The Paulsen For Congress campaign issued a tweet in sync with the Super Bowl
— Erik Paulsen (@Erik_Paulsen) January 31, 2014
There is no mention that the NFL is a tax-exempt organization and whether Representative Paulsen will join with Tom Coburn and Angus King’s legislation to remove the $9 Billion subsidies it receives.
Nor is there any mention of costs associated with Department of Homeland Security’s security efforts to support the Super Bowl … such as, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to oversee the transportation to and from the game. The DHS has provided U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to search all of the cargo and equipment to enter and leave the stadium. They will have Behavioral Detection Officers, canine teams, and Federal Air Marshals, and involvement from the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Nope … just a suggestion that maybe government is spending too much … which leads to the question :
What did Erik Paulsen vote to spend money on last month ?
Well, first listen to his words telling us what he believes is important
That’s right, Representative Paulsen went to the House floor to encourage his colleagues to join him and approving H.R. 1513, which revises the boundaries of the Gettysburg National Military Park to include the Gettysburg Train Station.
National Parks became cause célèbre during the GOPshutdown which forced furloughs including 76 of the 86 full-time employees at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The park had to revoke permission that was granted to the Maryland-based KKK group which had been approved to hold a rally on October 5.
Yet, the Gettysburg National Military Park was not the only vote that Representative Paulsen made … he helped joined enough of his colleagues to help out the White Lotus Foundation.
Representative Paulsen voted in the affirmative on H.R. 3008 to require the Forest Service to transfer five acres of land in Los Padres National Forest in California to a nonprofit yoga retreat, the White Lotus Foundation. In 2008, the Forest Service told White Lotus that it could not continue its unauthorized uses of federal land. Interestingly, the Forest Service is strongly opposed to the bill because it will “serve only a small, select group of citizens—the White Lotus Foundation,” and because it will set a precedent for resolving other encroachment cases in Los Padres National Forest.
That wasn’t the only vote involving land … H.R. 1684 involved a portion of a 645 acre tract in northeastern Wyoming which had been designated to be maintained for fish and wildlife management and educational activities; the legislation removes all restrictions for use … so much for saving our historic lands for future generations.
Representative Paulsen supported all these efforts even though the Republican Study Committee advocated selling government property … suggesting that $15 Billion could be saved over ten years … somewhere in the vast number of tweets that the Paulsen For Congress issues are probably ones that echo the Republican Study Committee proposals.
And it isn’t just land that Representative Paulsen voted on … but also catfish … well, actually catfish inspection.
Representative Paulsen has had a chance to join Rick Nolan and 49 other Members to sponsor H.R. 1313 to repeal a duplicative program relating to inspection and grading of catfish. “House Democrats and Republicans are united in calling for the elimination of the harmful, unnecessary USDA Catfish Inspection Program,” said Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40). “Unless Congress acts, not only will this program continue to waste millions of tax dollars, it will also split seafood inspection responsibilities between two different federal agencies, undermine our food safety system and put consumers at risk.”
H.R. 1313 has been denied a vote, but instead Representative Paulsen voted for the Agriculture Reform Act which maintains the duplicative inspection program.
The Paulsen-supported H.R. 6083 Agriculture Reform Act picks winners and losers … it makes changes impacting LIHEAP (low income heating assistance program) with cuts but maintaining ELAP. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Catfish (ELAP) provides aid to producers facing death loss caused by feed or water shortages, disease or other factors … the price tag for ELAP is $20 million per year.
The Agriculture Reform Act also provides $2.25 million per year through 2019 for wool research and promotion … and maintains the Market Access Program (MAP) which had been targeted for elimination by the Republican Study Committee to the tune of $200 million ( MAP has been cited as an example of corporate welfare since it benefits selected industries like New York wineries, almond growers, potato farmers, Florida citrus growers and even watermelon producers.)
Yep, there is some government spending that Representative Paulsen votes to support … but that is countered by the programs that he is more than willing to cut … like the $8.5 Billion cut in SNAP (food stamps) in H.R. 6083 which is what the Paulsen For Congress wants known as example of #SpendLess.
OK … so we get it … the Paulsen For Congress has an agenda … focus on blaming the government for spending without ever acknowledging that Representative Paulsen has a vote … and disregard that his votes hurt his constituents while protecting corporate interests … all being played out with a patriotic theme of protecting our Historic Landmarks.
The sequester proved that cuts are difficult and the shutdown proved so extreme that Representative Paulsen furloughed eight aides … which could have caused financial hardship until he voted to restore their pay — NoWork GetPaid is not a bumper sticker that the campaign is likely to distribute. But speaking of getting staff, IF Representative Paulsen is serious about leading by example, he has an opening with the departure of one of his spokesmen, Philip Minardi, to reduce his staff through attrition.
Representative Paulsen talks in moderate tones — to his constituents — while his campaign uses a “political dog whistle” to complain his way to re-election.
After all, it is a whole lot easier talking about how “the government is spending your money” than to confront the issues of income inequality, paycheck fairness, minimum wage or immigration.