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Erik Paulsen Accepts Dean Phillips’s Invitation To Participate in Open-to-the-Public Voter Forums
Demand for public appearances by both candidates grows as Phillips appears at well-attended forums
On August 10th and again on on August 16th, Dean Phillips invited Congressman Erik Paulsen to join him at free, open-to-the-public voter forums in Coon Rapids and Eden Prairie. After 11 days of silence, Congressman Paulsen finally accepted the invitation to three forums, but with severe restrictions on participation, and did not offer dates on which he’d make himself available.
“Representation begins with listening,” said Dean Phillips. “Congressman Paulsen’s commitment to join me in answering questions from the public three times before Election Day is encouraging. It is important that these events are open and accessible to all who wish to attend — no tickets, just conversation.”
After holding three restricted-access town halls on one day this summer after a seven-year wait, the pressure was mounting on Congressman Paulsen to provide the public a chance to be heard.
The Phillips for Congress team reiterated its expectations for public voter forums: they should be free and open to the public, held in venues that accommodate all who are interested in attending, and moderated by an agreed-upon neutral person with questions from the audience.
While Congressman Paulsen demands that such events be ticketed with attendees evenly divided between each campaign, that would exclude independent and undecided voters not connected to either campaign who deserve the opportunity to hear from the two candidates side-by-side.
The League of Women Voters, local churches and various Chambers of Commerce have expressed interest in organizing such forums. The Phillips for Congress campaign has already announced a series of forums between now and Election Day.