National and Minnesota Politics
Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN07) Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is not sitting idly by during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He joined Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-MN01) at the JBS Pork Plant in Worthington yesterday, which is in Hagedorn’s district. With Donald J Trump’s (R) declaration of pork being “critical” in an attempt to reopen pork production plants it creates a perilous situation for food production at the expense of worker’s health. This is just another example of Trump’s myopic focus on the economy of the well-being of the population. The highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in
The pork production industry is structure to rapidly slice and dice a hog as it moves down the line and the close proximity of the workers is a significant factor in the speed of the operation. The disassembly line doesn’t provide much room for separation and if it did it would mean a slowdown in the speed of the processing, which actually, might benefit workers in the long run, of course we expect the speed of the line will just increase to make up the difference.
Peterson’s leadership in Agriculture is the very reason voters in the 7th Congressional District would be cutting off their noses to spite their veritable faces were he to be turned out of office. His return to the chair after the Democratic takeover in 2018, provides a significant benefit to our state, which the election of former Lt Governor Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) will not. In Washington, it’s all about seniority and with 39 years of it, he garners far more weight than any freshman will. It’s called Gravitas.
Effectively, this crisis argues for Peterson’s reelection. We expect the Trump campaign will recognize this and Peterson will become a target quite soon. Trump carried Peterson’s district in 2016 with 61.37% while Peterson received 52.47%.
With the Agriculture industry making up less that 10 of our state’s GDP it might seem not as consequential, but Minnesota is the 5th largest state in Agricultural production. 2nd in pork, and as form Ag Commissioner Dave Frederickson used to say, “4 out of 4 people need to eat.”
Since Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was in business trading agriculture products, we expect Peterson will have sizable impact on what ultimately transpires, and because his committee determines the funding for the department, his words will not fall on deaf ears.