Elections will be held in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas today. Find out what's on your ballot!

Difference between revisions of "Erik Paulsen"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Like-minded colleagues)
m (Overview)
Line 119: Line 119:
===Legislative actions===
===Legislative actions===
====113th Congress====
====113th Congress====

Revision as of 14:29, 13 September 2013

Erik Paulsen
Erik Paulsen.jpg
U.S. House, Minnesota, District 3
In office
January 3, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 6
PredecessorJim Ramstad (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$8,584,178
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota House of Representatives
High schoolChaska High School, Chaska, MN
Bachelor'sSt. Olaf College
Date of birthMay 14, 1965
Place of birthBakersfield, California
Net worth$495,516
ReligionLutheran - LCMS
Office website
Campaign website
Erik Paulsen (b. May 14, 1965, in Bakersfield, California) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota's 3rd congressional district. Paulsen was first elected to the House in 2008. He won re-election in 2012.[1]

Previously, Paulsen served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1995 to 2008.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Paulsen is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.


Paulsen was born in 1965 in Bakersfield, California. After graduating from public high school in Chaska, Minnesota, he went on to earn his B.A. at St. Olaf College in 1987. Prior to his political career, Paulsen worked as a businessman.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Paulsen's political career[2]:

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Paulsen serves on the following committees:[3]


Paulsen served on the following House committees:[4]


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Erik Paulsen endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [5]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Paulsen voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[6]

National security

Voted "Yes" Paulsen voted in favor of extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps in 2011.[7]

Foreign policy

Removal of troops from Afghanistan

Voted "No" Paulsen opposed a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.[8]

American involvement in Libya

Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported a ban on using armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval in 2011.[8]


Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported opening the Outer Continental Shelf for oil drilling in 2011.[9]

Voted "No" Paulsen opposed allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases in 2011.[9]

Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[10] For more information pertaining to Paulsen's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[11]

National security




Social issues

Violence Against Women Act

Voted "Yes" Paulsen voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act which provides aid to prosecute cases of violent acts against women and men.[12]



See also: Minnesota's 3rd congressional district elections, 2012

Paulsen won re-election in 2012.[13] He defeated John W. Howard III in the Republican primary.[14] He defeated Democratic challenger Brian Barnes in the November general election.[15]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngErik Paulsen Incumbent 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" (dead link)
Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngErik Paulsen Incumbent 90.2% 18,672
John Howard 9.8% 2,032
Total Votes 20,704

Erik Paulsen, "Math Guy Part II"


Paulsen was endorsed by the organizations and individuals below for the 2012 election.[16]

  • Minnesota Farm Bureau
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association
  • Minneapolis Federation of Police
  • TwinWest Chamber of Commerce
  • United States Chamber of Commerce
  • National Federation of Independent Business SAFE Trust

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Paulsen is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Paulsen raised a total of $8,584,178 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[19]

Erik Paulsen's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 3) Won $3,113,793
2010 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 3) Won $2,688,948
2008 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 3) Won $2,781,437
Grand Total Raised $8,584,178


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Paulsen's reports.[20]

Erik Paulsen (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[21]7/15/2013$693,846.38$357,734.44$(108,422.37)$943,158.45
July Quarterly[22]7/15/2013$943,158.45$496,231.50$(142,405.24)$1,296,984.71
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Paulsen's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Paulsen won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Paulsen's campaign committee raised a total of $3,113,793 and spent $2,567,483.[23]

Cost per vote

Paulsen spent $11.55 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Paulsen's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Paulsen won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Paulsen's campaign committee raised a total of $2,688,948 and spent $2,575,922.[24]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[25]

Paulsen most often votes with:

Paulsen least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Paulsen is a "moderate Republican leader," as of June 11, 2013[26]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Paulsen missed 39 of 3,353 roll call votes from Jan 2009 to Apr 2013, which is 1.2% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[27]

Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Paulsen paid his congressional staff a total of $899,145 in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 26th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[28]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Paulsen's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $182,032 and $809,000. This averages to $495,516, which is a 1.74% increase since 2010. This is lower than the $7,859,232 average net worth for Republican representatives in 2011.[29]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Paulsen's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $170,034 to $804,000. This averages out to a net worth of $487,017, which is lower than the average net worth of Republicans in 2010 of $7,561,133.[30]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Paulsen was ranked the 110th most conservative representative during 2012.[31]


According to the data released in 2012, Erik Paulsen was ranked the 107th most conservative representative during 2011.[32]

Percentage voting with party


Erik Paulsen voted with the Republican Party 97.8% of the time, which ranked 30th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[33]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Erik + Paulsen + Minnesota + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

  • Loading...


Paulsen lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with his wife, Kelly, and their four daughters.[34]

External links


  1. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Erik Paulsen" Accessed December 8, 2011
  3. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  4. U.S. Congress House Clerk "House of Representatives Committee Assignments" Accessed December 8, 2011
  5. The Republic, "Minnesota's Paulsen endorses Romney for president; had previously been Pawlenty supporter," January 26, 2012
  6. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  7. On the Issues, "Paulsen on Homeland Security", accessed September 11, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 On the Issues, "Erik Paulsen on War and Peace", accessed September 11, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 On the Issues, "Paulsen", accessed September 11, 2013
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  12. On the Issues, "Paulsen on Civil Rights", accessed September 11, 2013
  13. Minnesota Public Radio "Barnes to challenge Paulsen," Accessed February 10, 2012
  14. CBS "Primary results" Accessed May 30, 2013
  15. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  16. Erik Paulsen "News Archives" Accessed October 9, 2012
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  19. Open Secrets "Erik Paulsen" Accessed May 16, 2013
  20. Federal Election Commission "Paulsen 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 18, 2013
  21. FEC "April Quarterly," Accessed July 18, 2013
  22. FEC "July Quarterly," Accessed July 18, 2013
  23. Open Secrets " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  24. Open Secrets "Erik Paulsen 2010 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed December 8, 2011
  25. "Erik Paulsen," Accessed August 5, 2013
  26. Gov Track "Erik Paulsen," Accessed June 11, 2012
  27. GovTrack, "Erik Paulsen" Accessed April 2013
  28. LegiStorm, "Erik Paulsen," Accessed October 9, 2012
  29. OpenSecrets.org, "Erik Paulsen (R-Minn), 2011," Accessed February, 16 2013
  30. OpenSecrets.org, "Erik Paulsen (R-Minn), 2010," Accessed October 9, 2012
  31. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  32. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  33. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  34. Official House Site "Biography," Accessed December 8, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Ramstad
U.S. House of Representatives - Minnesota, District 3
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minnesota House of Representatives
Succeeded by