Thursday, November 20, 2008

A New Day, a New Cycle, a New Blog!

First off, to all of the people out there who visited this blog more than 35,000 times in the last year, we simply can't say how honored we are you took time out of your day to read us.

Isn't that amazing? 35,000 hits since Oct. 15 of 2007. On top of that, we've got more than 500 friends on Facebook, we've been featured on the front pages of the biggest blogs in the nation- not bad for team of kids from Kansas.

This race certainly, certainly didn't end the way we wanted it to- Congresswoman Nancy Boyda wasn't beaten because she was a poor Member of Congress, she was beaten by the same forces this blog was started in order to combat: Unfounded, unsubstantiated attacks from the Republican Party. Nancy's right- It's ironic she ran a campaign to prove to the country you can win without being negative, only to be defeated by a pointedly negative campaign.

But one must move on.

So, today we're here to say goodbye to Boyda Bloc, but to invite all of you to read a new blog, just launched yesterday by a few of our team members: will operate in the sound tradition of right-wing blogs like The Kansas Republican and Stay Red Kansas- covering Kansas politics as a whole, legislative on up to federal, with has much witty and pith as humanly possible. 'Course, our former colleagues will be significantly better at it than the Republican currently are (or, at least, you can expect them to post more than once ever full moon).

So, please, bookmark, subscribe, or otherwise follow the new Kansas lefty blog KansasJackass- we're sure you won't be disappointed.

Democratically yours,

The Boyda Bloc Team

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank You, From Nancy

In an email to supporters Nancy thanked everyone for their hard work, loyalty, and dedication.

"Dear Friend,

It has been a true honor to serve you in Congress for the last two years, and I appreciate all of the help and support you provided to my campaign for re-election.

On Tuesday night, I spoke to a group of supporters in Topeka to concede the race for the Kansas Second Congressional District seat. You'll find the text of my remarks below.

Again, thank you for your tireless support. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as your voice in Washington.

Nancy Boyda"

Remarks from Election Night:

Thank you. It has been an extraordinary privilege to represent you for these last two years and to run for re-election these last few months.

We should go no further without recognizing the many, many people who worked so hard on our campaign.

Thank you to my family. My husband, Steve; my children, Ben and Leah; and my stepson, Andre, are all here tonight. Thank you to my staff, who burned so much midnight oil to keep this campaign alive, to our volunteers and supporters, who have given so generously of their time and money, and to the voters, for keeping our democracy alive. Thank you for sharing your ideas, and thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

And of course, our congratulations are due to Lynn Jenkins for a hard-fought campaign. Let's wish her the very best as the next Congresswoman from the Second District of Kansas.

Two years ago, I stood up here under very different circumstances. I said that I'd won elections and lost elections, and winning was better. Winning is better. And I know this isn't the way you were hoping tonight would turn out, but I didn't run for office just to win.

Those of you who spent so many hours knocking on doors, phonebanking, talking to friends and neighbors about this election - you weren't doing that just to win.

You did it because democracy needs you. America's dialogue needs your voice.

Win or lose, you accomplished something extraordinary, and you should be proud.

And let's remember one more thing. I had hoped to serve in Congress for far more than two years - but the pundits told us even one term was impossible. They said no Democrat could win an election in deep red Kansas, that it wasn't even worth the fight.

They were wrong.

Because of everything you've done, because of your sacrifices and hard work, we've had two years to achieve results for Kansas veterans, for Kansas students, for Kansas workers - for all Kansans.

The last two years were a gift and a joy, and nothing that happens tonight can erase one moment of it. We've achieved the impossible, and that's something we should celebrate tonight.

And then, in just a few hours, tonight will be over. The sun will come up, and we'll have a job to do.

We're going to have a new Congress, a new president, and new challenges to meet. I for one am hoping for a new kind of government: one that sees our biggest challenges as our greatest opportunities.

We cannot afford to be a nation divided any longer.

To the 50 million American who have no health insurance, it doesn't matter whether a Democrat or a Republican represents the Second District of Kansas. What matters is whether they can see a doctor, whether they can fill a prescription, whether they have a fair shot at a healthy life.

To the parents struggling to send their kids to college, to the students struggling to make ends meet, it couldn't matter less which states are red and which states are blue. What matters is whether they can pay their tuition bill, whether they can get a student loan, whether they have a fair chance to graduate and succeed.

To the families falling farther and farther behind as our economy slides farther and farther off course, it doesn't matter whether Washington is liberal or conservative. What matters is whether they can pay the mortgage next month - whether they have the opportunity to work hard and get ahead.

We cannot afford to be a nation divided any longer.

The challenge of bringing America together belongs not only to the senators and the representatives in Washington. It is your challenge, as well.

