Erik Paulsen should decide congressional race by eating contest, Comedy Central says


Paulsen won't debate Barnes, and he apparently won't challenge him in an eating contest, either.


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U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Eden Prairie, won't debate his Democratic challenger. So if he won't let his positions on the issues decide the race, why not opt for an winner-takes-all eating contest instead?

Or so suggests Paulsen's Democratic challenger, Brian Barnes, and Comedy Central's Indecision blog.

[jump] From a statement published last week on Barnes' website:

Earlier Barnes challenged Paulsen to a series of debates that were set to start this week at the State Fair. The debates were to be on a wide range of topics, and to be moderated by impartial moderators. To date, Paulsen has refused to accept the challenge to debate in any of the locations leading up to the November election...

Given the fact that Congressman Erik Paulsen appears hesitant to debate challenger Brian Barnes on the issues that really matter to the voters of the Third Congressional District, a new challenge will be offered tomorrow.

In a 3 p.m. Press Conference at the DFL Booth at the Minnesota State Fair, Barnes intends to challenge Paulsen to a cow milking, butter carving or corn dog eating contest. The Congressman will even be able to choose the contest.

We're sure you're surprised to learn that Paulsen didn't take up Barnes' challenge, a fact lamented by Comedy Central's Ilya Gerner this morning:
With many incumbents loath to share a stage with their challengers, when they can instead pummel them with direct mail and media buys, congressional debates organized by local media are going the way of the Dodo bird competitive congressional election. So it is in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district, where the incumbent and favorite for re-election Erik Paulsen, has refused to debate his Democratic opponent Brian Barnes...

Issue-oriented voters may be the losers here, but at least this race offers a window on to the future of American politics: future elections will be settled by reality-show themed competitions and eating contests, if creative pols like Barnes have anything to say about it... Unfortunately, with the Fair ending yesterday, it doesn't appear that Paulsen took up the challenge, but with any luck, politicians will soon be stuffing pork into somewhere other than just their districts.

All kidding aside, it really is shameful that Paulsen hasn't agreed to debate the DFL-endorsed candidate even once, isn't it? What does he have to hide?

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