Hamilton takes on task of defending rural MinnesotaST. PAUL -- Rod Hamilton is becoming an outspoken cheerleader for rural Minnesota.
By: Don Davis, The Republican Eagle
ST. PAUL -- Rod Hamilton is becoming an outspoken cheerleader for rural Minnesota.
Last month, the Republican state representative from southwestern Minnesota criticized House Democrats for electing Minneapolis and St. Paul lawmakers as their leaders. Now he complains about an anti-agriculture attitude from too many in politics.
“They try to demonize agriculture,” Hamilton said. “It is unfortunate. People within the ag field, or everybody who has a vested interest … we need to start pushing back and pushing back hard on that.”
He asked: “Why on Earth would you want to bite the hand that feeds you?”
Hamilton said he worries that Democrats will push initiatives such as those that require genetically modified products to be labeled, making them appear unsafe, and telling farmers how to raise livestock.
“It is absolutely demonizing a noble profession,” said Hamilton, who describes himself as “just an uneducated hog farmer.”
He was an agriculture committee chairman when Republicans ran the Minnesota House.
Democrats say Hamilton and other rural Minnesotans need not worry about how they handle rural issues. Rural Democrats lead committees that deal with more than 80 percent of the state budget.
House Majority Leader-elect Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, grew up in a small Wisconsin town and Democrats say House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, understands the entire state.
Hamilton said his philosophy is borrowed from a 100-year-old man he talked to in Worthington: “Don’t spend any more money than that you have. Understand needs vs. wants. Make sure you fully understand the results of your actions.”
The lawmaker also said he thinks that after the Legislature takes action, officials then need to conduct “a postmortem” and admit to a mistake if it did not work.