Congress cannot work for you unless you share your thoughts, express your ideas, stand up for your beliefs.

So to all of you who voted today, I ask you this: Take one step further tomorrow. Write to your Congresswoman-elect. Write to your senators. Write to your new president. Tell them what matters to you and why. Tell them how they can best serve you and your family. Every time you get involved, our democracy grows a little stronger, and America takes a small step toward becoming the nation we want it to be.

Thank you again. Serving you has been the greatest honor of my life, and I look forward to working with all of you for years to come.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Everything that needs said has been said- now there's only one thing left to do:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kraske Says Boyda Will Win, Random Blog Disagrees

Steve Kraske with the KC Star says Congresswoman Nancy Boyda will get to serve in Congress as something other than a freshmen:

In the Kansas 2nd District, Democrat Nancy Boyda wins re-election in the most competitive race on the Mo-Kan board, save for the Missouri 9th District race.

Boyda knows how to run in Kansas with her all-out hustle on the hustings and her newspaper inserts.

And, like we promised, someone has now finally predicted a Jenkins victory:

KS-02 (Topeka, Manhattan): Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda won this seat in a major upset in 2006 when she beat Republican incumbent Jim Ryun. But the GOP may have dodged a bullet this year when Ryun lost narrowly in the Republican Primary to the more moderate Treasurer Lynn Jenkins. McCain is going to have cottials in this district, and Jenkins has shown she can win a close race. Prediction: Jenkins wins.

Truth be told, this particular blogger has though Boyda was going to go down for months and months, so this isn't surprising. Regardless, Jenkins isn't going to win, that's pretty clear at this point, but, regardless, we have to make sure we don't tempt the wrath from the whatever high atop the thing.

Topcity: Jenkins Claims "Life's Not Fair"; Topeka Voters Agree

Copied and pasted straight from Their site is fabulous and so is this wonderful, wonderful rant:

Ms. Jenkins, the Kansas Treasurer and challenger to Rep. Boyda’s house seat, declared at a meeting in Topeka, October 27th, that “life’s not fair.”

Ms. Jenkins was responding to Commissioner Miller of Topeka’s question as to why some Kansas counties would be “unduly enriched” by over payments in fuel tax revenue. Shawnee County, which Commissioner Miller represents, would barely be breaking even on the colossal fiscal blunder.

This massive mistake was caused by a miscalculation in computer software, and had been ongoing for nearly nine years. Jenkins, who “discovered” the software screw up in April, waited two more months to notify the counties of the problem, apparently being too busy running for a national election to worry about her duties to Kansas as the state Treasurer.

Apparently, the current talking points out of the Jenkin’s camp is that “life’s not fair” when an elected official wastes millions in state funds. Similarly, this ambiguous psuedo-aphorism also applies to the failure of Ms. Jenkins to make a timely notification of the pernicious problem (both for the state and her political future) when it was discovered.

Because life’s not fair, and Ms. Jenkins couldn’t hide in a political fallout shelter while slogging down the campaign trail in April and May.

And life is also unfair for Ms. Jenkin’s partisan supporters, a faithful group of loyal Republicans, who have watched in horror as Ms. Jenkins pried up the floorboards of fiscal conservatism from the party platform, smashed the time-honored planks into kindling and then torched her and the Kansas Republican Party’s credibility on the issue in a media bonfire.

But fear not. Topcity Magazine feels that life is fair sometimes. One of those times will be November 4th, where hopefully Ms. Jenkins will receive the vote from Topekans and other Kansans she deserves. If life truly is fair, people will recognize the missed KPERS meetings, the fuel tax overpayment and the gross incompetence of its handling.

And maybe they’ll remember the utterly insensitive, self-serving retort of “Life’s not fair” from a defensive elected official too busy worrying about the job she’s trying to get instead of the job she was elected to do.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

"The American Conservative" Predicts Boyda Victory

Why Mr. Larison loves Nancy Boyda so we do not know, but he's told it like it is for two years and does it again today:

In the House, Democrats will lose TX-22 and FL-16, as these are normally heavily Republican districts that were lost due to past scandals, as well as PA-11 (Kanjorski’s seat) and LA-06 (Cazayoux will not prevail in the general), but Nancy Boyda in Kansas and Shea-Porter in New Hampshire will be re-elected.
You know, if Lynn Jenkins had only decided to run on something...anything...rather than just let her campaign be consumed by attack ads and misinformation drives, this all might be coming down to a different swan song.

Oh well, too bad for her!

