Has anyone seen Rep. Tom Emmer?
Our Sixth District representative is running for re-election and like all members of Congress, he just completed a two-week break over Easter.
March for Our Lives organizers urged members of Congress to conduct town halls during their recess to discuss gun-safety legislation.
Emmer didn’t take up the challenge, but his Democratic opponent, Ian Todd did. He scheduled five town halls across the district last week.
Emmer’s last town hall in the area was in January 2017. The Sartell event was notable because about five times as many people marched outside than the crowd admitted to the limited space in City Hall.
During the Easter recess, Emmer, along with Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, appeared in St. Cloud to present an award to Jason Falconer, the off-duty Avon police officer who fatally shot the Crossroads Center knife attacker in September 2016. Emmer also spoke at two conferences last week –both of them outside the district.
Nationwide, Democrats want to regain control of the House of Representatives. To do that, they’ll need to flip at least 24 seats now controlled by Republicans. The Democrats are targeting 25 Republicans running in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
Minnesota’s Sixth District is not one of those targeted districts. The Sixth tilts red. Emmer won re-election with 66 percent of the vote in 2016. Emmer out-performed Trump, who beat Clinton with 58 percent of the vote.
Democrat Todd is a political newcomer and in the Sixth he’s sailing into a headwind. But he’s been running a strong grassroots and social-media campaign.
Emmer may think he can run out the clock by keeping a low profile and counting on the R behind his name to help him cruise to re-election.
He was a strong and early Trump supporter and Emmer needs to answer some questions starting with holding Trump accountable.
For example, do the firing of James Comey and the attempt to fire Robert Mueller amount to obstruction of justice? If President Clinton’s lie under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky was grounds for impeachment, would a Trump lie under oath regarding any aspect of the Russia investigation, including potential acts of obstruction of justice, also be grounds?
Emmer hasn’t always stood with Trump. He voted against the omnibus budget bill because it didn’t pay for spending increases. He’s been in favor of continued economic ties with Cuba because it’s good for Minnesota’s farmers and businesses. And he voted against reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because he said he disagrees that Americans’ Constitutional rights have to be violated to protect national security.
When and if Emmer makes an appearance, we also need to know his opinion on Trump’s tariffs and China’s reaction that includes tariffs on soybean exports. Minnesota is the nation’s third-highest soybean producing state, behind Illinois and Iowa.
Rep. Emmer, it’s been awhile. We’d like to see you.