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Tracking down a politicial person or two

December 7, 2009 - Chuck Hunt
It doesn't usually happen this way in the news biz. Normally, anytime a politician or candidate for public office stops in Blue Earth we get notified. Usually it is a quick 'opportunity' to do a fast interview and snap a photo. Twice in the past two weeks that 'rule' got broken. First, Senator Amy Klobuchar came to Blue Earth to meet with local economic development people - mainly those who started Go Minnesota. Now, we get an emailed press release from the senator's office every day. But none of them alerted us to the fact she would be here. Actually we found out just before she was to be here, and not from her office. When I asked her about that later, she said she wasn't here as a media event. She was using the Thanksgiving break to go on a fact finding trip, and listen to what Minnesotans have on their minds. While she was happy a member of the local media showed up, it was not a priority on this stop. The second incident was a story I had been trying to track down for a couple of weeks. I had read a story in the Rochester and Winona newspapers that reported a Blue Earth man was considering a run for the Republican endorsement to run against Congressman Tim Walz. I tried to track that story down, with little success. No one in Blue Earth seemed to know a Jim Hagedorn, and no one was aware he lived in Blue Earth. Not even those whose last names were also Hagedorn. One told me that Jim Hagedorn did not live here, but lived in Virginia. And I don't mean Virginia, Minnesota. Turns out, Jim Hagedorn HAD moved to Blue Earth and was, indeed, running for the endorsement for the Republican candidacy. We finally tracked him down on the very day he was announcing his bid. And, we found out that his campaign office had just neglected to let us know, and they apolologized profusely for not letting us know. Hagedorn was born in Blue Earth, moved to Truman as a youngster, and has spent most of his life in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area. He moved to Blue Earth "recently." And, it seems, he moved here for a specific purpose - to run for the U.S. Congress from this district. Some might call that opportunistic, or a form of 'carpet bagging.' Of course, if Hillary Clinton can move to New York just to run for the U.S. Senate, who are we to judge others? Hagedorn seems to have a strong knowledge of the issues facing this area and the nation. And he has more experience in Washington than others who have only served on the state political level. So who knows? Only time will tell if Blue Earth is going to be home to a U.S. Congressman.


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