On Tuesday, my representative, Erik Paulsen, made two votes that appear to be a massive contradiction. As a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he voted against the release of President Trump’s taxes. That’s the second time he’s done so in committee and the fourth overall. His office has explained to me that he votes this way because he does not believe that individuals should be compelled to release their taxes and that he feels the president should do so voluntarily. It’s a matter of personal privacy, and the government shouldn’t violate that.
But then that very day, only a short time later, Rep. Paulsen (Reps. Lewis and Emmer) voted to allow internet service providers to collect and sell data on an individual’s online search and browsing history.
Why does my representative care so much for President Trump’s privacy and so little for yours and mine?
I couldn’t say if it’s the $50,500 in donations he’s received from telecom companies. In fact, I called staffers in both his D.C. and Minnesota offices just hours before the vote, and they didn’t know Paulsen’s position on the second vote, nor could they direct me to anyone who did.
So if Paulsen’s own staff members don’t know what’s driving his votes, how can I?
Rob Wilcox, Eden Prairie
Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 30, 2017