Archive for the ‘Collin Peterson’ Category

It seems like each week brings more bad news in Collin Peterson’s direction. Just minutes ago, I spotted this tweet:


There are endorsements and then there are endorsements. Michele Bachmann’s endorsement in a staunchly pro-life district like MN-7 is definitely a difference-maker. Here is Michele Bachmann’s endorsing statement:

Here’s what Willmar Radio announced:

Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has served as a member of President Trump’s evangelical advisory board in the past, says she is endorsing former Lt. Governor and State Senator Michelle Fischbach, who is running for Congress in western Minnesota’s 7th District. If she wins, Fischbach, of Paynesville, will become the second Republican woman from Minnesota elected to the US. House of Representatives; the first was Bachmann.

Thus far, Collin Peterson, the House Agriculture Chairman, has done nothing to get USMCA ratified in the House. Watch this pathetic string of excuses from the Democrats’ ‘leadership’ team:


Pelosi’s Do-Nothing Democrats are a failure. They’ve focused on impeachment while ignoring USMCA. The Democrats’ priorities aren’t America’s priorities. Democrats deserve to return to minority status in the U.S. House of Representatives. Removing Collin Peterson would be a fantastic start to accomplishing that goal.

Earlier tonight, Democrat ‘moderates’ Angie Craig, Collin Peterson and Dean Phillips voted against censuring Democrat Impeachment Chairman Adam Schiff for lying to the American people while delivering his opening statement in the Maguire hearing. For those who don’t remember that hearing by that name, it’s the one where Democrat Impeachment Chairman opened with this speech:

Here’s the heart of Schiff’s speech:

horn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates. We’ve been very good to your country, very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand. Lots of it. On this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, not just any people, I am going to put you in touch with the attorney general of the United States, my Attorney General Bill Barr. He’s got the whole weight of the American law enforcement behind him.

In Schiff’s speech, it’s clear that he’s signaling that President Trump threatened Ukrainian President Zelensky with the withholding of military aid. According to Schiff’s fake phone call transcript, that military aid would be withheld from Ukraine if President Zelensky didn’t “make up dirt on my political opponent, understand. Lots of it.”

The bottom line is this — Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ Impeachment Chairman, lied to Congress and the American people. This isn’t just a silly prank. Schiff’s speech is permanently part of the Congressional Record. Minnesota’s ‘moderate Democrats’ didn’t think Schiff’s dishonest speech was worthy of official criticism. These ‘moderate Democrats’ thought that the man leading an investigation to remove the president of the United States shouldn’t be officially criticized. Perhaps, it’s because they bought Schiff’s BS that this was a parody. If that’s a parody, how do Phillips, Peterson and Craig explain this paragraph from Schiff’s speech?

This is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate with the president of Ukraine. It would be funny if it wasn’t such a graphic betrayal of the president’s oath of office. But as it does represent a real betrayal, there’s nothing the president says here that is in America’s interest after all.

Schiff said it with his own words that “this is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate with the president of Ukraine.” That’s a pretty fanciful interpretation of the transcript. Here’s what President Trump actually told President Zelensky:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people … The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation … I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

Nothing in Schiff’s speech sounds like anything from Trump’s phone call. It’s appalling that Minnesota’s supposedly moderate Democrats bought Schiff’s BS and voted the way that Pelosi wanted them to vote. They aren’t moderates. They’re just gullible Democrats.

Democrats can’t pretend that they’re moderates because they’re doing things that are historically unprecedented. Recently, Schiff said that he’s essentially doing the work of a special counsel. I don’t disagree with that. The problem is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was officially employed by the DOJ. Schiff’s biggest problem is that the DOJ is part of the executive branch. Impeachment chairs are fixtures of the legislative branch.

The Constitution matters

This says everything:

Former special counsel Robert Mueller led the Russia probe, but no new prosecutor has been tapped by Attorney General William Barr for the Ukraine matter. That leaves House Democrats with only a whistleblower’s complaint rather than boxes of investigators’ evidence to guide them. “Congress has to do that,” Schiff said, because the Justice Department believes “there’s nothing to see here.”

Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, is leading the probe at the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and proceeding like the prosecutor he once was, staging a grand jury-like process that has been pilloried by Republicans. As Schiff works behind closed doors to build the case, Republicans accuse Democrats of waging an unfair, and according to the White House, illegitimate, investigation. But Schiff says the House has few other choices than to build the case on its own.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that members of the legislative branch have the authority to impanel investigative grand juries. If the DOJ tells the legislative branch to pound sand if the House refers cases to the DOJ, that’s what happens when you lose elections. When Republicans made criminal referrals to Eric Holder’s DOJ about the IRS scandal and Holder rejected those referrals, Trey Gowdy couldn’t impanel a grand jury to investigate Eric Holder. That was it. If the DOJ says no, then the answer is no. Period.

The thing is that Schiff didn’t bother trying to hide his attempt to be an investigator/prosecutor. He said this right out in the open.

At 4:00 pm this afternoon, I received an email from the Fischbach for Congress campaign committee. The email’s opening paragraph said “Michelle Fischbach, the former Lt. Governor of Minnesota and candidate for Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, today reported raising an impressive $100,000 in her first quarterly filing with the Federal Election Commission.”

Then it continued, saying “Fischbach’s federal committee, Fischbach for Congress, will show receipts of over $100,000, with nearly $85,000 cash-on-hand for the filing period ending September 30, 2019. Making the numbers even more impressive is the fact that the committee wasn’t filed with the Federal Election Commission until September 3, 2019, which gave Fischbach only 27 days to fundraise before the quarterly reporting deadline. Minnesotans accounted for 95% of all donations, with almost half coming from residents of western Minnesota’s 7th District, including over 500 donors who gave $200 or less.”

That’s the definition of a strong fundraising first month. What’s most impressive to me is that 95% of her first month’s contributions came from Minnesotans. The next most impressive thing in this report is the amount of small donors. The reason why that’s important is because a high percentage of those contributions are likely voters.

What’s depressing, though not surprising, is the fact that Google is suppressing good news for Republicans. Here’s what I found in searching for articles on Lt. Gov. Fischbach’s fundraising report:

After reading this part of the Fischbach for Congress email, it has to be asked if Collin Peterson will run for re-election:

Fischbach’s strong first quarterly report demonstrates that her campaign is setting the foundation for a robust and aggressive operation and confirms the highly competitive nature of the 7th District race. In fact, immediately after she announced her campaign in September and pointing to her entrance into the race, Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball both moved Minnesota’s 7th District from Leans Democrat to Toss Up.

I can’t imagine Peterson likes the fact that AOC and Ilhan Omar have taken over his party. Still, it’s difficult picturing Peterson giving up without a fight. If he runs, which I think is likely, then I think it’s likely that he’ll lose.

These fundraising numbers, plus the shifting of the race from leans Democrat to straight toss-up, are indicators that this race has shifted. That shift didn’t favor Cranky Collin, either. Finally, the fact that the overwhelming majority of Fischbach’s support came from Minnesota can’t be read as anything except as a positive.

I didn’t know that Collin Peterson was truly independent. I’m skeptical of that characterization ever since I wrote this post. I’d received an email from Lt. Gov. Fischbach announcing her candidacy to challenge Peterson. This jumped off the page at me:

“Collin Peterson no longer represents Western Minnesota values,” added Fischbach. “One of his first votes this Congress was to ban the wall, and he votes against President Trump 85 percent of the time. Unlike Peterson, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build the wall, fight against the Democrats’ socialist agenda, and keep America great.”

It’s important to remember that President Trump won the Seventh District by 31 points. Voting against President Trump 85% of the time isn’t proof of Peterson’s independence. It’s proof that Peterson wants it both ways. Peterson apparently is afflicted by Tom Daschle Disease. That’s where a politician votes liberal in DC, then professes his moderation the minute he enters his rural district.

This is who Peterson really is:

In 2010, I’d say that Peterson is a Blue Dog Democrat until Pelosi needed his vote.

After I got this news, the first thing I wondered was whether Collin Peterson is in trouble.

In 2018, which was a pretty strong DFL year, Peterson won by 4.26%. In 2016, Peterson won by 5.03%. In 2014, Peterson won by 8.45%. In 2012, Peterson won by 25+ percent.

There’s no question whether the district is trending in the GOP’s direction. The only question left is whether this is the year that Peterson finally meets his match. One thing that’s for certain is that this race will get tons more money pumped into it over the next year. Another thing that’s certain is that this race suddenly became one of the highest profile races to watch this cycle.

