Difference between revisions of "Collin Peterson"

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==House vote on abortion ban==
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{{House abortion ban Dem vote|Name=Peterson}}

Revision as of 14:50, 11 September 2013

Collin Peterson
Collin Peterson.jpg
U.S. House, Minnesota, District 7
In office
January 3, 1991-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 24
PredecessorArlan Stangeland (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 1990
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$5,638,331
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota State Senate
Bachelor'sMoorhead State University
Military service
Service/branchMinnesota Army National Guard
Years of service1963-1969
Date of birthJune 29, 1944
Place of birthFargo, ND
Net worth$132,002
Office website
Campaign website
Collin Clark Peterson (b. June 29, 1944, in Fargo, North Dakota) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota's 7th congressional district. Peterson was first elected to the House in 1990. He won re-election in 2012.[1]

Peterson was previously a member of the Minnesota State Senate, serving from 1977 to 1986.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Peterson is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.


Peterson was born in 1944 in Fargo, North Dakota. He earned his B.A. from Moorhead State University in 1966, also serving in the Minnesota Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969. Prior to his political career, Peterson worked as an accountant.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Peterson's professional and political career[2]:

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Peterson serves on the following committees:[3]


Peterson served on the following committees:[4]


Campaign themes


The following issues were highlighted on Peterson's campaign website.[5]

  • Veterans

Excerpt: "I have worked to secure the biggest increase in veterans’ benefits in our nation’s history. I’ve also worked with communities across the 7th District to build Veterans Homes and Veterans Clinics so that veterans and their families don’t have to drive for hours just to get the health care services they need."[6]

  • Agriculture

Excerpt: "As Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, I put together a coalition to pass a 2008 Farm Bill that offered a strong safety net for farmers."[7]

  • Education

Excerpt: "I’ve worked to expand educational opportunities in Minnesota by working to secure more funding for Pell Grants and land grant colleges, securing funding for nursing programs at Bemidji State University, securing funding for research programs at the University of Minnesota Morris, and securing funding for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Minnesota Crookston."[8]

  • Health Care

Excerpt: "Health care reform is an important goal for our country, and I have always supported reform that will bring down the cost of health care without increasing our country’s growing debt. Now that President Obama has signed the landmark health care reform bill, I will work hard to make sure that the bill is implemented fairly."[9]

  • Wall Street Reform

Excerpt: "In the 2010 Congress I was deeply involved in writing the Peterson-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform bill that passed the House. The bill would prevent the kind of excessive speculation on Wall Street that caused the world-wide financial system meltdown at the end of 2008 and led to taxpayer-funded bailouts and the ongoing recession."[10]

  • Immigration

Excerpt: "I oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. In Congress, I voted for the “get tough” immigration bill to secure our borders, increase the number of security personnel, and build an extended border fence along our southern border. We need to give law enforcement officials more resources to capture and deport people who are in this country illegally."[11]

Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[12] For more information pertaining to Peterson's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[13]

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

More than 100 House lawmakers signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he planned to use military force in Syria.[14]

Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”[14][15]

The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. The letter asked, “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?”[15]

The letter stated, “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."[15]

A total of 98 Republicans signed the letter. Peterson was one of 18 Democratic members to sign the letter.[15]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Peterson voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 16 Democrats that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[16]

2013 Farm Bill

See also: United States Senate elections, 2014#Farm bill

Voted "No" The comprehensive farm bill failed in the House due largely in part to the votes of 8 Democratic House members who joined the Republican majority to vote down the measure.[17] Reps. Peterson, John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Cheri Bustos, Sean Maloney, Mike McIntyre, Bill Owens, and Tim Walz were the 8 Democratic members who voted to reject the bill.[17] According to analysis by OpenSecrets, many of these Democratic members have received significant political contributions from agricultural organizations that benefit from crop insurance subsidies.[17] Five of the eight are on the House Agriculture Committee--Peterson, Bustos, Maloney, McIntyre, and Walz-- from which agribusiness firms routinely target committee members with sizable contributions.[17]

Peterson recently expressed frustration with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor while at Farmfest in Minnesota. Peterson said Cantor is the main roadblock to get a farm bill passed. He added, "I don't get along with that guy and I don't know what to do about him."[18]

House vote on abortion ban

Yea3.png On June 18, 2013, the House voted 228-196 on HR1797, mostly along party lines, to approve a ban on abortions occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy.[19][20][21] A number of members crossed over party lines in their votes. The vote was largely symbolic, as the Senate was not expected to take up the bill, and the White House threatened to veto the legislation.[22] Peterson was one of six Democratic members who voted in favor of the ban.



See also: Minnesota's 7th congressional district elections, 2014

The National Republican Congressional Committee listed Peterson's seat as one of seven early targets in the 2014 congressional elections.[23] The seven targets align perfectly with the seven most Republican districts currently held by Democrats, according to FairVote's partisanship index. Peterson's district ranks as the 5th most Republican (45% D).[24]

Peterson is being targeted in a new series of ads by the National Republican Congressional Committee calling on Minnesota voters to vote out the Blue Dog Democrat in 2014. The ad alleges Peterson is a career politician and to blame for "the crippling gridlock and dysfunction in Washington," according to NRCC spokeswoman Alleigh Marre.[25]


See also: Minnesota's 7th congressional district elections, 2012

Peterson won re-election in 2012.[26] He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, and defeated Republican Lee Byberg and independent candidate Adam Steele in the November general election.[27]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 7 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCollin Peterson Incumbent 60.4% 197,791
     Republican Lee Byberg 34.8% 114,151
     Independence Adam Steele 4.7% 15,298
     NA Write-in 0.1% 336
Total Votes 327,576
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)


Peterson was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.[28]

  • Education Minnesota
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • National Education Association
  • Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association
  • Minnesota Farmers Union PAC
  • Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • National Rifle Association
  • Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Political Action Committee

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Peterson is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Peterson raised a total of $5,638,331 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[40]

Collin Peterson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $1,129,343
2010 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $1,174,500
2008 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $1,218,264
2006 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $938,128
2004 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $422,906
2002 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $417,249
2000 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7) Won $337,941
Grand Total Raised $5,638,331


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Peterson's reports.[41]

Collin Peterson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[42]4/10/2013$34,416.62$164,981.11$(39,331.76)$160,065.97
July Quarterly[43]7/14/2013$160,065.97$93,835.73$(48,803.80)$205,097.90
Running totals

Peterson raised only $94,000 in the second quarter. He has $205,000 in cash on hand as of July 2013.[44]


Peterson won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Peterson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,129,343 and spent $1,497,202.[45]

Cost per vote

Peterson spent $7.57 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Peterson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Peterson won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Peterson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,174,500 and spent $1,269,568.[46]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[47]

Peterson most often votes with:

Peterson least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Peterson is a "centrist Democrat," as of June 14, 2013.[48]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Peterson missed 283 of 14,455 roll call votes from Jan 1991 to Apr 2013, which is 2.0% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[49]

Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Peterson paid his congressional staff a total of $1,084,875 in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 26th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[50]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Peterson's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $4,005 and $259,999. This averages to $132,002, which is a 0.4981 % decrease since 2010. This is lower than the $5,107,874 average net worth for Democratic representatives in 2011.[51]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Peterson's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $136,010 to $390,000. This averages out to a net worth of $263,005, which is lower than the average net worth of Democrats in 2010 of $4,465,875.[52]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Peterson was ranked the 183rd most liberal representative during 2012.[53]


According to the data released in 2012, Collin Peterson was ranked the 183rd most liberal representative during 2011.[54]

Percentage voting with party


Collin Peterson voted with the Democratic Party 80.4% of the time, which ranked 196th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[55]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Collin + Peterson + Minnesota + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

  • Loading...


Peterson lives in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.[56]

External links


  1. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Collin Peterson" Accessed December 11, 2011
  3. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  4. U.S. Congress House Clerk "House of Representatives Committee Assignments" Accessed December 11, 2011
  5. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  6. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  7. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  8. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  9. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  10. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  11. Collin Peterson's Official Campaign Website
  12. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  16. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Open Secrets "Agribusiness and the Farm Bill: Wayward Dems Benefit from Contributions" Accessed July 19, 2013
  18. Minnesota Public Radio, "Walz and Peterson on the farm bill, and more", accessed August 20, 2013
  19. THOMAS (Library of Congress), "H.R. 1797," accessed June 23, 2013
  20. CNN, "House passes late term abortion ban," accessed June 20, 2013
  21. U.S. House, "June 18 Roll Call Vote," accessed June 20, 2013
  22. Politico, "House OKs 20-week abortion ban bill," accessed June 20, 2013
  23. The Hill, "NRCC, promising to 'stay on offense,' targets seven Dems," January 16, 2013
  24. FairVote "NRCC Targets Foreshadow Power of Partisanship in 2014 Elections," January 18, 2013
  25. Grand Forks Herald, "GOP targets Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th District", accessed August 19, 2013
  26. National Journal "The Retirement Season," Accessed February 11, 2012
  27. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  28. Collin Peterson's Campaign Website, Endorsements
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. Open Secrets "Collin Peterson" Accessed May 16, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission "Peterson 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 18, 2013
  42. FEC "April Quarterly," Accessed July 18, 2013
  43. FEC "July Quarterly," Accessed July 18, 2013
  44. Roll Call "House Fundraising Winners and Losers," Accessed July 17, 2013
  45. Open Secrets " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  46. Open Secrets "Tim Walz 2010 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed December 3, 2011
  47. OpenCongress, "Collin Peterson," Accessed August 5, 2013
  48. Gov Track "Collin Peterson," Accessed June 14, 2013
  49. GovTrack, "Collin Peterson" Accessed April 2013
  50. LegiStorm, "Collin Peterson," Accessed October 8, 2012
  51. OpenSecrets.org, "Collin Peterson (D-Minn), 2011,"
  52. OpenSecrets.org, "Collin Peterson (D-Minn), 2010," Accessed October 8, 2012
  53. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  54. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  55. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  56. Official House Site "Full Biography," Accessed December 11, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Arlan Strangeland
U.S. House of Representatives - Minneosta District 7
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minnesota State Senate
Succeeded by