Erik Paulsen’s tale is a tragedy of a good man turned bad – by corporate dollars.
By Cleanup Carl
The tragic story of Erik Paulsen mirrors the tragedy of American democracy.
Once a mild-mannered Minnesotan state representative who stridently argued politicians shouldn’t take money from PACs, Paulsen is now the 6th highest recipient of corporate money in the House – sitting on $7,277,959 from corporate PACs since 2009.
While he presents himself as a champion of the people, Paulsen quickly found after getting elected in 2009 that becoming the special interests’ warrior pays much better. He’s tirelessly fought for tax breaks and deregulation for the medical device industry (donated $364,000 to Paulsen), the investment industry (donated $930,564), and big banks ($531,586).
At the same time he’s been hiding from his voters. Until last May, Paulsen hadn’t held a town hall for six years. His absence has become such common knowledge that last week, a debate crowd laughed in his face when he tried to describe himself as “accessible.”
When the Koch Brothers decided to pass their tax scam last year, Paulsen at first feigned independence – but rolled over once dark money organizations spent six-figure ad buys demanding he fall in line. For his pains, they’ve promised to spend millions to re-elect him – last week, their network named him one of their 8 coveted endorsements.
Paulsen used to be one of the good guys. But now he’s become one of the biggest big-money candidates in the country. For this impressive achievement, we’re awarding him an anti-endorsement and adding his district to our toxic tour!