Our elected officials should not hold themselves to a lower standard than they hold us. Yet, Congressman Jim Hagedorn is doing that when it comes to wasting our tax dollars.

According to the congressional research organization LegiStorm, he already spent $570,000 (around 40%) of his congressional office budget in the first quarter of 2020.

Around 19% percent of his expenses were itemized for printing or franked mail (nearly 25 times more than the average member of Congress).

This tactic is notoriously used by some politicians to promote their political image using taxpayer-funded mail rather than their campaign funds. Hagedorn’s proportion of expenses in this area is the highest of any representative.

However, when it comes to supporting working families, Hagedorn suddenly becomes frugal. At a town hall in February he dismissed concerns about his responsibility to keep children from getting kicked off school lunch programs claiming “people should fend for themselves.”

Recently when state and local officials pushed for federal aid that would benefit many small, family-owned businesses damaged through no fault of their own in riots, Hagedorn criticized them, claiming “they should fix their own problems and pay for their own mistakes.”

Hagedorn is spending recklessly on taxpayers’ backs while refusing help to those struggling to get by. That is not only a problem and a mistake, it is corrupt and irresponsible.

Southern Minnesotans deserve a representative who earns our votes with accomplishments for working families, not by pandering using our money.

Chris Russert

Mankato

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