The primary battle between Lynn Jenkins and Jim Ryun has become one of the nastiest in recent memory in Kansas and has become particularly bloody at this point.
However shocking it might be, that has a lot more to do with Lynn Jenkins' inability to counter her opponents with measured, appropriate responses than it does dirty tricks from the Ryun campaign. Nope, from Lynn, it's always full tilt, guns blaring- in the wrong direction.
Yes, every single time she's been confronted with any criticism in this race, Lynn Jenkins has responded instantly, forcefully, and, without fail, wrongly.
Take, for instance, her response to the Club for Growth ad that was run attacking her (rightfully) for being a "proven tax-hiker" when she was in the state legislature.
How did she respond? First, she lied. Then she went all crazy all over Jim Ryun.
“Despite their slimy efforts, no false advertising funded by Jim Ryun’s Washington, D.C., friends will prevent the truth about Treasurer Jenkins’ fiscally conservative record from getting out to the voters of the 2nd District,” said Jenkins’ campaign manager, Pat Leopold.But, Lynn...you did vote to increase taxes over and over again while you were in the legislature. Our fellow blue blog Blue Tide Rising had an excellent analysis of this whole mess at the time:
[Leopold also said this in the press release Jenkins sent out:]
"Treasurer Jenkins was hopeful that Jim Ryun would agree [to run a clean campaign] and find at least one thing in his decade in Congress he was willing to run on instead of turning to the same attacks that got him fired in the first place."
Lynn Jenkins overreacted. Immediately, she incorrectly accused Jim Ryun of being behind the attack. Because such coordination is prohibited by the FEC this is a serious allegation, she's accusing Jim Ryun of breaking the law. It begs the question, as a candidate is Lynn Jenkins experienced enough to win in a hyper-competitive General election? How many more "Clubbings" before her glass jaw breaks?Call that "Lynn Flies of the Handle #1."
For "Lynn Flies off the Handle #2," we have a very recent, very public hissy fit that came when this blog and Jim Ryun's campaign, with just a little help from the KC Star, raked her over the coals for, oh, accepting political contributions from the CEO of a company to which she was about to give a multi million dollar state contract.
Illegal? Naw. Unethical? Depends on your point of view. Should she get as far away from the company as she can? You better betcha!
But did she? No, of course not, because they were planning on running TV commercials featuring her smiling face...in the district she's running for Congress in! How convenient!
So, Ryun called her out (as did this blog), and told her to tell the company to not run the ads featuring her gleaming grin as long as she was running for Congress. And how did Ms. Jenkins handle that? You win a shiny new quarter if you said, "She jumped the shark."
Lynn sent out an e-mail broadsiding Ryun for character assassination because he dared to question her ethical standards. In her e-mail, which we love, she returned the favor to Mr. Ryun.
Jim Ryun is running a character assassination smear campaign against Lynn Jenkins and he is launching ridiculous claims against Lynn targeting her as "unethical". Ethics and Ryun's business dealings with convicted felon Jack Abramoff was, of course, a major issue for Jim when he lost to Nancy Boyda in 2006, so he's trying a trick out of Hillary Clinton's playbook and trying to drag Lynn down with him. Well, it didn't work for Hillary Clinton and it won't work for Jim Ryun either! We need your help to stop him now!Like we said at the time....she actually compared Jim Ryun to Hillary Clinton, which is the funniest thing anyone has said in Kansas politics since Speaker Melvin Neufeld last talked about carbon dioxide. 'Course, she was right on with the part about Jim Ryun being unethical, too...but we digress.
All comes down to that this is just another episode that paints a pretty clear picture of Lynn Jenkins as a woman who couldn't find a measured political response with the help of a Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil and an adding machine
(Accountant humor...we thought it was funny...).
By the way, with a jaw as brittle as it appears to be, Jenkins would be wise to not throw stones. She's not wise, of course, and was quoted hurling a big ol' rock in the July 7, 2007 issue of the Wichita Eagle when talking about Jim Ryun's campaign to win his old seat back:
"Most of the comments I've heard is that it smacks of a desperate attempt to regain his DC lifestyle, and Kansans rejected that in November of 2006."She also lied to her hometown newspaper about where Ryun is currently living.
That's a dangerous game, Lynn. A word of advice, from us straight to you: Don't throw elbows unless you can handle them, too, ma'am.
So, when will Lynn "Glass Jaw" Jenkins finally crack? With only $90,000 raised last quarter and every last bit of momentum going toward her Republican opponent, we can't see that she's got much time left in her increasingly desperate quixotic quest for Congress.