By definition, “cowardice” is a trait wherein fear and excessive self-concern override doing or saying what is right, good, and of help to others.
As a label, “cowardice” indicates a failure of character in the face of a challenge … and Minnesota’s Third District Congressman has been challenged to hold open-to-the-public town halls … and he has failed.
Oh, sure he holds “employee” town halls where he meets with company representatives who have legislative proposals that he supports … but open-to-the-public events have been avoided for years (last rumored event was 2010).
Oh, sure the media will ask … as Tom Weber of MPR did “Paulsen says he will hold a public town hall event with his constituents — but he didn’t say when.
But he says he typically hasn’t held one so soon after an election.”
That was four months ago …
But yesterday, Congressman Paulsen did make an appearance … unannounced … early in the morning … in the community where he graduated high school (Class of 1983) … and most likely gone before anyone could attend.
The event was called “Congress on Your Corner.”
Sounds good doesn’t it … a welcome change, perhaps … a return to the days of engagement … like his previous ones … circa 2013 when his staff would issue press releases – SIX DAYS – in advance
Rep. Erik Paulsen is scheduled to visit the Cub Foods, 8015 Den Road in Eden Prairie, from 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, for “Congress on Your Corner.”
“In an effort to keep the lines of communication open with his neighbors, Rep. Erik Paulsen will be on hand at the Eden Prairie Cub Foods on Tuesday, Jan. 29, to meet one-on-one with constituents to hear their concerns and opinions. Rep. Paulsen will also have staff on hand to help with constituent issues such as VA benefits, Medicare, Social Security, and cutting government red tape.”
Hmmm … Congressman Paulsen told Tom Weber “he typically hasn’t held one so soon after an election” … let’s see election, November 2012 … Congress on Your Corner event January, 2013 … less than three months … and now it’s been ten months since the last election, so maybe there are now issues that his constituents want answers — the failure to enact a budget on time and a impending national debt ceiling with a government shutdown a possibility … a potential military engagement in North Korea or Venezuela … healthcare … infrastructure … and everything Trump-related.
But, Friday was the day !
Congressman Paulsen alerted his constituents of this opportunity via a tweet :
Capping off a busy week with a Congress on Your Corner at Cooper's in Chaska. pic.twitter.com/thpblRXUCA
— Rep. Erik Paulsen (@RepErikPaulsen) August 18, 2017
Whether this was tweeted during or after the event is unknown … but there was no advance notice on his FACEBOOK page, press release or tweet.
And this was something that was noticed by many of his constituents … as he has received over 70 comments … with comments that ranged from disappointment to calling it a political stunt
If you are sincerely trying to speak with your constituents you would let them know where you were going to be in advance – Cowardice
— Denise Robert (@DeniseRobert15) August 18, 2017
I love it when my representative doesn't give notice of his public appearances so I have zero chance of actually interacting with him. Lame.
— Kara24242424 (@KBforbetterHC) August 18, 2017
There would have been many more people had you pre-announced it. Isn't your time valuable? How many people did you speak with?
— Mia Olson (@MiaLisaOlson) August 18, 2017
Why no prior notice? How long did you stay? What issues were discussed? When is your next "Congress on the Corner"?
— Rob Wilcox (@RWXPolitic) August 18, 2017
This kind of misleading marketing is disrespectful to your constituents. Please hold a town hall and have a genuine conversation with us.
— Justice4CatsNow (@Justice4CatsNow) August 19, 2017
Maybe next time announce it in advance? Would have liked to ask you your stance on the bill to censure 45 that was introduced… Coward.
— eyesofthejackal (@eyesofthejackal) August 19, 2017
You are guilty of doing a hit and run. It must be hard having to sneak around all the time.
— MN Eis (@EisOnMN) August 19, 2017
You need to do better than this, especially as the administration descends into total chaos. We need a real town hall.
— Keith Blix (@blixkeith) August 18, 2017
Wish I would have known about it! How about a scheduled, publicized, open town hall where you actually listen to your constituents!?!
— Kari Stern (@karistern1) August 18, 2017
Photo op only. I am one of your constituents and we deserve better than this.
— Tired Raccoon (@RaccoonTired) August 18, 2017
This is a huge slap in the face. For months we have been begging you to talk to us, to acknowledge us! And here you show up in secret.
— Mary Goldsberry-Troy (@MaryGoldsberryT) August 19, 2017
Welcome to Whack-a-Mole: Paulsen edition… keeps popping up and then disappearing to give illusion of "presence".
— Tim Dwight (@RingTheBellTD) August 18, 2017
Its not a 'corner' and its not a town hall. Its a small biz being used by a career politician serving whom? Certainly not his constituents.
— JOHN55345 (@jda15300) August 18, 2017
Did you happen to post this appearance anywhere? Or was this a very safe popup? Still waiting for you to stand up!
— Rebecca (@lalalandnow) August 18, 2017
If only your constituents could know in advance where they could meet you instead of learning about it after the fact…
— Jill Elizabeth (@Livingbyjill) August 18, 2017
— Susan (@susankbloom) August 18, 2017
Oh, right. Once again, an unannounced public appearance. Great way to really listen to your constituents.
— amycrea (@amycrea) August 18, 2017
Nice photo op. Pad paper✔️Awful free treats✔️Hiding in back of random store posting after its over so you don't have to see anyone✔️So sad.
— Michelle Lynn (@michellelynn161) August 18, 2017
No announcement. Pathetic. That's where we're at in America. Surprise pop-up politics. All because he's afraid to face us! #notatownhall
— Scott Welvaert (@srwelvaert) August 18, 2017
Customer Question "Where can I find cowardice"
Employee Answer "He is in Isle 6 but his shelf life is only a few minutes" @RepErikPaulsen
— Phil Rader (@Phil_Rader) August 18, 2017
— brandon (@b_wolfe77) August 18, 2017
If Congressman Paulsen thought he was gonna pull a fast one, he did not fool these commentators … looks like #EvasiveErik is now being branded a coward.