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.


Monday, October 27, 2008

The Home Stretch: Jenkins Offers No Substance, Attacks Straw Men

Some bits and pieces of articles that published over the weekend that have some lovely quotes regarding this little ol' race for Congress.

First, from Chris Green with the Harris New Service:

Christian Morgan, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said Jenkins' financial numbers show that Jenkins' campaign is peaking at the exact right time.

"The 2nd District voters are tired of Boyda's spin and 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality and want a change," Morgan said. "It is clear from these financial numbers that Lynn is gaining speed fast."
Not so fast, Christian, babe:
But Jenny Davidson, a spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party, points out that Jenkins has accepted $73,000 in the last two weeks from mostly out-of-state special interest groups.

"Lynn Jenkins continues to feed us this line about 'new Republican leadership' but then turns around and grabs every single special-interest dollar she can get hands on," Davidson said.
Green also does a breakdown of what it is this race has really boiled down to- and for those out there wondering who has "momentum" on their side this really ought clear that all up:
During the course of the campaign, Boyda has criticized Jenkins for missing recent board meetings for the state's pension fund while it suffered more than $1 billion in losses.

She also faulted Jenkins for taking six years to discover a mistake, initially made under her predecessor, that robbed some counties of fuel tax revenues while overpaying others.

Jenkins has blasted Boyda for walking out of a hearing featuring a general's testimony about progress in the Iraq War and for signaling her willingness to rescind President Bush's tax cuts in a nonbinding vote.
That almost made this writer giggle. OK, it actually did.

And then from the St. Joe News following the last Boyda-Jenkins debate in Leavenworth:

Ms. Boyda, the Democrat who surprised long-time lawmaker Jim Ryun two years ago, worries about the nation’s military readiness as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan spend human and materiel resources.

“We did not have equipment to put those five brigades in for the surge,” she said. “I am very concerned about the safety and security of Iraq. … My number one priority is the safety and security of Americans.”

Lynn did her required song-and-dance on budget slashing and got back-handed by Boyda:

Ms. Boyda laid out a plan to begin balancing the budget, which included stopping oil-company subsidies, controlling the pharmaceutical and health-insurance industries and curtailing tax breaks to companies that move their operations abroad.

“I am not willing to cut Meals on Wheels, I am not willing to cut rural school funding, I am not willing to cut Head Start while we’re paying billions and billions of dollars to big oil companies,” the Democrat said.

And, finally, on taxes:

Ms. Jenkins accused the Democrat of supporting large tax increases and failing to take action in correcting the alternative minimum tax, which the Republican said she would vote to eliminate.

Ms. Boyda countered that Republicans had 12 years of congressional leadership and did nothing to remedy inequities in the tax code. She added that Ms. Jenkins, despite the anti-tax talk, supported a $294 million tax increase while in the Kansas Legislature.

Both of these pieces did a great job laying it all out there and made it awfully clear which candidate is actually qualified and has the right ideas for the district.

AP Analysis: Jenkins' Vagueness Hurts Her

As reported by the Lawrence Journal-World, Lynn Jenkins waved around a piece of paper with two paragraphs of a "plan" to slash $310 billion out of the federal budget during her debate in Lawrence against Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. While Jenkins said during the debate it was her "plan" that she had been "working" on, in reality, the plan was constructed by The Heritage Foundation and would, if enacted, cut billions from federal support for rural school and eliminate Perkins Loans- college loans given to high school graduates who couldn't afford college otherwise.

Since the debate, though, Jenkins has been mum on any new details.

Jenkins provided the outlines of her proposal during a televised debate nearly two weeks ago, giving reporters a half-page summary after the event ended. Since then, her campaign for the 2nd Congressional District seat hasn't filled in more details.
Why isn't she providing details? Two reasons: She probably doesn't have any and, even if she does, she's scared offering them would open her to more attacks from Boyda & the press.
She has reasons not to go beyond the broad outlines, of course. The more details she offers, the more Boyda can criticize what Jenkins is proposing - and the more voters can get lost in the nuts and bolts, pulling their attention away from Jenkins' bigger themes. Jenkins also has limited time and staff resources for hashing out the wonky stuff while raising money and making campaign appearances.
'Course, Boyda & Kansas voters have already caught on to Jenkins' lack of substance.