Here is Lt. Gov. Fischbach’s official statement:

PAYNESVILLE, MN – Former Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach today announced she is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Fischbach will challenge Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson, who has been in Washington for nearly 30 years. Fischbach was the most recent Republican to hold statewide office in Minnesota when she ascended from her role as President of the Senate to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“After much consultation and prayer with my family, I have decided to run for Congress,” said Fischbach. “Western Minnesota families deserve a representative who will fight for their values in Washington and support President Trump’s agenda – not the socialist agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Ilhan Omar, and the rest of the squad. People here believe in our constitutional rights. They believe in the right to life. They believe in making sure the next generation has the opportunity to pursue the American dream right here in Western Minnesota.”

Before serving as Lieutenant Governor, Fischbach served in the Minnesota Senate. After the 2010 election, the Minnesota Senate selected Fischbach to serve as President of the Senate, making her the first woman in Minnesota history to serve in that role. After the 2016 election, Fischbach was again selected by the Minnesota Senate to serve as President of the Senate, a position she would hold until she ascended to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“Collin Peterson no longer represents Western Minnesota values,” added Fischbach. “One of his first votes this Congress was to ban the wall, and he votes against President Trump 85 percent of the time. Unlike Peterson, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build the wall, fight against the Democrats’ socialist agenda, and keep America great.”

About Michelle Fischbach:

Michelle Fischbach is a trailblazer and a proven conservative leader. She recently served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, ascending to that position following the resignation of her predecessor. She was the first woman in Minnesota history to serve as President of the Minnesota Senate – initially from 2011-12 and then again from 2017-18. She also served as Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. She was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and served until 2018. She holds a B.A. from St. Cloud State University and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. She and her husband, Scott, live in the Paynesville area and have two grown children and five grandchildren.

About Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District:

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District is the most pro-Trump district in the country held by a Democrat. In 2016, President Trump carried the district by nearly 31 percentage points. According to The Cook Political Report, the district has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+12. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the 116th Congress, Congressman Peterson has voted against President Trump’s agenda 85% of the time.

Highlighting the fact that Peterson has voted against President Trump 85% of the time has to hurt Peterson. If he had voted with Trump 40%-50% of the time, he might be able to deflect the ads that are certainly heading in Peterson’s direction. That’s especially true in a district that Trump took by 31 points in 2016.

Further, the DFL can’t paint Fischbach as a TEA Party radical, though I’m certain that they’ll attempt that. The other thing we can count on is Nancy Pelosi’s PAC dumping $2,000,000-$4,000,000 into this race. Losing this race is something she can’t afford if she wants to keep her Speaker’s Gavel.

I won’t predict the outcome of this race at this point but I won’t hesitate in stating that Peterson’s seat is legitimately in trouble this time.

It’s now official. Blue Dog Democrats officially stated that they oppose middle class tax cuts and tax simplification. They officially stated “We simply cannot support a bill that, by every kind of measurement, has been determined to add over $2 trillion to the deficit at the expense of middle-class Americans. It’s a fact that some middle-class Americans will see their taxes go up and small business owners will face a more complex tax system under this bill.”

Their statement went further, saying “Unrealistic, rosy economic growth projections should not be used to offset the costs of tax reform or tax relief.”

During the Obama administration, Blue Dog Democrats sat silent. They didn’t offer plans to simplify the tax code or provide middle class tax relief. They especially didn’t criticize President Obama’s super-sized deficits. Simply put, they acted like spineless eunuchs. Now that there’s a Republican president that’s pushing major improvements to the tax code, though, Blue Dogs are suddenly criticizing plans that will strengthen the economy, create jobs and grow families’ 401(k)s.

Their position paper supports corporate tax reduction, income tax simplification, and emphasizes deficit reduction.

That’s nice-sounding but it’s totally BS. They were nowhere to be found for 8 long yeas on the topic of deficit reduction. Had they stood up to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi back then, they’d have some credibility.

Legitimate conservatives have a different idea:

Thanks to Republicans, tax relief will soon become reality. During her interview with Kevin Brady, Harris Faulkner asked him if they’d done a whip count. Chairman Brady said that they’d done a whip count and that they had the 218 votes needed to pass the House Bill:

The Senate bill includes the repeal of the individual mandate, which isn’t part of the House’s legislation. Last night during his townhall, however, Speaker Ryan said that House Republicans didn’t have a problem with repealing the individual mandate. Chairman Brady said that they wouldn’t add it to the House bill but said that they wouldn’t have a problem agreeing to it in the conference committee negotiations.

