Letter: Paulsen failed to follow through on his statement

To the editor:

On May 10, Rep. Erik Paulsen published a statement on his Congressional website, “Paulsen Statement on the Firing of FBI Director Comey,” which called for an independent investigation into the firing of Comey, Russian interference with our election, and integrity of our institutions.

A mere seven days later, on May 17, Paulsen was given an opportunity to sign a petition to bring House Bill 356 ( tr.im/hr356) to the floor for a vote.

The objective of H.R. 356 is simple, and the text is short. Surely, someone on the congressman’s staff was able to brief him on it. H.R. 356 as written: “Protecting Our Democracy Act: This bill establishes in the legislative branch the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election to examine any attempts or activities by the Russian government or other governments, persons or entities associated with such governments, or persons or entities within Russia to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States in 2016.”

Paulsen failed to sign the petition, and failed to support a bipartisan effort to launch an independent investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 election.

Congressman Paulsen,  time and time again, you have failed to back your words up with action. I thanked you, on May 10, for your statement, but I rescind my statement of thanks. You had an opportunity to be a leader, as a senior congressman from Minnesota, to bring your Republican colleagues to the table, and once again, you let us down. To quote the increasingly relevant Hamilton musical, “If you stand for nothing … what’ll you fall for?”

Rep. Paulsen, what do you stand for?


Anita Smithson