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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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According to this editorial, Marty Seifert has endorsed Torrey Westrom’s run for the US congressional seat held by Collin Peterson:

“Many of you in western Minnesota know me, know my family, and know what I’m about. I’m not someone who entered political office for personal gain, but to help build a better state for my children and yours.

“My former colleague in the Legislature, Torrey Westrom, also believes that politics should be about service, not about individuals.

“That’s why I am asking you to join me in supporting Torrey as he runs for Congress here in Minnesota’s 7th District.

“Torrey is a man of integrity, wisdom, and most of all courage. He lost his eyesight at the age of 14 in a farm-related accident, but in the years that I’ve known him, I have never seen him let that slow him down. Now, with determination and drive, he is taking on liberal big-spenders in Washington.

“He is on the verge of winning, and making rural Minnesota proud, but he needs our support. I know he is the right choice for southwestern Minnesota, and I know he will represent us well.

“Please join me in choosing Torrey Westrom for Congress on Nov. 4.”

Marty Seifert
Former State Representative
Marshall

I’d love seeing Collin Peterson making a concession speech on Tuesday, Nov. 4. It’s long past time to retire that dinosaur.

Just minutes ago, I received this email announcement from the Westrom for Congress campaign:

Westrom Announces Endorsement from Ambassador John Bolton

(ALEXANDRIA, Minn.) – Torrey Westrom, the Republican nominee for Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, today announced the endorsement of former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton.

“I am honored to have Ambassador Bolton’s endorsement and I share his commitment to strengthening America’s national security,” Westrom said in a statement. “Now, more than ever, it is critical that we maintain a strong national defense and sophisticated military in the face of growing international threats from groups like ISIS. When in Congress, I will fight tirelessly on behalf of western Minnesota for strong national defense and American leadership abroad.”

In his endorsing statement, Ambassador Bolton said, “Torrey has fought for what’s right his whole life and I am confident he will take this commitment to Washington, and lead on conservative policies that impact Minnesota, America, and our concerns overseas.”

Ambassador Bolton served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations from 2005-2006, and served as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001-2005.

This is a little different than other endorsements because Ambassador Bolton isn’t a politician. It’ll be interesting to see what impact this will have but it’s interesting from this standpoint: Politicians aren’t held in high regard. People have much more respect for diplomats than they have for politicians.

Further, Ambassador Bolton is a straight-talking diplomat, which is definitely a rarity. That’s definitely something we haven’t seen from the Obama administration. It’s important to couple Ambassador Bolton’s endorsement with this news:

The Westrom campaign has released new internal polling numbers that report Republican Torrey Westrom is essentially tied within the margin of error, with 12-term incumbent Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson. Attached is a memorandum from our pollster, Brian Tringali of The Tarrance Group, that underlines key figures and points to an extremely favorable environment for Westrom, the challenger.

The ballot score reports an incredibly close race. 12-term incumbent Congressman Collin Peterson sits well below the majority threshold with just 45% of the ballot share, while Westrom is just 5-points behind with 40% support. Fully 15% are still undecided.

Important to note, the Westrom camp has yet to air a single television ad. Peterson has been on the air for two weeks running positive spots, while in contrast the DCCC is airing negative attack ads against Westrom.

The Tarrance Group is a well-respected Republican polling organization. When I first heard about them, Ed Goeas was the chief pollster. If this poll is accurate, then Collin Peterson is in trouble. The fact that Peterson is well below 50% even though Sen. Westrom hasn’t run a single TV ad isn’t good news for Peterson. It’s bad news for Peterson that 2 weeks of DCCC attack ads haven’t stopped Torrey’s momentum.

There’s no question that it’ll be a tight race to the finish. Still, Peterson’s campaign can’t be happy at this point.

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This video should worry Democrats:

The Democrats think they’ve caught Sen. Torrey Westrom in a ‘Mitt Romney moment’. In reality, they’ve shown 7th District voters that their activists aren’t the brightest people around. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Man: [During] the Eisenhower Administration, we built our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our schools, our fire halls, we built that during that era and the tax rate on the wealthiest people was 60 percent, and it was an honor for them, and society looked up to them, they were pillars in their community and respected, and we appreciated them. And now all I see is scapegoating on the poor, blaming people on food assistance when they can’t even get a part-time job… I’m saying that [rich people] pay less in income tax than poor people do.

Westrom: Even though 48 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes?

