A case of disrespect and incivility

I was struck by the rich irony of the news that my Congressman Erik Paulsen was selected as a member of the recently created Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. The caucus states its mission is to “encourage all members of Congress to act with civility and respect in their political discourse in their congressional districts and in Washington.”

Congressman Paulsen doesn’t respect his constituents enough to talk with them in a public town hall setting and, in a recent letter to donors, called his constituent detractors “trolls.” Read More

Paulsen Constituent’s Interaction with Staff After Florida School Shooting

On Thursday, I called the D.C. office of U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen. I identified myself as a constituent, the mother of three children who attend public schools and a substitute teacher in those same schools. I said it’s time to stop with the “thoughts and prayers” and do something about guns.

The person on the other end tried to end the call, but I asked him to take more specific notes about policy measures I would expect the congressman to take, including ending the loopholes in gun-buying laws, retracting the concealed-carry reciprocity that he should not have voted for in the first place given Minnesota’s relatively strong laws and sending back contributions from the National Rifle Association so that he frees himself up to actually work on this problem.

I asked for my notes to be read back so that I’d be sure the message went through correctly. The staffer said, “You are in favor of stronger gun control.” I said: “Wait a minute, I gave you more detail than that.” He hung up on me.

Paulsen’s staffer hung up on me, a mom and teacher devastated by Wednesday’s news of a school shooting. And a constituent. He. Hung. Up.

Anne Holzman, Bloomington
Star Tribune, February 16, 2018

Paulsen should support funding for the Census Burea

To the Editor:

I would like Erik Paulsen, as my representative in Plymouth, to speak out in Congress.  Not just vote and post brewery photo ops.  I would appreciate some leadership.  A voice where I cannot be a voice.

I a upset about the lack of leadership and funding approval for the Census Bureau.  They have a huge census coming up in 2020.  This will determine new election boundaries and distribution of funds.  I do realize that it is in the best interest of his party to not get an accurate census.  However, it is best for our country.  I put country over party  I would like Erik Paulsen to as well.

This President has yet to fill the leadership in the Bureau.  This Congress has yet to approve funding and the Bureau is already losing the ability to perform two of three dress rehearsals.  This is important stuff.  I need Erik Paulsen to please speak out.

Kerry Anderson, Plymouth
Plymouth Sun-Sailor, January 25, 2018

LETTER: Don’t vote for Erik Paulsen

To the Editor:

Once again, voters in CD3 must choose a representative for Congress.

The representative should be responsive to constituents and accountable for his representation. Our current representative, Erik Paulsen is neither. Since his election in 2008, he has refused to hold open town halls where anyone can ask a question and everyone can hear the answer. His preferred methods of avoiding constituents are “Congress on the Corner” events where it’s one on one, “Drive By Town Halls” where your phone rings and you find yourself on a conference call and country club and corporate locations where you aren’t invited.

I’ve called the congressman’s office many times during his term. I have never once gotten a straight answer from anyone. The staff never knows his position on any issue. Occasionally I get a letter that doesn’t answer any of my questions and is written in such an ambiguous way as to completely obscure whatever position he might actually have. Read More

Reciprocal conceal and carry will allow more guns

To the editor:

This month, the House of Representatives passed HR 38, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. The companion bill in the Senate is S 446. This bill would force Minnesota to allow anyone who has a conceal carry permit from another state to carry in Minnesota – regardless of the requirements, or lack thereof, from the home state. For example, consider the laws in Georgia. That state recommends, but does not require safety training and exempts license holders from NICS background checks when buying a gun for the five-year duration of the license. Currently, a total of 19 states do not allow Georgia conceal carry license holders to carry in their state – including Minnesota. Read More

Why I’m opposed to the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’

To the Editor:

I recently called Rep. Erik Paulsen’s office, regarding H.R.1 — the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” urging him to vote against this act.  I would have preferred to present my views in a town hall meeting, but since Rep. Paulsen does not hold open public meetings where constituents can publicly express their views on legislation, I’ll share them here.

They jobs act that Rep. Paulsen supports and voted for creates no jobs but will transfer US treasury dollars to the top 1-percent earners by increasing taxes on the middle class.  If signed into law, it will basically re-distribute wealth from the middle class to the super rich. Read More

What happened to Erik Paulsen, deficit hawk?

To the Editor:

On April 15, 2011, Congressman Erik Paulsen issued a press release with the headline, “Paulsen Votes to Reduce Deficits, Pay Down the Debt.”  In the release, he touted his votes in favor of the federal government living within its means and the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Fast forward to 2017 and now we observe that Paulsen is a strong advocate for the GOP tax bill that is about to become law.  He used his powerful position on the Ways and Means Committee to help craft it; he tweets about it daily; and he speaks passionately in favor of it in local and national interviews. Read More

Paulsen not entitled to his own facts

To the Editor:

Congressman Erik Paulsen released the following statement following the House of Representatives passed (sic) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“After more than 31 years, the House passed tax reform that will allow our economy to grow and benefit American individuals, families, and businesses,” said Paulsen.  “Tax reform for me is about one thing:  Restoring the hope for a prosperous future for ourselves, our parents, and — most importantly — our children.”

Paulsen to varying degrees, has committed to “alternative facts.” Read More

Insist on justice for women

Way back in 1979, a woman named Lilly was working as an overnight manager for Goodyear.  It was a great job for a woman at that time and Lilly did well — she was named “Top Performer” in 1996 by Goodyear.

But a while after that Lilly received an anonymous note saying she was being paid 40 percent less than her male colleagues.  It was devastating for her to consider the amounts lost to her wages, retirement and savings over 19 years at Goodyear.

So Lilly sued the company and won $360,000 in compensation.  But Goodyear appealed and the case went to the Supreme Court. Read More

Medicare for all will work better

To the Editor:

I recently attended a presentation organized by the Plymouth Indivisible group, by Dr. Timothy Magee, representing the nonprofit “Healthcare for all Minnesota” in which he made an excellent argument for universal and single payer health care.

We learned that the United States has health services that are about average compared to European countries and Canada, and in many ways not as good, but we pay significantly more for that care.  A large portion of that extra expense is ultimately used to run the health care insurance system, and another large portion is spent by health care provides doing their part of the insurance paperwork. Read More