Endorsement counterpoint from Jim Hagedorn: I'll keep southern Minnesota, and our country, on the right path

By Jim Hagedorn, StarTribune - America’s future is on the ballot, and the differences between candidates in Minnesota’s First Congressional District are clear. This race could very well determine which party will control Congress in 2019 and the direction our country will take. There is a lot at stake.

If Democrats control Congress, they will resist and obstruct the economic progress that has been made, move to impeach the president, and, shockingly, even move to impeach newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, if the so-called “democratic-socialist” wing of their party asserts its influence.

My approach is different. If elected to Congress, I will partner with President Donald Trump and like-minded conservatives to keep our country moving in the right direction. Our campaign has been very honest and open about our positions, about where we stand on the issues and about what we seek to accomplish if honored with the trust of the people to serve them in Congress. On three key issues, the differences are significant and give voters a clear choice.

On health care, I support a patient-centered approach that would enable consumers to hold tax-free savings accounts to pay for health insurance, routine medical care and prescription drugs; require cost transparency to enable medical care shopping; create insurance competition across state lines; allow small businesses and others to band together for insurance coverage; and create a pool for people with pre-existing conditions to receive affordable, quality and timely medical care.

My opponent Dan Feehan, who has lived most of his adult life away from southern Minnesota, supports a government-run system that would end Medicare as we know it, devastate the Mayo Clinic, threaten rural hospitals and clinics, and put at risk as many as 40,000 health care jobs in southern Minnesota.

On securing our border and immigration, we again differ markedly. Minnesotans should be proud that America is the most welcoming nation in the world, opening our doors to as many as 1 million legal immigrants a year. But I believe we should not become an open-borders and sanctuary state where illegal aliens overwhelm our schools, communities and social-service support system, and where police are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration officials to deport dangerous criminals. Feehan supports the open-borders and sanctuary-state positions of the more extreme elements of the DFL Party.

As a former congressional staffer for former U.S. Rep. Arlan Stangeland, I helped manage the congressman’s bipartisan “workfare” bill that required able-bodied welfare recipients to work for benefits. That is why I support reforming our welfare system to implement work and job-training requirements for able-bodied recipients, and to transition people from government dependency to self-sufficiency. Feehan actively opposes work for welfare — again, a major difference between our candidacies.

A fellow conservative summed up the progress of the past two years this way: A booming stock market. Higher wages, more take-home pay. More jobs open than people looking to work. Twenty-two federal regulations repealed for every one created. Renegotiated trade deals. America once again at the top of the economic hill. Economic confidence at an all-time high. Three million jobs created. Hostages returned and renewed respect for America on the world stage.

That is progress I will work to build on. My opponent would turn back the clock to the failed policies of the Obama administration.

As the First District congressman, my goals would be straightforward and common-sense. Keep America safe; make America prosperous; defend our God-given rights, including the right to life, the right to keep and bear arms, and the right to religious freedom; and sustain agriculture and our rural way of life.

Born in Blue Earth and raised on the Hagedorn family farm near Truman, I will always stand strong, rest assured, in representing the views and values of southern Minnesota.

Jim Hagedorn is the Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s First Congressional District.

http://www.startribune.com/endorsement-counterpoint-from-jim-hagedorn-i-ll-keep-southern-minnesota-and-our-country-on-the-right-path/498730221/