When Erik Paulsen first ran for Congress back in 2008, in his campaign announcement speech he said, and I quote: "Quite frankly, today, Congress as an institution, is broken and if elected I intend to help fix it." (full announcement speech below the fold)
So what did Paulsen do, once elected? Join the GOP Caucus Leadership Team. Well, "get selected" is actually more accurate. Here's the complete MinnPost story, when Paulsen's selection to the Congressional GOP Leadership Team occurred - and when you look at the date of the story, remember that Paulsen had only been elected few short months before:
Paulsen joins Republican Whip TeamOK, two points: 1) I normally don't re-post other people's work complete and verbatim (to wit: above); but that one is so short, how not to? and 2) Between November 4th, 2008 (Election Day) and January 23, 2009 (day of story, above), GOP "Leadership" in Washington, D.C. had seen enough of Erik Paulsen to know that he was one of theirs.
By Cynthia Dizikes 01/23/09
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Freshman Rep. Erik Paulsen today was named to the Republican leadership team. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) selected the Minnesota Republican to serve on the Republican Whip Team, an uncommon assignment for a first-year member of Congress.
Paulsen said he was "honored" to be a part of the team.
"Our country faces many challenges," Paulsen said in a statement. "And I look forward to helping develop constructive solutions for the people of the Third District."
As a deputy, Paulsen will help Cantor manage the legislative program on the House floor.
Let's repeat that last line from that January 2009 story, shall we?
As a deputy, Paulsen will help Cantor manage the legislative program on the House floor.And what a "legislative program" they've had! For instance, knowing full well that repeal President Obama's Health Care Reform didn't stand a chance in the Senate (let alone survive Obama's veto pen), the "leadership" Paulsen belongs to has voted to repeal said law slightly less times than Doan's has pills.
Even more offensive for women, or those married to women, or those who have friends that are women, or those that have daughters, mothers, grandmothers, etc is Paulsen's "manage(ment of) the legislative program on the House floor" - as pertains to H.R. 3, which Paulsen voted for and passed. H.R. 3 is in the news these days because of the ignorant and offensive remarks of Paulsen's fellow GOP Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, who recently claimed that, more or less, some forms of rape were "legitimate rape" (and therefore, a raped woman would have no need to rid herself from a rapist's impregnation).
So, as a "leader" of the House GOP in Congress, that's Paulsen's deal. Unless, of course, he wants to NOW walk away from a leadership position he was picked for in January, 2009, and a vote he helped pass in May, 2011?
This is just the tip of the iceberg, Ladies and Gents: Paulsen, as a "Leader" in the Congress (that has, as of today, a 13.8% approval rating), has responsibility for each and every vote that has passed the House Of Representatives in Congress since John Boehner took over as speaker in January, 2011.
For instance, Paulsen's tied to Paul Ryan at the top of the ticket, who wants to turn Medicare into "Coupon Care". If that's not changing "medicare as we know it" - what is??!?
The bottom line - Erik Paulsen, as a "leader" in today's GOP-controlled House of Representatives, IS today's GOP House of Representatives.
Paulsen's announcement speech from January of 2008 is below the fold.
Paulsen's Announcement Speech
The following is the text of Erik Paulsen's announcement speech for his bid for Congress.
This district has been blessed by the best representation in the country. Minnesota is better place because of the years of service by Bill Frenzel and Jim Ramstad.
I had the privilege of working for Jim Ramstad in Washington his first term in Congress and later as his State Director. Through that experience, I got to know the people of the Third District very well.Jim Ramstad has been a mentor to me in many ways. In working with Jim, I gained a critically valuable lesson - the importance of civility in politics.
I aspire to follow the example of Jim Ramstad as he followed the example of his mentor and my friend Bill Frenzel, who represented this district with distinguished service for 20 years. But at the same time I intend to apply my unique energy and talents to solve today's and tomorrow's problems.
The world is changing day by day - and sometimes it seems a mile a minute. Economies are being transformed. Industries are being overhauled and remade. Yet, government and Congress seem to be moving slower and slower.
Failed ideas and nostalgia yearning for the past are a big impediment to change. So are the politics of blame, division, and partisan spin.
Minnesotans are weary of that brand of politics. They want leaders to understand that America is at a crossroads. Our economy, our domestic security, and our standing as a world leader all deserve something more substantial than governing by sound bites.
Jim Ramstad, and Bill Frenzel before him, never played that game. They both had too much respect for the people they represented and the duty they were sworn to uphold. Rather than politics, they were both guided by the same common sense values that I carry with me: fiscal responsibility, government that is both small and accountable, a strong national defense, a belief in pro-growth economic policies and a deep conviction that results matter.
That's why today, I stand before you to officially announce my candidacy for Congress in the Third Congressional District.
Quite frankly, today, Congress as an institution, is broken and if elected I intend to help fix it.We need fresh ideas in a changing world.
We need new vision, new energy and forward-thinking leaders who appreciate the necessity for change.
