MN03 : PhotoOp Erik Paulsen Copies Kline While Avoiding Trump

It’s February 2018 … but you might think it is February 2014 … let’s refer to this MN Political Roundtable discussion :

In February, the “gregarious Grandpa” invited 400 people to celebrate his “Stars of the North” presenting Congressional Certificates of Special Recognition

“One of my greatest honors is the chance to recognize the generosity by many of Minnesota’s selfless individuals who are willing to step up to address the needs they see in our communities,” Kline said. “These ‘Stars of the North’ stepped forward to make life better for someone beyond themselves – volunteering, offering a helping hand, reaching out to a neighbor to ask, ‘what can I do for you?’ ”

These programs are definitely worthy … great assets to their communities and to the causes they support. Many of the recipients were honored for their work in support of “food assistance” (don’t know how many of these recipients realized that Representative Kline voted to gut the food stamp program by $40 billion) and donated medical services (wonder how many of these recipients realize Representative Kline’s repeated votes against SCHIP (children’s health) and opposition to the Affordable Care Act).

While these events deserve recognition, don’t you just sense that the motivation is political ?

But, heck, the good news is that John Kline has not done what Aaron Schock (R-IL) does. For years, Representative Schock used taxpayer dollars to mail congratulatory letters — and suitable-for-framing certificates of “special congressional recognition” — to every high school graduate in his district. Representative Schock explained why he honors graduates with certificates. “I think that graduating high school is an educational milestone for a young student that deserves recognition and encouragement. There are many families whose son or daughter’s graduation is the first time a family member has graduated.”

That was 2014 and the Congressman was John Kline … fast forward to 2018 and lo and behold, but who do you think is now holding a “Star of the North” event ?

Hmmmm …. anyone wonder how long Congressman Paulsen has been honoring these community leaders ?
Maybe in years past, he just did it quietly so as not to give himself any publicity … but this is the first that I have noticed Congressman Paulsen issuing recognition certificates. Funny thing is that I have not heard that Minnesota’s current Second District Congressman, Jason Lewis, has scheduled a “Star of the North” event?
Guess the torch has been passed from John Kline to Erik Paulsen.

While there is no doubt that these individuals deserve to be saluted, ya gotta wonder about the politics of it … and the timing.

Just like #PhotoOpErik likes to visit schools, there are side benefits … which can be explained by a comment made by a Paulsen aide that the reason for these book readings is “…in fifteen years these students would remember the reading and vote for Representative Paulsen.”
And no doubt the child’s grandparents will hear about Congressman Paulsen’s engaging with them … yep, there are political benefits … and 2018 is an election year.

Yep, Erik Paulsen has no problem having a photo taken with a smiling child …. but there is a “child” in the White House that Congressman Paulsen seems to want to avoid.

And avoid he did on Tuesday, February 13th.

President Trump held a bipartisan meeting with Members of Congress to discuss a “reciprocal tax” — a duty on imports at the same levels charged on U.S. goods by the countries that produce the imported items.
You might recall that Congressman Paulsen got a little heat when House Republican leaders promoted the idea of a border-adjusted tax, which the Star-Tribune headlined as Minnesota companies fighting border tax plan that Paulsen supports … that tax never happened as FP1 strategies, a DC lobbying group that took credit for reversing his position on the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT).

So who was at the bipartisan meeting with President Trump ?
House of Representatives
Mike Bost (R-IL-12)
Kevin Brady (R-TX-08)
Rick Crawford (R-AR-01)
Bill Johnson (R-OH-06)
Jason Smith (R-MO-08)
Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Bob Casey Jr (D-PA)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Todd Young (R-IN)

Gosh, wouldn’t you think that the newly-appointed chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (that would be Congressman Erik Paulsen) would be there ?

But that could have resulted in a photographer taking a picture … worse yet, the #MathGuy and formerly self-professed fiscal conservative would have heard these words :

THE PRESIDENT: You know, there are some people who don’t believe in deficits. They think it doesn’t matter. To me, I think it matters a lot.

Remember that President Trump has authority to unilaterally impose a reciprocal tax without any congressional action if he does so by raising import tariffs … something that he recently did for washing machines and adding tariffs of 30% on crystalline silicon solar modules and solar cells. While details remain sparse, many industry experts are expecting near-term price increases in excess of $0.10/W-DC due to #SolarTariffs. FYI : The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has estimated that current U.S. panel manufacturers could only meet 20% of U.S. demand if all lines are operating at full capacity.
Meanwhile, Congressman Paulsen stays quite as jobs are lost and consumer will pay more.

Yep, in 2018, you can bet you won’t be seeing a lot of pictures of President Trump and Congressman Paulsen together … nor will you hear him taking about deficits (after he has voted for tax cuts benefiting corporations and the wealthy and a budget that increases spending) … but lots of pictures with kids.

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