Tag Archives: Erik Paulsen

Watching the Watchmen: the bipartisan failure on privacy

The revelations about the NSA spying program have set off a firestorm of partisan finger-pointing (such as this from late last week).  The reality, though, isn’t terribly complex.  Both parties are responsible for selling your privacy down the river with these sorts of programs.  There have been five key votes since 2001 that have been responsible for these programs.

The pattern shows that it doesn’t matter who’s in charge of the Presidency or Congress.  Washington D.C. will vote to take away your privacy, while fighting to make more and more of their actions secret.  The solution to this issue can’t be solved by switching which party is in charge — but rather by a sustained effort to keep pressure on both parties to do the right thing.  We must remain vigilant.

Below is a chart that shows the bipartisan failure on this issue, including votes by Minnesota’s Congressional delegation.  Click on the chart to see a larger version.


Data sourced from THOMAS.gov


Meet Your “New” Republican Party!

State Rep. Ernie Leidiger will be holding his annual hog roast fundraiser next month.  This year’s event is themed “Meet The New Republican Party”, and features a pulled pork dinner, silent auction, activities for kids, karaoke, and a bonfire.  On-site camping is also available if needed.  Lots of special guests are also invited, like these fresh faces:

Hog Roast Emcee and failed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann

U.S. Representative John Kline

U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen

Radio talk show hosts Jason Lewis and Sue Jeffers

State Senator Julianne Ortman

State Representative Joe Hoppe

Of course, these aren’t “new” faces at all.  These are just the same faces we’ve been seeing and hearing from for years now.  Keep looking down the list and — aha! — here are the new faces we’ve been looking for!

State GOP Party Chair Keith Downey

State GOP Deputy Party Chair Kelly Fenton

State GOP Secretary Chris Fields

Of course, of these folks, only Fields really qualifies a “new” face.  Heck, Fields hasn’t even lived in Minnesota for two years and he already has lost a race for Congress by 49 points.  Downey is a two-term former state representative who was heralded as an ideological leader behind the Republican House majorities that got routed in 2012.  Fenton, meanwhile, is a longtime party activist.

Even more to the point, though, is that while you can theoretically argue some of the faces are “new” — the ideas are the same old stale ones they’ve been peddling for years.  Let’s hope the pulled pork is fresher than the ideology.

[Picture above is 2010 gubernatorial loser and voice of the “new” Republican Party Tom Emmer]

Redistricting maps revealed: Eastern Carver County to CD 3; Chanhassen split into two State Senate districts [UPDATED]

[UPDATE:  State legislative details were originally incorrect.  They have now been corrected.  Additional maps showing the boundary of the part of Chanhassen in SD33 have been added as well.]

The redistricting maps were just released a few minutes ago.  Here are the key takeaways for Carver County:

From a Congressional perspective, eastern Carver County (Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria, and Laketown Township) are now part of the Third Congressional District, with current incumbent Rep. Erik Paulsen (R – Eden Prairie).  The rest of Carver County is now part of the Sixth Congressional District.  Rep. Michele Bachmann is the current incumbent in the Sixth, but Bachmann’s Stillwater residence in not in the new Sixth, so she will have to decide whether to move to the new Sixth or challenge Rep. Betty McCollum in the Fourth Congressional District.  [UPDATE:  Bachmann will run in the Sixth.]  Rep. John Kline no longer represents any part of the county.

The area highlighted in red is now part of CD 3.

From a state legislative perspective, northeast Chanhassen is being combined with much of the Lake Minnetonka area in the new Senate District 33 with retiring Sen. Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista) and Rep. Steve Smith (R-Mound) as the current incumbents.  The boundary of the area in SD33 is the area north of MN-5 and east of MN-41, as shown in the map below.

The rest of Carver County is the new Senate District 47 with Sen. Julianne Ortman as the incumbent.   The rest of Chanhassen, northern Victoria, and Chaska combine to make House District 47B with Rep. Joe Hoppe as the incumbent.  The remainder of the county is House District 47A, with Rep. Ernie Leidiger as the incumbent.

New legislative map for Carver County

Under 2010 Census results, it was inevitable that Carver County would be split up into more than one Senate district — the County’s rapid population growth over the last decade dictated that.

MNPublius: Carver County GOP Auction would have been violation of Congressional ethics rules

Jeff Rosenberg at MNPublius adds another layer to the Carver County GOP Auction of elected officials story:  namely, it would be a violation of Congressional ethics rules.

Read more at MNPublius.

Carver County GOP Auction of Elected Officials: Going once, going twice, gone… [UPDATED]

Our friends over at the Carver County GOP are planning a nice little event next Thursday, September 1 — a sporting clays shooting event at the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club in Prior Lake.  Here’s a link to the event’s flyer.  Sounds like a fun afternoon.

The twist from your normal political fundraiser, though, comes at the bottom of the flyer (helpfully screenshotted for you below, just in case it magically disappears sometime soon).

Yes, that’s right.  The Carver County GOP was auctioning off access to their invited guests — including U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen and John Kline, State Senator Julianne Ortman, and State Representatives Joe Hoppe, Ernie Leidiger, and Kirk Stensrud.

Nothing illegal about it, but it certainly sends the wrong message, coming after protracted fights in Washington, D.C. and St. Paul that pitted the pleasures of the well-heeled influence peddlers against the needs of the middle- and working class.

And when folks started to take notice — like the folks at Bluestem Prairie, Common Cause and the Cucking Stool — poof! — it was gone.   The auction site is no more, as the Carver County GOPers scurry away from their plans like a critter being chased by a Republican with a shotgun.

[UPDATE]:  City Pages was able to track down Carver County GOP official Joe Emmett O’Brien, who sent out the original e-mail and was involved in setting up the auction website.  Dissembling ensues.

It should also be reinforced that the original e-mail sent out by the Carver County GOP was sent to all registered lobbyists.  So Ortman, Hoppe, and Leidiger have time to be auctioned off to lobbyists, but not to hold town halls in their district?

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