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#MN03: Erik Paulsen protects Boundary Waters…by cutting $16 million from parks?

Jul 11, 2018

Alyssa Roberts, 202-454-4573,

Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) is far from a reliable vote on protecting Minnesota’s clean air, clean water and treasured places like the Boundary Waters. Yet in Paulsen’s first TV ad, released today, he tries to convince voters otherwise.

As Minnesota Public Radio reports:

“I camp and canoe with my family in Minnesota’s Yellowstone, the Boundary Waters,” Paulsen says. “So when President Trump tried to take away important environmental protections for the Boundary Waters, I said, ‘No way.’”

Amid serene images of Paulsen standing in front of a lake and his family paddling in a canoe, newspaper clips flash across the screen reinforcing his theme of breaking with his party on the issue. “I’m for mining, just not there,” he says.

In truth, Paulsen sided with Trump and the GOP-controlled House’s countless environmental attacks nearly every time — earning an embarrassing 14 percent on LCV’s 2017 National Environmental Scorecard. That included votes to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge(1) and block the Clean Water Rule(2), which protects drinking water for 117 million people.

And Paulsen isn’t the Boundary Waters champ he claims to be. The wilderness area recently received $4 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to protect an additional 50,000 acres, expanding access to hiking, fishing and other outdoor recreation. Yet just last month, Paulsen voted FOR Trump’s rescission package that would cut $16 million from LWCF(3).

LWCF expires this September, threatening support for parks and public lands in communities nationwide. While 230 House members have cosponsored the bipartisan bill to save LWCF — including 36 Republicans — Paulsen isn’t one of them. In 2016, he even voted against permanently reauthorizing LWCF(4).

“Erik Paulsen’s campaign consultants realize that Minnesotans care about clean water and protecting places like the Boundary Waters — that’s why he’s trying to mislead them about his record,” said Clay Schroers, LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director. “Canoeing for the cameras won’t cover up Paulsen’s long history of voting with polluting special interests to block protections that keep Minnesota communities healthy and our public lands accessible to all.”

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