Boyda, seeking her second term in her eastern Kansas district, dismisses Jenkins' proposal, saying that many voters already have concluded, "There's nothing to it."

"Why doesn't she go out there and put some detail behind this?" Boyda said. "People expected more from Lynn Jenkins. Really, in the long run, it's not serving her well."

A few more kernels from the article:

Which position is more reasonable?
The Republican challenger argues that Congress should make permanent the tax relief pushed by President Bush during his first term. Boyda has said she wants to preserve tax relief for the middle class, but that Congress must consider closing loopholes for the wealthy and big corporations before tackling cuts in spending on important programs.
Pretty clear to us.

And, this golden gem:
Still, Jenkins promises to go through the federal budget, line by line, to find savings, and she says as a CPA, she is trained for such work.
Oh right, Lynn, just like you were SO careful with the Kansas many millions have we mismanaged? How many millions do you owe Shawnee County? How many extra tens of thousands did you give Riley?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Social Network Battleground

Back again- our rundown of what Congresswoman Nancy Boyda and State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins are doing on the two biggest social networking sites.

We're tracking Facebook and MySpace only.

Candidate# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends

Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)

FB Profile1,0281,2211,226
FB Page9211,0591,067
FB Group721803830
Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R)

FB Profilen/an/an/a
FB Page117224233
FB Group305352351

Poor Lynn- one fewer person wants to send you to Washington. A pity.

Remember, we indicate any up and down movement by putting increasing numbers in bold and falling numbers in italics.

48 Hour Filings from Boyda/Jenkins

For these 48-hour FEC filings, we aren't going to detail each individual check (unless there is something interesting), we'll just give you the total.

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (filed 10/24/08)- $17,500

Lynn Jenkins (filed 10/23/08)- $39,500

Should be noted both woman are pulling mostly chase from PACs in both of these reports. One strange note for the Jenkins filing- it appears one Michael Lerner gave Lynn two checks for $2,300 on Oct. 22, which would violate campaign finance law.

We'll assume this was just another of Lynn's accounting errors and that it really didn't happen.

Jenkins Opposes New Stimulus Plan

Operating on the old Republican axiom of "Why help the working class, silly?" Lynn Jenkins has announced she is opposed to any effort to issue another round of stimulus checks.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republican Lynn Jenkins says she doesn't support efforts by Congress to approve a new economic stimulus package.

The GOP nominee in the 2nd Congressional District said the first package, approved earlier this year, didn't adequately stimulate the economy.

As for talk of a new one, she said Friday that it "reeks of political expediency."

That's fine, Lynn- you've had that excuse for helping out the middle class before (just a couple days ago when talking about the Wall Street Bailout you said Congresswoman Nancy Boyda was taking the easy way out, even though you said you would have done the same).

Boyda, rightly, said Jenkins' stance we irresponsible.
Boyda said it would be irresponsible to take any proposal for improving the economy off the table.
Jenkins retorted with "We'd be better served by making the Bush tax cuts permenant." Again, Lynn, glad you're looking out for the wealthiest Americans rather than trying to help struggling families make ends meet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

FEC Pre-General Reports Filed

Nancy Boyda:

Beginning of Period: $622,330.89
Raised: $39,250.00
Disbursements: $325,925.37
Cash-on-Hand: $335,655.52

Lynn Jenkins:

Beginning of Period: $553,287.77
Raised: $124,253.10
Disbursements: $315,247.36
Cash-on-Hand: $362,293.51

In a race this close, the distance between Jenkins and Boyda is as good as zero- particularly with all of the independent expenditures that have exploded in the last few days. But, for the first time, Lynn Jenkins has pulled into the cash-on-hand lead in her race to kick out Nancy Boyda.

Candidates are now also reporting 48 hour notices of large donations- we'll do a daily roundup for both Boyda & Jenkins.

CULAC Spends Another $47K for Jenkins, NRCC Buys Radio

Another report from Credit Union Legislative Action Committee- another $47,837 on TV ads for Lynn Jenkins.

Also, listening to the radio this morning we heard a spot paid for by the NRCC. More on the buy when we have it.