The first indication that this activist isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier is his implication that high income taxes in the 1950s paid for the interstate highway system. Income taxes didn’t have a thing to do with building and maintaining the interstate highway system:

About 70 percent of the construction and maintenance costs of Interstate Highways in the United States have been paid through user fees, primarily the fuel taxes collected by the federal, state, and local governments. To a much lesser extent they have been paid for by tolls collected on toll highways and bridges. The Highway Trust Fund, established by the Highway Revenue Act in 1956, prescribed a three-cent-per-gallon fuel tax, soon increased to 4.5 cents per gallon. In 1993 the tax was increased to 18.4 cents per gallon, where it remains as of 2012.

The next indicator that this activist isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier is that he thinks “poor people” pay more income taxes than “the rich.” Sen. Westrom dispatched that argument by telling the activist that “48 percent of Americans” don’t pay income taxes.

This wasn’t a vilification of “poor people.” It was simply a statement of statistical fact. It’s interesting that the DFL activist thinks stating a statistical fact is an act of vilification. Sen. Westrom finally had enough of the activist’s rantings:

Man: The Bible says, ‘To whom much has been given, much shall be required.’ Now [the wealthy] built that infrastructure and they did that out of the goodness of their hearts in the ’50s and now it’s like pulling teeth to get an extra dime out of the wealthiest people in this society, and I’m tired of it.

Westrom: Let me tell you, versus your philosophy, my philosophy is, don’t overtax the citizens, let them keep their hard-earned wealth [and] take care of themselves as much as they can and we do for the communities that individually they can’t do for themselves. You would rather tax everybody’s income, take it away from them, redistribute it, government knows best…

Before getting into Sen. Westrom’s reply, let’s focus on the activist’s statement that “the wealthy built that infrastructure…out of the goodness of their hearts…” That’s the picture of delusion. The truth is that “the wealthy” built much of this nation’s infrastructure to create bigger profits for their companies.

As for Sen. Westrom’s statement, he’s right in his philosophy of letting the people keep their money. The thought that the federal government knows best is intellectually laughable. For instance, Minnesota had a great health insurance system that featured one of the lowest rates of uninsured in the nation. In 2011, 93% of Minnesotans were insured. In 2013, thanks directly to the Affordable Care Act, that rate of insured ‘jumped’ to 95%. It just cost Minnesotans the paltry amount of $160,000,000 and counting.

The MNsure website still isn’t working. In fact, it won’t be working correctly until after this fall’s open enrollment. Thank God for the federal government’s intervention. I don’t know what we would’ve done without their assistance, though I’d love to find out.

This video should dispel the notion of government being benevolent:

Simply put, Sen. Westrom is right in ridiculing this activist. In fact, it’s best for him to just put this behind him so he can highlight his positive agenda and Collin Peterson’s history of Nancy Pelosi pushing him around. (Think voting for Cap and Trade after promising his constituents he wouldn’t vote for it.)

Sen. Westrom won’t take the 7th District for granted like Collin Peterson has for the last 20 years. Sen. Westrom has a history of getting things done. That’s the type of congressman Minnesota’s 7th District needs.

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This article highlights the intelligent fight Torrey Westrom will fight in Congress if he defeats Collin Peterson:

“The Keystone pipeline needs to be built, I am here to tell you, and it should have been built last year, not delayed another several months as we are seeing under this current Administration,” Westrom said. Without the pipeline, oil producers are using an increasing number of railcars to transport their supply, which is squeezing out farmers and propane suppliers.

“[Grain] elevators from the south end of the 7th District to the north tell me they are still going to have last year’s crop when this year’s crop comes in, and they can’t get enough extra cars to ship it out,” Westrom continued. “That’s unacceptable. We need to build energy and infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline. That’s something I will advocate for.”

When it comes to getting things done in DC, Collin Peterson is about as worthless as a potted plant. He didn’t stand up to President Obama and the environmental activists that run the EPA or the spineless diplomats in the State Department.

Thanks to Congressman Peterson’s spinelessness, grain elevators in Minnesota’s 7th District are hurting. Minnesota’s 7th District doesn’t need a DC insider with ‘influence’. Minnesota’s 7th District needs someone who gets things done.

Collin Peterson is rich with DC insider influence. Unfortunatly, he isn’t the type of congressman who gets important things done that help his district.

If voters in Minnesota’s 7th District dump Peterson, they’ll immediately see the difference in the number of important things that get done compared with Peterson’s potted plant routine.

