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.
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
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
The following article by Adam Uren was posted on the GoMN website February 15, 2018:
Seventeen people – most of them students – died in the mass shooting.
The tragic massacre at Parkland High School in Florida has been met with sorrow and pleas for change from Minnesotans.
The horrific aftermath of a mass shooting that has left at least 17 dead – most of them students – is once again leading to calls for those in power to take action on gun control.
In Exodus Chapter 22:21, the Bible states “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.”
This verse reminds all United States citizens that at one time or another, we were all aliens in this country. Even Native American ancestors came from Asia. It is our moral duty to welcome the strangers to the United States no matter how they came to our country.
According to a poll released by CBS News, “nearly nine in 10 Americans (87 percent) favor allowing young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the U.S.” Read More
The following article by Adam Uren was posted on the GoMN.com website February 8, 2018:
Erik Paulsen’s seat has shifted from ‘leans Republican’ to a ‘toss-up.’
The Cook Political Report has shifted its ratings for 21 U.S. House districts ahead of the November mid-terms.
The independent, non-partisan election analysts use data to predict which will be the most competitive races in the coming elections, highlighting those that are “likely” or “lean” Republican or Democratic, or those that are “toss-up” races.
What’s this have to do with Minnesota?
Minnesota is one of the states to have a ratings change, and it’s Republican Erik Paulsen’s in the 3rd Congressional District. Read More
The following article by Pete Kotz was posted on the CityPages website February 6, 2018:
Republican Erik Paulsen, Minnesota’s most corrupt congressman, is about to teach you how to be a better human being.
He’s an inaugural member of the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus, in which the blowhards, ankle-biters, and rabid vermin of America’s most depraved institution will hold themselves out as beacons of social etiquette.
Yes, it will get weird.
Members of the newly formed group plan to tour their districts to “promote the use of a respectful dialogue on tough issues.” This, according to Paulsen, will allow us to live in something akin to peace and togetherness. Or, in other words, not behave anything like Congress.
“No one party has a monopoly on good ideas,” Paulsen announced in the group’s press release. “And I believe this caucus will help foster an environment to cooperate, work together, and find common ground on solutions that help Minnesota and our country.” Read More
The following article by Dan Balz was posted on the Washington Post website February 3, 2018:
This was the week when the Republican Party finally went all in with President Trump. What once seemed unlikely is now reality. The Republican establishment — there are a few dissenting voices, of course — has succumbed to the power of the presidency, and this president in particular.
This coming together has taken place gradually. The path has been rocky at times. But the embrace of the president by elected Republicans could not have been warmer or fuller than shown in the past week. Read More
It’s the middle of the school year, and I’m reviewing my children’s report cards. It’s also the midpoint of the congressional session, so I thought it’s a good time to also look at my congressional representative’s performance.
A helpful rubric is found at fivethrityeight.com. “Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump” tracks and compares your congressional representative. It provides a score for how often the representative votes in line with Trump’s position. Read More
The following article by Abigail Tracy was posted on the Vanity Fair website February 2, 2018:
Trump miscalculated, badly, by advocating to #ReleaseTheMemo. Will it backfire?
The much-anticipated Nunes memo, released Friday after weeks of feverish build-up on the far-right, appears to be a dud. The declassified report accuses a group of current and former Justice Department and F.B.I. officials—including James Comey, his former deputy Andrew McCabe, and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—of approving applications to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page without disclosing that ex-British intelligence spy Christopher Steele, who compiled an intelligence dossier used in the warrant, was paid by Democratic sources and harbored anti-Trump bias. The most damning piece of evidence is the allegation that McCabe had testified in December that the warrant would not have been sought without the dossier, although two sources subsequently told The Daily Beast that particular claim is not true. Nowhere in the four-page memo is it noted that Page had already been on the F.B.I.’s radar, after he was targeted for recruitment by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service years earlier. Read More