ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Republican Farmer Labor Caucus is ruffling feathers within the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, receiving a cease and desist letter from the DFL less than a week after establishing the group.
The Republican Farmer Labor Caucus, or RFL, was recently formed by a small group of Republican state lawmakers who believe Democrats are out of touch with rural Minnesota. The RFL, which has a Facebook page, was created as a way for lawmakers to interact with constituents about issues important to farmers and laborers.
Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), one of the founding members of the RFL, believes Democrats have “shifted so far to the extreme” that the DFL no longer represents rural Minnesota, particularly on issues like agriculture and mining.
“Many farmers vote for the ‘farmer’ party candidate because they believe the DFL supports the agriculture industry,” Munson told Alpha News. “The present Democratic party is not the party it was 50 years ago. It has shifted so far to the extreme and has abandoned our hard-working Minnesota families.”
Munson said in his two months in at the Capitol he has witnessed “strong opposition from the Democrats on every bill that supports agriculture, mining, and union labor jobs for our steel workers, pipe-fitters and heavy equipment operators.” In contrast, Munson said the RFL is focused on promoting responsible farming and mining.
“The Democrats in St. Paul have been engaging in an outright war on agriculture and mining in this state and the RFL is on the front lines defending our state’s important industry and the hundreds of thousands of families who work so hard to feed the world and supply our nation’s factories with raw materials.”
The RFL almost instantly caused a stir among Democrats. Just days after the RFL was created, Charles Nauen, a lawyer for the Minnesota DFL, sent the group a cease and desist letter, claiming the group’s name and logo are “confusingly similar” to the DFL, threatening legal action if the group did not make changes to the logo.
“If you continue such use despite this notification, we will consider all available legal means to protect the marks and goodwill of the Minnesota DFL Party,” Nauen wrote.
The cease and desist letter also claimed the RFL’s use of “farmer” and “labor” will “cause members of the public to believe that [the RFL’s] positions have the support or approval of the Minnesota DFL party.” Munson rejected the notion, instead saying he believes it is the DFL that has misled the public.
“Our response to the DFL’s cease and desist letter is simple. We changed our logo. As for our name, the Republican Farmer Labor Caucus: it’s not changing,” Munson said. “We argue that the DFL’s use of ‘farmer’ and ‘labor’ has, for a generation, falsely caused the public into believing they have the support or approval of farmers. I can assure you, they do not.”