GOP "Death List" has KS-02 as "Lean Democratic"

Fairly good news for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda- her Republican colleagues in the House think she's probably going to get re-elected according to a chart produced...and then frustratingly spread to the wind:

Voter displeasure with the war and economy, coupled with Sen. Barack Obama's popularity, has the House GOP running for cover. Even though polls have shown that Americans don't like congressional Democrats any more, a new internal GOP tally of House races suggests a Democratic rout that could keep the Republicans in the minority for decades. A document provided to Washington Whispers from a House GOP official shows that they could lose a net 34 seats.
Just in case you think it's all a scam:
The document provided to Whispers is no gag: It comes from one of the key House GOP vote counters. The source called it a "death list." The tally shows several different ratings of 66 House Republicans in difficult races or open seats held by retiring Republicans. "Rating 1" finds 10 Republicans "likely gone." Those districts are New York 13, Alaska, Arizona 1, Virginia 11, New York 25, Illinois 11, Florida 24, Michigan 7, Nevada 3, and North Carolina 8. Under "Rating 2," nine Republican seats are listed as "leaning Democratic." Under "Rating 3," some 22 GOP seats are listed as "true toss-up." The fourth rating, "lean Republican," finds 15 seats in the category that comes with this warning: "If there's a wave, some could be in trouble." The last "likely Republican" rating finds another 11. Only three Democratic districts are seen as "hopeful" GOP pickups. They are Florida 16, Pennsylvania 11, and Texas 22. Another 10 Democratic seats are listed as "possible" pickups. The loss of 34 House GOP seats is among the most dire predictions in Republican circles. Most analysts have suggested a drop of at least 20 seats and at most 30 seats. A key Democratic official refused to provide his own list but said, "I'd rather be us than them."
Want to see it for yourself? Well, it's all online, right here. Or, view it below:

DCCC Ad Buy: $104K

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's first round of ads in support of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda totaled $104,565

Interestingly, that buy actually appears to be two separate ads- one pro-Boyda and one anti-Lyn Jenkins, though no one has seen any evidence of any such anti-Jenkins ad.

It is possible, of course, that there isn't actually an anti-Jenkins ad out there, and that the same pro-Boyda spot fills both bills.

Letter to the Editor: Look Beyond Party

A great letter from today's Topeka Capital-Journal:

Can a person be a loyal American and consistently vote a straight-party ticket?

Recently a letter writer stated, "I will not vote for Nancy Boyda because she is a Democrat." Another wrote that he didn't vote for the past three Democratic candidates for president because they were Democrats.

Question: Do men and women serve in the armed forces to preserve political parties or do they serve to preserve our government?

We have a candidate in this district who has gone well beyond the requirements to serve her constituents. She spends nearly every weekend traveling around the district helping people with their problems with government, health, medical drug issues and just plain everyday problems. She has introduced legislation to help veterans of current and past wars. She works with small-business people to solve their problems. She has introduced legislation to remove crooked members of Congress from government pensions. She is available to anyone who needs to talk to her.

I ask, are you going to reward her for her outstanding service to her district and send her back to Washington, or are you going to vote to remove a dedicated public servant just because she happens to be running on the Democratic ticket?

Is party more important than good government? We gripe and groan about our government, but are our real problems with people casting "party" votes?


Jack, you're right on- and we think most people that live in the Kansas 2nd District think the same way you do. Regardless of the fact, as Lynn Jenkins likes to point out, this is a Republican-majority district, it will support candidates of both parties if they're good at their jobs. Nancy Boyda has been an excellent congresswoman, and, because of that, she'll get re-elected November 4.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

KC Star Endorses Nancy Boyda for Re-Election

Fabulous news for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda in today's Kansas City Star:

Nancy Boyda pulled off a big political surprise in 2006 by unseating well-known incumbent Jim Ryun in the U.S. House’s 2nd District in Kansas. She’s earned a second term.

The Topeka Democrat is not shy about identifying problem areas in Washington, and she explains her positions in more detail than do most candidates — including her Republican challenger, Lynn Jenkins.

Boyda has pushed for stronger ethics in Washington, writing a law that stripped pensions from members of Congress who commit crimes related to their elected offices.

