To the editor:
Like his so-called “telephone town halls” that are glorified conference calls, Erik Paulsen’s faux town hall meetings on May 30 were another attempt to deceive people into thinking that he’s accessible to his constituents.
Paulsen’s Congressional District has about 600,000 voters. The three venues he chose for his meetings had a total maximum capacity of 580 people, even fewer if people are sitting in chairs. The actual numbers were about 100 chairs at the Hamel event, 112 at Brooklyn Park, and 115 at the Chanhassen venue. The Brooklyn Park event was particularly egregious because while the chairs covered about a third of the ballroom space, people who showed up, hoping to get a seat, were denied a seat even though not only were there several empty seats due to no-shows and there clearly was plenty of room for more chairs.
There is no venue that would hold the entire district, but there are high schools and other venues that can hold far more than the venues he chose for his events. This ploy fools no one. It’s simply an election-year campaign gimmick to suggest that he is something he’s not: interested in his constituents.
After seven years without a public meeting and 18 months of great turmoil in Washington, we deserve access to our elected representative.
Click here to read the original posting on the Sun Sailor (6/5/18).