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MN 03

paulsenTrumpcare passed the U.S. House, by two votes. The vote of the allegedly thoughtful “moderate” Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) was one of those that put it over the top. Reaction was swift and vehement. An op-ed subsequently appeared with his name on it. What a sniveling, impudent load of crap.
 

The bill empowers states to better design health care plans that meet the needs of their citizens. It provides a portable tax credit to assist Americans who do not receive coverage from an employer in purchasing health insurance. It enhances and expands the use of consumer-driven health care accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts, and it once and for all repeals the harmful medical device tax.
 
It is also important to point out what is not in this bill. Nothing in this bill would allow an insurance company to deny someone coverage, including to those with a preexisting condition. Nothing would allow an insurance company to cancel someone’s insurance policy should they become sick. Despite claims from opponents, the bill does not classify sexual assault as a preexisting condition. For those who maintain continuous coverage, the bill does not allow insurance companies to charge an individual more simply because they have a preexisting condition. It’s also worth noting that this bill includes $138 billion to assist states in making sure everyone, including those with preexisting conditions, has access to high-quality, affordable health care?
(Star Tribune)

– Where is your typical family these days, living paycheck to paycheck and way in debt, supposed to get money for “Health Savings Accounts?”
 
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paulsenAnother recent indicator that Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) may be the current U.S. House’s most atrociously fake “moderate” was his intent to vote for Trumpcare 1.0, had it come to a vote there. So we’ll see where he’s at on the next iteration.
 

Based on our analysis, we estimate that individuals with even relatively mild pre-existing conditions would pay thousands of dollars above standard rates to obtain coverage. For example, because an individual with asthma costs an issuer 106 percent more than a healthy 40-year-old, she would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for diabetes would be $5,600 per year. Coverage could become prohibitively expensive for those in dire need of care: Insurers would charge about $17,320 more in premiums for pregnancy, $26,580 more for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, and $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer.
(Center for American Progress)

InvisibleRiskPool-WEB-table1-693

An additional Paulsen thing, about the fact that suspending the medical device tax has not resulted in any U.S. jobs boom in the industry: “Was Erik Paulsen Duped By Medical Devicemakers Or Is He Promoting Alternative Facts?” (MN Political Roundtable)
 
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MN-03 shocker! Paulsen skipped town hall

by Dan Burns on February 24, 2017 · 1 comment

paulsen2No, not a “shocker.” I doubt I even had you going for a second.
 

Frustrated by a lack of town hall meetings on U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s calendar, some of his constituents set up a gathering of their own in Plymouth on Thursday evening, drawing hundreds of people who shared concerns about Paulsen’s recent votes.
 
The GOP congressman, who represents Minnesota’s Third District, did not attend. That didn’t seem to damper the enthusiasm of the approximately 600 people who packed into Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, while a few hundred more waited outside…
 
Event organizer Kelly Guncheon, a Plymouth financial planner, said the idea was to show the congressman that many in the west and north-metro district don’t share his views — and want to talk.
 
“Rep. Paulsen, I hope you hear that,” he said. “There is nothing to fear about these people. They are concerned.”
(Star Tribune)

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Meanwhile in MN CD 3 …

by JeffStrate on October 17, 2016 · 3 comments

Image of Bonoff and Paulsen

Terri Bonoff and Erik Paulsen

A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll published late last week on Tom Hauser’s At Issue political analysis program, shows GOP, right wing incumbent Erik Paulsen with an eleven point lead over DFL endorsed challenger Terri Bonoff.
 

“After several months of withering attacks trying to tie him to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Erik Paulsen holds a commanding lead in his race with 3rd District challenger Terri Bonoff. In our exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, Paulsen leads Bonoff 49 percent to 38 percent. Another 13 percent remain undecided.”

Steven Schier, the ever available pundit from Carleton College, notes in the October 16, 2016  KSTP-TV News web article about the poll that voters are not associating Mr. Paulsen with Mr. Trump.   That is clearly the case.  Terri’s team needs to do a quick and major re-direction on what will work during the next three weeks.

The article does not mention the dump trucks of misleading, anti-Bonoff mailers that arrive at our Eden Prairie (CD 3) home or refer to the equally smelly and un-credible, anti-Bonoff spots that pop up on television and the internet.

 

photo of Junk Yard Democrats.

Eden Prairie’s Junk Yard Democrats

This month Democratic Visions features a fifteen minute discussion between Terri Bonoff and Ted O’Brien and a Junk Yard Democrats’ video.  With “He Talks the Line,” the boys re-purpose a Johnny Cash classic to comment on Mr. Paulsen’s record.

