Moorhead student threatened after recording Rep. Collin Peterson bashing pro-lifers [VIDEO]

collin peterson rect.jpg
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.

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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.


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18 comments
novenator
novenator

If the Concordia College Republican President is such an advocate of secret video recordings, she can't complain if a raunchy sex tape of her surfaces on the internet.

Fernbaby
Fernbaby

This doesn't speak well at all for Concordia. They don't have the right to censor tuition-paying students' political opinions, and suppressing the truth certainly isn't based on any Lutheran doctrine. Shame on them, and may this eventually result in President Craft's removal, as well as that of Engstrom's advisor, along with sanctioning the director of public safety. "It's on your conscience"--what's that supposed to mean, other than trying to shame and intimidate a student for standing up for her beliefs? This makes no sense.

Sallyjos
Sallyjos

The administration of this private religious college are being a-holes and they should apologize to her. But saying that Peterson's upset? Nothing in the article suggests that he, rather than the administration of the private college, got into the video police dickishness.

pcsrocky
pcsrocky

Why is Mr. Peterson upset?  He said it freely and expounded on it.  He has been in office for 22 years.  He should know that politician's statements are always open for taping and quoting.

 

Why is Concordia apologizing for the actions of these students?  Only 1 person must "ok" being taped so there should be no legal problem. 

 

If it is not big deal and MCCL is "done" then Rep Peterson should not be worried in any way and the school should not be spending time on it.

MikeW
MikeW

Rep. Peterson told the truth, pure and simple  Let's remember that is was the MCCL who told their Minnesota-endorsed  legislators to vote No to allow the city of Roseville to allow ranked choice voting because if that happened, they were afraid it would dilute their power. 

 

The Fargo Forum piled on my taking Ms. Engstrom to task, calling her all sorts of unkind names.  What surprises me is how a long-term rep. like Mr. Peterson forgot an important rule of modern politics - always presume there is a microphone of some sort nearby.  Either way, the young lady did nothing wrong and the brass at C.C. is being the juvenile ones, along with the editorial board at the Forum.

Michelle Glass
Michelle Glass

@Ole Olson, MN law doesn't require the "knowledge" of the person being recorded. MN has "one party" consent.

Nathan David Teegarden
Nathan David Teegarden

The students did nothing wrong, and Peterson's statement is innocuous (and true). Not seeing an issue here, other than Concordia's administration being a bunch of assholes.

skywalker
skywalker

She had every right to record that, and Concordia are being assholes. Her conscience should be clear - she did nothing wrong.

 

I also don't see a problem with anything Peterson said. I don't know why he would object to that recording being made public (if he even has).

NotaCobber
NotaCobber

Shit like this is why I didn't go to Concordia. They don't care about students, just looking good to Those In Charge.

Melissa Summers
Melissa Summers

No. Rep. Peterson should have marshalled his words better. She had every right to record the interaction.

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

If you don't get into some kind of trouble in college similar to this, you ain't doin' it right. Would they rather she was passed out on a frat couch with her chonies showin'? Probably. "Join the flag squad, ladies. They practice Tuesdays and Thursdays on the student center lawn. You'll get asked out by the football players the cheerleaders reject, and you won't get into trouble."

Ole Ole Olson
Ole Ole Olson

I hope someone makes an unauthorized sex tape of the Concordia college Republican president, since she obviously thinks recording people without their knowledge is OK

Sande Miller
Sande Miller

i,am MORE upset about the Voting machines Romneys Have.That completly takes away people right to fairly choose .

Rich Oney
Rich Oney

Why would this be any different than when Carter's son taped Romney's speach?

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Clearly not. The problem is these college administrators terrified of annoying anyone in a position of power.

A1batross
A1batross

Wow, that is PATHETIC. Concordia and President Craft show that they are craven cowards. As far as this transcript and video indicate, these kids asked a couple of innocuous questions, and even Peterson's response isn't anything more than a political analysis of the situation.

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