MSNBC's Chuck Todd Sees Boyda Victory

A little something on this beautiful Sunday:

Kansas: Obama’s ties to this state through his mother’s roots haven’t translated to a pop in his numbers. The reliable Republican nature of the state is remaining just that, reliable. But it's not like the GOP is doing big things in Kansas, either. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat from the 2nd District, who some thought would be an accidental victor in '06, looks poised to win re-election, which is the most surprising development in state politics.
Only hours left, friends, and we'll see how this all shakes out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Of Bedknobs and Balloting: Republicans See Numbers Fall in Key Counties

Depending on which Kansas Republican you want to listen to, Kansas is either seeing record voting turnout numbers- upwards of 78% by election day with almost 30% of registered voters casting advance ballots- because of the "Obama Effect" or because 78-year-old Republican Senator Pat Roberts has captivated the minds of Kansans young and old alike, driving them en masse to register to vote and stand in long lines at the polls.

You know, it's awfully hard to snicker in writing.

So, here are your perspectives:

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh on Friday predicted a record voter turnout in Kansas -- caused in part by what he called the “Obama Effect.”

The candidacy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has produced a surge in voter registration, especially among 18- to 30-year-olds, said Thornburgh, who is a Republican.

“We’re seeing that not only in the state of Kansas but we’re seeing that around the country as well,” he said.

Or, if you'd rather, Christian Morgan's partisan delusion:

“Despite what you might have heard from Ron Thornburgh’s press conference today crediting the ‘Obama Effect’ for increased voter interest in Kansas, below is the real story from Senator (Pat) Roberts’ campaign about the great progress we have made in Republican voter registration and turnout efforts this year,” the release from Kansas Republican Party executive director Christian Morgan said.

We're just going to ignore the crazy "Pat Roberts is the reason people are flooding to the polls" blather and instead focus on the second half of the quote- the part about "the great progress we have made in Republican voter registration" this year.

Christian, dearheart, sometimes your lies are just silly unverifiable prattle, but today you've it upon something that can be proven untrue...with numbers and charts and graphs, even!

According to data compiled by Washburn Univeristy political science professor Bob Beatty, the Kansas Republicans Party doesn't come into the 2008 election with particularly good news on the new voter registration front:

Since 2006, Shawnee County [which accounts for 30% of the district's voters- BB] has added 6,641 voters, a 6.5 percent increase. Of those new registrants, 3,369 are Democrats compared to 2,999 unaffiliated and 223 Republican.

Douglas County, home to 20 percent of district voters, has gained 6,157 registered voters since '06. An astounding 4,944 of the registrants are Democrats, while 1,611 are unaffiliated. Republican numbers actually decreased by 400 registrants.

In Crawford County, Republican registrants went down by 830 registrants, or 10 percent. Democrats added 367, a 4 percent increase, and unaffiliated increased by 550, or 8 percent. [Additionally, Republicans have also lost about 500 voters in Riley County, compared to the Democrats picking up another 1,000 or so. Oh, also, emphasis ours.]

While Republicans certainly still outnumber Democrats in most of the state of Kansas, we wish Christian would share whatever it is he's been smoking if he really does believe Kansas Republicans have done a good job registering new voter.

When the arrow is pointing down, Christian, it's always always a bad sign.

Jenkins should be pleased, of course, to see increase in Republican registrations in a couple of counties that Jim Ryun did very, very well in 2 years ago:

Of 624 new registrants in Pottawatomie County, 464 registered as Republicans but only 91 as Democrats and 87 unaffiliated. In Miami County, there are 676 newly registered Republicans compared to 499 Democrats. Another 739 are unaffiliated.

Good news, yes, but Boyda's advantage in counties that make up 41% of the electorate probably negates Lynn's happy feelings.

What's the final word, Dr. Beatty?

Analyses of several key counties — minus Geary, which only has a handful of voters in the 2nd — shows momentum in the 2nd district with new registered voters is not with the Republicans.

So, Christian, you said something about Republicans doing a good job registering new voters?

Friday, October 31, 2008

WashPost: Boyda Independent of Party Labels

A lovely little piece in the Washington Post today about our Member of Congress- particularly so because it details how Nancy Boyda has eschewed her party in favor of Kansas.

She stayed home from the Democratic National Convention, saying she preferred time with family and constituents to schmoozing with party leaders. She declined the health insurance available to members of Congress, saying she would rather endure the "nightmare" of private insurance to better understand the struggles her constituents face.

And she is the only freshman Democrat in a tight House race to refuse help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which was prepared to spend more than $1 million on her race, an amount that would have nearly doubled her campaign coffers. Boyda declined to join the Frontline Democrats program, which provides fundraising and strategic help to vulnerable incumbents.

"What I wanted was to be able to make independent decisions about how I ran this campaign," said Boyda, 53, a chemist before entering politics. "What I'm fighting against is Washington's control over me, my message, the way I run."

The Washington way failed her bad in 2004; Boyda style worked in 2006, and it's working again in 2008.

