What is Paulsen’s definition of a town hall?

Sept. 6 marked six full years since the last town hall held by Congressman Erik Paulsen. He has stated several times that he’s held over 100 town halls, but that’s a distortion of the truth.

Through public statements by the congressman along with a conversation I personally had with his office, it can be determined that he considers the following to be “town halls”: unannounced pop-up appearances in supermarkets, corporate appearances, carefully controlled and unannounced conference calls, scripted videos and even emailed newsletters. Read More

Rep. Paulsen needs to hold town hall meetings

To the Editor:

In an April MPR interview, Rep. Eric Paulsen of Minnesota’s Congressional District 3 stated the following regarding his unwillingness to hold a town hall: “Certainly I think there are some that would prefer to have campaign-style events, with shouting, and that kind of thing. And that’s not just very good, it’s not Minnesotan,” he said. “Civility is probably the most important thing that we need right now.”

Does Rep. Paulsen realize it isn’t very civil to make assumptions about his constituents? His assumptions about shouting at town halls certainly aren’t from his own personal experiences holding them. Read More

There is no death tax

To the Editor:

Congressional District 3 Representative Erik Paulsen’s office recently distributed flyers touting how he is working to repeal the “death tax” on our behalf.

Just to be clear, the term “death tax” is used to scare people into thinking they are taxed for dying. This is ridiculous. What he is referring to is the federal estate tax. The estate tax only impacts people with an estate worth over $5.49 million.

If you are in that category, he’s working for you. If not, he’s working for someone else. Hint: The 1 percent.

Gail Porter, Brooklyn Park
Brooklyn Park Sun-Post, September 13, 2017

Paulsen must know that true town halls hold a distinct purpose

Sept. 6 marks six full years since the last town hall held by Rep. Erik Paulsen¹. He has stated several times that he’s held over 100 town halls², but that’s a distortion of the truth.

Through public statements by the congressman³ along with a conversation I personally had with his office, it can be determined that he considers the following to be “Town Halls”: unannounced pop-up appearances in supermarkets, corporate appearances, carefully controlled and unannounced conference calls, scripted videos, and even emailed newsletters. Read More

Paulsen needs to step up his game

Congressman Erik Paulsen, as you should be well aware, the many infammatory pronouncements by Donald Trump during the last two years are causing a signifcant increase in hate crimes. The fact that he is now president and commander-in-chief legitimizes his disgusting ideologies in the warped and depraved minds of the collective “alt-right.” Trump is providing them tacit, if not overt, approval to cause terror, violence and murder on our family, friends and neighbors. The cause and effect is clear and unequivocal. The fact that the GOP has not aggressively moved to counter this emerging abomination is inexcusable and unforgivable.

The GOP’s addiction to party over morality and country is disgusting beyond words. It is treasonous. Trump and the GOP have released the alt-right genie from its hellhole and our fellow citizens and country will suffer the violent consequences for decades to come. Congressman Paulsen, you are culpable in this offense. Read More

State Fair appearance proves we can have accountability, civility

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen saw what civil discourse looks like during his Star Tribune Stage interview at the State Fair on Friday with editorial writer Patricia Lopez. The newspaper’s Saturday coverage of the event spoke of Paulsen’s request for “civility, discourse, restraint,” which he was given in spades on Friday. The congressman has mentioned on multiple occasions that he believes a town hall would be a spectacle, and Friday’s event proved him wrong. Lopez’s questioning was direct and on point, and thanks to her, for the first time in years, a crowd of unscreened constituents was given the opportunity to hold Paulsen accountable. He was asked directly about his history of public events, about Russia, even about impeachment, and no one chose to talk over him or shout at him before or during his responses. It was the closest thing to a town hall we’ve gotten in six years, and it was respectful and engaging. His “spectacle” excuse no longer stands; if he doesn’t hold a town hall, it will only be to his detriment.

Kayli Schaaf, Coon Rapids
Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 29, 2017

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen and judicial nominations

I was left agape with incredulity by U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s Aug. 25 commentary criticizing Minnesota’s U.S. senators for delaying Justice David Stras’ nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Paulsen complains that “[s]talling Stras’ nomination is the latest example of partisan game-playing in Washington” and urges Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken “to end their obstructionism and allow [the] nomination to proceed for a confirmation hearing and vote.”

If Paulsen believes this is the “latest” example, I anxiously await his upcoming op-ed piece excoriating the Republican Senate majority for the “greatest” example of partisan game-playing in Washington: the failure to hold a hearing or vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Garland is a judicial moderate (unlike Stras) and undeniably qualified. Read More

The public doesn’t trust the president

I have seen enough of Donald Trump.  He is a threat to democracy, common decency and perhaps even humanity.

After his election, as a good citizen, I felt he deserved a chance.  We need to have faith in the American people.  Trump did win the Rust Belt swing states.

You cannot believe everything politicians say to win votes, and I thought his appalling words in the Republican primary elections were, perhaps, to distance himself from his liberal New York roots. Read More

It’s imperative to invoke the 25th amendment

The following commentary by Peter Dorsen was printed in the Eden Prairie News August 24, 2017:

The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the vice president as well as responding to presidential disabilities.

As I have analyzed in a previous commentary titled “A Responsible President,” Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated mental illness:  paranoia and narcissism.  It is time for all members of Congress to cross the aisle and implement the applicable substance of the 25th Amendment to our Constitution. Read More

Federal Taxes: Paulsen ‘touts plan’? Where are the details?

Re: Friday’s subhead “Minnesota Republican touts plan …” — that is, a plan to lower and simplify taxes. What? Where’s the plan? I read the article twice and saw absolutely no detail, none. Sure, there were some vague suggestions, but no plan (“Paulsen pitches lowering, simplifying taxes,” Aug. 18).

What I saw was the Star Tribune running a PR piece for Paulsen. Where are the details? Where is the plan the subhead promised?

We end up with nothing. Come back with a real story when he tells us specifically what he’ll do. Stop being a shill for our elected officials with notions, wishes, slogans, and bumper-sticker sayings.

Without breaking a sweat or doing what the headline implied, Paulsen got what he wanted: a headline someone can place on a piece of campaign literature.

Tom Krueger, Crystal
Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 18, 2017