Here are the links –  15 Minutes with Terri Bonoff

Junk Yard Democrats – Erik Paulsen: He Talks the Line

 

FULL HALF HOUR SHOWS on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/DemocraticVisions

DEMOCRATIC VISIONS on CABLE TV

 

Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins, Richfield, Comcast Channel 15 —
Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

 

Bloomington – BCAT Channel 16 — Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.

 

Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 — Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.  Concurrent live streaming at http://www.mtn.org/on_air/channel-16-webstream

 

Champlin, Anoka, Ramsey, Andover – QCTV Community Channel 15 —  4 broadcasts a week with concurrent live streaming.  See schedule http://qctv.org/program-guide/

 

Democratic  Visions is hand made by unpaid volunteers from Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Bloomington.  Our program is not financially supported or endorsed by any political party, political action committee or special interest group.
 
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paulsen2You can help our candidate, Terri Bonoff, here.
 

Let’s look at the record.
 
Erik Paulsen has been in the pocket of medical device companies throughout his career. He has successfully advocated for a moratorium on the device task that helps fund Obamacare….creating a windfall for companies like Medtronic.
 
Of course, not satisfied with that tax break, Medtronic changes their corporate address to Ireland so that they can avoid more taxes. All the while, building up offshore bank accounts, hiding their profits – and forcing the rest of us to pay their bills.
 
Although Paulsen voted against the Dream Act and voted for many of the Trump like immigration bills that came from this Congress, Paulsen managed to vote in favor of special visas that business wanted so that they can bring in high-tech workers from other countries…at the expense of American workers.
 
And how about energy corporations? Paulsen was right there for them as well. He voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. He voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. And he voted to bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules, and to declare that nothing in the Act shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming…
 
Paulsen could easily fit into the Trump camp, except for one clear difference. Paulsen’s corporate masters need him to support the TPP.
(mnpACT!)

Paulsen is all over the place on whether he supports Donald Trump for POTUS. And he’s a total NRA stooge. And he’s big on handouts for corrupt war contractors.
 
Voters need to understand that Rep. Paulsen is most definitely not a “moderate.” And that the essential first step to making things better for everyone is getting right-wingers like him out of power.
 

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paulsen2(You can help out the Democratic candidate, Terri Bonoff, here.)

 

Now Paulsen, the recipient of more than $500,000 in donations from the (medical device) industry, has thrown his wealthy handlers another bone. He cast a vote for a bill that would allow tax-exempt groups from ever having to reveal its donors — even to the federal government.
 
In other words, shill organizations masquerading as nonprofits like the Medical Device Innovation Consortium could spend gobs of money on mailers and TV commercials come election time, and nobody would be wiser as to who’s behind the cause or why.
(City Pages)

Paulsen’s A grade has been dutifully earned as well. Over an 18-month period, Paulsen voted 13 times to block efforts to bring a gun safety measure to the House floor.
 
Nicknamed “No Fly, No Buy,” the proposal would ban suspected terrorists on the FBI’s terror watch list from being able to buy guns. It seeks to close the loophole for people who the FBI has determined should not be on a plane, but can still legally purchase firearms.
(City Pages)

Too many people in Paulsen’s “moderate” district just sort of reflexively vote for him, unaware of what a farce his contrived “moderate” image is. It’s time to send this right-winger packing.
 
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Should Hillary spend money on Minnesota? Just to cut to the chase, yes, but that’s admittedly a hard case to make given how Minnesota has voted for the Democratic nominee in every presidential election since 1956 except for 1972, when we made our what-the-hell-were-we-thinking mistake and voted for the one president who resigned in disgrace. I personally think of Minnesota not as a blue state, but as a purple state where the Democrats are good at GOTV (Get Out The Vote). But yeah, hard to argue with that presidential record. Or with how much better financed the DFL is than the MNGOP, or with the DFL record in statewide races. We’ve won every statewide race starting in 2006 except for governor in 2006, when Tim Pawlenty won by about 1% while a third party liberal took 5%. It was that close.
 
So OK, my purple state claim is resting pretty much on the way the legislature keeps changing hands, and the way we split US House seats 4-4 or 5-3. But that also gets to why we deserve some presidential campaign attention. We want to win the House, right? That seems incredibly optimistic to me, but the Republicans are fearfully talking about it as a plausible outcome, and I suppose they have to be right one day. Besides, if we want to win the House, we have to nibble away where we can, giving more Democrats the advantage of incumbency the next election — and Minnesota has more competitive districts than anyone would expect from a medium sized state.
 
