Letter to the Editor published in the Star Tribune on May 17, 2018.
I recently called the D.C. office of my U.S. representative, Erik Paulsen, to express my opinion about cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the farm bill. I identified myself and my ZIP code and proceeded to register my objections to SNAP cuts, citing the problem of hunger in Minnesota for adults and children.
The staffer listened until I said “in light of Mr. Paulsen’s votes on tax reductions, we will be watching his vote to restrict food programs for the hungry.” The phone clicked: I was hung up on! I immediately dialed back and asked why. The staffer said he did not hang up on me; we had said our goodbyes. I said that was not true and asked his name. No response. I stated my right to express my opinion and asked his name. Again, no response. We were still connected, but there was no sound coming from his end. I suspect he muted the line and set the phone down.
At no point did I raise my voice or say anything disrespectful to him or about Paulsen.
Mr. Paulsen is not truly my representative in Congress if he and his staff will not listen to my opinions. Sad to say, but my treatment on the phone from his staff is consistent with Paulsen’s avoidance of constituent town halls. The citizens of the Third Congressional District deserve better.
Rebecca Monson, Plymouth