Constituents lose in the town call lottery

Tuesday, June 13, there was another Paulsen Town Call lottery in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District.

For years now Rep. Erik Paulsen claims to have had many town hall events. What most constituents would label a Town Hall — a public, in-person meeting with plenty of notice and no entrance fee — doesn’t seem to happen. As a lottery winner on Tuesday, you would have received an unexpected, dinner-time call from an unidentified caller. Thus, to really win, you must be both available and willing to pick up that call.

Earlier this year I left my number with Paulsen’s Eden Prairie office to increase my chances of getting a call. So far, indicating an interest hasn’t garnered a call. At that time I asked about a transcript, but was told they do not have that capability. The staff member I spoke with said ‘someone’ may be recording these calls so I could try a search online. To me that suggests Mr. Paulsen is checking off a box labelled Constituent Contact with no concern for quality, accuracy or real communication. (more…)

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Erik Paulsen’s partisan votes don’t match his ‘nice guy’ image Email logo Email Share logo Share Tweet logo Tweet Print logo Print

To the Editor:

True confession: I voted for Erik Paulsen — twice! He seemed like a nice guy, was a fellow St. Olaf graduate, and a friend vouched for him. That was enough to get this Democrat to back the “moderate” Republican. I felt comfortable with him as my representative. Are you comfortable with him? If so I encourage you to dig deeper: The truth about Erik Paulsen may surprise you.

An examination of Paulsen’s voting record reveals the truth about Erik, who works hard to maintain his “nice guy” image, even as his votes betray our trust. Paulsen has voted in favor of every single policy put forth by President Trump — even those that are devastating: the wildly unpopular AHCA, loss of our internet privacy, and stripping environmental protections. These votes are far from moderate or “nice” — some are literally deadly. (more…)

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Lack of response frustrates constituent

To the editor:

Congressman Erik Paulsen is my congressman. I frequently call his offices. I have both his Washington, D.C., and Eden Prairie numbers on speed dial. I call because the November 2016 election had a profound effect on me, and now I call my congressman.

I have called Paulsen’s offices about Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and releasing President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The people who answer Paulsen’s phones are usually polite, but our conversations are hollow and unsatisfying. (more…)

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What’s Paulsen’s stance on Paris climate agreement?

To the editor:

My family enjoys Minnesota’s natural beauty yearlong, from swimming in Lake Minnetonka to biking on the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail to Nordic skiing in Three Rivers Parks.

So I was alarmed when President Trump pulled out of the 195-country Paris climate agreement. This move is the single biggest threat to American global leadership in job growth, innovation and negotiations on trade deals. Trump did this unilaterally, despite pleas from Republican and Democratic Congressional members, 30 high-profile CEOs, hundreds of companies, environmental and conservation groups, and world leaders, including Pope Francis. (more…)

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Erik Paulsen, you insulted me

As a constituent of CD3 my most direct avenue to Washington is Congressman Erik Paulsen. I was fortunate enough to have two in-person meetings with him in April. I say fortunate because, according to District Director John-Paul Yates, “it’s been a few years” since his last in-person town hall.

At my first meeting, I expressed my sleepless nights thinking about President Trump and his ties to Russia. I pleaded with him to exercise his abilities on the House Ways and Means Committee to start the process of exposing his tax returns. Unfortunately, he has voted “no” several times on this request telling me if this request is made to President Trump it could set the precedent for “any civilian.” Really, our president is “any civilian?” During my second meeting our topic was internet security. I left this meeting questioning Erik’s knowledge on the difference between ISPs and apps like Google and Facebook. He continued to ask if companies in question were “opt-in” or “opt-out.” (more…)

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Spreading conspiracy theories in letter

Congressman Erik Paulsen is misrepresenting himself to his constituents, and it is unacceptable.  He wrote a commentary in the Chaska Herald last week, June 1, titled “Government can do better for veterans.”

In this article he discusses various “bipartisan” actions he is taking and also expressed concern for the number of veterans facing unemployment.

Yet, Paulsen voted for the American Health Care Act which, if put into law, would actually hurt our veterans.  The cuts to Medicaid alone would affect nearly one out of 10 veterans, according to Families USA. (more…)

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The thirst for town-hall interaction is not partisan

As a voter in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District, I take some issue with the Star Tribune’s description of Rep. Keith Ellison’s town hall in Rep. Erik Paulsen’s district. Jon Tevlin, in his June 7 column “Health care debate is ‘legacy’ of the times,” describes the audience as a “clearly partisan crowd.” I disagree. There were Republicans, Democrats and independents present. It was a publicly posted and advertised meeting, and all were welcome to attend. The “partisanship” we felt was frustration at Paulsen, who refuses to engage in public discussions, and our combined desire to finally hear from someone in Washington about what is happening — someone willing to take unscripted questions and give us sincere answers of what he believes, whether we agree with him or not.

Paulsen was specifically invited but chose not to attend. He did, however, send one of his lesser-known and recognizable district staff members to sit near the back and listen in. I can only hope that he heard what happened and decides that perhaps hosting a real town hall meeting with Minnesota Nice voters is not as scary as he thinks it is. Rep. Tom Emmer did it. From all accounts, there were disagreements, but the Emmer town hall remained civil and orderly. Why is Paulsen so afraid of his own constituents? Could it be that he knows his votes and position statements are indefensible?

Gretchen Haynes, Eden Prairie
Star Tribune, June 8, 2017

NOTE:  This event was organized by Indivisible MN03, a group not part of the Minnesota DFL. We report on their efforts along with other organizations’ on our Activist Alerts page. 

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Democracy isn’t just about elections

To the Editor:

I cannot understand why everyone is not requesting that Congressman Erik Paulsen hold a live, interactive town hall meeting. The people have a right to ask why Paulson is supporting this travesty of a health care act. And he has a right to explain his vote and defend his action. Let’s talk and discuss as fellow Americans.

We are supposed to have government of the people, by the people, for the people. Congressman Paulson is supposed to represent we the people.

Surely, some order could be maintained by nonpartisan coordinators or monitors or even law enforcement. Democracy should be a dynamic process, not a one-time thing each election day. There are serious matters before us and this is only one of them.

Meanwhile, I urge everyone to consider signing the ongoing petition effort at www.change.org (click on Health Care under Topics on the lower right) calling for action to strip members of Congress of their health care. Their vote should impact them as much as it impacts each of us.

Steve Chicoine, Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie News, May 27, 2017

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