Jenkins has the difficult task of trying to persuade voters to "fire their member of Congress twice in a row," and she doesn't appear to be making headway, [David] Wasserman, [House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report] said. He recently changed his rating of the race from "tossup" to "leans Democratic."

We're down to the wire- only 4 more days!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Lying Attack Ads; Boyda Sets the Reocrd Straight

Really, Republicans, enough already! A new ad on the airwaves now telling the world Congresswoman Nancy Boyda voted for "the largest tax increase in history" even though she never did any such thing.

Here's the ad from "Republicans Who Care" (gag, retch)

The awful, awful thing about this horrible, horrible claim is that IT ISN'T EVEN KIND OF TRUE. No truth. It's not that it's just partially true and we're quibbling about details, no, this claim is TOTALLY FALSE! Boyda hasn't voted to increase taxes on everyday, average Kansans even once. Gah! (We're nearing the Bounce Boyda freakout stage on this one, kids- watch out...)

If the claim even sounded remotely reasonable, the people of the district might respond to it, but the very idea Boyda voted for "the largest tax increase in history" sounds ludicrous, it sounds outlandish, and because of that, no one believes it. Doesn't stop the Republicans for repeating their favorite lie- Jenkins has now used the false claim in two of her four TV ads, it's the center piece of the NRCC's ad, and it's the basis of this new ad. So much money spent pushing a lie.

Anyway, Boyda responded today with a new radio ad:

"Hi, I'm Nancy Boyda. You know, I've heard it said there are only three sure things in this world: death, taxes, and attack ads.

"This campaign season, you're getting all three in one package: attack ads about taxes meant to scare you to death.

"These ads are paid for by D.C. attack groups, spending almost a half-million dollars to tell Kansans how to vote. And in case you were wondering, they're lying.

"Let's set the record straight. Congress has never voted for the so-called 'largest tax increase in history.' Check for yourself! The Journal-World reported these 'tax increase claims... are not true.'

"Here's the truth. I support renewing every single one of the middle-class Bush tax cuts – tax cuts for workers, for families, and yes, for extending the exemption on the death tax.

"These are tough economic times, and you'd better believe I'll keep fighting for middle-class tax relief.

"I'm Nancy Boyda, I'm running for Congress, and I approved this message because democracy requires a thoughtful and informed debate."

It's horrible the Republicans are willing to lie to steal a seat- but that's Karl Rove politics. It's too bad Lynn Jenkins thinks it's ok here.

Rundown of the Ratings: KS-02

Because someone was silly today and tried to comment something saying this race was something other than a toss up or leaning toward Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, we wanted to give you all nice clickable links to every single major race ranking list so you can see for yourselves what the political professionals think is going on in the 2nd District of Kansas:

  • Charlie Cook- The Cook Political Report: Lean Democratic (Oct. 30)
  • Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball '08: Democratic Hold (Oct. 30)
  • National Journal: Not in the top 55 most competitive seats (the KS-02 was 44rd last week) (Oct. 30)
  • Stu Rothenberg- The Rothenberg Political Report: Toss Up/ Tilt Democratic (Oct. 29)
  • Swing State Project: Lean D (Oct. 29)
  • Washington Post: 43rd Most Likely Seat to Switch Party (Oct. 24)
  • RealClearPolitics: Toss Up or Leans GOP (depending on where you look on the site); 19th Most Likely Seat to Switch Party (Last update unknown)
  • CQ Politics: No Clear Favorite (Last update unknown)
So, there you go- how all of the big national folk think this race is shaking out. It's obviously tight- a race for a Democrat in an R+7 will always be- but it's clear most agree with our assesment: Lynn Jenkins simply hasn't convinced the voters of the Kansas 2nd Nancy Boyda's been a bad representative, and Jenkins and the conservative third party groups would have been wise to keep their outlandish claims about "the largest tax increase in history" in their hats.

DCCC Buys Another $165K in TV

Another $165,3335.56 purchased by the DCCC benefiting Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

Jenkins Out of Her Depth on Military Issues

In a really stunning comment in an AP story today, Lynn Jenkins actually made the claim the United States isn't vulnerable because our military resources have been stretched thin.

We don't know what planet she's living on, but she sure as heck hasn't got a clue when it comes to the very real readiness strain our armed services are facing.

Probably shouldn't be all that surprising, though because Lynn Jenkins herself has already told us she doesn't know the first thing about the military:

That's not a kind of naivete that we can have representing us in Congress.

NRCC Tries to Save Jenkins: $335K of TV purchased

To anyone watching the race for Congress in the 2nd district of Kansas it's pretty obvious Lynn Jenkins is struggling to just hold on, with the whole "didn't do her job for months so she could campaign" thing, and then the "misallocating tens of millions of dollars all over the state that has caused tax increases in poor counties that might have been avoided had she been doing her job" thing. Oh, also, she's running against Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, who happens to be a pretty dang good fit for her district.