UPDATE: Ron Johnson just announced that he won’t vote for the Tax Bill in its current form:

“We have an opportunity to enact paradigm-shifting tax reform that makes American businesses globally competitive, helps our economy reach its full potential, and creates greater opportunity and bigger paychecks for every American. In doing so, it is important to maintain the domestic competitive position and balance between large publicly traded C corporations and ‘pass-through entities’ (subchapter S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships). These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions. I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version.”

The key part of Sen. Johnson’s statement is where he said “I do not support either in their current versions. I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version.” That isn’t slamming the door shut. It’s leaving the door wide open. Frankly, this sounds more like the opening of negotiations rather than a rejection.

Friday night, Collin Peterson collided with Torrey Westrom in a debate. Here’s the video for the entire debate:

Saying that it was contentious is understatement. It was also inspirational and infuriating. This clip fits into the infuriating category:

Here’s what Collin Peterson said in defending his decision not to vote for Obamacare:

PETERSON: I didn’t vote for this bill. The reason I didn’t vote for it — the reason I didn’t vote for it is because I actually read the bill, which a lot of people didn’t.

That’s the first time Peterson said he’d read the bill prior to passing it. That runs contrary to what then-Speaker Pelosi said:

Here are her infamous words:

But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.

The key point in all this is that, if it’s true, Collin Peterson knew what was in the bill but didn’t criticize the ACA. It’s one thing to stay silent on a bill you mildly disagree with. It’s almost justifiable if you think it might work. There was nothing in the ACA that suggested it would work.

For instance, if Peterson actually read the bill, he would’ve known that people couldn’t keep the plans they liked. Sitting silent while that abomination hits the American people is despicable. Edmund Burke got it right with this famous quote:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Collin Peterson did nothing. As a result, people in the Seventh District are getting bad news. Torrey Westrom is definitely speaking up about it:

“All you need to do is travel the district and talk to the small business owners that are getting renewal notices from their employees,” Westrom responded. “They’re seeing 40, 50, 60, 80% increases. I just talked to a person in my home county two weeks ago at the coffee shop, and they said they’re seeing a 100 percent increase because of Obamacare. That is a critical, a big concern, and why I am pushing that we need to repeal Obamacare, different from the congressman.”

Torrey Westrom’s closing statement was inspirational. Here’s that closing statement:

Saying that he returned to bailing hay on the family farm just a year after permanently losing his sight is inspirational. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I appreciated Westrom’s statement that “even I can see that Washington is broken.”

Torrey’s sense of humor, combined with Torrey’s can-do attitude speak to one thing: that Torrey will be a positive, powerful force in Washington, DC.

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Collin Peterson’s calling card throughout the years has been that he’s an influential member on the Agriculture Committee. He’s still running on that calling card, though it’s fair to question how potent it is this time. Torrey Westrom is reminding people Peterson isn’t the only candidate in the race who knows agriculture issues:

Agriculture is another major issue for Westrom, who currently serves on the state legislative agriculture committee. He said that serving on the agriculture committee in Washington, like his opponent currently does, “sure would be” a priority for him.

“I grew up on a dairy farm, I have an agricultural background,” Westrom said. “I have been a strong proponent for agriculture and farmers in the state Legislature, and I will continue to be a strong ardent voice for agriculture in Washington.”

Torrey Westrom knows agriculture issues. Here’s an important difference between Westrom and Peterson:

Peterson has said that he supports the pipeline, but Westrom urged that his support of the project is not enough.

“We have rail car shortages because of this Obama administration’s policy supported by the Democratic leadership,” Westrom said. “You support the pipeline and then you go support leadership that’s gonna oppose it? That doesn’t make sense.”

“That’s a decision I have to make as a new congressman,” Westrom said. “Will I support Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the U.S. Congress or not? I am here to tell you I will not unlike my opponent who has.”

In prior elections, Peterson neutralized the ‘Nancy Pelosi card.’ Apparently, that streak has met its match. Westrom isn’t just mentioning Pelosi’s name. He’s tying Pelosi to Peterson on the biggest issue in the district. Westrom has done a nice job of highlighting the House Democratic leadership’s environmental fanaticism.

That won’t sit well in the 7th District.

Finally, people apparently are responding to Torrey’s positive message:

“We have been running a positive campaign, a positive message, and voters have been responding very favorably to what they see and hear coming out of our campaign,” Westrom said. “We are going to continue pushing a positive message of change.”

The thing that I’ve heard is that people appreciate Torrey Westrom’s demeanor and discipline. He isn’t afraid to highlight differences like he did in this interview. Still, he’s been respectful while highlighting policy differences he has with his opponent. That’s an admirable trait, one which says he’ll fight for his policies and principles without vilifying people he’ll need to work with.

