Candidate who lost a job because he supports marriage just elected to Congress
Tom Emmer applied for a job that the homosexual lobby could not deny him. The newly elected congressman from Minnesota has not always been so lucky.
In 2011, St. Paul’s Hamline University approached him about serving as an “executive in residence” in the business school, both teaching and fundraising for the university. But the offer fell through after Jim Bonilla, who founded Hamline’s “Race, Gender, & Beyond” diversity program, said he and two professors complained that hiring someone who opposed same-sex “marriage” would not be “congruent with our values.”
When Emmer produced emails that appeared to discuss the terms of his employment, the university, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, replied that “there was no finalized agreement between Mr. Emmer and the university.”
Emmer went public, saying he was a victim of “political bigotry” in a letter to Hamline President Linda Hanson.
“Isn’t this exactly what certain segments of our population call bullying?” he asked. “If this is what’s going on in all these institutions of higher learning, the most important thing we can do is expose it.”
Emmer's reputation preceded him. In 2010, he ran as a firebrand Republican for governor of Minnesota against Democrat Mark Dayton. He lost the race by so thin a margin that it triggered an automatic recount.
The 53-year-old had a well-earned reputation as a champion of life, family, and constitutional limitations on government during his seven years in the legislature. He was Deputy Minority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he served from 2004 to 2011. There he introduced a bill that said, properly interpreted, the law confers “no constitutional right to abortion.” He compiled a 100 percent pro-life rating from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life and a zero percent rating from NARAL.
Emmer, a pro-life stalwart, not recognizing any exceptions in his opposition to abortion – a position he maintained during the 2014 campaign.
As the state faced the decision of whether to codify marriage as the union of one man and one woman, Emmer supported the measure publicly.
But he also supported constitutional liberties and teaching children a respect for the heritage of liberty. He introduced a bill that said schoolchildren should be exposed in the classroom to a “world view of America’s founders; including documents that contributed to the foundation or maintenance of America’s representative republican form of limited government, the Bill of Rights, our free-market economic system, and patriotism.”
He also campaigned on a promise to reassert the states rights protections promised by the Tenth Amendment, beginning with ObamaCare. Minnesotans should have the right to vote on whether their state adopts the health care reform, he said, as well as retaining the constitutional right to limit Washington's encroachment on any of its rights.
“Everyday decisions that should properly be made at the local level or by citizens and their businesses are routinely made in Washington,” he wrote in an op-ed for Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “The Department of Education tells us how to educate our kids. The Department of Transportation tells us when and where to build roads or whether we should have a train instead of a road. The Department of Health and Human Services tells us what kind of welfare programs we must have. The Department of Commerce regulates our businesses, and the Department of Labor tells us whom we can hire at what wage.”
“Enough is enough. As governor, I will push back against this federal encroachment into our local affairs,” he wrote.
His strong stand for federalism and constitutionally limited government won him the endorsement of the Tea Party's strongest supporters, including Sarah Palin.
After losing the governorship and the job at Hamline, he approached his wife of 29 years, Jacqueline, and his seven children about running for office one more time.
Last Tuesday, Emmer won his election to national office. In a race that pitted a hockey player against a long distance runner, Emmer defeated Democrat Joe Perske to take Michele Bachmann's seat, 56 percent versus 38 percent for Perske. (Five percent went to Independence Party candidate John Denney.) A self-described pro-life Democrat, Joe Perske said he opposed abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
“They tell us all the time that when one door closes another one opens,” Emmer said in his victory speech. “As I’ve told many of you, they do not tell us how miserable it is to wait in the hallway.”
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Emmer has raised a few eyebrows with his decision to name David FitzSimmons as his chief of staff. FitzSimmons was one of four Republicans in the state House of Representatives to vote in favor of same-sex “marriage.” He retired after the vote, rather than face re-election.