Seeking greater political accountability, Boyda backs legislation that would require lawmakers to post their “earmark” spending requests online for public scrutiny — as she does already.

She deserves credit for her work against child pornography and to improve veterans programs. She is appropriately concerned about the decline in U.S. military readiness.

She has been a strong critic of wasteful corporate subsidies.

Her opponent has done a good job as state treasurer.

But while Jenkins offers financial expertise as her central qualification for Congress, she does not seem to be particularly well versed on federal budget matters.

This week she suggested that the federal government had months to deal with the financial crisis, which is simply incorrect.

On the economy and other issues, Nancy Boyda seems better equipped to deal with the challenges Congress will face next January.

We'll, of course, quibble with the Star's assertion Lynn Jenkins has "done a good job as state treasurer," but, other than that, this is a lovely little bit of newprint for Nancy Boyda.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boyda: "Please Stay Out of My Race"

Text of a letter written by Congresswoman Nancy Boyda today in regards to independent expenditures in the 2nd Kansas Congressional district race:

In late July, I made a public request in the pages of the Topeka Capital-Journal. I called on out-of-state political groups, Democratic and Republican alike, to keep their TV ads out of the race for the Kansas Second Congressional District.

To my knowledge, no such call had ever succeeded in American history. Because these groups are fully independent, they can buy television time in any district in the country, without asking permission from me or anyone else.

Even so, I believed that urging them to stay away was the right thing to do. Many out-of-state groups have a history of running negative, misleading ads aimed at advancing a political party rather than informing voters. I felt that Kansans should have the opportunity to decide our election without their interference.

Unfortunately, in the months since then, numerous Washington groups have disregarded this request. Freedom's Watch, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have all reserved ad time in Kansas.

My sincere hope remains that all of these groups, on both sides of the aisle, will take their ads off the air. In particular, if anyone who is running ads in my support is reading this letter, here's my message to you: "Thanks, but no thanks." Please stay out of my race.

I continue to believe that I made the right decision in calling on out-of-state groups to keep out of our election, and you'd better believe I'll do the same thing when I run for re-election in 2010.


Nancy Boyda

Member of Congress

(For what it's worth...we hope lots more independent groups spend on Boyda's behalf...but that's just another time we can prove we aren't in Boyda's pocket :-) )

Kansans for Life Endorses Leslie Martin in KS-02

Hold for phones, kittens- we've got some late-breaking news: Kansas for Life, the largest anti-abortion organization in the state of Kansas has declined to endorse either major party candidate running for Congress in the Kansas 2nd District, instead giving the nod to Reform Party nominee Leslie Martin.

No, she doesn't have a web site, but here's a lot of wonderful information on where this particular right wing nutjob stands. Martin says this on abortion:

Human life begins at conception. If the mother's life is in danger, then save her life; do not kill her unborn child. Thousands of families are on very long waiting lists to pay thousands of dollars to women for new-born children. The fraudulent case Roe v Wade was contrived to override states that were outlawing abortion, and "Jane Roe" herself is now a strong pro-life advocate. In the short term, Congress must act to take that power back from the Supreme Court to return it to the states. The much longer constitutional amendment process can start after that.
Out of the mainstream much?

While the KFL almost never goes to anyone other than Republicans, we're sure they never in a million years even considered endorsing a woman like Lynn Jenkins, who has received thousands of dollars through WISH List, and organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Republican woman. In fact, she's their only endorsed challenger.

First the National Federation of Independent Businesses, then the VFW, now Kansans for Life. Which will be the next traditionally Republican group to bail on Jenkins?

DCCC Ad: "The Change Washington Desperately Needs"

Live from YouTube, the DCCC's ad in support of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

Something interesting- this is a positive ad, which isn't something the DCCC is known for. Their ads are almost always hard negative, so that they aren't attacking state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins might just mean these ads are nothing more than a little bit of icing for Boyda's cake- a little added window dressing for a candidate already on the way to victory.

At least, that's the spin this partisan is putting on it- the good folk of the Kansas GOP would probably spin it a different direction.

We'll know who was right in 13 days.