Minnesota’s 7th District needs that type of leadership and character. A vote for Westrom is a vote for principled leadership.

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After last night’s bombshell polling data from Minnesota’s Eighth District, the next questions are quite logical. First, when will the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi’s PAC pull their money from the Mills-Nolan race? Second, when that money is pulled, where will it be spent?

The conventional wisdom is that the money pulled from Nolan’s race would be spent on Collin Peterson’s race. I don’t think that’s what they’ll decide. They’ve already pumped millions of dollars into the Westrom-Peterson race. It hasn’t hurt Westrom a bit. Next, they’ve thrown everything at Torrey, including the proverbial kitchen sink. Torrey Westrom keeps gaining. In fact, Torrey will campaign tomorrow with Mike McFadden:

McFadden knows that his message sells in the Seventh. He’s campaigned with Torrey before, too. It’s obvious that they feed off each other and complement each other nicely. Why would Pelosi’s superPAC or the DCCC shift money into that situation?

Finally and most importantly, a little money pays for tons of ads in the 7th. How much more money does Collin Peterson need to win that race? People know Peterson because he’s finishing his twelfth term. If the first and second ad buys didn’t put Peterson over the top, why would the DCCC think that the third and fourth ad buys will? Known commodities are known commodities. If they don’t sell right away, they won’t jump off the shelf later.

Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC have other seats that need propping up. Nolan’s seat is history. He’s an ancient candidate whose policies are from the 1970s. There’s nothing that indicates he’ll catch fire in the last 2 weeks.

Peterson has a better shot at winning but that’s because he’s frequently won with over 60% of the vote. He’s either popular and heading for victory or people have tired of him and he’s heading for defeat. There isn’t a middle ground with him.

Ken Martin, the DFL, Steve Simon, Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken are watching these races. That’s because they know their races are based, at least partially, on doing well in these districts. If Nolan and Peterson lose, Gov. Dayton’s, Sen. Franken’s and the DFL’s path to victory gets complicated fast.

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The Tarrance Group’s latest polling on the Westrom-Peterson race isn’t good news for Collin Peterson:

The Tarrance Group is pleased to present the following findings from our recently completed telephone survey of N=300 registered “likely” voters in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. The Tarrance Group was commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to conduct a telephone survey in this district. A random sample of this type is likely to yield a margin of error of +5.8% in 95 out of 100 cases. Responses to the survey were gathered October 12-14, 2014.

Torrey Westrom has pulled ahead in the race for the congressional seat long held by DFL incumbent Collin Peterson. Westrom has made steady improvement throughout the campaign and now eclipses the incumbent. Turnout modeling puts the race at 48% Westrom and 46% Peterson, with only 6% undecided. Those undecided voters do not seem likely to break toward an incumbent they know so well.

With a margin of error of 5.8% and with the race being this close, this race is anything but settled. Also, it’s always wise to question private partisan polls. Still, this can’t give the Peterson campaign comfort.

It’s noteworthy that the KSTP-SurveyUSA poll showed Peterson leading 50%-41%, with a distinct oversampling of Democrats:

Sen. Westrom has fought a great campaign. He’s raised the money to be competitive. He’s travelled the district to increase his name recognition. He’s enunciated a message that’s resonating with voters. In short, he’s given Peterson a legitimate reason to worry.

It isn’t accidental that the DCCC has spent a few fists full of money on advertising. That advertising has mostly focused on criticizing Sen. Westrom for his alleged role in the Dayton government shutdown. Prior to this partisan private polling, this already figured to be Peterson’s toughest re-election fight yet.

That fight just gained in intensity. The thing is that the DCCC has already thrown the kitchen sink at Torrey. They don’t have many bullets left in the clip.

Entering this summer, conventional wisdom was that Stewart Mills had a better shot at defeating Rick Nolan than Torrey Westrom had of defeating Collin Peterson. That’s mostly due to the fact that Rick Nolan wasn’t the top-tier candidate that Peterson was. Apparently, Peterson isn’t as popular in the district as his recent election numbers indicated.

Going into this summer, I thought Republicans would win either defeat Peterson or Nolan. I didn’t think they’d defeat both of them. I still have trouble believing that they’ll accomplish that feat but it’s definitely a better possibility today than a month ago.

If Republicans flip both seats, it’ll be bad night for the DFL and for Nancy Pelosi.

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