Where’s Erik Paulsen?

Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele-town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.

It’s been 2,208 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

Rep. Paulsen’s DACA Survey

Rep. Paulsen sent an email survey this afternoon asking those constituents who’ve been able to subscribe to his email newsletter to answer a poll on how he should handle the DACA/Dreamers situation.  We’ve heard that many people have had problems subscribing to his newsletter.  Just in case, we’re including a link to the poll below.  (You will be joining his newsletter list by completing this.)

Click here to take Rep. Erik Paulsen’s DACA/Dreamers September 19, 2017 Survey


To make their tax plan work, Republicans eye a favorite blue-state break

The following article by Michael DeBonis was posted on the Washington Post website September 16, 2017:

President Trump pauses during a meeting with congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Sept. 5, 2017. From left, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas). (Evan Vucci/AP)

As long as there has been a federal income tax, taxpayers have been able to deduct most of the state and local taxes they pay from earnings subject to Uncle Sam’s grasp. But that deduction — especially popular in states rich in Democratic voters — could disappear as soon as next year if President Trump and congressional Republicans succeed in their promised rewrite of the tax code.

The state and local tax deduction, or SALT, has long been a target for tax-policy wonks who see it as an unwise federal subsidy that is mainly claimed by the wealthy. But politics have always intervened: Thanks to the opposition of lawmakers in high-tax states, the deduction has survived every effort to clear out loopholes, including the last federal tax overhaul of similar ambition in 1986.

Now, Republican leaders have made clear the SALT deduction is on the table, and it has shaken up a number of blue-state GOP legislators who are warning that it could derail the ambitious tax plan Trump is now pushing. Read More

Trump Declines to Release List of His Mar-a-Lago Visitors

The following article by Eric Lipton was posted on the New York Times website September 15, 2017:

President Trump visited his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida for 25 days between his inauguration and the middle of May. Credit: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday escalated a battle with government ethics groups by declining to release the identities of individuals visiting with President Trump at his family’s Mar-a-Lago resort during the days he has spent at the private club in Palm Beach, Fla., this year.

The surprising move by the Department of Justice, which had been ordered in July by a federal court to complete its review of Mar-a-Lago visitor records, came after weeks of promotion by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the liberal nonprofit group known as CREW, that it would soon be getting the Mar-a-Lago visitors logs.

Instead, on Friday the Justice Department released a State Department list of just 22 names — all of them members of the delegation of the Japanese prime minister — who visited the club in February for a meeting with President Trump. Read More

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

Why should we have to pay for credit reporting firm’s blunder?

The following article by Bob Collins was posted on the Minnesota Public Radio website September 13, 2017:

Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Like everyone else with a credit card, my data was among that stolen from the ginormous Equifax credit reporting company. Assuming the hackers knew what they were doing, it won’t be long before they try to steal my identity.

They got our Social Security numbers in the hack.

“That puts you at peril of identity theft for as long as you’ve got a beating heart,” the Chicago Tribune says in an editorial today.

I don’t have much choice in this underreported affair; I have to freeze my credit at not only Equifax, but every other major credit reporting firm. Read More

Minnesota set for pivotal House battles

The following article by Ben Kamisar was posted on the Hill website September 7, 2017:

Credit: Greg Nash

Minnesota will be a pivotal battleground in the midterm fight for the House majority, featuring five of 2018’s most contentious races.

Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) decision to run for governor has created an open seat in the 1st District, while freshman Rep. Jason Lewis (R) will try to hold on to his swing seat.

Buoyed by President Trump’s strong performance in the state, Republicans plan to go on the offensive in two seats currently held by Reps. Rick Nolan (D) and Collin Peterson (D). But Democrats have their own plans in the state, aiming to win over well-educated suburban voters who could help them oust Rep. Erik Paulsen (R). Read More

Congress gives Trump a pass on releasing his tax returns

The following editorial by the Washington Post’s Editorial Board was posted on their website September 9, 2017:

Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo

IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE why Donald Trump has felt no compunction about refusing to release his tax returns. After all, he got elected president despite breaking his promise to release his IRS filings, thus thumbing his nose at a tradition that had been followed by every major-party candidate for four decades. Keeping the information under wraps also appears to be an effective way of stymieing questions about whether there are potential conflicts of interest posed by his private business empire. What doesn’t make sense is that Congress lets him get away with this, particularly since it soon will be debating an overhaul of tax policy. Shouldn’t elected representatives know how President Trump might benefit and what interests are really being served?

Unfortunately but predictably, an effort that would have forced release of Mr. Trump’s tax information was shut down last week by House Republicans. In a party-line vote Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee rejected a resolution that would have directed the Treasury Department to turn over the tax returns of Mr. Trump and his many businesses. A law enacted in 1924 after the Teapot Dome scandal allows the Way and Means Committee, along with the Senate Committee on Finance and the Joint Committee on Taxation, to request tax information for review in a closed session with possible public disclosure. Read More