Dean Phillips listens to voters at the chili cook-off.

Letter: “I’d trust Dean Phillips in my foxhole any day.”

Dear Editor:

I’d trust Dean Phillips in my foxhole any day.

On March 8 of 1965, as a Marine, I was airlifted into Vietnam. Before long I was digging foxholes. So I know what I’m talking about when I say if I had to have a person next to me in a foxhole, it would be Dean Phillips.

I’ve known Dean since he was three. I’m writing this because I’m angered by the way this outstanding man is being portrayed by Erik Paulsen and his dishononest squad of PAC snipers.

FACT: Dean’s birth father was Artie Pfefer. Artie went to law school on a ROTC scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude. When Dean’s mother Deedee Pfefer was 7 months pregnant, Artie was sent to Vietnam. When Dean was six months old, Captain Artie Pfefer was killed in 1969 from action in Vietnam. Years later DeeDee Pfefer married my best friend Eddie Phillips, and Dean was adopted by Eddie. Eddie Phillips died from multiple myeloma in 2011.

They say Dean was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Oh, yeah? More correctly, he’s a Gold Star son who, by the grace of God, ended up adopted by a fourth-generation, respected and philanthropic Minnesota family — a wish come true for any fallen veteran.

Paulsen says Dean is a “shady businessman” who doesn’t pay taxes or offer health insurance to his workers. That’s just twisting what really happened and outright lying (google: “Attack ads on Dean Phillips” and see how the fact-checkers call these claims misleading). It’s a cheap trick. I have many veteran friends — men and women, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — who are equally disgusted by this kind of disrespectful mudslinging. There’s an old saying, “Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty,” and only Paulsen enjoys it. Minnesota is better than that.

I say to Paulsen, if you want to win the seat, win fair and square. Stop launching misleading facts, disrespectful and despicable ads, while hiding in a bunker lined with PAC/NRCC money donated by who knows whom. Get in a foxhole with an honest Gold Star fighter, a man who has service in his blood, a man who doesn’t take PAC money and who is respected as an honorable person by people who know and work with him.

In respect to the memory of his fathers, Artie and Eddie, Dean is fighting to represent all the people of the Third District in the Congress of the United States.

I trust Dean Phillips with more than my vote. I’d get in a foxhole and trust him with my life.

Don Knutson
Orono

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