Back in 2016 before the election, Rep. Erik Paulsen was initially coy about whether he supported Trump. In May of 2016 when Trump was the presumptive Republican nominee, Paulsen said, “I’m going to vote for, and I said I plan to vote for, the nominee coming out of the convention." Then, in August of 2016 during a 3rd District Congressional debate with Terri Bonoff he said, “Donald Trump has not earned my vote”. And when asked by a reporter who he was going to vote for he said “Whoever earns my vote." Then in October 2016 after the infamous Access Hollywood video came to light, Paulsen said Trump’s comments were disgusting and offensive and that “I will not be voting for him.”
Since Trump was elected, however, Paulsen has supported Trump’s agenda with 97.1% of his votes. In doing so, he’s voted against the interests and values of his own constituents as we’ve pointed out previously in this blog. For example, he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (I.e., ACA or Obamacare) in May of 2017 after a poll commissioned by the Minneapolis Star Tribune found that Minnesotans living in and around the Twin Cities overwhelmingly supported the ACA and opposed efforts to repeal and replace the law. His vote for the Republican Tax Bill was a particular blow for Minnesotans and to the constituents of the Third District because the House bill eliminated the long-standing deduction for state and local taxes which half of us have relied on in the past. And Paulsen’s right-wing gun votes don’t represent the majority of our district.
Paulsen’s slavish support of Trump and his policies was underscored by Vice President Pence’s recent trip to Minnesota to show support for the Republican congressmen and to try and sell the Republican tax plan which has so far failed to generate much enthusiasm for Republicans. Trump spoke on March 28 at an event sponsored by a group called America First Policies. It was founded by former Trump campaign officials, including Rick Gates who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements. The group has also been accused recently of skirting around election laws to provide polling data, an in-kind contribution, to Trump’s current campaign.
At the March 28th event, Pence thanked a number of people but “first and foremost” thanked Erik Paulsen for his “tireless efforts” in “fighting every day, shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump to make good on all the promises” he made. Yikes!!!
So if you’re happy with the direction Trump is taking this country then by all means vote for Paulsen in November because he’s going to work tirelessly, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Trump, to make sure the Trump agenda is carried out. On the other hand, if you find Trump’s policies repugnant, then vote to replace Paulsen!!!
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Minnesotans for Real Representation is a grassroots organization in Minnesota's Third District with the goal of replacing Erik Paulsen in 2018.