Minnesota’s First Congressional District’s Jim Hagedorn Found To Be Crooked

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Minnesota’s First Congressional District includes much of the southern part of the state. This is a very conservative area, and also a very white area. There are counties that have more combines than people of color. A lot more.

It happens to include Rochester, which is where the Mayo Clinic is located, which gives Liberals (or, at least, Centrists) a chance. This is why Tim Walz, a high school teacher and National Guard lifer was able to represent CD1 as an elected DFLer (DFL = Minnesota’s Democratic Party) for several terms. He had to walk that fine line. He is essentially a progressive, but won there anyway. For various reasons, however, he almost lost his most recent election, and was destine to finally get voted out by an increasingly Trumpian mass of corn farmer, despite having support in the medico-academic community around Mayo and the University in Rochester. He ran that cycle for Governor, and that is what he is now.

Two years ago, Dan Feehan, representing the DFL, and Jim Hagedorn, representing the Republicans, faced off. Dan was a great candidate and a great person, a Paul Wellstone inspired combat veteran. He served for a time as the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, under Barack Obama. He has since worked with the Farmers Union in Minnesota, focusing on Healthcare.

Jim Hagedorn was the offspring of a former US Representative (Tom Hagedorn) and was half raised in McLean, Virginia and half Truman, Minnesota. For years he ran a blog called “Mr Conservative” that included a LOT of sexist, misogynistic, racist, islamophobic, and anti-Native American yammering. When people noticed and he got called out, he claimed he was only joking. The Washington Examiner declared him “the worst midterm candidate in America” last cycle.

When the corn farmers and medical professionals of the increasingly conservative 1st District were asked to chose between the two, 291,085 people voted, and by virtue of a mere 658 votes, Hagedorn had won the district.

Then he went to work being an asshole. I won’t go into all the details, but here is the latest in a DFL press release:

Hagedorn’s Report Confirms Corruption Within Congressional Office

Independent investigation needed to answer remaining questions

St. Paul, MN – On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Congressman Jim Hagedorn quietly released his internal review of the ongoing corruption scandal in his Congressional office. Despite Hagedorn hiring a lawyer for crooked politicians to get him off the hook, the basic facts of the report are damning:

  • “Congressman Hagedorn fully agrees that he is ultimately responsible” for the potentially illegal mismanagement of over $450,000 in taxpayer dollars.
  • Abernathy West is likely tied to Congressman Hagedorn’s top staffer who spent half a year breaking ethics rules and potentially directing our tax dollars into his pockets.
  • Congressman Hagedorn allowed two businesses to rip off U.S. taxpayers by dramatically overcharging Hagedorn’s office for services for over half a year.
  • Congressman Hagedorn is still employing John Sample, a staffer whose company received over $110,000 in taxpayer dollars from the Congressman’s office. As multiple ethics experts have said, Hagedorn’s decision to do business with his own staffer “violated House rules” and constitutes “a problem,” raising “neon signs flashing red signals all over the place.”

Hagedorn’s far-from-independent report fails to answer numerous, serious questions:

  • Why did Congressman Hagedorn lie about completely delegating his mail program to his chief of staff when that was clearly not true?
  • Why did it take reporting months after-the-fact for Hagedorn to become aware of the potentially illegal activity taking place within his own office?
  • How was it that Congressman Hagedorn hired two different staffers who funnel our tax dollars into their pockets?

The report confirms that there still needs to be an independent investigation and Congressman Hagedorn owes it to the people of southern Minnesota to publicly release all relevant correspondence including text messages, emails, and letters prior to Election Day.

DFL Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement:

“It’s laughable that Jim Hagedorn would ask the public to trust him and his bought-and-paid-for report after Hagedorn spent months lying to Minnesotans and trying to cover up the corruption within his own office. Even a lawyer for crooked politicians couldn’t conceal the fact that there was massive wrongdoing in Hagedorn’s office and that an independent investigation is needed to get to the bottom of it.

“Congressman Hagedorn is responsible for using almost half a million of our tax dollars to line the pockets of his employees. This corruption within Hagedorn’s office went on unchecked for months until media reports exposed it to the public, at which point Hagedorn lied to the public and tried to deflect blame. The people of Minnesota deserve better than crooked politicians like Jim Hagedorn.”

Now would be a good time to give Dan Feehan some money, or help his campaign in some other way.

