To the editor:
My congressman, Erik Paulsen, disappointed me on Feb. 23.
I drove to Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth to see him at a scheduled and highly publicized town hall. My daughter and two friends accompanied me. We arrived early to get a seat. That was good, because about 1,000 other people were in attendance as well.
The large church was packed, and people were lined up outside. Like me, Paulsen’s Third Congressional District constituents had questions for the congressman. They wanted to know what is to become of the Affordable Care Act, our public schools, immigration policies, our environment and many other issues.
I specifically wanted to know why Paulsen, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee, voted with 22 other Republicans against a rule that would force Pres. Trump to reveal his tax returns. My question was not answered. Paulsen did not want to defend his vote to me.
We were told he had been in St. Paul that afternoon. He was in the area. Congress was in recess to allow representatives to attend their town halls. We had to settle for a cardboard cutout of Paulsen. Needless to say, the cutout did not have answers for us.
The town hall organizers had a suspicion that Paulsen would not attend the town hall. It was booked as a “with or without him” town hall. Paulsen has not attended a town hall since 2011. This is astonishing to me, although I should not be surprised. Lately, I have been calling him every day. His aides take my name, my zip code and my email and promise Paulsen will get back to me. He does not. All of this lacks integrity.
I can look to votesmart.org to see his voting record (he always votes “yea” on Republican legislation), but I wanted to see him in person.