In the face of such hurdles, both of her own making and not, Jenkins has had to do the only thing trailing politicians can do: She has gone hard negative, out-and-out lying to voters about Boyda's record and trying desperately to distract them from the real positive work Boyda has done on their behalf.

The strategy is clear- if voters already think Jenkins negatively, just make them think of Boyda more negatively and, heck, you've got yourself an upset.

In that vain, the National Republican Campaign Committee, the NRCC, made a huge advertising buy in the district- almost $335,000.

Just like the Jenkins campaign, the NRCC buy is upsetting for one reason: It misrepresents Boyda's record by- again- claiming Boyda voted for the largest tax increase in American history. We all know that claim is bogus, and that the vote they're trying it to was for something non-binding that didn't increase taxes on anybody. Still, the Republicans push it, ignoring anything real that might help the people of Kansas, and what we should be talking about gets shoved off to the side.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already spent a couple hundred thousand dollars trumpeting Boyda's successes in her term (hmmm...someone else does that, too), and we expect they'll expand that buy- if there is any TV time left for them to purchase. Key difference between the DCCC ad and the NRCC ad- the DCCC is positive and record-oriented while the NRCC ad...isn't.

That brings us to a key indicator for what's really happening in this race: You dont' waste time on positive pieces if you think you're losing, folk, and you don't go hard negative if you think you're in the lead.

Five more days, folk, and we'll see what the district does. With both campaigns and the DCCC and the NRCC bashing each other about the head and neck, damage most certainly will be inflicted. We'll just have to see who's been hurt the worst.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boyda Endorsed by League of Conservation Voters, Receives an Award from Kansas Pharmacists

Two quick notes about awards & endorsements:

Today, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda will receive the prestigious Champion of Pharmacy award from the Kansas Pharmacists Association for her dedication to supporting Kansas community pharmacy.

"Nancy has been a reliable ally in Washington," said Mike Larkin, Executive Director of the Kansas Pharmacists Association. "Her work on the Medicare bill protected pharmacists from deep Medicare reimbursement cuts and from a new reimbursement formula that would force many independent drug stores to close up shop."

When notified of the award, Congresswoman Boyda said, "I am truly honored by this distinction. It is my privilege to represent pharmacists across the Second District. Pharmacies are a vital part of the make-up of any community, filling more than just the necessary prescriptions. Rural drugstores, especially, are often the only source of medical advice for many miles. And every time I've personally had a prescription filled, I've always gotten a smile and a friendly word with my change. It is important we support our local pharmacists so they can continue to be available to our Kansas communities."

And, the League of Conservation Voters would love to see Boyda returned to Congress:
Washington - Today, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, announced the endorsement of Representative Nancy Boyda for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas.

"Nancy Boyda is a proven leader who is able to look past the political rhetoric that so often dominates the debates on energy and the environment," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "She will continue to be an unfailing advocate of renewable energy and conservation and will stand up to the harmful influence of Big Oil."

"America's addiction to foreign oil is impairing our national security and weakening our economy," Boyda said. "Nothing will change as long as Washington keeps caving to the oil industry instead of doing what's right. It's an honor to work in Congress alongside the League of Conservation Voters and other organizations to strengthen America's energy future."

DCCC Spends Another $200K

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent another $180,046.52 on ads supporting Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's re-election yesterday.

Just an FYI.

Jenkins Lied, didn't contact KPERS board

After it was revealed state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins didn't bother to attended any of the meetings of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board during the last quarter- a quarter that saw the fund loose $1 billion- she reassured the taxpayers that she might not have been physically present, but she was in constant contact with the board members & staff. Her actual quotes were:

"We exchanged e-mails on a weekly basis," she said. "We're engaged. We're on the job."
"I'm very comfortable with the feedback I'm giving them," she said.
But even in that article, Jenkins has her bubble popped by none other than the Executive Director of KPERS Glenn Deck:

He said he hadn't received any e-mails or phone calls from Jenkins recently and said he wasn't aware of others receiving contact either.

"I don't think so because I think I would be copied," Deck said.

He also said he wasn't aware of feedback Jenkins has provided to the board while she was away.

Regardless of being caught in that lie, Jenkins has continued to tell everyone who is still listening that she's been in constant contact and that everything is fine, really, just fine. Hey! Look over here! Boyda voted to increase taxes!

Ah, but today, we get a little more information about what Jenkins "exchanges" with the board really were.

The question of whether state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins corresponded with officials at the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System while absent from three meetings this fiscal year was partly answered Tuesday by the disclosure of 12 e-mails sent from the KPERS staff to Jenkins.

