Letter: Hagedorn’s values play against the constituents

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 8, 2020

I am incredibly sad to have Jim Hagedorn as the First District congressman. He is the antithesis to the values that most Minnesotans have.

He is at the least oblivious to people’s feelings and at worst cruel. Here are a few examples: He says he supports veterans, but at an Austin town hall meeting, he said anyone who commits suicide goes to hell.  This is beyond hurtful to those of us who have lost friends and relatives to suicide. Depression is as much a disease as the cancer he has. He says he is a devout Catholic, but no Christian would say anything that unfeeling.

He talks about the wonderful care he is receiving at the Mayo Clinic for cancer, while promoting Trump’s efforts to gut health insurance for the rest of us.

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He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but has spent more of his congressional budget than any other member. An extremely large amount has been spent on mailings, which are really campaign materials. Virtually every paragraph begins with “I.” He brags about supporting Trump 100 percent. Where do the people of the district fit in? Ironically, he is using the US Post office, which Trump is trying to destroy, and because he follows Trump 100 percent, it follows that he supports that too.

He says he is doing everything he can to support senior citizens, but again blindly follows Trump who wants to cut social security, Medicare, and other programs designed to help them.

In a diverse district, he displays his racist attitude including derogatory statements about Black Lives Matter, echoing White Supremacist talking points. He again follows Trump by supporting his anti-immigration movement. His district is home to the Mayo Clinic and Hormel Institute who rely on many doctors and scientists from other countries. Trump’s ban on H1/H2 visas prevents them from coming here, so we will miss their valuable contributions. Hormel and Quality Pork in Austin employ many immigrants in their meat processing facilities. They are the backbone of our economy and continue working to provide food for the country.

Hagedorn said that working people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic do not deserve the extra $600 a week in relief. He thinks a lower amount will “incentivize” them to want to go back to work.  How insulting is that?! Does he really believe that people like being out of work and not being able to pay their housing costs and provide for their families? He earns $174,000 for between 113 and 130 days in session, but begrudges working people during this difficult time.

He says he represents all of us, but then refuses to answer those who disagree and blocks them so they cannot contact him.

I would appeal to him to act on behalf of Minnesotans, but he has proven unwilling to listen or to care about the real problems people in his district are having.

Susan Grove

Austin, MN