Release: Paulsen’s Final Refusal To Sign ‘Minnesota Way’ Pledge Prompts a Loan from Dean Phillips to His Campaign

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Richard Carlbom: 651-261-1306

Release: Paulsen’s Final Refusal To Sign ‘Minnesota Way’ Pledge Prompts a Loan from Dean Phillips to His Campaign
Phillips fulfills commitment made at the beginning of his campaign to compete against Paulsen’s special-interest millions

Today Dean Phillips announced that he has loaned his campaign $1,316,568.50 — exactly half the sum Erik Paulsen has taken from special interest PACs as of September 30th of this year. Paulsen has raised nearly $100,000 more since then, and is now the 4th-biggest taker of special interest PAC dollars in the entire Congress.

Erik Paulsen and the outside special-interest groups who support him are outspending Phillips by a 3:1 margin. Phillips, who refuses to accept money from special-interest PACs, federal lobbyists or members of Congress, has raised over $4 million from more than 66,000 individuals at an average of just $36 per contribution. Phillips stated at the very beginning of his campaign that he would rather help resource his own campaign than be bought off by the special-interest groups that bankroll representatives like Erik Paulsen.

“I offered Congressman Paulsen the opportunity to run this campaign the Minnesota Way – without special interest money and without self-funding — but he refused time and time again,” said Phillips. “Congressman Paulsen is benefiting from millions more being spent on his behalf on despicable ads filled with lies and objectively misleading claims. On behalf of a district that demands principled representation, I will not let Erik Paulsen and out-of-state special interests buy this election.”

In April, Phillips first asked Congressman Paulsen to join him in signing the Minnesota Way Pledge, a mutual pledge to eliminate special-interest money and self-funding, and reduce or eliminate spending from outside groups on both sides. Paulsen repeatedly refused to sign it since then, and is now the fourth-biggest taker of special-interest money in all of Congress. As of mid-October, outside groups had spent over $7 million on Paulsen’s behalf, versus just over $2 million spent on behalf of Phillips.

In 1997, Paulsen authored legislation in the Minnesota House that would have eliminated PAC and special-interest money from elections. Ironically, he has grown to be one of their largest beneficiaries today: $2,633,139 of his campaign funding comes directly from PACs, representing more than half of Paulsen’s  entire war chest.

Congressman Paulsen has used this money to run an unprecedentedly negative campaign that has been called inappropriate, reckless, false, distorted, not even in the same time zone as truth, extremely misleading, just plain false, and wildly out of context by independent journalists, community leaders, sexual harassment survivors, and Democrats, independents, and Republicans alike.

Below are some of the Erik Paulsen’s special-interest patrons this election cycle (numbers as of September 30th):