Richard Carlbom: 651-261-1306
Paulsen, NRCC, CLF Ignore Public Shaming, Double Down on Lies
Paulsen’s coordinated smear campaign reaches an unprecedented low as he ignores requests from survivors to stop who demand better
Erik Paulsen’s desperate and disgraceful coordinated smear campaign against Dean Phillips reached new lows this week when the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), Paulsen for Congress and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released new coordinated ads featuring claims that have drawn extraordinary blowback from one of the Twin Cities’ most important health providers, prominent Republicans, community and business leaders, and the sexual assault and harassment survivors Paulsen is using as political pawns.
The women, represented by attorney Lori Peterson, recently called on Paulsen to take down his ad and apologize for exploiting their trauma and drawing them into a political attack based on a lie. Instead, Paulsen and his special-interests patrons are doubling down.
“This is the most vile, offensive and objectively untruthful campaign ever conducted in Minnesota, and Erik Paulsen is to blame,” said Zach Rodvold, campaign manager for Phillips for Congress. “In Congressman Paulsen’s desperation to hold onto power, he’s shown that he is willing to do and say anything to win, even forcing survivors of sexual assault and harassment to relive their trauma for his own personal gain. Those women have joined with Republicans, business and community leaders and people across the district in calling on Paulsen to take his ads down and apologize. That’s exactly what he should do.”
Congressman Erik Paulsen and the special interest groups that are bankrolling his campaign are planning to spend over $10 million and counting on TV alone as part of this coordinated smear campaign that is doing irreparable harm to Paulsen’s former “nice guy” image.
Dean Phillips, meanwhile, is capturing attention from around the country for running a positive, truthful, people-powered campaign built on contributions from now more than 66,000 individuals — and zero PACs, special interests, or members of Congress. In April, Phillips challenged 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 refused to sign, and is now the 5th-biggest taker of special-interest money in all of Congress — while benefiting from millions more spent on his behalf.