Fiscal Fraud Erik Paulsen Warped Record : Lodging Expenses Explode

For years, the Paulsen public record was for the need for fiscal discipline, evoking the mantra “Washington needs do more with less.”

That tweet was from 2015 and as the Weekly Standard just reported
“As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to get rid of the entire national debt “over a period of eight years.”
When this promise was made, the national debt stood at $19 trillion; it has since risen to $21.7 trillion.”

Now, President Trump has asked his cabinet to cut their budgets by 5% … so what about Congress … will they do this?

For years, the MN Political Roundtable has featured commentaries on questionable spending and Erik Paulsen’s failure to support efforts to cut his own budget … instead he voted to increase it.

The most recent Members Disbursement report for the April 1 through June 30, 2018 reveal that the first half of this year spending for Erik Paulsen’s congressional office was $628,877.32.

This quarter’s spending was allocated into these categories :
$ 24,762.36 Prior year purchase of computers
$ 46,084.35 Franked mail
$203,372.18 Personnel compensation
$ 21,245.81 Travel
$ 32,248.49 Rent, communications, and utilities
$ 40,778.89 Printing and reproductions
$ 7,725.00 Other services
$ 5,295.54 Supplies and materials
$ 3,528.23 Equipment

No surprise that Franked mail is up nor is his spending on Printing … after all, it is an election year … and he has to tout his success in “breaking through the gridlock” and “getting results”

He just didn’t remind the taxpayers that they were paying for these mailings.

Oh, and by the way, the way that spending is allocated ..the “Franked mail” category does not include the printing of the mailing … just the postage.
Congressman Paulsen has hired “The Franking Group” for his printing.
That company experienced a loss in business on August 8th as House bars federally financed constituent mailings within 90 days of an election. But don’t worry about the owners of The Franking Group, they also operate a “sister” company that works with political campaigns to send out their mailings. (You may remember the Strip story exposing complaints by the owners of “The Franking Group” related to unpaid bills by the MNGOP for the Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden campaigns.)
During this quarter, Congressman Paulsen paid $39,100 to The Franking Group … plus $46,084.35 to the US Post Office.
Thus, the MathGuy has decided that it is prudent use of $85,184.35 taxpayer dollars to promote his successes.
“Washington needs to do more with less ?

Another prominent Paulsen vendor that has paid for their services is iConstituent LLC (a service that Second District Congressman Jason Lewis has also used.)
iConstituent is the firm that handles Paulsen’s tele-town halls … for a payment of $7,725.
FunFact … did you know that Congressman Paulsen approved a payment for an “App” so that iPhone users can keep informed of Congressman Paulsen efforts.


“Washington needs to do more with less ?

Franked mail and tele-town halls have been regularly questioned as wasteful spending, but there was another category of spending that stood out this quarter — Lodging.

Buried within the Travel category, Congressman Paulsen has approved lodging, meals, commercial transportation, gasoline, transportation services, parking, etc. for himself and his staff.

It’s the lodging that is surprising
$1,742.64 for the period 3/6 through 3/22
$ 580.88 for the period 4/10 through 4/12
$2,392.40 for the period 4/24 through 5/24
$ 987.17 for the period 5/25 through 6/2

That’s over $5,700 in payment for lodging !
As a taxpayer, don’t have to gotta ask, why so much travel ?
“Washington needs to do more with less ?

Yep, like a broken record, Congressman Paulsen preached that “Washington needs do more with less” but it now appears that is a warped record meant strictly to promote an image of a fiscal conservative.

Before someone makes the argument that “they all do it”, here is the Franked Mail expense for the quarter for each of Minnesota district (reminder that is just the postage … not including the printed item.)
MN02 $81,727.54 Jason Lewis
MN03 $46,084.35 Erik Paulsen
MN04 $ 409.54 Betty McCollum
MN05 $ 129.10 Keith Ellison
MN06 $ 1,998.93 Tom Emmer
MN07 $ 83.89 Collin Peterson
NB08 $ 515.39 Rick Nolan
MN01 is not listed as Tim Walz has not been charged for any Franked Mail this year.
[Fun Fact : In 2016, John Kline spent $7,000.07 in Franked mail … and Jason Lewis has spent over 11 times that in six months.]

Clearly, Congressman Paulsen does not believe “Washington needs to do more with less” when he spends so much more than most of the Minnesota delegation.

The MathGuy is really the MythGuy … if America is ever going to address wasteful spending, Erik Paulsen needs to look in to the mirror.

New mantra “Washington will do more with less Paulsen”

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