Change in the way we do politics and change in the way we do public policy. It's not about bigger budgets-- it's about achieving better results.
It's not about catering to special interests, but serving the common good. It's not about ego or sound bites or becoming a master critic - it's about solutions and action and measurable improvement in the lives of regular people.
We need Congress to be open to new ideas and make government more entrepreneurial and innovative so it responds to people's real needs.
As a State Representative, I have worked with both Republicans and Democrats alike to control taxes and spending, to bring adequate funding and accountability to our schools, to tend to our environment and to ensure that Minnesota remains competitive in the global marketplace. And I will take that commitment to Congress.
As a businessperson, I've learned about good management, good planning, the importance of good decision-making, and the value of customer service. And I want to transfer those lessons to the U.S. Congress.
I believe that a strong America has its roots in a strong American economy. Congress seems to have forgotten that economic growth is the foundation upon which we pay for solutions to other problems.
Instead, Congress seems to want to spend more and tax more - and its not just democrats. I'm a Republican that thinks that fellow Republicans have done a poor job of addressing the federal budget deficit. And, if elected I will not only do my part in Congress, but I will work to reacquaint my own party with the principle of fiscal responsibility.
Many in Congress don't seem to understand that their actions will weaken our economy, squeeze our family budgets and jeopardize our children's future. Like Bill Frenzel and Jim Ramstad before me, I will never be a free-spender or careless taxer.
We need a new generation of Congressional leaders who think globally and are prepared to address issues outside of our borders. For the last seven years, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, gaining an understanding of America's challenges abroad.
Among those challenges is keeping pace with the needs for a high-quality, educated work force. Today, we're in Scenic Heights Elementary School - a school that was built four decades ago in 1967. Yet, like many great schools in the Third District it has always been focused on educating our children for the future.
Just this fall it began a new Mandarin Chinese immersion program for Kindergarteners and first graders. I am proud to have led the charge in the state legislature for these types of education initiatives to give parents and students the choices they need to be better prepared for getting good jobs in the future.
Schools throughout the Third District including Minnetonka and the Eden Prairie School District, where each of my four daughters go to school, are leading the state with these innovations.
We need accountability in education, but not the bureaucratic No Child Left Behind law from the federal government. It's time for Congress to reject this old solution of one-size fits all. It's time for Congress to give flexibility to local school districts so they can be accountable but retain local autonomy.
Congress is facing other critical issues as well. Ask any worker. Ask any business owner. Today they will tell you the skyrocketing cost of health care is taking a distressingly large bite out of their pocketbook.
Health care is too expensive. It has been for sometime and things are only going to get worse unless Congress acts decisively and intelligently.
Consumers need more choices and more freedom so they can take greater responsibility for their health care. Universal government-run health care is not the answer - it will stifle quality, hurt creativity, innovation and cost more.
And, I will also personally continue the fight, if necessary for Jim Ramstad's landmark mental health parity legislation which is so important to millions Americans.
I can't stress enough the post-9/11 challenges of providing America with a strong national defense. Today we are confronted with jihadist enemies who hate freedom and all that America stands for. Let me be clear: I support a strong national defense to confront this enemy.
But future generations of Americans will also benefit from how well we integrate those concerns into law enforcement, border security, immigration and how we treat our military veterans.
And, believe me, America's dependence on foreign oil is a national security issue. No matter how you diagnose the problem, or from what perspective, it is clear that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
There is absolutely no downside to public private partnerships that pursue market-based alternatives, from nuclear to solar to wind to other renewables. With the proper incentives we can jump-start an entire new industry of green innovation and technology for the future.
Finally, I want to say something about what will likely be the most important issue in this campaign: the state of the American and Minnesota economies. It is an issue that will dominate this campaign, because it is dominating the thoughts of Minnesotans and kitchen table conversations throughout the Third District.
Protecting economic vitality and competing globally is a hallmark of the Third District. But those in charge of Congress have already announced they want to raise taxes - an old and failed solution. We should resist short-term fixes and embrace long-term solutions.
These are just a few issues and challenges that face America. I hope we can use the next nine months to identify solutions to these serious issues - and others -- on their merit, not on their politics.
Thomas Jefferson said it is the moral obligation for each generation to pass onto the next generation better choices and opportunities. I am running for Congress to improve our country for my own four daughters and for everyone else's children.
Because I am totally focused on a world they will see as adults. We've got to get back on the right track or they will be the first American generation that has fewer choices and fewer opportunities than the previous generation.
I will apply myself to changing budgets, taxes, education, transportation and health care policies with their welfare and the welfare of all Minnesotans first and foremost in my mind.
Because if we choose well today, they will have good choices to pick from tomorrow.
This is an exciting day for me, my family and for my supporters. We have a lot of hard work to do in the months ahead. I want all of you who are here today to know that as we launch our campaign today - I will not be out-hustled!
We're going to work morning, noon and night on this campaign. Join me ! Together we will make change become a reality. And with your help, we will win!