Monday, November 26, 2007

Jenkins & Ryun: Lining their pockets from the campaign coffers


While Politico.com has a field day with a slew of GOP resignations in the US House & Senate today, Kansas political bloggers continue to be in the doldrums brought on by the Thanksgiving break. So, rather than mention (over and over again) the nifty post Blue Tide Rising had this morning, this blog is going to go back in time for a minute and wonder aloud: is it really OK for both Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins to line their pockets with campaign contributions totaling more than a worker living on the federal minimum wage makes in a year and a half?

I'm going to go ahead and say no.

To begin, please reflect back to the post made on this blog about the 3rd quarter fundraising reports filed by the two folks running for and the one woman holding the 2nd Congressional District seat in Kansas. 'Course, it's nice to remember Congresswoman Nancy Boyda ended the quarter with the most cash on hand- the only number that really matters, since, heck, it's the number that produces things like yard signs and TV commercials- but that's not the part you should pay attention to today: look, instead, to the amounts the two Republicans paid themselves during the reporting period.

Yep, both "fiscal conservative" Republicans decided their wallets needed a little fattening- to the tune a combined total of more than $20K.

I should admit an error- in my earlier post I said Lynn Jenkins gave herself more than Jim Ryun gave himself in Q3...that's not the case. While Lynn did indeed give herself $3,146.76 for mileage and "training," Jim's 3rd quarter total was $3,527.71- all in mileage reimbursements.

I don't really have much more to say about Lynn, other than to include she gave herself more than a person working on the newly increased federal minimum wage (thank you, Congress) would make in 13 weeks- such a person would have to work 538 hours to earn has much as Lynn Jenkins gifted herself out of her campaign coffers. Lynn, of course, has a job, and the people of the state of Kansas do continuing paying her to do that job- though, as she's done with every other elected position she's held, having a job doesn't seem to be preventing her from looking for a new one while still on our dime...but that's a different post.

Ah, but Lynn's offense, while depressing, isn't even close to the main event. Good 'ol former world record miler Jim Ryun wins this particular race in a walk. In 2007, Jim Ryun has taken from his campaign a shocking $17,184.53 in mileage reimbursements- $10,611.68 in the second quarter alone!

Now, I have no idea where Jim is going that he would ever be able to rack up that kind of gasoline bill- unless, of course, he's driving back and forth to Argentina in an effort to win Nancy's seat in Congress. (Certainly needs something that gets better gas mileage than the SUV at right, regardless of what make-believe places he's visiting).

Being the good conservative he is, though, I'm sure he's not bilking his donors into paying him a salary to run for Congress...no, surely not...

Because my Momma told me to never leave something up to other people to figure out: a person on minimum wage would have to work for nearly 74 weeks to earn that much money- or exactly 2,937.5 hours.

The stunning amount of money Jim Ryun's campaign has given back to the candidate isn't the only sad/hilarious disbursement on the records. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters the campaign spent nearly $300 at convenience stores and McDonald's ($292.87 in Q2 and $271.02 in Q3), including one $121.30 expenditure for "campaign meals" at a Kwik-Shop in Lawrence.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Only ridiculous arrogance or vast stupidity could lead a campaign to spend that kind of money- tens of thousands of dollars- on reimbursing candidates for impossible numbers of miles and for $120 meals from a Kwik Shop.

Every Democrat in Kansas, and every single person that wants to see Nancy Boyda serve another term in Congress should be thankful the folks on the other side are this arrogant, stupid, and liberal with their campaign coffers.

As to Nancy Boyda? Hasn't reimbursed herself for any mileage at all, or for any newspapers or Big Macs. I'd guess she pays for those sorts of things out of her own pocket- just like a regular, average Kansan would.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

How many hours would it take for the person making federal minimum wage to equal what taxpayers payer Nancy Boyda to be in Congress. hmmmmmm??

The current salary (2006) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $165,200 per year.

I am sure it would take them what ....7-8 years at minimum wage. Maybe she ought to introduce legislation to cut her own salary. Seems hypocritical to criticize what others get in mileage reimbursement also when much of travel is paid by either campaign or taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

I assume Nancy is also paying for all of her flights back between Kansas and DC and not billing the taxpayers for that or for her mileage. Oh wait ...

Anonymous said...

Yes, how does Nancy pay for her mileage? Out of her own pocket I guess. Also, how many of her taxpayer paid staff are working on her campaign? Boyda Bloc is getting as bad as the other blogs with biased information. Do you think Jenkins just lines her pockets with the reimbursement? No it goes for gas, tires, wear and tear at whatever the mileage reimburesment rate that is approved by the IRS or FEC. How does Nancy keep track of what is her job and what is campaining for the job? How does Sebelius? Give me a break BB. You are as bad as a right wing conservative with your holier than thou posts. By the way you can get way more than minimum wage at most McDonalds'

Anonymous said...

Also Jenkins isn't independently wealthy like Boyda. She can't afford to quit a job to run for office like Boyda did for 2 years. Plus carry $300,000 plus thousand in debt for the same 2 years, now going on 3 from her last campaign. How much minimum wage does it take to just pay the interest on a $300,000 debt?

Anonymous said...

Right, Jenkins isn't independently wealthy. Have you ever been to Clarion Woods (where she lives) in Topeka? Also, as the blogger correctly points out, Jenkins isn't that bad. Ryun has spent over $17,000 on "mileage," nearly six times as much as Jenkins.

Anonymous said...

The mileage reimbursement rate for the IRS is $.485 per mile for Jenkins to get $3,145 she would have to drive about 6,400 miles over a 3 month period or 2,000+ miles a month. The district runs from Nebraska to Oklahoma which is pretty big. I don't think 2,000 miles is unreasonable, plus part of that is training, which was probably FEC or other campaign training.

Anonymous said...

Jenkins has one house, how many does Boyda have? One in Topeka and one in Marysville at least, maybe others. Ryun has at least 2. Look at the finance reports to find out who is really wealthy.

Anonymous said...

Boyda pays for all of her own airfare...she doesn't bill the taxpayers for anything like that.

And, from what i can find, she doesn't reimburse herself out of the campaign.

I don't see "bias" here, just reporting facts that look bad for the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Check Boyda's finance reports, there are lots of airline tickets and even a camcorder! What does she need with a camcorder?

Anonymous said...

the cutting edge of campaigning is digital video...every campaign should have a camcorder..just like they should have a camera or a computer

Anonymous said...

Since Boyda pays for everything else out of her own pocket (mileage, airfare, etc. as you so eloquently pointed out), can't she use her own videorecorder, camera and computer? Sounds like she is lining her pockets. Oh wait you said only Republicans do that.

Anonymous said...

Agree, reasonable expense reimbursment for mileage is not lining your pockets, especially when the FEC says its OK. Why don't you mention Boyda's little FEC mess with the "Scholarships" from her last campaign. Press never picked up on that one.

Anonymous said...

Dude, look at Ryun's. SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS...this is not reasonable. Not even close to reasonable.

Anonymous said...

excellent point....paying yourself for a tank of gas once in awhile is one thing....THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS is another.

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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.