Moorhead student threatened after recording Rep. Collin Peterson bashing pro-lifers [VIDEO]
Minnesota's leading pro-life group is "extremist," Peterson told a student.
On October 16, a 20-year-old Concordia Moorhead student named Kate Engstrom and a friend approached Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson after he spoke on campus.
Engstrom, a member of Concordia's College Republicans, had her friend record the exchange with a cell phone. After posing for a picture, Engstrom asks the 11-term-veteran Peterson whether he's concerned about losing the endorsement of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). Little did she know that question and her friend's recording of Peterson's response would culminate in her being threatened with disciplinary action by Concordia administration.
Here's a transcript of the exchange between Engstrom and Peterson (emphasis mine), followed by the raw footage:
Engstrom: I was wondering about your, um, I was reading online about the pro-life endorsement. Did they take that away because of Obamacare?
Peterson: Yes. Because I wouldn't repeal it.
Engstrom: Are you concerned about that, or...?
Peterson: They didn't endorse him [i.e., Republican challenger Lee Byberg] either.
Engstrom: So it's not really going to be an issue, or...?
Peterson: He's [i.e., Byberg] trying to make it an issue. The only place it got reported is MPR, and those people don't listen to MPR... they're being a bunch of extremists too, the right-to-life people...
This is the end of them as an organization. They're now a completely partisan organization and when you get into that position, you're done. The NRA is smart. They keep 60, 70 Democrats. They wouldn't go out an purposely make a partisan issue out of it. It's stupid.
Once the footage hit YouTube, reaction to it from Concordia administration was fast and furious, the Daily Caller reports:
[A]ccording to Engstrom, her adviser insisted on a hasty meeting and explained that the YouTube posting had angered various Concordia bigwigs.
Engstrom's adviser also told her that Concordia's president, William Craft, had had already apologized to Peterson. The Concordia administration confirms the apology.
"President Craft spoke to Rep. Peterson and expressed regret concerning what Rep. Peterson experienced on campus," Concordia spokesman Roger Degerman told The Daily Caller. Engstrom's adviser also told her that Concordia's president had suggested that she could face disciplinary action from the school for her actions.
Engstrom ultimately wasn't disciplined, though she says the school's director of public safety told her, "It's on your conscience."
Peterson's western Minnesota district is almost entirely rural and largely agricultural, which could explain why he'd be upset about Engstrom and her pal recording his MCCL-bashing comments (October 26 clarification -- there's no indication the recording actually upset the congressman). Nonetheless, Roll Call rates his House district as 'safely Democratic' this election cycle. In 2010, Peterson defeated Byberg by a 55-38 margin.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Landon Steele's anti-hipster, anti-Black Lives Matter rant goes viral
Sat., Oct. 17, 12:00am
Sun., Oct. 18, 12:00pm
Fri., Oct. 23, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 24, 7:00pm
- Sports Illustrated names Timberwolves among NBA's least hated teams. Thanks?
- Minneapolis loses West Bank icon Chester