VFW Spends $14,000 on Radio in Support of Boyda

According to a report filed with the FEC today, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee has expended $14,316.30 on radio ads in support of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

The VFW PAC endorsed Boyda over Lynn Jenkins earlier this fall, citing Boyda's work on behalf of veterans during her term in Congress.

Also, Boyda today received a grade of "A+" from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Lynn Jenkins: Only Person Running in the KS-02 who has Raised Taxes

A nice little article on the race from the Joplin Globe today- includes most of the barbs we're used to hearing from state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' group, with the sound rebuttals that always follow (you'd think the Jenkins people would try to find something new...guess they're that short on material).

Now, Jenkins hopes to convince voters in the state’s 2nd Congressional District that Boyda also has failed them on tax policies and spending in her first term, and that Jenkins is the one who can bring fiscal reform to Congress.

Oh, that's rich. Tell that to the county commissioners you owe tens of millions because you're a bad accountant.

“She (Boyda) thinks you can just tax your way out of trouble, and I, on the other hand, think you need to do something about spending,” Jenkins told the Globe in a phone interview.

Her television ads accuse Boyda of supporting the largest tax increase in the nation’s history and claim the Democrat has taken a pledge to raise taxes.

Boyda bristled on the subject of the ads in a recent phone interview, calling them “bizarre” and pointing out that several newspapers in Kansas have noted how the ads distort her actual voting record.

For instance, “the largest tax increase in the nation’s history” refers to a nonbinding budget resolution for future years that assumed an expiration of the Bush tax cuts. The resolution did not actually affect tax policy, Boyda said. She equated the ad’s message to criticizing her “for not cooking dinner for my family next Tuesday.”

That's a fabulous analogy from Boyda, and paints ridiculous Jenkins' arguments pretty clearly. The nonbinding resolution can assume whatever it wants, but when push comes to shove, Boyda has already promised to protect tax cuts for the middle class and wants to go even farther than Jenkins and George W. Bush want.

It does bring up something upsetting, though- the fact Lynn Jenkins is the only person running in this race who has actually voted to increase taxes- even after promising she wouldn't:

“Every tax that she’s accusing me of raising are, in fact, ones that she raised herself,” Boyda said, referring to a $294 million tax increase for which Jenkins voted as a state senator to eliminate a budget deficit in Kansas. Boyda said that bill included increases in sales, property, cigarette and estate taxes.

So sad, Lynn, to get caught in your own rhetoric.

Jenkins also smacked Boyda for voting against a fix on the alternative minimum tax, but Boyda countered, saying the last version of the bill simply spiked the cost off into the national debt- which isnt' what you call 'fiscally responsible'.

Boyda said fixing the alternative minimum tax is a top priority for her. But the bill that was passed and eventually was incorporated in the $700 billion measure bailing out the nation’s financial institutions was unfunded and added $65 billion to the deficit, she said. Boyda said Congress needs to fix the tax without adding to the national debt. She said eliminating tax giveaways to millionaire money managers is the way to pay for it.

Boyda also wants to eliminate subsidies in the tax codes for the oil, health and pharmaceutical industries, and to reinvest those funds “in the middle class and in small, independent and regional businesses.” She said giving subsidies to oil companies at a time of record profits makes no sense.

Note that Jenkins promises she won't close loopholes or cut subsidies...because those are tax increases in her mixed up world. That also makes no sense.

The article closes with a funny little exchange regarding the Wall Street bailout that really just exemplifies how confusing and desperate the Jenkins rhetoric has become:

Boyda voted against the bailout of the nation’s financial institutions both times it was put to a vote in the House. She said she spent nine days talking to economists and business leaders before deciding against it.

“I just couldn’t vote for something nobody could tell me might work,” she said.

Jenkins said Boyda took the “politically expedient route,” but she acknowledged she would have done the same.

Even when the women agree, Lynn Jenkins wants to make it clear Boyda is just playing politics, while Jenkins is the real deal.

But that's Lynn Jenkins for you- fake to the very last minute, willing to draw distinctions that don't exist, and willing to distort her opponents record to get herself a new job. Kansas deserves better, and on November 4 they'll get better- by re-electing Nancy Boyda.

