For some time we've known that the Republican candidate for US Congress in CD3 will be state Rep. Erik Paulsen.
On March 24, 2008 I went to the SD41 office of the CD3 GOP to observe what I'd expected to be a public meeting. It turned out that the public was not welcome at the meeting, so I left, but not before I had the opportunity to ask the half dozen or so members of the CD3 GOP Executive Committee a question: In their view, should Rep. Erik Paulsen answer questions put to him by a blogger, to wit, me? Without a single dissenting murmur, they said yes--and I then left.
I want to learn about Rep. Paulsen's perspective on various federal issues. So I've been writing emails to him quite frequently, asking him a very small number of questions. I've become somewhat frustrated because he refuses to acknowledge my emails, let alone provide any answers. I consider this an ethical infraction, exacerbated significantly by the fact that I am Rep. Paulsen's constituent. To the best of my recollection, Erik and I have never been involved in any unpleasant discussion; I cannot think of any rational justification for his stonewalling me. Every day I email him asking 'Who is my state representative?' and every day I receive nothing in reply from the guy whose job it is to represent my neighbors and me in St. Paul. Weird.
So this evening I drove back to the same Edina office where I'd met the members of the CD3 Executive Committee. No one was home, so I taped the following letter to their door:
13800 Chestnut Dr # 102
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
April 10, 2008
Dear Margaret Cavanaugh, Jerry Paar, Ellen Wade, Linda Presthus, Angela Erhard, Carol Kerr, Loren Klassen, Liane Laddusaw and Alex Plechash:
Last month I went to the Minnesota Republican Party's Third Congressional District website, and viewed your publicly-posted calendar. That webpage announced that your organization's Executive Committee—you—would be meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2008 at your office in the Edina Community Center. The calendar made no mention of any restrictions concerning who might attend, so I went to your room and said hello. Quite quickly, I was shown the door, but not before I was able to ask those assembled a few questions. One of my questions—and your unanimous answer thereto—has now proved quite consequential.
In your office that day, I asked the members of the CD3 GOP Executive Committee if it was your view that Rep. Erik Paulsen ought to respond to me, when I ask him questions. You all said 'yes' and I then left your office, complying with your request.
Well, I've now written an email every day to Rep. Erik Paulsen, and he's refusing to respond. So I would like to file an ethics complaint against Rep. Paulsen, with your organization. In my most recent emails, I'm simply providing my home address to Rep. Paulsen—see above—and asking him who my state representative is. If in your view Rep. Paulsen has some valid reason for refusing to tell me the name of my Minnesota state representative, by all means bring this to my attention, okay?
If the CD3 GOP Executive Committee continues to share my viewpoint—that Rep. Paulsen is ethically obligated to answer my inquiries--can you please order him to do so, or mete out some penalty so as to provide him an incentive to behave ethically?
I look forward to your response.
Very best wishes,