An open records request by the Kansas Democratic Party shows eight of the e-mails are from the group's executive director, Glen Deck, updating all KPERS board members, including Jenkins, on business before the panel or providing a news article relating to the KPERS fund.

Four other pieces of correspondence were sent from board members to Jenkins congratulating her for winning the August primary.

Jenkins responded to two of the congratulatory e-mails.

So, the constant contact between Jenkins & the KPERS Board was really 14 emails- 8 sent to every single member of the board by Deck, 4 sent to congratulate Jenkins for kicking Jim Ryun's butt in the primary, and two back from Jenkins thanking folk for those kind, kind words.

Oh, but here's the killer:

Records show she didn't write to fellow board members or Deck at any other time.

So absolutely no evidence of any "feedback" from Jenkins.

Is a one way exchange really an exchange?

This is just a sad place to be caught 6 days before an election and awfully hard to explain away- but, dang it, Lynn's staff is trying!

[Jenkins Campaign Manager Patrick Leopold] said the 12 e-mails over three months equates to about one note per week.

"It's completely consistent with what she said," Leopold said in an interview Tuesday.

Getting a digest email once a week from the Director- we're probably talking agenda or minutes here, folks, isn't evidence of being "engaged" or being "on the job." It's evidence she's failing at work, willing to lie to the public, and not the kind of public official we can trust to do her job.

Public office is a public trust. Lynn Jenkins refuses to honor that.

Not a Broken Record: Jenkins & Boyda Clash Over Taxes & Spending

We're at that place in the cycle that has lots of newspapers doing summary stories about races, which means we've got lots of papers just repeating the same thing over and over again. We'll try to ignore any of them that don't break new ground or contain some fun new quote, but we will provide links to any we run across so you can read them if you so wish.

Today we've got a piece from The Kansas City Star- it has some nice fluffy stuff in it like:

Both candidates are waging a spirited campaign, with aggressive debates, lots of ads and tough criticism of each other.
Ain't that the truth?

Jenkins reminds us all that she's a CPA and that that, of course, makes her qualified to be anything in the whole wide world. 'Course, we're finding out more and more that she's a pretty piss-poor CPA, so that argument doesn't hold the weight it once did. Nice bit about the congresswoman, though:

Boyda notes that she’s got one of Congress’ most bipartisan records. She says she’s worked to pass bills aiding veterans, farmers and consumers, while closing loopholes in child pornography laws and speaking out about the federal deficit and corporate subsidies.

“These are challenging times,” Boyda said. “They require thoughtful, independent leadership and common sense. I think I’ve shown that I represent the people.”

It's another article that talks about Lynn's claim regarding "the largest tax increase in history" and another article that reminds us all that Lynn's lying through her teeth about it. And, of course, the point is made that Boyda hasn't increased taxes and that, wow, Lynn Jenkins has.

Boyda's got a good response to the whole thing in a companion piece The Star ran:

Boyda’s response? She says no one’s taxes went up, the resolution is merely a framework, and she’ll vote to make middle-class tax cuts permanent. The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sides with Boyda’s description.

“It’s like being criticized for not cooking dinner for my family a week from Thursday,” Boyda said. “When the tax cuts start to expire … I’ll do everything I can to keep those as low as possible.”

Why the Republicans keep harping on this we don't know- don't you think if the message would have been working someone it would have, you know, already worked? But none of the public polling available from the district shows anything of the sort.

So this didn't end up being so brief- we'll do better, we promise!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NRCC Does TV Ripping Boyda, Jenkins Up with New ad

Lots of waves on the airwaves today with two new ads ripping Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

The first, from the NRCC isn't anything new or interesting, just more of the same "largest tax increase in history" nonsense that Boyda has long since dealt with. We don't have a buy size yet, but it's in all the media markets that cover the district, and buying Kansas City TV is awfully expensive.

The other ad, Lynn's new one, is called "Team" and talks about what we'll get from the "team" that is Barack Obama and Nancy Boyda if they're both in Washington.

This tactic isn't new- tying independent local Democrats to national Democrats- though when the Republicans tried it in special elections in the spring and summer in Louisiana and Mississippi it didn't work at all. Jenkins does take a slightly new path, though, by misrepresenting both of their records & proposals. Boyda hasn't voted in the largest tax increase in history (lie, lie, lie Lynn) and Obama's tax proposals will result in substantially lower taxes for almost everyone that lives in the Kansas 2nd.

Whatever, though- Jenkins is desperate at this point and has to distract and misdirect if she has any hope of pulling off an upset. Just look at the front page of today's Topeka Capital-Journal and you'll understand why pretty dang fast.

