MN03 -vs.- NY01 : Who Loses in the Paulsen, Zeldin Contest ?

As mentioned in a previous MN Political Roundtable commentary, Minnesota’s Third District Congressman Erik Paulsen has a lot of “friends” … hence his re-election campaign committee is called Friends of Erik Paulsen.

That commentary noted it is his “friends” whom Erik Paulsen “represents” in his legislative efforts … emphasizing those in the medical, financial, insurance, banking fields as well as those that contribute via Leadership Political Action Committees.
(A refresher for those that do not know, Members of Congress set up Leadership PAC so that they can collect and direct monies to like minded current and potential other Members of Congress.)

That post noted that LEE PAC had donated $5,400 to the Paulsen campaign and that LEE PAC was the Leadership PAC set up by New York’s First District Congressman Lee Zeldin — actually two checks … each for $2700 with one directed to Paulsen’s primary election and the other directed to the November 2018 general election.

Erik Paulsen also has a Leadership PAC called ICE PAC … and the first quarter report has been filed. The donations were not eye-raising … just two … $2,500 from ALTRIA GROUP, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ALTRIAPAC) (think tobacco) and $2500 from AALU PAC (the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting). Oh, don’t worry, this will probably will not be the last of these types of donations … last cycle, the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting PAC gave $10,000 directly to the Friends of Erik Paulsen. campaign plus $7,500 to Paulsen’s leadership PAC.

It’s not the monies coming in, but instead the monies going out … as Paulsen’s leadership PAC moved some monies from last year to make donations this year … and the recipients are :
$5,000 JASON LEWIS FOR CONGRESS (MN02)
$15,000 NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE
$2,000 Kristi for Governor (Noem for South Dakota)
$5,000 RYAN COSTELLO FOR CONGRESS (PA06)
$2,500 ZELDIN FOR CONGRESS (NY01).

That’s right … in the shell game of dark money, Lee Zeldin is more interested in Erik Paulsen keeping his seat then the other way around ($5400 vs $2500)

For comparison sake, the First Quarter LEE PAC reported only receiving one PAC donation … $2,500 from COMCAST CORPORATION & NBCUNIVERSAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE … don’t worry there will be more to come as the LEE PAC meet with “potential donors” at a Florida golf course recently as well as a meeting at The Palazzo in Las Vegas and participation at a Jewish Republican Coalition event.
Oh, and he too moved a lot of money from last year (besides the monies to Erik Paulsen):
$1,000 JACK BERGMAN FOR CONGRESS (MI01)
$1,000 BRIAN MAST FOR CONGRESS (FL18)
$1.000 CLAUDIA TENNEY FOR CONGRESS (NY22)
$5,400 JEFF DENHAM FOR CONGRESS (CA10)
$1,000 JOHN FASO FOR CONGRESS (NY19)
$5,400 FRIENDS OF MIA LOVE (UT04)
$1,000 GLENN GROTHMAN FOR CONGRESS (WI06)
$2,000 WILL HURD FOR CONGRESS (TX23)
$5,000 NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE
$1,000 ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN FOR CONGRESS (FL27)
$2,500 KEVIN YODER FOR CONGRESS, INC (KS03)

Why and Who got donations are good questions … there is one common thread in the Zeldin donations … he sent monies to other Members of the Climate Solutions Caucus (that would be John Faso, Brian Mast, Mia Love and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) but Erik Paulsen is not a Member of that bipartisan group which is seeking to educate Members on “economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety.”

The common thread in the Paulsen donations may be found in his core issue — repealing ObamaCare.
The timing of Paulsen’s donation to Ryan Costello is that Congressman Costello was hit on Twitter by the public with hash tags like #PA06CostelloTownHall #CostelloTownHall and #NoExcuses.

That prompted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to react with their own :

The DCCC’s Twitter ad shows an empty chair on the stage of an auditorium packed with people and the words “Where’s Costello?” The sample tweet that goes along with the photo states: “Ryan Costello voted to repeal the ACA with no plan to replace it. Now he won’t hold a town hall with constituents.”
In making the Twitter ad purchase, a DCCC spokesman said the organization will continue to use the paid media to hold Costello and other House Republicans accountable.
“Congressman Costello’s reckless vote to rip apart the Affordable Care Act without a replacement is causing widespread backlash at home,” Evan Lukaske said in a news release. “These digital ads expose Costello for being shameless enough to take people’s healthcare away and cowardly enough to then run scared from his constituents.”

Gosh … could you imagine a Member of Congress not being available to participate in open public town halls and to hear constituents concerns ???
Well if you have “friends” like Erik Paulsen has, it is pretty easy to see why you can just ignore those constituents … after all it is his donors that he really “represents”.

So who is the winner in the Paulsen – Zeldin Contest … that’s obvious … Paulsen donors … and the losers … yeah, you and me.

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