In a letter published in the Sunday Grand Forks Herald, Paul Lysen of Meeker County's Kingston Township accuses Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson of being a Democrat in his letter, Reject Rep. Peterson, a Democrat in Democrat's clothing.
Another version of the letter has been published in the Park Rapids Enterprise, another newspaper in the Forum Communications chain, under the headline, Collin Peterson is not one of us. More on that one later in the post.
Much of the letter is a variation of the 2014 Republican talking points that WCCO's Pat Kessler debunked in the October 31, 2014 report, Reality Check: GOP Ad Linking Collin Peterson To Nancy Pelosi:
The ad makes it seem like Democrat Collin Peterson votes in lockstep with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat Republicans love to hate.
“Peterson chose Pelosi. Peterson chose Pelosi. Peterson chose Pelosi,” a recent ad states.
But it’s just not true.
Peterson’s record of voting with Democrats and Pelosi at 68 percent is so low, he could pass for a Republican.
Smart Politics later looked at the question of Was the GOP Money Targeting Collin Peterson in '14 Well Spent? Enough to narrow the gap between Peterson and his opponent from past years, but not enough to win.
Since Congress reconvened with an even more Republican cast, Peterson hasn't been getting any more blue of a Blue Dog, so we suspect with the district back on the national hit list, we'll see more of this purple prose and yellow journalism.
Lysen: Peterson hating on Keystone?
Indeed, those dirty hippies over at the League of Conservation Voters didn't take kindly to his vote earlier this year for the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline (KXL):
Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) sponsored H.R. 3, yet another a bill to automatically approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would transfer the world’s dirtiest oil through the American heartland to be exported at an international shipping port on the Gulf Coast. Keystone XL would lead to a significant expansion of tar sands development, unleashing massive amounts of carbon pollution and threatening surrounding communities, ecosystems, and watersheds including the Ogallala aquifer, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans. Despite these real threats, Keystone XL would create just 35 permanent jobs and would not enhance American energy independence. H.R. 3 would short circuit the approval process, eliminating the State Department’s ability to assess whether the pipeline is in the national interest and the President’s authority to ultimately approve or reject the project. On January 9, the House approved H.R. 3 by a vote of 266-153 (House roll call vote 16). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.
Thus, some of Lysen's letter will be big news to Peterson:
He supported tax credits for wind farms and solar installations, but voted against the Keystone Pipeline and against permits for more oil refineries in our country and oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Peterson has always voted for the Keystone project. It's true that he's supported wind and solar, but it's peculiar to pit votes on petroleum industry policy against wind and solar, which are related to electricity generation.
Moreover, his opponent in the 2014 race favored an "all of the above approach." Indeed, in 2012, Session Weekly reported in "Stepping Up' to Senate Race: Westrom hopes to continue renewable energy advocacy in different chamber:
Westrom encouraged executives of Xcel Energy to meet with members of the neighboring Prairie Island Indian community to consider increasing the number of fuel casks and boosting Xcel's commitment to renewable energy at the same time. The resulting law was enacted four years before former Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a 2007 law requiring Minnesota utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Westrom's bill also required Xcel to contribute $16 million annually to a Renewable Development Account. . .
Westrom characterized the wind turbines as "freedom towers." While support of renewable energy among Republicans has decreased since the 2010 GOP landslide, Westrom remains a centrist on energy policy; believing that a diversified portfolio of conventional and renewable energy creates jobs. He characterized himself as a "huge supporter" of renewable energy, including 2001 legislation he sponsored to mandate a 5 percent biodiesel fuel blend for vehicles used by the state.
However, since Westrom campaigned a lot on ramming the Keystone pipeline through, perhaps in these deeply divided times, Lysen inferred from Westrom's intense focus that Peterson opposed Keystone, regardless of what those dirty hippies and their roll call votes say.
Park Rapids Enterprise version: Collin Peterson, bond to be voting for Obamacare?
In the version in the Park Rapids Enterprise, Lysen writes:
Peterson has held firm on two issues, the right to life and gun rights, which has inoculated him against kickback from voting the way Obama tells him to on other issues–like supporting Obamacare.
In the Grand Forks version, that modifying phrase was edited out:
Peterson has held firm on two issues, the right to life and gun rights, and this has inoculated him against kickback from voting the way Obama tells him to on other issues.
What's the rumpus? In March 2014, MinnPost's Devin Henry reported in Peterson's Obamacare voting record: no more 'ammunition' for GOP:
As Republicans are quick to remind, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, one of 34 Democrats to oppose the Affordable Care Act in 2010, has voted against every full repeal bill the House has considered since the GOP took control in 2011.
He has, however, sided with the party on half of the 50-some Obamacare bills they’ve voted on over the last three years, including all of them since October.