Jenkins on Tax Mismanagement: Counties "should never have been notified"

The tangled web of state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' mismanagement of state motor fuel tax dollars got even more tangled yesterday when Topeka-area government officials had what the Topeka Capital-Journal called a "terse" meeting with the embattled Jenkins, during which she made it clear she had no interest in accountability and even going so far as to say the counties have no right to know so much they're been shorted or overcompensated.

Oh, and she also left the door open for massive tax increases to fix her mistake.

That from a women who seeks a higher office that requires an even greater commitment to oversight and openness than the one she currently holds.

While that attitude from Jenkins is deeply troubling, her proposal as to how the legislature should fix her failing is much worse- at least in a pocketbook sense.

Kansas Treasurer Lynn Jenkins vowed Monday to urge the 2009 Legislature to compensate counties shorted millions of dollars in state fuel tax revenue and avoid the political agony of seeking reimbursement from overpaid counties.

Shawnee County Commissioner Vic Miller and Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten, who attended a periodically terse meeting in Topeka with Jenkins, said the state treasurer's proposal would allow some counties to cling to huge financial windfalls.

"Why should they be unjustly enriched?" Miller said. "We might get what we should have been paid, but they will have received more than they should have."

"Life's not fair," Jenkins replied. "What I'm worried about is moving forward, and that will be my recommendation."

Just so we're clear on what our petulant child of a state treasurer wants to do: The Jenkins Plain will compensate the counties who have been shorted, but will not require repayment from counties who got more than they were due.

Where will all of those millions come from? It will almost definitely require increased taxes or significant cuts in state spending.

How would Lynn like to pay for it? Mums the word. That Jenkins will push off the hard choices to the State Legislature, while it was her office's blunder, is telling as to her lack of leadership ability and a quite sad coming from home who harps about accountability and diligence on the campaign trail.

There's lots more in the article regarding Jenkins' basic lack of interest in open government and public accountability for the actions of her office. Read on:
Jenkins said she chose not to voluntarily distribute to county officials a detailed report on which jurisdictions were overpaid and underpaid in 2008. She said she withheld the information to avoid a "feeding frenzy" by counties that might engage in battles with other counties over the fuel tax money.
Read: Jenkins won't tell anyone what they're due because, gee, they might get upset and ask for it. Probably not a position the local government involved will be willing to take lying down, and, oh, look! Members of local government unwilling to take that lying down were in the room with her when she said it!

During the meeting in Wagnon's office in Topeka, Miller sought a full report on all 105 counties.

"What is your interest in every other county?" Jenkins said.

"I believe that is public information that would be vital to each and every Kansas county," Miller said.

Jenkins dismissed his concern, saying "some people are bright enough to understand that it's not something we should concern ourselves with."

WHAT ON EARTH? "Some people are bright enough to understand that it's not something we should concern ourselves with"?!?!!? Did she honestly say that local governments shouldn't be concerned with the fact they've been either underpaid or overpaid by her office for years? She can't have actually said that, because to deny something so obvious would be evidence of a total disconnect from reality.

It continues, though, and it's obvious that is actually what our dear state treasurer believes:

Miller said he remained unsatisfied with the flow of information to counties about the mix-up.

"You should never have been notified," Jenkins said.

"Why is that?" Miller said.

"My hope is that you're not shorted — that you're going to be made whole," Jenkins said. "We're hoping it's irrelevant to the discussion."

The amount you've been shorted, counties, is "irrelevant to the discussion." Can you believe that?

Can you believe she actually thinks no one should be concerned about the amount of money misappropriated?

Of course every single county government and every single member of the state legislature is deeply, deeply concerned with the actual amounts of money concerned in this disaster- because someone is going to have to pay to fix this mess.

Does Lynn Jenkins just not understand that?

CQPolitics: KS-02 Race Close & Hot

An interesting analysis piece appears at today and it say, this time for a national audience, though, all of the same sorts of things us kids on the ground have been hearing for months.

Since her 2006 victory, Boyda has done something of a balancing act on economic issues. She joined most Democrats in voting to increase the national minimum wage and supported a bill to expand a health care program for lower-income children whose families lack insurance. But Boyda has also sided with conservatives on issues such as limiting illegal immigration and in voting about a month ago against both the failed and successful version of legislation to implement a financial industry assistance package (widely described as the “bailout” bill).
Good, good- worked with Democrats to help the poor in the district, but sided with the Republicans on illegal immigration & the bailout- pretty clearly striking an independent pose, no?

If that's not enough of independent credentials for you- here's some more:

Boyda is so determined to maintain an image as a political independent that she asked, for the second consecutive election, that national Democratic Party organizations stay out of her race. Officials at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — who had been poised to put roughly $1.2 million into independent expenditures for TV ads aimed at swaying voters to Boyda’s side — initially said they would honor Boyda’s request, made in August, to keep their distance. But last week, the DCCC overruled and began airing a 30-second TV spot in the 2nd District.

