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 2,361 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

2018 CD3 and State DFL Convention Information

Interested in Becoming a Delegate?

The next step in the endorsement process after caucus night election of delegates is for those delegates to move on to the senate district conventions.

At the senate district conventions, delegates will be elected to participate in the endorsement process at the 3rd Congressional District DFL convention.  Endorsement of the state constitutional officers will happen at the State DFL convention.

To help in planning, here are the dates of these conventions. (Check with your senate district for your district’s convention. If we are able to, we will post this information, but your best source is your local senate district.)

CD3 DFL Convention:  April 14, 2018, Maple Grove Senior High School, 9800 Fernbrook Ln, Maple Grove, MN 55369. More specifics as they become available.

State DFL Convention:  June 1 through 3, 2018, Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904. More specifics as they become available, or check the State DFL website.

CNN Exclusive: At least 100 White House officials served with ‘interim’ security clearances until November

The following article by Jim Acosta was posted on the CNN website February 15, 2018:

Nearly a year into President Donald Trump’s administration, senior-level staffers — including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Rob Porter — remained on interim clearances even as other senior advisers were granted full security access, according to information obtained by CNN from a US government official.

Having interim clearance can hamper a staffer’s ability to perform essential functions of the job, a former administration official said. It requires those with full permanent clearances to remain vigilant about what information is shared with those still operating on an interim basis. Read More

Riding an Untamed Horse: Priebus Opens Up on Serving Trump

The following article by Peter Baker was posted on the New York Times website February 14, 2018:

Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff, at an event in the East Room last April. Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The meeting, to say the least, had not gone well. Upset at a presidential dressing down, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had just left the White House vowing to resign. Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, raced out of the building, found him in his car, banged on the door and implored him to come back inside.

The dramatic episode, described by Mr. Priebus in a soon-to-be-released book, proved a turning point in the relationship between President Trump and his attorney general, one that has shaped the administration ever since. More than any president in modern times, Mr. Trump has engaged in a high stakes public conflict with the Justice Department with extensive potential consequences. Read More

EPA changes its story on Pruitt’s first-class travel

The following article by Eric Wolff, Emily Holden and Alex Guillen was posted on the Politico website website February 14, 2018:

The EPA spokesman said anyone seeking additional details about Pruitt’s travels would have to formally request them under FOIA.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been routinely flying first class at taxpayers’ expense after securing what an agency spokesman had described as “blanket waiver.” Credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

EPA on Wednesday retracted its claim that Administrator Scott Pruitt has received a “blanket waiver” to fly first class whenever he travels, after POLITICO pointed officials to federal travel rules that appeared to bar such arrangements.

Pruitt has been routinely flying first class at taxpayers’ expense after securing what EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox had described as “blanket waiver,” POLITICO reported Tuesday. But the General Services Administration says federal rules require agencies’ oversight staffers to sign off on officials’ first- or business-class travel “on a trip-by-trip basis … unless the traveler has an up-to-date documented disability or special need.” Read More

Stormy Daniels’s tale gains renewed momentum with Trump lawyer’s claim

The following article by Mark Berman was posted on the Washington Post website February 14, 2018:

Here is what we know about the allegation that an adult-film star reportedly was paid to remain silent about a sexual relationship with Donald Trump. (The Washington Post)

The tabloid tale of money paid to an adult-film star to keep quiet about an alleged affair in 2006 with President Trump gained renewed momentum Wednesday after Trump’s longtime personal attorney said he paid a six-figure settlement to the actress, and her representative said she now felt free to tell her story.

If Trump and others had hoped the story might die down, the admission by attorney Michael Cohen that he “facilitated” a payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign assured that the drama would continue to play out for weeks to come. Read More

White House counsel walks a fine line in serving Trump’s demands

The following article by Josh Dawsey, Rosalind S. Helderman and Matt Zapotosky was posted on the Washington Post website February 14, 2018:

White House counsel Donald McGahn attends President Trump’s speech at a Republican retreat in White Sulphur Springs, WV, early this month. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

President Trump had a request for his lawyer: Call a senior Justice Department official and get him to persuade the FBI director to announce that Trump was not personally under investigation in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

White House counsel Donald McGahn made the call in April to acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente but failed to convince him that FBI Director James B. Comey should make the statement, according to several people familiar with the episode. The refusal further frustrated a president who had already twice appealed directly to Comey, who told him he should have McGahn call instead. Read More

Action Alerts

Concerned about the outcome of the last election?  Want to get involved and help defend progressive values? We will be making periodic postings of ways you can get involved in a range of projects with various non-DFL organizations.  (DFL events are listed on our DFL In the Know posts.)

 Here are some upcoming events:

  • February 20 — First day of Legislative Session
  • February 20, 4:30 PM — Indivisible MN03 Time for a Town Hall, Rep. Erik Paulsen’s Office, 250 Prairie Center Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-5370. More information and RSVP here.
  • February 20, 6:00 PM — Meet Adam Jennings, Rum River Branch/Anoka County Library, 4201 6th Ave NW, Anoka, MN 55303
  • February 20, 6:30 PM — Brittany Edwards for House House Party, 7337 W Franklin Ave, St. Louis Park, MN 55426. More information and RSVP here.
  • February 21, 4:30 PM — Indivisible MN03 Pass a Clean Dream Act, Rep. Erik Paulsen’s Office, 250 Prairie Center Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-5370. More information and RSVP here.
  • February 21, 6:00 PM — Town Hall with Adam Jennings, Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 Read More

Cracking the Shell

The following article by Diana Pilipenko was posted on the Center for American Progress website February 13, 2018:

Trump and the Corrupting Potential of Furtive Russian Money

People walk on Red Square past the Kremlin in December. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Overview

Donald Trump’s finances are almost hopelessly opaque, exacerbating concerns that the wealthiest president in American history—and the first in decades not to meaningfully divest from his business holdings—may be even more financially compromised than is already thought, and in ways that may impact his decisions in office.

“What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.” —Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain’s MI61­

“To keep kompromat on enemies is a pleasure. To keep kompromat on friends is a must.” —Yulia Latynina, Russian writer and journalist2 Read More

Trump’s Budget Proposes More Than $200 Billion in Cuts to Students

The following article by Marcella Bombardieri, Colleen Campbell, Antoinette Flores, Sara Garcia, CJ Libassi and Ben Miller was posted on the Center for American Progress website February 14, 2018:

Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In December, Congress passed one of President Donald Trump’s key priorities: tax cuts. These cuts primarily benefit the wealthy to the tune of $1.5 trillion in deficit spending over 10 years. To pay for it, the budget released this week proposes cutting over $200 billion in student aid funding over the next decade by eliminating some types of federal student loans; changing the loan repayment safety net; and ending forgiveness for borrowers who work in public service. And it would cut over $1.4 billion in annual grant aid and student support to low-income students.

Last week, a congressional budget deal raised caps in spending, amounting to an additional $2 billion for higher education in both 2018 and 2019. To account for new spending levels, Trump’s original budget proposal came with an addendum that walked back some of the cuts in light of the new funds available. Read More