Not that he’s keeping track. In fact, Peterson said his votes since last fall are only “somewhat” related to what the GOP is actually bringing up. . . . .
But Peterson’s record on GOP-led Obamacare votes over the last three years reflects his still-dim opinion of the law as a whole. And while he doesn’t have anything nice to say about how President Obama or Democrats are handling the law’s roll-out, he said he’s not going to back a GOP repeal bill unless it maintains the several parts of the law he does like, something he acknowledges is unlikely to ever happen.
A full repeal bill “repeals pre-existing conditions, it repeals all the good stuff, kids on their parents’ policies, the Medicare donut hole … by doing that, you’re getting rid of the good stuff,” he said. “So why are we doing that?” . ..
After looking at Henry's article and the attached list of Peterson's votes, we can see why the editors at the Grand Forks Herald threw that final prepositional phrase in the trash can.
But on Planet Lysen, Park Rapids Enterprise version, Peterson is supporting something evil than universal health care: the separation of church and state.
Park Rapids Enterprise version: anti-Christian bigots endorse Peterson
The Park Rapids Enterprise published Collin Peterson is not one of us, which includes additional paragraphs:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) also endorses him with a glowing 100 percent rating. These are the same anti-Christian bigots who conspire to drive Jesus Christ out of our politics, laws, schools, and public displays.
Collin Peterson apparently agrees with their atheistic goals, but I doubt that many people in the 7th District do.
The word "hack" is also added to the last sentence:
Why should we continue to return this man to office time after time? Wake up, people, and kick this hack Democrat out!
Americans United for Separation of Church and State doesn't make endorsements; moreover, in 2014, only Keith Ellison was rated 100 percent by AU; like the rest of the Minnesota House delegation, Peterson was ranked 0 percent, according to the data available for the group on Project Vote Smart.
Perhaps Lysen means the 2013 ranking, where Peterson was joined at 100 percent with AU's atheistic goals by those godless commies John Kline (R-MN02) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN03), while the rest of Minnesota's congressional delegation stood at zero. (Bachmann's score is now omitted, since she's left office).
We'll presume that the Grand Forks Herald edited this erroneous copy out of the letter; it's unfortunate that it couldn't do the same for the misinformation about Peterson's Keystone votes. Let's hope that the Forum Communications papers that
As far as we can tell, the last time a sitting Minnesota congressman was accused of sharing the goals of atheists was around 1920, when Rev. Ole Juulson Kvale made such claims against bluenosed Gopher Andrew Volstead. That worked out well.
Kvale switched from the Republican Party to the radical proto-dirty hippie Farmer Labor party in 1922, beat Volstead and served in Congress until his death in 1929. Congressman Emmer's recent conversion from feisty Tea Party darling to a mild-mannered customer service representative is weak sauce in terms of Minnesota political history.
Lysen no stranger among outspoken Republicans
Lysen is no stranger to the ranks of outspoken Republicans in West Central Minnesota, though we don't anticipate him following in Ole Kvale's trailblazing path or Congressman Emmer's mellowing.
In a May 2103 letter to the Litchfield Independent Review, Why did Broman tell Republicans to cave on gay marriage? he attacked the paper's editor while making some rather eccentric claims about what supporters of marriage equality want:
Andrew Broman really stepped in it this time. Why would he tell Republicans to cave on gay marriage ("Democrats spring gay marriage trap," March 7)? Is he really trying to improve their chances of winning elections or is he trying to deceive them into giving up the fight against Democrat ideology? He has earlier attacked Republicans for advancing the Voter ID amendment, claiming that it was “antithetical to democracy.” What he really meant to say was that it was antithetical to Democrats. Broman was helping to preserve their right to lie and cheat their way to election victories.
So, the question remains, why is Broman telling Republicans to give up on opposing gay marriage? The same reason any Democrat would — to grant legitimacy to any and all perversions that Democrat voters choose to engage in. After all, we have to be enlightened and progressive and free from Christian prejudices. We must allow man-boy marriages, man-animal marriages, and man-inflatable doll marriages!
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36.) Most of us Republicans are Christians first and conservatives second. Every Republican caucus, convention, and meeting I have attended starts out with prayer. We do not intend to hide our belief in God under a basket when we go out into the world. Atheists, humanists, evolutionists, Muslims, and earth-worshippers don’t. God is real, and we take His dictates seriously. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Jesus said so. Why should we deny that to win a few votes from Democrats?
Grant the homosexuals their demands and what will happen? Pastors who preach from the Bible about homosexual unions will be hauled into court for hate crimes. Schools will be required to teach that homosexual unions are normal and honorable. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and whatever else, will demand special rights as protected groups.
