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To all Kossacks:  Please take note that these Congressional District Information Diaries are not meant to evaluate whether or not the districts are beatable.  They are meant for Kossacks and others to share information on any knowledge they have on the districts.  

There have been recent Congressional District Information diaries where Kos user comments are talking about "how this person will never be beaten," or "even a scandal wouldn't change anyone's minds."  To be frank, we're not looking for this kind of feedback.  We want real, inside information about the Congressional Districts we cover in our diaries.

We'd like to reach out to any of you Kossacks from Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District for information.  Feel free to add your understanding of the communities, issues, etc.  

This isn't going to be much of a diary.  You can add anything you want about Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District.  Keep in mind this diary is just for information purposes.  Let's not get too carried away with whether or not any of these Knowledge Democrats information gathering diaries mean the Congressional districts in questions are winnable by Democrats or not.  Were here to assess districts across the country, no matter how "deep reed" or "red" or Republican-occupied they are.

What issues directly affect people in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District?  My colleague Augustin and I are working on the Knowledge Democrats project and I've started working on a wiki page for the 3rd Congressional congressional district in order to assist in our long term efforts to promote progressive candidates in that district, whether at the local, state or federal level.  We understand this district may in fact have a bit conservative constituency but we're looking to reach out to any Kossacks, Democrats or progressives in the state anyway.  It helps for long-term planning.

We also know that the current representative of the district is Erik Paulsen.

And of course, Erik Paulsen can't escape from hate from his own constituents:

U.S. House, Minnesota, District 3, General Election, 2012
Party    Candidate                           Vote %    Votes
        Republican    Erik Paulsen        58.1%    222,335
        Democratic     Brian Barnes    41.8%    159,937
        NA     Write-in                    0.1%            433

Total Votes: 382,705

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Also, taking politics out of the equation, let others know if you've been to Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District and can point out some good restaurants, venues and places to spend time in there.

So far, we only have the basic information.  What issues should be documented? What important links / articles / information should be added to the wiki page?

Originally posted to Knowledge Democrats on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:33 PM PDT.


Ready to defeat Erik Paulsen for re-election?

23%3 votes
0%0 votes
15%2 votes
61%8 votes

| 13 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  An important issue for Congressman Paulson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, greenbell

    has been the repeal of taxes on medical device companies as part of Obamacare. There are some large medical device companies in his district including Boston Scientific, St Judes,  and Lake Region Medical.

    This are encompasses the Western area of the Twin Cities. Although there are rural areas, is also hosts some of most wealthy suburban areas of Minnesota.

    Lake Minnetonka is situated within this area. You will find some of the Metro's nicest bike trail systems. Most of the trails are either municipal or administered by the Three River's Park District.  

    Having previously lived in this area, the Three Rivers Park District is one of the best park systems in the country.

    A major proposed project is a light rail project that would extend from Eden Prairie to Minneapolis and is in line to be the third light rail line in the Twin Cities.

    The Federal Government is expected to cover about 80% of the project. The state will have to pick up the remainder. The local unit of the Chamber of Commerce is is supporting the project.

    Local representation includes Democrats Terri Bohoff, Melissa Franzen, and Rep Nate Winkler. It also covers Republican areas with reps like Jennifer Loon, and
    Glenn Gruenhagen  Representing a rural area west of the Twin Cities.

    You tend to get generally a fiscally conservative area, but with a more liberal social district.

    One of the more interesting legislative stories is
    Ron Erhart of Edina. As Republican State Rep of one the wealthiest cities, he bucked his party to help Democrats override a transportation tax on gas by Gov Tim Pawlenty. He was then primaried and lost his seat.

    Ron Erhart switched parties to Democrat and was elected in 2012 as a Democratic Rep in the newly redistricted seat.

    •  I agree with your comments (0+ / 0-)

      but note that Franken and Klobuchar have also worked to get the medical device tax repealed.

      Democrats missed a chance to get this district in 2010.  
      I think it is winnable in the right year with the right candidate but Paulsen has gotten savvy advice on the campaign ads and has effectively sold himself as a sensible conservative.

      I do not see anything the Democrats are doing that will help them here.  This is not a district that will vote on immigration.  It generally supports marriage equality but that won't swing it.  I cannot see how cuts in Social Security are helpful in what are some of the older suburbs.  

      The only way Democrats win is if there is a generally strong vote against Republicans which I don't see happening.  If anything the district would likely swing a bit back to the right in 2014.

  •  The Minnesota River runs through this area (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And frequently floods in the Spring.
    This affects river crossings in towns like Chaska, Jordan,
    and Shakopee, closing river crossings for thousands of commuters of a couple of weeks. Depending upon the flood, some commuters have to add up to 45 minutes of travel time each way.

    There has been talk for many years about an additional river crossing that would be taller than the current bridges.

    Also, the Crow River is a normally flood prone area.

  •  Paulsen's image will be tough to beat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, paradise50

    Representative Paulsen has a great image -- Math guy with four cute daughters who is battling to keep jobs in Minnesota.

    Yep, it’s a great image … in reality he has opposed “fiscal cliff” deal … he has opposed Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he opposed VAWA protecting American Indians and LGBT victims, and he frames his jobs message by claiming that the Medical Device Excise Tax (2.3% as part of the Affordable Care Act) will produce in massive layoffs.  If you read my commentary on, the MDET claims are overblown as the industry has adjusted by largely passing the excise tax on to consumers (just as they do with the 11% excise tax that is paid on firearms).

    But he is a smart politician … this guy regularly visits schools (28 in 2012) … holds “Congress on the Corner” events at CUB Foods … frequent speaker at Chamber luncheons … weekly video newsletters offering his spin … and has found Democrats that agree with him on various issues to co-sponsor legislation.  
    He will vote as his Party Managers tell him to, but if you look at the legislation that he co-sponsors, there is enough there to make you think that he is willing to work across the aisle.
    That’s what makes him “smart” … image.

    He will be tough to beat with that image … unless, the DFL can recruit a candidate with an equal image that also has experience and is electable (anyone asked what RT Rybek will be doing in the fall of 2014?)

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