Jason Lewis brings his campaign for U.S. Senate to Borderland:
July 14, 2020
A common sense message that Democrats once embraced, is how Jason Lewis describes his campaign for United States Senate.
Lewis, who represented Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district from 2017 to 2019, brought that message to a small group in Borderland last week.
Lewis is the Republican Party of Minnesota’s nominee. He has a masters of arts degree in political science from the University of Colorado-Denver and a bachelor of arts degree in education/business from the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of the 2010 book, “Power Divided is Power Checked,” and, with a 25-year career in broadcasting, was the host of a nationally syndicated Twin Cities radio show.
The stop at Thunderbird Lodge last week was among many on a several-month tour of Minnesota, traveling inside a red, white and blue RV clearly marked as his.
Hitting the campaign trail is like an “alternate universe,” he told the group, explaining that the once DFL stronghold known as Borderland is no longer that.
“These are not the Democrats here, who think they ought to defund the police,” he said, summing a focus his campaign, as well as that of other Republicans.
“The radicalized Democratic Party is pushing Democrats away, one by one,” he said. “Pro-life, pro-liberty, pro-property, pro Two Amendment — all at the International Falls Democratic base. Their party has left them on every single issue.”
Instead, the once rural based DFL Party is becoming based in the Twin Cities and a party that won’t offer the most basic functions of government — protecting property and restoring order during the riots that followed the death of George Floyd. he said.
“Public order is the No. 1 duty of any elected official,” he said. “Without protecting life, liberty and property, nothing else matters. If government will not use force to protect life, liberty and property, what good is it?”
He pointed to his support of energy, mining and logging, in contrast to “the hard environmental left who live in the metro area and want to have million dollar cabins in Voyageurs (National Park) but tell everyone else who lives in the area how to be good stewards.”
“People want to be have to the ability in American to earn a living,” he said.
That hard left mentality combined with the “COVID overreach told people they can’t earn a living,” he said citing earlier predictions about the numbers of deaths by July, which have not played out.
“People were off by orders of magnitude, and now they lecture us about not opening schools and mandatory masks, of course as a precursor for a second shutdown,” he said. He added it “keeps Joe Biden in the basement,” referring to the Democratic candidate for president, who has limited his campaigning because of COVID-19.
For Koochiching County, Lewis told The Journal a healthy environment can go hand -in-hand with reasonable mining and energy projects and logging.
“That’s the message: you can do both, they are not mutually exclusive,” he said.
Forest biomass being classified as a renewable energy source, like ethanol, “would be a huge boost,” he said, adding loggers play an important role in creating a healthy forest by eliminating undergrowth and forest debris that can fuel fires.
Meanwhile, he discussed conducting a campaign under the state restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.
Lewis said he supported the state reaction to “the public health challenge, which it was, for the first 15 days to let hospital capacity catch up. Another 15 days, OK let’s do that. We started to see spikes and started to see them come down. But these blue state governors said we got a pretty good thing going. We can cut off fossil fuels. We can tell the right they can’t gather in greater Minnesota. We can tell people they can’t go to church. We can do all kinds of things to ruin the (Pres. Donald) Trump economy … Finally, we said we’re gong back on the road again. If you want to arrest us go ahead. Two weeks later we sued Gov. Walz.”
In May, he filed a federal lawsuit arguing that restrictions meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus violate his ability to campaign as he wishes.
Lewis has been critical of Walz’s handling of the state’s reaction to the pandemic.
“This has been the greatest public policy blunder — before defunding the police, before abdicating your first responsibility in a time of riots on the street — this has been the biggest public policy blunder ever in Minnesota,” he said.
But he also said this is “no time for timid Republicans,” adding that Trump brought colleagues “kicking and screaming into fights we’ve needed for decades, to fight borders, to fight China.”
He later discussed his support for Twin Metals and Polymet, companies working to open mines on the Iron Range, and for Enbridge Line 3 replacement project in Beltrami County, adding he will fight for loggers, who have seen a 25-35 percent decrease in their jobs since 2000.
“I do have the heart of a liberal,” he said. “I keep it in a jar on a desk at my home. When I need real sustenance, I look at that.”