrat Party’s agenda will be a full-frontal assault on America’s religious institutions and the church leaders who preach relevant Scripture and teach that marriage is between one man and one woman.
At this critical point in time, we must vehemently defend religious worship and stymie any attempt to use the court’s marriage decision to attack religion. We must always protect the God-given right of religious people to worship freely, without government harassment and coercion.
I support passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution further clarifying and expanding application of the First Amendment. A draft of my proposed amendment follows:
No religious institution or religious official shall be compelled to perform any religious service or ceremony on behalf of any person or persons; the government shall not impose a financial burden, including but not limited to a penalty, fine or discontinuance of tax-exempt status, upon any religious institution or religious official for failure to sanction or validate marital unions other than between one man and one woman.
We must protect our churches, church leaders and our right to worship. We must proactively defend our First Amendment liberties. You can count on me to fight for you and protect our freedom of religion, freedom of speech and all of the fundamental freedoms endowed to us by our Creator.
And here we thought our liberal friends were focused on stuff like upsetting money changers, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and restoring voting rights to people who’d been to prison. Perhaps all that Gospel of Matthew-y stuff is simply there to lower Christians’ guard.
If Hagedorn is channeling his inner Ted Cruz on the SCOTUS decision on marriage equality, then he’s going the Full Metal Donald on immigration policy on his campaign Facebook page, perhaps channeling his outer Ruthie Hendrycks.
Hagedorn is sharing posts like Sen. Sessions: City Officials Harboring Illegal Immigrant Felons Could Be Charged With Crime with headnotes like:
Congress must cut-off federal funds to “sanctuary cities” that skirt federal law & harbor illegal aliens, including felons. But let’s be real, leftist Obama-Walz policies have made the U.S. a sanctuary country! We must secure our borders and return to the rule of law.
There’s also Illegal Immigrant Deported 6 Times Charged in Felony Hit-and-Run of Family that Injured Young Children, below Hagedorn’s note:
Tim Walz embraced Obama’s executive amnesty, sanctuary city policies & open borders. Walz’s decade in DC has made U.S. citizens vulnerable to illegal alien felony crime, serious disease and Islamic terrorism. Unlike Walz, I will defend America and you!
Bluestem half expects Robert Erickson to return from prankster heaven to join his voice with that of Hagedorn.
Last cycle, Hagedorn beat the Ebola drum against Walz. At the Post Bulletin, Heather Carlson reported in Ebola becomes campaign issue:
It’s time to elect leaders who will make national security and the safety of the American people the highest priority. At a minimum, the U.S. should immediately ban travel from West African Ebola nations,” Hagedorn said.
He went on to criticize Walz and President Obama for not to doing enough to secure the nation’s borders to prevent the spread of Ebola.
“The reckless Obama-Walz policies of open borders, suspended deportations and lax visa/passport standards have left America and Americans vulnerable to Islamic terrorism, Ebola and serious crime,” Hagedorn said.
In an October 21, 2014 Facebook post, Hagedorn wrote:
Thanks to Publisher Joe Steck and the Mankato Times for covering the race for Congress and filing this report on proposed policy concerning the Ebola outbreak in the United States. I believe Ebola in the U.S. is an unforced error caused by “open borders” politicians.
Fortunately, Hagedorn’s fear-mongering didn’t sway the voters in Southern Minnesota and Walz was re-elected.
Bluestem has to wonder whether Hagedorn’s anti-immigrant screeds might alienate some conservatives in Southern Minnesota who have been working to improve life for undocumented workers. Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake, pictured above, left, with Hagedorn) is an outspoken proponent of driver’s licenses for undocumented workers.
MinnPost’s Jared Goyette reported in Bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses hits roadblock in the House:
Supporters of the bill included Roger Pohlman, the police chief from Red Wing, and James Felt, the police chief from Willmar, who both said it would help police more easily identify both witnesses and suspects.
Krystell Escobar, an insurance agent, said passing the bill would also lead to more undocumented immigrants obtaining car insurance, thus lowering the rates for everyone. The Minnesota Agri-Growth Council registered its support, as did the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the state ACLU.
Emotions were running high by the end of the session. “If you listen to the testimony closely, in will boil down to one thing,” bill author Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, told the committee in his closing statement. “It will boil down to the Declaration of Independence and the moral belief that we all believe is a right: that we are all created equal with a right to liberty and happiness. … This is bigger than a driver’s license, and we all know that.”
Hamilton said he had decided not to bring it to a vote, as he worried he might be a single vote short. The bill is still alive, and could either be brought to committee again or be proposed as an amendment to another bill — either in the transportation committee or on the House floor. It may however, face a tough road ahead.
The proposal has been amended several times. It would grant undocumented immigrants a license that could only be used for driving, which would include text on the back, “For Driving Only,” indicating that the holder was not eligible to vote.
“It’s an education process, and we need to do just that,” Hamilton said. “The folks that were on the fence, that had questions, they can take that and think about it a little bit and then we’ll circle back with them at a later time.”
It’s not a stretch to wonder whether Hamilton, the Ag Mafia and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce will be all that happy to help Hagedorn fear-mongering against the immigration reform ideas they support.
However, this is Minnesota politics, where bedfellows are as strange as anywhere.
Photo: Pro-immigrant Republican lawmaker Rod Hamilton campaigning with Jim Hagedorn in October 2014. Via Facebook.