Jenkins Refuses to Reveal KPERS E-mails until after Election

From the Kansas Democratic Party:

Jenkins’ Office Refusing to Reveal KPERS E-mails until after Election

As Extent of Contact with KPERS Board Remains in Question, Jenkins Won’t Reveal Why She Skipped Board Meetings

TOPEKA – State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins’ office has refused to immediately respond to an October 9 Kansas Open Records Act request for any e-mails she sent to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) board between July 1 and September 30, a period during which Jenkins skipped every single board meeting and the fund lost one billion dollars.

Under state law, records requested under the Kansas Open Records Act must generally be released within three business days. However, Jenkins’ office maintains they may not release the records until after the November election, writing:
“Please be advised that due to current heavy workloads for the agency’s management staff and multiple projects involving our information technology staff we anticipate completing the research required to fulfill your request October 31, 2008. As I’m sure you’re aware, once the pertinent emails have been located staff will have to review them to determine if any exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act apply.”
The content of the e-mails are of significant public interest because Jenkins’ claims about her contact with the KPERS board directly contradict the statements of board members.

Jenkins has insisted that she remained in frequent touch with the KPERS board during her extended absence: “We exchanged e-mails on a weekly basis,” she told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “We’re engaged. We're on the job.”

But the board's executive director sharply disputed her account:
KPERS executive director Glenn Deck... 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. [Topeka Capital-Journal, 10/08/08]
“Lynn Jenkins skipped KPERS board meetings as Kansas workers lost a billion dollars,” said Mike Gaughan, Executive Director of the Kansas Democratic Party. “Now she is dodging straightforward questions about her absences until after Election Day. Voters deserve to know the answers before they cast their ballots on November 4.”


What are you scared of, Lynn? Why on Earth would you refuse to tell the people of Kansas where you were during all those missed meetings if you were attending to different business of the State of Kansas? Could it be...because you weren't attending to the business of Kansas, and rather attending to the business of Lynn Jenkins?

And, really, which is true- have you been in contact with the Board via email, or is the executive director telling the truth, and that you really actually haven't been?

Only time- and a freedom of information request- well tell since you so clearly refuse to.

Another County Realizes Jenkins Screwed Them

Newspapers and county commissions all over the state are continuing to turn their attention to the multi-million dollar blunder that has been state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' management of Kansas motor fuel taxes- today's article comes to us from Sumner County:

During the debate, Boyda said Jenkins should have sorted out the issue long before entering her sixth year as treasurer. And, Boyda said, recipients of revenue sharing had a right to forthright disclosure of the situation.

"Have you contacted the county commissioners to let them know?" Boyda asked Jenkins during a debate last Tuesday night at KSNT-TV.

Josh Hersh, spokesman for Jenkins' congressional campaign, said Jenkins "notified all relevant parties"
Oh, really, Josh? That's not what the good folk of Sumner County would tell you:
According to the latest information from the state, $10,805.29 is owed to Sumner County in fuel-tax revenue, but officials in the County seemed to have no idea of it.

“Really? Oh, I didn’t know anything about that,” said an official in the treasurer’s office.


Officials in Sumner County aren’t sure when they will receive the money owed them, but assured the public, “We will be looking into this. We didn’t know anything about it.”
Fine, Josh, Jenkins might have told Governor Sebelius and the Republican Party leadership in Topeka about her failings, but she didn't let the people who really needed to know- the county commissioners and the taxpayers of Kansas- until months and months later.
“Basically for six years, (Jenkins) wrote checks to the wrong people. Then, once they finally found out, it took her then another two months to tell counties about it, and even after that, it took her another four months to tell counties how much they were owed or how much they might owe. Even then, when she finally got around to announcing it, she got her numbers wrong. And she told all the counties that had been overpaid that they were underpaid and vice versa,” said spokesperson Tom Seay, an aide for Boyda.
Shocking- particularly coming from a person running based on her qualifications as a CPA- and stunningly irresponsible.

Oh, also- there might be more of a bombshell yet to hit. Remember, this isn't a new mistake, and the amounts paid over and under what were owed only deal with the most recent fiscal year- just wait until we see the total damage for the whole of Jenkins' term.

We'll have to wait to see that, though, because Lynn's office doesn't know what the number is yet.

After the election, right, Lynn?

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.