The panel also asked the 7th District candidate what can be done to reduce government regulatory delays. “Indecision is very paralyzing for industry and for farmers,” Westrom said about the overregulation that effects Minnesota’s farmers. “Some sort of cap on decisions, so people can count on a yes or a no, or at least know what needs to be changed in a timely period, is something we should aim for.” Westrom emphasized that we should “not have unelected bureaucrats continue to delay processes.”

Peterson loves DC’s ineffective status quo. He doesn’t really have to do anything. All he has to do is talk about how much institutional influence he has. What Peterson can’t talk about is how his presence in DC is helping reduce regulations or improve life in Minnesota’s 7th District.

Throughout the forum, panelists expressed concern about government overreach, asking other candidates about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on navigable waters and delay on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The EPA is a farmer’s worst nightmare. Daily, they micromanage what a farmer can and can’t do. Their new rule will get struck down by the Supreme Court because it goes far beyond the legislative language of the Clean Water Act, aka the CWA.

Not that Collin Peterson cares but the EPA can’t implement a rule that goes beyond the legislative language. That language currently says the EPA can regulate navigable waters. The EPA’s rule would allow them to regulate waters not considered navigable.

At one point, Collin Peterson was a tolerable congressman. Those days have passed. In 2009, Nancy Pelosi corrupted him. He hasn’t been a Blue Dog Democrat since. That says one thing: it’s time for a change.

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The late Jim Oberstar submitted a bill in 2010 to amend the Clean Water Act so that the EPA would have jurisdiction over every drop of water anywhere in the United States. If you think that’s hyperbole, you’d better think again:

The “waters of the U.S.” issue is back. H. R. 5088, America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act (ACCWA), was recently introduced by House Committee of Transportation Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.)

Like Oberstar’s previous bill, ACCWA does two things. First, it eliminates the term “navigable” from all sections of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The term “navigable waters of the U.S.” is used more than 80 times in the CWA. NACo continues to oppose the removal of “navigable” from the act, because of the danger its absence poses to years of hard-won jurisdictional parameters.

Second, ACCWA removes the reference to “activities affecting” those waters and redefines “waters of the U.S.” by using a hybrid of current agency regulatory definitions. While ACCWA uses language based on existing agency regulations for a “water of the U.S.,” it is not identical to existing regulations. Furthermore, certain sections of the existing regulations were deleted and new language was added to the “waters of the U.S.” definition in ACCWA.

This is important because Oberstar’s bill didn’t go anywhere in 2010 and because the Obama administration is attempting to implement these changes through an EPA regulation:

Today, Torrey Westrom submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency over the EPA’s proposed rule to redefine “waters of the U.S.” – or navigable waters – under the Clean Water Act.

The new rule would redefine navigable waters as any body of water that is adjacent to or near a larger downstream water source, making it subject to federal regulations and permitting. The rule would also allow the EPA to seek comment on other waters, which could later be subject to regulation as well.

Sen. Westrom submitted this comment:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal to change the definition of ‘navigable waters’ under the Clean Water Act is a naked attempt to expand their own authority beyond the scope of the law and will have devastating consequences for Minnesota’s farmers, families, land owners and small business owners.

Congress was clear when it passed the Clean Water Act that the EPA’s authority would cover ‘navigable’ waters, but this new rule will extend the EPA’s authority to everything from small ponds to ditches in fields. This is government overreach, pure and simple. Federal officials are throwing the legal definition to the wayside and creating nearly limitless regulatory authority, which will hurt our communities. Any changes should be made through the legislative process, where voters can keep government accountable, rather than through a federal agency’s rule making.

Farmers and small business owners in places like where I live in Elbow Lake, and our surrounding agriculture communities in northwest Minnesota, cannot afford any more burdensome regulations handed down from the federal government. After a historically harsh winter and with a sluggish economy, the last thing America’s agriculture sector needs is unnecessary burden that will stifle business. We know our towns, down to the ponds and ditches in our fields, better than any unelected bureaucrat from Washington.

The EPA should ditch the proposed rule, which will harm farming communities and families.”

This is the key paragraph from Sen. Westrom’s comment:

Congress was clear when it passed the Clean Water Act that the EPA’s authority would cover ‘navigable’ waters, but this new rule will extend the EPA’s authority to everything from small ponds to ditches in fields. This is government overreach, pure and simple. Federal officials are throwing the legal definition to the wayside and creating nearly limitless regulatory authority, which will hurt our communities. Any changes should be made through the legislative process, where voters can keep government accountable, rather than through a federal agency’s rule making.

