Here’s why Erik Paulsen wasn’t at Islamic Center solidarity rally

Erik Paulsen, the Third District congressman who represents the area including the Islamic Center, bombed on Saturday, tweeted his solidarity with members of the community.

Paulsen’s photo, obviously, included a shot of the crowd at a rally last night to show support. Several area politicians and congresspeople showed up to lend the weight of their office.

Paulsen wasn’t one of them, however.

Does the tweet suggest otherwise?

During the congressional recess, Paulsen is on vacation with his family but has been in contact with the Islamic Center. He plans to visit the Dar Al-Farooq Center when he returns next week.

The image was actually taken by his district director, John-Paul Yates, who tweeted during the event.

Two hours later, Paulsen’s tweet appeared.

Yates’ tweet sparked a few Twitter replies asking where the congressman was.

So did Paulsen’s tweet.

In July, Paulsen took heat from his opponents for not showing up at the Edina Fourth of July parade, shortly after the House of Representatives vote on repealing the Obama health care law. Parade organizers at the time said he was attending a family reunion.

  • crystals

    I’m okay with him not being there – in fact, I didn’t really expect him to be, given his aforementioned track record. I’m 100% not okay with making it sound like he WAS there, which I think is tweet absolutely does. He either needed to re-word the tweet, or leave it as-is but do one immediately following that said he wasn’t able to be there in person but supports the community from afar. Or something like that.

    I’m an amateur. He has paid communications professionals. They need to be better at their job. And he needs to work on not looking so afraid of his actual real-life constituents.

    • I’m assuming the Paulsen tweet was actually written by Yates. I think Obama’s method of appending [bo] to tweets that he actually wrote under his account made a lot of sense. More people who work as social media experts, tweeting under someone else’s name , should do that.

      • crystals

        Agreed. It’s a totally unforced error that reflects badly on the elected official, even if they aren’t the one responsible.

      • As Al Franken says in his new book, “Staff error.”

      • Michelle

        But Bob unfortunately there was no indication it was coming from someone else so all we have to go on is that it’s coming from him. The tweet was misleading and shows his continual lack of presence or being in touch with issues that matter to his district, CD3.

  • Chris

    Not a surprise he was a no-show. I live in Paulsen’s district and have called repeatedly to ask when he’ll be holding any open to the public events to explain his support for cutting medicaid and his general 100% support of Trump’s agenda. I leave my contact info but have heard nothing back. He is laying low and scared of facing his constituents, most of whom voted for Hillary, thinking he can squeak by. Is he a man or a mouse?

  • >>Parade organizers at the time said he was attending a family reunion.<<

    Those pesky July 4th parades just sneak up on your schedule…

    • amycrea

      And oddly, Paulsen’s own staff later claimed that he doesn’t do parades in non-election years. Even though he did a parade earlier in the summer, and then did one after the Edina parade. This is who represents me. The same guy who thinks the data Facebook sells and the data ISPs sell are the same thing, because Facebook is just like an ISP (yes, he said this directly to me in that rarity, a constituent meeting).

  • MrE85

    Threatening to strip away health care coverage for millions of Americans is hard work. He deserves to spend more time with his family. Please remember this next November.

  • Beth-Ann Bloom

    I am so pleased that my ass appears in this photo. Perhaps it is acting in Rep Paulsen’s stead and not even requiring a nametag to do so

  • Heidi Almquist Strommen

    This is just the latest in a long list of “no shows” on the part of my Congressman. Paulsen doesn’t seem interested in connecting with his constituents. I contacted his office recently to ask if he had any public appearances or events scheduled during the August recess and was told that his schedule is private.

  • anitalynns

    I think what bothers me the most is that most constituents won’t know to look for John-Paul Yates’ tweet, as Rep. Paulsen’s profile doesn’t list that JPYates may share on his behalf. It’s misleading to make it seem like Paulsen was there. If Yates did post to Paulsen’s acct, he could have shared the “on behalf of Paulsen” info. Seeing all pieces here, it seems like the on behalf of was left out intentionally. Paulsen often distorts facts about how frequent or publicly he interacts w constituents, so it doesn’t surprise me. It continues to disappoint me, but hopefully we can finally replace him in 2018.

  • FrankNJack

    Just wondering who the “we” refers to. “We” suggests that Paulsen’s part of the community, which is a bizarre concept given that he’s been afraid of facing his constituents for six years. He dismisses his Facebook critics as trolls, and dismisses those who oppose a wildly unpopular GOP health plan as “fringe elements.” Certainly the policies that he and his party support are not in the least bit uniting, and his focus on special-interest groups that line his campaign coffers rather than the people he’s supposed to be representing is hardly the hallmark of a community leader.

    So his tweet leaves me confused.

  • Michelle

    In isolation Paulsen’s lack of presence at this event is inconsequential. But adding this to everything else recently puts him completely out of touch with those he’s representing. His complete tone deafness for what’s happening in our world, unwillingness to hold a town hall, his 100% yes vote in support of Trump and his reckless vote for healthcare that would significantly hurt his constituents, is too much for this moderate district to take. The post was deceitful and his recent responses since Sunday’s explosion at the Mosque seem completely insincere. It’s time Mr Paulsen to step down and let someone else represent this great district.

  • Jon Eisenberg

    If he cared, he would have been there. And if he were honest, he would not have sent a tweet implying that he was there. He was not, just to be clear. Or he could have sent a letter of support as Senator Klobuchar did. Tim Walz was there even though it isn’t his district. Interestingly, not a single GOP politician showed up.

  • Tyler

    Paulson is the least representative Representative. Good thing Super PACs are trickling into the state for his reelection campaign.