This is a bold move on Quist's part in the edgy Kurt Bills' fashion. Indeed, since the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Political Action Committee (MFBF PAC)'s list of endorsements that includes Bills' incumbent opponent Amy Klobuchar notes that it's the "first round" of such nods, Bluestem wonders if Quist is simply trying to goad the Bureau into endorsing Farm Bill supporter Congressman Walz.
All kidding aside, here's Quist's media advisory:
Quist to Hold Press Conferences on “Farm Bill”
Candidate for 1st District Congress Allen Quist has scheduled press conferences in Mankato, Rochester, and Winona for Wednesday, September 5th to explain why the “Farm Bill” should be sent back to committee for major changes before it is brought to the floor of the House for passage.
9:00 a.m. Mankato, Public Library, conference room
100 East Main Street,
1:30 p.m. Rochester, Denny’s Restaurant
1226 South Broadway
3:00 p.m. Winona, Country Kitchen
1611 Service Drive
As Bluestem readers know, Congressman Walz has been holding official press conferences across the district with farm leaders such as Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farmers Union representatives, leaders of commodity groups and ag-related small business owners to call for the passage of the Farm Bill in the House.
Both national Farm Bureau and Farmers Union are part of the Farm Bill Now Coalition. On August 24, 2012, the Minnesota Farm Bureau sent out the following press release:
“Farm Bill Now” Coalition Calls on Congress to Act
More than 35 agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, have united to urge congressional lawmakers to pass a five-year farm bill before the current programs expire in September.
“Calling the farm bill the ‘farm bill’ suggests its impact is limited only to farms and to the rural areas to which they are so closely tied. It’s really a jobs bill. A food bill. A conservation bill. A research bill. An energy bill. A trade bill. In other words, it’s a bill that affects every American,” the groups say in emphasizing the legislation’s reach beyond farming and ranching.
The full statement is available on the coalition’s website, FarmBillNow.com.
Along with a listing of the coalition members and key points about the farm bill and why immediate action is critical, the site makes it easy for farmers, ranchers and consumers to tell their lawmakers how important the farm and food bill is to them.
Passage of the Farm Bill in the Senate is one of the reasons the historically Republican-leaning Farm Bureau endorsed Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Star Tribune reports. Bills, who narrowly lost the First Congressional District in the Republican primary August 14, has said he would not support the bill. As we noted in Mr. Quist goes to Tampa: a look at congressional race ratings for Minnesota's First District, Quist isn't considered any more of a threat to Walz than Bills is to Klobuchar. No polling has been released by anyone for MNCD1.
Is Quist on to something here? Whether it's in the league of one of his 1980s-era anti-sodomy investigations or discovery of the cohabitation of dinosaurs and people remains to be seen.
Update: The Owatonna People's Press talked to the candidate about the bill for Walz, Quist have differing opinions on how bill will affect Steele County farmers, residents. Most telling thing in the article? The cutline for the photo: "Farmers wait for bill"
Image: Allen Quist,cartoon by Ken Avidor.