As it happens, Minnesota isn’t gerrymandered. Really. Yes, we’re self-packed like every other state with a major metropolitan area. Liberals are comfortable with a big city’s density and proximity to public spaces, while conservatives like their big lawns and long drives. Like in almost every other state, this works to the advantage of conservatives since there’s no way to draw district lines to break up liberals unless we ignore the principle that municipalities should be kept together, and when those municipalities are big, self-packing it is. Fortunately, not being gerrymandered means our districts aren’t drawn in strange ways to get the most advantageous distribution of conservatives. Our process is each house of the legislature passes a redistricting plan, then a conference committee works out the differences, and the governor signs it, with one of the latter two steps never happening. Our state government has been split between parties something like the last five redistrictings, so a panel of judges eventually gives up on the other two branches and just makes its own plan.
 
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MN-03: Long past time for a change

by Dan Burns on May 2, 2016 · 1 comment

bonoffAs you undoubtedly know by now, Minnesota state Sen. Terri Bonoff is Rep. Erik Paulsen’s opponent. You can help Terri out here. Paulsen’s minions are already running a pretty iffy attack campaign.

 

Electorally, Paulsen’s biggest weakness (of many) is in my estimation his lack of accomplishment on behalf of all but the extremely wealthy. But if pointing that out was enough to get rid of Republican House members in swing districts, they would all be long gone. What can do the job is turnout, and unusual circumstances – like a loudly and proudly bigoted, misogynistic lunatic at the top of the party’s ticket.
 
Presumably thanks in part to Paulsen’s only legislative “accomplishment” of note – a hiatus in the ACA medical device tax – 2016 is being termed the year of “merger mania” in that industry. When all is said and done this sort of thing tends to result in job losses. I haven’t found any evidence for that on a large scale, yet, though I didn’t exactly spend all day looking. We’ll find out.
 
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MN-03: Strib goes after Paulsen?!?!

by Dan Burns on April 4, 2016 · 1 comment

paulsen2I put all that extra punctuation in the title because something like this – an article critical of a Minnesota Republican in Congress – is not a common sight, in this widely-read corporate media outlet, to say the least.
 

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen and his family members have taken more than $75,000 in free, mostly international travel since 2013, all paid for by outside groups.
 
Just a few weeks ago, Paulsen took his adult daughter, Cassandra, to Nairobi, Kenya, at a total cost of $27,357 for the week, the tab picked up by World Vision and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The trip was billed as a chance to provide “direct insight on how U.S. investments are working to improve global health.”
 
It was the single costliest trip a member of Congress has taken this year at the expense of an outside group, according to LegiStorm, a nonpartisan group that compiles information on members of Congress and their staffs.
 
The travel is legal and allowed by federal ethics rules, but it has drawn criticism from government watchdog groups as these organizations try to gain influence in Washington. Such organizations can pay for the travel of members, their staff and family so long as they don’t employ lobbyists and they report the costs, agendas and details of each trip to the Committee on Ethics.
(Star Tribune)

To be fair, the Strib doesn’t often go after Minnesota Democrats in Congress, either, though I suspect that some in senior management and elsewhere would dearly love to be more aggressive in that regard, especially concerning Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Keith Ellison. The guiding mantra seems to mostly be “offend no one.”
 
Despite a carefully contrived image that a whole lot of media outlets (in addition to, usually, the Strib) help to perpetuate, Paulsen is neither a “moderate,” nor a righteously devoted public servant indifferent to his own self-interest. Quite the contrary, on both counts. Jon Tollefson is a DFL candidate. You can help him out here.
 

And here’s a little something more about Rep. Paulsen: “Paulsen Pushing HSAs and FSAs While Voting Against Protecting Consumers From Price-gouging.”
 
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MN-03: DFLer Tollefson enters race

by Dan Burns on February 1, 2016 · 0 comments

tollefsonGood deal.
 

After his experience abroad, Jon returned home to Minnesota to advance local economic and health policy issues, working for the Minnesota High Tech Association and now the Minnesota Nurses Association.
 
Jon Tollefson is running to bring the true values of Minnesotans to Washington: real fiscal responsibility, investments in education and transportation that lead to jobs and economic growth, and affordable access to health care for all. Jon wants to fight to create a better government, one that actually functions for the people it represents.
(Jon Tollefson for Congress)

I and undoubtedly others will have plenty more to say about why the incumbent, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), very, very badly needs to be the incumbent no longer, as of next January. For now, this:
 

Reviewing Erik Paulsen’s fourth quarter fundraising report, is very telling … telling that he is the consummate Washington insider … including $405,261 from Political Action Committees and big donors and only $2,133 from small donors.
 
Yep, that’s right the Medical Device Manufacturers PAC gave more money to his re-election campaign with one check, than all small donors combined !
(MN Political Roundtable)

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