An Open Letter to Congressman Erik Paulsen from Dean Phillips about Public Voter Forums

Richard Carlbom: 651-261-1306

Open Letter to Congressman Erik Paulsen

Dean Phillips offered the following open letter to Congressman Erik Paulsen today:

Congressman Paulsen:

In April of this year, I invited you to make a mutual pact to campaign the Minnesota Way, which — in addition to eliminating PAC money, self-funding and spending from outside groups — would have ensured at least two public voter forums per month.

On August 10th, after receiving no response, I invited you to join me at a series of town hall meetings throughout the district. I again heard no response.

On August 21st, the morning of the TwinWest Chamber debate, you finally accepted an invitation to debate in public and suggested three 90-minute forums. I welcome that opportunity, and I accept under only one condition: that each forum be free and open to all 3rd-District voters, without restriction.

There is no good reason to turn away any voters — particularly undecided ones — who wish to see us side-by-side and compare our records, our values, and priorities for the future. And there are ample venues in our district to accommodate the likely demand for such an occasion.

In addition to those three forums, I intend to participate in the closed media debates hosted by Minnesota Public Radio, KSTP-TV and TPT Almanac. Taken together, these should provide voters with ample opportunity to hear from us both and decide for whom to vote.

I hope you will agree that it’s important for voters to have the opportunity to see us in person, and that you will not limit those opportunities to restricted forums with either limited voter participation or held outside of the district — or both.

My staff will gladly work with yours to secure dates and venues, and agree on moderators for the forums which you’ve proposed. Thank you for your consideration and I’ll be eagerly awaiting your response.


Dean Phillips

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