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Dean Phillips employs Bigfoot to hunt down the elusive Erik Paulsen

The DFL challenger has hired the celebrated woodland beast to track down a congressman known for avoiding his constituents at all costs.

The DFL challenger has hired the celebrated woodland beast to track down a congressman known for avoiding his constituents at all costs. Dean Phillips campaign

In a campaign season that often seems as if it’s being performed by the cast of Mean Girls, Dean Phillips is offering a bit of levity.

Phillips is the DFLer challenging Erik Paulsen, a Republican congressman known to be deathly afraid of his constituents.

Save for highly scripted and controlled settings, Paulsen is rarely seen in his suburban Minneapolis district. He’s submitted to just one town hall in the last six years. He has yet to agree to a debate that doesn’t include a cover charge. And constituents have long complained that he refuses to meet or take their calls.

He will, however, gladly be willing to talk if you happen to be in possession of a very large check. When it comes to hoarding special interest money, Paulsen is the 6th highest ranking member of Congress.

But instead of launching a standard-issue attack, Phillips brought a dose of jocularity to the proceedings.

His latest ad stars Bigfoot, the equally elusive creature who wonders if Paulsen actually exists. So he stakes out the congressman’s natural habitat – the headquarters of a pharmaceutical company – in hopes of capturing evidence on film.

It’s not exactly high comedy – more along the caliber of a network sitcom. Yet it’s not bad for an industry so shorn of introspection that it often seems like unintentional performance art.

The ad hasn’t gotten a ton of attention locally, but rail jockeys in the national media are giving it a big thumbs up. Forbes says it’s “fantastic.” The New York Observer is calling it a “must-see.” And Adweek is hoping Paulsen will “fire back with a response ad starring the Loch Ness Monster and/or a chupacabra.” (This is unlikely, since the congressman will surely demand an appearance fee in the tens of thousands of dollars.)

Either way, enjoy: