Erik Paulsen regularly issues a video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed.
The MN Political Roundtable will be evaluating Congressman Paulsen’s responses and encouraging readers to offer their own assessments.
Today’s topic: H.R.3354 – leasing, exploration, and potential development of approximately 234,000 acres of Federal land in northeast Minnesota.
Tomorrow’s topic: Tax Reform
Before viewing the September 29th edition of the Paulsen Correspondence Corner, let’s look at a September 8th tweet from Minnesota’s Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer
ICYMI: Last night the House passed my Amendment that will bring jobs and revenue to Minnesota: https://t.co/NJ3Sl4myOZ
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) September 8, 2017
Clearly, Congressman Emmer is pleased that the Republican-controlled House agreed with him … and the final vote on the bill did have a few Republicans voting NO (actually 14) but in passed.
Oh, one of the YES votes was from Minnesota’s Third District Congressman Erik Paulsen.
OK … that fact may have been lost on Congressman Paulsen when he responded to Andy of Eden Prairie urging him to protect the Boundary Waters Wilderness from sulfide-ore copper mining.
According to Congressman Paulsen, the Boundary Waters is Minnesota’s Yellowstone and it is “imperative that we protect it” urging that we “study the science”.
Hmmm … no doubt Congressman Paulsen is aware of the potential dangers … in 2014, the Mount Polley sulfide-ore mine in British Columbia failed, dumping billions of liters of toxic sludge and leaving permanent environmental damage in its wake.
No doubt, Congressman Paulsen heard Fourth District Congresswoman Betty McCollum speak out against the Emmer proposal
To protect the boundary waters from this type of destruction, the Forest Service acted last December and launched a thorough environmental analysis with public engagement to assess what type of mining, if any, is appropriate on Federal lands and this watershed for the next 20 years. The Trump and the Obama administrations have both agreed we need a thorough, scientific-based assessment of the best management of this sensitive ecosystem and conservation of our boundary waters.
The Emmer amendment upends this careful process. It pushes aside the Forest Service’s ongoing study. It mandates that dangerous copper and sulfide mining will be allowed in the watershed, regardless of the conclusions of this environmental study, and it intentionally ignores a public process that hundreds of thousands of Americans weighed in on with comments on both sides of the issue.
Betty McCollum voted against the bill … Erik Paulsen voted for the bill.
Ya know they say there’s an art to the political flip-flop, but Erik Paulsen has mastered a different version.
Congressman Paulsen hasn’t changed his position on accepting money from mining concerns nor on the need to protect the BWCA … his key is always to make himself appear “genuine“.
There are a number of issues where he can appear to be talking out of both sides of his mouth — DACA, Muslim ban, LGBTQ, spending, national debt, etc. — constituents who watched this week’s Correspondence Corner got to hear the “moderate vibe”.
Erik Paulsen wants to fly under the radar, using his mild-mannered appearance to conceal the fact that he votes however the Republican Party bosses instruct him to vote.
At the same time, you can expect the Paulsen For Congress to have signs to accomodate both sides