Last Saturday (April 14th), the CD 3 GOP had their Endorsing Convention – and to no surprise, they selected career politician Erik Paulsen, R=Bachmann for another term. I noted a tweet by Derek Brigham – who at that time, was on the GOP CD3 Executive Committee; more on that later) – where Paulsen told the gathered faithful “I will not be out-hustled.” That reminded me of what I wrote when Paulsen first announced for Congress back in ’08, which I reposted yesterday: Deja Vu All Over Again: “The Hustler”.

I actually wrote two posts back in ’08, immediately after Paulsen announced. It’s worth going back and taking a look at them again, especially after we recently compared the voting records of career politician Erik Paulsen, R=Bachmann, and, well, Michele Bachmann. In somewhat of a surprise, Paulsen toes the party line even more than Bachmann! also noted:

Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen have voted together 2723 times on roll call votes since January, 2007 in votes where neither abstained, representing a voting similarity of 92%

Which is exactly why I’m bringing up the 2nd post I wrote 4 years ago, about Paulsen — let’s look!

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The “New! And Improved!!” Erik Paulsen
Submitted by TwoPuttTommy on January 28, 2008 – 9:45am.

Folks, you just can’t make this up – Erik Paulsen claiming to have, and I quote from his press release: “…years of working in bipartisan fashion, across the aisle, to get results in the business world and in the Minnesota legislature.”


Just who does Erik Paulsen think he’s kidding??!?

ERIK PAULSEN, working in a “bipartisan fashion”??!? Those two belong together the same way “George W. Bush” and “articulate” do. Well, more like: “don’t.”

I was at Paulsen’s formal campaign announcement, and it was surreal. Now, most professional media types will tell you 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon is NOT when you want to have an announcement – not if you want to have a lot of media attention, that is.

And for this “major” event in a major race, I saw only one TV camera there. When I arrived, I asked the friendly folks at the check-in table for a media kit – and nobody knew where they were, or even who had them. After a half hour of asking volunteers for the kit, and even just who was the media contact, a volunteer brought me a one page press release.

I asked the cameraman if he had received a media kit; and he said his “media kit” consisted of the same as mine – a one-page press release.

That’s hardly what one would expect from a candidate wanting to get his message out – unless, perhaps, a candidate simply doesn’t want to get his message out. And quite frankly, with Erik Paulsen’s highly partisan past, it strongly occurs to me that he simply doesn’t want to be questioned about what he says. How else does one explain a one-page press release by a major party candidate for a seat in Congress?

There were no questions after Paulsen’s “I will represent the common sense values of Minnesota families…” sound-bite laden address.

Excuse me? I thought Paulsen was running to represent the THIRD DISTRICT’S families. And he’s claiming “common sense”? Common sense should tell people to question Mr. Paulsen very, Very, VERY closely about what he says – like what he said about “civility in politics”, and how he learned this lesson from “his friend and mentor, Jim Ramstad.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ll be the first to recognize the genuine civility Jim Ramstad has graciously shown throughout his career.

And I’ll also be the first to say Erik Paulsen is no Jim Ramstad, in the civility department or, for that matter, just about any other department. If Erik wanted a lesson on incivility, all he would have to do is go to his party’s local website, which is the epitome of incivility. This website, which represents Paulsen locally, has a documented record of incivility and distortion. Just who does Paulsen think he’s fooling?

And in his quest to ditch his record for the “New! And Improved!!” label, Erik Paulsen correctly stated that Congress is broken. What Erik Paulsen neglected to say is that government is broken because of blind partisanship as practiced by the ilk of him here in Saint Paul, and John Kline in Washington.

Quite frankly, Paulsen – the former state house GOP majority leader – claiming to want to work to fix the Congress that republicans broke, defies credibility. Paulsen rose to power by being part of the system; Ramstad never rose to prominence because he refused to compromise his values. There’s a reason Jim Ramstad, first elected to congress in 1990, never rose to a leadership position, while Roy Blunt of Missouri, first elected in 1996, has.

And that reason is partisanship – Blunt personifies partisanship in Washington, while Ramstad personifies bi-partisanship. And Paulson’s record is clear; he has personified partisanship in Saint Paul.

Erik Paulsen – “new, and improved”? Not a chance.

All in all, Erik Paulsen’s performance yesterday, in stealth mode and by design, just goes to show once again why reasonable citizens simply cannot trust republiCon leadership.

(, 28 January 2008)

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OK, to recap: 4 years ago, Paulsen claimed he’d work in a “bi-partisan” manner, should he be elected.

And what’s he done, since getting elected?

Toe the party line even more than Bachmann!

And that’s just today’s example, from the archives, of why “You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different”.

In the days and weeks and months ahead, we’ll be taking a very Very VERY close look at what career politician Erik Paulsen has said, and what he’s done.

In the mean time, remember this: want to know how Paulsen voted on any given issue? That’s easy; check Bachmann’s voting record!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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