Democrat front groups are undoubtedly cheering the EPA’s proposed rule. These Democrat front groups, like the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy and other like-minded environmental activist organizations want the federal government to have jurisdiction over every drop of water in the US, regardless of whether it’s navigable water that forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin or whether it’s a low spot on private property in Idaho that occasionally has water in it.

The Clean Water Act, aka the CWA, specified which waters were covered by the Act. Because the CWA was passed by Congress and signed by the President, the legislation’s scope is limited. If they’d wanted the federal government to control all of the water in the United States, they should’ve written that into the bill. That’s where the Sierra Club’s, the Nature Conservancy’s and the League of Conservation Voters’ plan falls apart.

Had that been written into the text of the CWA, people would’ve been outraged.

Further, the executive branch isn’t allowed to change the clearly written language of a signed bill. Only the legislative branch is allowed to do that. The executive branch’s responsibility is to “faithfully execute” the laws that Congress enacts. If they don’t like specific provisions in a law, their only constitutionally sanctioned option is to talk Congress into changing that language.

Sen. Westrom is right in criticizing the federal government’s plan to govern through executive fiat. This isn’t a kingdom. It’s a constitutional republic with a clearly written Constitution.

Frankly, I don’t care if the EPA likes or hates the CWA. Their chief responsibility isn’t predicated on whether they like or hate a bill. Their chief responsibility is to faithfully execute the laws that are on the books, not the laws they wished were on the books.

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About an hour ago, I got this email notification from the Torrey Westrom for Congress campaign:

Sen. Bill Weber Endorses Torrey Westrom for Congress

Cites Westrom’s Integrity and Common Sense in Endorsement Statement

(ALEXANDRIA, Minn.) – Today, Torrey Westrom, candidate for Minnesota’s 7th congressional District, announced the endorsement of Sen. Bill Weber (R-District 22), who has served with Westrom in the Minnesota Senate and cited the integrity and common sense Westrom would bring to Washington, D.C.

“I am honored to support Torrey Westrom for the Seventh District Congressional seat. His knowledge of the issues, his experience in St. Paul and his personal values make him an excellent choice to represent the people of the 7th District in Washington D.C.,” Sen. Weber said in his endorsement statement. “Serving with him in the Minnesota Senate makes me confident that Torrey has the integrity and common sense that is sorely lacking in our nation’s Capitol and which is needed now more than ever!”

“I am honored to have the endorsement of my friend and Senate colleague, Bill Weber, who knows that Washington could use a lot more of our Minnesota values,” Westrom said. “The 7th District needs a representative who will fight government waste and overreach, while standing up for a balanced budget and common sense policies.”

Westrom is a top recruit in the race to replace Collin Peterson, and was named one of the first “Young Guns” in the 2014 election cycle by national Republicans. Westrom was dubbed “Collin Peterson’s worst nightmare” by the examiner.com, and Politico said, “Peterson is expected to face a tough race in Minnesota’s 7th District.”

It isn’t that Collin Peterson’s voting record is as far left as Keith Ellison’s or Nancy Pelosi’s. It’s that he’s a Blue Dog Democrat until Ms. Pelosi tells him to vote for a bill. That’s why he flip-flopped on cap & trade legislation in 2009:

Peterson, the chairman, said Tuesday he voted for the bill only because he knew it wouldn’t become law immediately. He had urged support for the bill after winning concessions that he said would benefit agriculture and ease the impact of higher energy costs on rural residents. “In spite of the fact that they gave me everything I wanted in agriculture…it needs some more work,” he said.

Like I said then, how can a bill still need some work if then-Speaker Pelosi gave him everything Peterson wanted? Taking that sentence literally will give people intellectual whiplash. What’s exceptionally understandable is that Cap & Trade would’ve sent electricity prices skyrocketing for hard-working farmers in the 7th District.

Rather than trying to figure out what Peterson is saying, the 7th would be better off with a straight shooter like Torrey Westrom. People won’t need a decoder ring to figure out what Westrom is saying. With Westrom, what you see is what you get. That’s just one reason to vote for him.

Yesterday, I wrote this post about Westrom’s DC priorities:

There’s the Westrom agenda: regulatory reform, coupled with starting over with patient- and family-centered health care, followed by rebuilding America’s outdated energy infrastructure.

Those are three things that the 7th District needs badly. What it doesn’t need is a congressman who’s resting on his laurels instead of fighting for his district.

Federal regulators are hurting farmers in the 7th District. Collin Peterson hasn’t fought the regulators. Torrey Westrom will. That alone is enough justification to vote for Torrey Westrom.

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