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.
Yesterday’s topic: H.R. 42- Enhancing Veteran Care Act
Today’s topic: H.R.3990 – National Monument Creation and Protection Act
In this week’s Correspondence Corner, Erik Paulsen responds to two emails (ignoring the fact that once again the Republican-controlled government had to pass another budget extension to avoid the embarrassment of a government shutdown.)
Have you seen my latest Correspondence Corner? This week, I answer a question from Rob in Minnetonka about the Enhancing Veteran Care Act, and one from Glynn in Edina who asked about the Antiquities Act. https://t.co/q8wML0I1Ld
— Rep. Erik Paulsen (@RepErikPaulsen) December 9, 2017
Glynn in Edina emailed Erik Paulsen to urge a NO vote on the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, and Congressman Paulsen assured her that he would reject it.
Nah … this is the Paulsen Correspondence Corner where the message is promote the image that Erik Paulsen is a moderate Republican who cares about preserving national parks.
After all, the Roundtable was surprised that Erik Paulsen was hyping being awarded National Parks Conservation Association “Friends of the National Parks” Award in 2013 even as the Republicans were proposing funding cuts.
OK … that was 2013 when he graded out at 71% … those that have followed the National Parks Scorecard for the most recent year — 2016 — know that Congressman Paulsen earned a “F” tumbling to 30%.
His low rating was due to his voting record :
— Limiting the Designation of New National Monuments
— Allowing Mining Runoff in National Park Waters
— Protecting Fragile Coastal Park Ecosystems
— Eliminating Protections for Wildlife in Alaska
— Cutting Park Funding
— Limiting Recovery of Listed Endangered Species
— Eliminating Park, Wildlife and Resource Protections
Hmmm …. and this should be a concern … especially when Congressman Paulsen is pushing the Tax Cut and Reform Act which will force future Congresses to make tough decisions about our public lands and national parks.
Let us remember that last year, Congressman Paulsen did vote to cut Park funding even more than what was approved by the Appropriations Committee. Yep, Congressman Paulsen voted for more funding cuts … fortunately, 75 Republicans thought otherwise, and along with 183 Democrats, Congressman Paulsen efforts were rejected. Will next years Congress do the same … well, we know the Paulsen mantra — #WashingtonMustDoMoreWithLess.
While it’s good that Congressman Paulsen has told Glynn that he would reject the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act” … he is likely to be in the minority of the Republicans.
A previous vote, and the fact that this bill has moved out of committee with strong Republican support, suggests that it will be approved.
Thus the cynic would see this Correspondence Corner video as just a image-building effort to reposition Erik Paulsen as a Jim Ramstad Moderate when he knows his vote will not change the outcome … unless Congressman Paulsen can convince Congressman Tom Emmer to change his vote and to convince Congressman Jason Lewis to join him in a NO vote.
That is the challenge for Congressman Paulsen.
In reality, there are two competing groups … timber, oil, and coal companies … and the over 200 organizations which have stated opposition to changes to the Antiquities Act in January and over 450 organizations which signed on in opposition to changes being proposed by President Trump’s Executive Order 13792 in May.
Based on past votes, Congressmen Emmer and Lewis will be looking out for special interests … not national interests.
Let us thank Glynn for pushing Congressman Paulsen to do the right thing … now, let’s push Congressmen Emmer and Lewis to join Congressman Paulsen.