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5 thoughts on “Minnesota’s First Congressional District’s Jim Hagedorn Found To Be Crooked

  1. Apparently Steve Stivers, then head of the NRCC, declared himself shocked after the 2018 primary over the content of Hagedorn’s blog. (Ref: Wikipedia)

    The blog Mr. Conservative still exists, BTW — but it has got to be a satire site now. Here’s the (unaltered) blurb from the “about” page:

    MY NAME IS JEFFREY BUT ALL OF MY FREINDS CALL ME MR. CONSERVATIVE BECAUSE I KNOW ALOT ABOUT POLTICS AND THEY RESPECT THAT PLUS I AM CRHISTAIN AND THEY RESPECT THAT TO BECAUSE GOD IS ON MY SIDE AND I KNOW THE BIBEL TO INSIDE AND OUT. I WAS BORN IN MISSOURI AND THAN MOVED TO GEORGIA AND THAN MOVED TO FLORIDA. I MADE THS BLOG BECAUSE I AM SICK AND TIRED OF LIBTARDS SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT ARE PRESIDENT DONALD J TRUMP LIKE HE IS A RACEIST AND OTHER LIBERAL LIES AND THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA ONLY TELLS LIES BUT I KNOW WHERE TO GET THE REAL NEWS AND THAT IS WHY MY FREINDS CALL ME MR. CONSERVATIVE BECAUSE I AM A GOD LOVING REPUBLICAN AND I KEEP UP DATED WITH ALL OF THE REAL NEWS NOT THE FAKE LIBERAL MSM NEWS.

    https://mr-conservative.com/mrconservative

  2. Hagedorn’s victory in 2018 should not have been a surprise … Walz went from winning every county in his first re-election bid to losing a majority of the counties in 2016 to Hagedorn and barely winning by 2,548 votes in his last term. Also, Walz probably wouldn’t have beaten Gil Gutknecht if not for the Gutknecht’s support for the DM&E railroad and the possibility of it running through Rochester … compare how Pawlenty won Olmsted County while Gutknecht lost it.

    Hagedorn has spent years campaigning in the vast small communities in the district and converted independent and Republican-leaning voters to back him. Remember that the MNGOP dominates the state legislative races in these counties … heck, in my Senate district, the DFL is not even offering a candidate (but David Pulkrabek is on the ballot for Legal Marijuana Now Party) … and this is at least the third time that the DFL has failed to provide a challenger for district seats to represent me in the Minnesota legislature.

    Hagedorn’s views were well known before and he has lived up to them in his votes. The Abernathy West story was easy to see (reference my commentary on MN Political Roundtable January 27, 2020 entitled Hagedorn Hype : Spending Our Taxdollars To Tell Us How Great 2018 Was and follow-up pieces. Hagedorn now is sending weekly emails (how he got the email addresses is a great question … is this something the taxpayers should pay for?) touting all the great things he is doing … never mentioning that he voted against many of these programs or the problems that really impact us. It’s the marketing that is pure Trumpian.

    So Hagedorn is known … but who is Dan Feehan ? Remember in 2018 he was on “billionaire George Soros bankrolls” “employed by a Soros-funded liberal outfit in D.C.”
    That memory will not be forgotten.

    Does the Feehan campaign know that early voting starts on this Friday — September 18th ? Does it know that there are precincts, like mine, that is exclusively mail in voting ? I have not received one piece of mail from the Feehan campaign but multiple ones promoting Trump. My review of mail-in precincts compared to others show increased voting for MNGOP candidates.

    BTW … Public Policy Polling is in the process of doing a push-poll for Feehan, and that result may provide him some false hope because elections are determined by who actually votes … and Hagedorn and the MNGOP know that.

    Trump is the worst President in my lifetime and Hagedorn is the worst Representative for southern Minnesota in my lifetime, but they both know how to play the game … and play with people’s emotions.

    Just my views.

  3. You nailed it, Marc. These kinds of politicians know exactly what buttons to push – all the while forcing through policies that only benefit a narrow, ruling elite and hurt the vast majority of the electorate, especially those who worship them the most. Trump and the Republican Party are the party of millionaires for the billionaires. I wince not only listening to Trump cultists at his wretched rallies but knowing how much he and his actual policies are shafting them. Destruction of federal agencies tasked with protecting public health and the environment only provides short-term benefits for the monied class and corporations. Since these politicians are old men for the most part, they know they will be dead when the shit truly hits the fan, hence why Trump and the Republicans loot the Treasury and are happy to turn the environment into a veritable cesspit because they will be dead and buried when things really go to hell.

    The naievete and outright stupidity of much of the electorate is something to behold. Working class people and the unemployed swooning at the feet of politicians like Trump who know how to manipulate them. Guns, immigration, religion, security and evil socialism (which few of them undestand and would benefit them in reality) are endlessly wheeled out to create fear, and Trump will save them. At the same time, the Republicans destroy agencies that help these people while they continue to shift the nation’s wealth to themselves.

    What this suggests is that kleptocracy depends on the mass production of ignorance (in addition to the fear). If people were truly informed on a multitude of issues, and then really knew what Trump and the Republicans were all about, they wouldn’t get 10% of the vote. They may not know it, but the American people as a whole are actually far to the left of both parties.

    1. What this suggests is that kleptocracy depends on the mass production of ignorance…

      This is why public education in the US is so deliberately, narrow, partisan and across large swaths underfunded. ‘They’ do not want an enlightened thinking electorate, one that is capable of analytical thought.

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