Still, unlike DCCC independent expenditure campaigns in many districts that harshly criticize Republican candidates, the Kansas 2 ad highlights some of Boyda’s legislative efforts over the past two years and makes no mention of challenger Jenkins.

No need to mention Lynn- with her trials and tribulations regarding KPERS meetings and tens of millions of dollars mismanaged on her watch, simply reminding voters why the love Boyda does exactly what's needed.

Two leading Kansas political science minds are of two minds regarding the race:

“Jenkins has said she considers [the 2nd district] a Republican seat, and I think there is something to that,” said Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University in Topeka. “It is a district that’s tough for a Democrat to win. In a presidential year with more voters, are they willing to keep a Democrat to be their rep?”

But Burdett Loomis, a political science professor from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, said of Jenkins’ tax argument, “I think it’s hard to pin much on Boyda. She’s pretty darn conservative. I’m not sure that that’s been going very far.”

Loomis added that the grass-roots enthusiasm that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has generated could boost turnout among the Democratic Party base even in a district like Kansas 2 that is expected to go fairly handily to Republican John McCain. If that occurs, it could temper the conventional wisdom that increased presidential year turnout should benefit the Republican ticket.

“It’s a good Democratic year, even in Kansas,” said Loomis. “This district has been represented by Democrats in the past. It’s more of a populist district than a Republican or Democratic district. I think Boyda fits that really well.”

Here, here, Prof. Loomis! And, certainly while Prof. Beatty makes an excellent point, we've thought all along Boyda's outreach all over the district- her service to the people she represents- will make up for the Republican leans of the district.

The article goes on to make a fun point about outside influences in the race- Boyda has shirked all outside help, instead hoping to let the voters make up their own minds, while Jenkins has pulled in as much outside assistance as she could find, including scheduling a fundraiser with President George W. Bush (that he canceled on her) and recently with a visit from failed presidential candidate and former Governor of "Taxachusetts" Mitt Romney."

In the end, CQPolitics leaves the races in the catagory of "No Clear Favorite" which, we're sure, makes good sense to folk just looking at the race through the prism of dollars and party registration. In Kansas, though, party registration doesn't tell you that much, and Boyda has already proven you don't need to break the bank to win in the Kansas 2nd.

One week out, kids, one week out.

Letters to the Editor: Kansas Deserves Better than Lynn Jenkins

Two good letters in today's Topeka Capital-Journal from regular folk again saying we, as a state, simply can't afford Lynn Jenkins in Washington, DC as our representative.

We Deserve Better

I am writing in response to the article Oct. 8 about Lynn Jenkins' attendance — or should I say lack thereof — at KPERS board meetings.

I don't doubt for a moment that running a campaign for Congress can be distracting, but even so, Kansans expect their state treasurer to keep an eye on their investments.

Yet Lynn Jenkins missed every single KPERS board meeting last quarter as the pension fund suffered a billion-dollar loss.

These are very, very difficult economic times. We work hard for our pensions. And our hard-earned income from tax dollars should receive the same attention that we as state employees bring to our jobs.

We don't make much money, but we make Kansas work and pay taxes, too. KPERS board members are expected to be trustees of our retirement fund as well as keepers and advisers of important tax dollars paid by all Kansans. It's times like these when sound leadership and close oversight are most important.

Showing up for work is not only a part of the job description, it's a minimum expectation. Hardworking Kansans deserve better.


Keeping Money at Home

After reading the Oct. 17 article, "Who's got the money?" I was curious to learn where candidates for the 2nd Congressional District seat were spending their campaign money, so I went to CJOnline to check it out. It seems that, despite her commercials saying how much she will do for the people of this district and how important her local roots are, Lynn Jenkins prefers to spend her campaign money out of state.

Some examples: Her campaign flyers came out of Lexington, Mass.; her campaign banners and yard signs came out of Houston; and a firm in Alexandria, Va., provided the following — commercial broadcast buys, media placement, commercial production, television ad artwork production — and even conducted a voter attitudes survey.

It would seem to me there must be some companies in the 2nd District capable of at least producing campaign yard signs.

On the other side of the ticket, Nancy Boyda has spent her campaign money here, with companies in Topeka and Lawrence supplying her signs, commercial ad production, advertising placement, media buys and graphic production. I like the fact that a candidate wanting to represent me in Washington, D.C., is spending her campaign money with local businesses, especially in this time of financial stress and difficulty for so many business people.


This blog is not affiliated in any way with the Kansas Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, or the campaign to re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. All commentary herein not directly attributed must be considered the opinion of the authors of this blog and not of any other individual, including Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.