Faith in God guides our conservatism, as it did the country’s founders. They knew that all humans are fallen. Give men power over others and they will abuse it. The founders’ solution was to keep government close to the governed. The states were free to decide their own matters while the federal government, with three countervailing branches, was to be held in check by the Constitution. If a citizen disagreed with the policies of one state, they were free to move to another. This is what conservatives stand for.
Broman has proclaimed that the “Republican leadership ought to prohibit Bible-thumping within its ranks” and “rediscover the true meaning of conservatism.” I doubt that he really cares about the true meaning of conservatism. Clearly, he isn’t a conservative himself since his interest is not in helping the cause of conservatism but in undermining it.
Well then. The man-inflatable doll marriage talking point is a new one on us. We also appreciate Christian soldier Lysen giving himself a waiver on that commandment about not bearing false witness. Perhaps a higher power is a-okay on misrepresenting Peterson's dirty energy votes on the Keystone pipeline.
Earlier, Lysen had accused the Litchfield paper of supporting voter fraud, and repeated the old canard that felons voting put Franken over the top in the 2008 election. In his November 2012 letter, 'Our View' supports voter fraud, he writes:
Contrary to your “Our View” editorial of Nov. 12, “Republicans lost their way with voter ID,” you editors and publisher of the Litchfield newspaper were the ones who lost their way by joining with the Democrats to celebrate the defeat of voter ID. Why didn’t you question why the Democrats spent so much money to defeat voter ID? Clearly, the present “honor” system works to their advantage.
In editorials before the election, you agreed with the Democrats who claimed that voter ID was a huge expense that would be dumped on local governments. But, how much does it cost to flash an ID card? If it so expensive, why have over 30 states already implemented it? You also cheered the Democrat’s half-baked contention that voters would be disenfranchised by having to show an ID card. Well, then, in the name of social justice, why don’t you demand that drivers need not show police their identification or that check cashiers need not show their ID to the banks?
Your paper takes the Democrat view that there is hardly a smidgen of fraud to be found in Minnesota voting. Right, and how was it that the votes of a thousand felons (who are ineligible to vote) were counted in 2008 allowing Franken to come from behind to win over Coleman by 300 votes? Do you think we have forgotten this?
Minnesota’s present voting laws are a goldmine for Democrats to exploit. Scenarios where voter fraud is possible under current law include the following:
- Registering up to 15 impostors on voting day by one registered voter. The same 15 could be vouched for in another precinct by another registered voter.
- Registering in multiple precincts on voting day by producing expired identification cards such as an old driver’s license.
- Registering in advance in multiple precincts and going from precinct to precinct on voting day.
- Voting by felons.
- Voting by illegal aliens (since proof of citizenship is not required).
- Double voting by college students who vote in their college town and in their home precinct.
- Voting by impostors who assume the identity of people who are dead or who have moved away.
These scenarios are more likely, of course, to occur in urban areas where Democrats predominate and where anonymity is assured.
These abuses would be curbed by a voter ID requirement. So why does your newspaper criticize Republicans for supporting voter ID? You should be applauding Republicans such as our Sen. Scott Newman for trying to bring integrity to the election process. Why should you want to conspire with the Democrats to preserve a tool they can use to win every close election held in this state? Just what is your agenda here in Meeker County?
Lysen can invent as many likely scenarios as he wishes, but there's little evidence any of that has been happening.
Finally, the Kingston Township activist was among those who supported a 2014 Meeker County Republican resolution to immediately impeach President Obama, the Litchfield paper reported:
“I think it’s time we have it on record that we should impeach him,” said Kingston Township resident Paul Lysen, one of about 30 delegates to attend the convention in Litchfield.
The resolution states, “President Barack Hussein Obama has abused his office and acted in defiance and violation of the Constitution. He must be impeached immediately.”
No delegate attending Saturday’s convention voiced opposition to the impeachment resolution.
Several other resolutions also received widespread support, including one relating to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. That resolution calls for the prosecution of former State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton for “countermanding the defense of the Benghazi consulate against the attack from Islamic jihadists.”
A total of eight resolutions were adopted Saturday, and party organizers said the resolutions will be submitted to the Minnesota GOP State Convention, scheduled to take place May 30 in Rochester, for possible inclusion in the party’s platform.
The only resolution to fail Saturday accuses the Democratic Party and mainstream media of engaging in a “conspiracy of lies.” “The Democrat Party and the mainstream media have engaged in a conspiracy of lies to defraud the American people,” the resolution states. “They constitute a criminal conspiracy and must be prosecuted under racketeering laws.”
The resolution failed on tie, 6-6 vote.
RICO laws against political opponents?
Lysen served as an executive board member of the Meeker County GOP in 2013-2014; the party convened last month but has not updated this information its webpage or Facebook page that we're able to discern.
Photo: The late Ole Kvale, failed Independent-Republican name-caller turned successful Farmer-Labor Congressman. Via the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
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