Thursday, March 20, 2008

Where was all this "leadership by example" when you were still in office, Jim?

Former Congressman Jim Ryun just sent out an e-mail to supporters, and we gotta say, it's stunning he's still pretending he's got a foot to stand on when it comes to addressing earmark reform.

He said, in his campaign e-mail today:

As I travel across the District, a common theme of distrust in Washington has surfaced, especially with regard to spending and the earmarking process. Well, I have listened to you and I agree, the system is broken and we need real earmark reform.

[...]

The earmark crisis has gotten out of control.
Talk about a Jimmy- Come- Lately. The "earmark crisis" has gotten out of control?

We've asked before, and we'll ask another hundred times as Jim continues to peddle this cheap misdirection: Where were you, Mr. Ryun, and where was your "moral leadership" for the last 10 years when earmarks jumped to record heights?
We'll put it a different way. How in the world can you claim to be "leading by example" when, under your watch, earmarks exploded in cost and in number?

Ryun's being disingenuous- again- and fanning flames rather than being honest.

He should be telling the truth, that the Democratic Congress and Nancy Boyda have passed far-reaching earmark reform and have actually led by example: Earmarks have gone down since Democrats took back control.

More of the same from a man who voters know is simply flapping in the wind.

[The above chart came from a report produced by Harvard Law. The complete report can be found here.]

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

god, this guy doesn't quit, does he?

Jeff Black said...

Ok, call me officially bored today. Sorry for all the posts but this is kind of nice to see an actual dialog instead of the typical calling each other booger-head from under tin foil hats.

Why does this back and forth sound so familiar?

Oh, because this is EXACTLY what Boyda campaigned on in '06. Now before everyone cries foul I sat at one too many forums, town hall meetings and neighborhood association meetings and heard the exact same words come out of her mouth. To paraphrase, but not much, all earmarks are bad, we need reform...and yes it was all because I had to spend my time explaining that there are good earmarks (that go through committee approval) and there are bad earmarks (that are stuffed into a bill at 4am on a Tuesday). What's that old political truism? If you're educating, you're losing.

The best part is when Rep. Boyda defended her earmarks just recently she was saying the same damn thing Jim was saying in '06. I think she might have even used the "big pot of money" analogy. Paraphrasing again (sorry I couldn't find the quote)if Reps don't fight for those dollars they will go to other communities, the dirtiest earmarks are those that are hidden from the eyes of Congress and the public.

Amazing how roles reverse.

Finally if you'll allow me to speak to a comment from the last post. I can't say Jim & Lynn are wrong on taxes, the child tax credit has been good to me at it's current level, blah, blah, sunsets. You know what I'm talking about. I will say this, after AFP crashed a fund raiser we had in KC with Denny Hastert and tried to shove some book in his face that he HAD to read I, and Jim, suddenly became too busy to meet with them for the rest of the campaign. Lynn being more moderate probably would feel similar about their former leadership (Alan is new, I have no opinion of him either way...not that anyone would care if I did).

That said, I'm just crazy enough to believe that it's worth talking to any group, even if you connect with just one person. Not pandering to a group, but having an actual discussion. That one person can turn into 30 to 50 votes and 15 to 25 donors.

Shoot, I think I said damn. Does that make me a potty mouth? Oh well, so much for me staying out of this campaign cycle.

Anonymous said...

"As I travel across the District, a common theme of distrust in Washington has surfaced"

Attitudes like that are why Ryun and the republicans lost in 2006. If he really thinks that this distrust has just surfaced, then he's more out of touch than I've accused him of being.

BoydaBloc said...

yes, jeff, you're going to hell. Cursing isn't allowed in kansas politics anymore.

the post we wrote originally on jim's earmarks made one clear point: we think they're good, and as far as we're concerned, jim ryun and nancy boyda are in the same boat: they're securing good money for good projects.

there is a difference, and it's a stark on, we feel. boyda has championed reform, and she took the unprecedented step of publishing all of her requested earmarks. that transparency is good, and we want it from every member of the delegation.

where jim gets stuck is the dramatic flip he's made no the subject. like we said in that post the day he signed the "no earmarks" pledge- he has used them for good in the past, and he knows there are good earmarks and bad earmarks. so, now, that public sentiment has turned, he's calling them all bad. that's dishonest.

congresswoman boyda's speeches before the election called on congress to clean up their act- and she's worked diligently to help do just that.

and, additionally, jeff- your posts today are all the evidence we ever needed to affirm for us the fact you aren't the one writing Bounce Boyda. It is nice to have a civilized discussion, isn't it? :-)

-BoydaBloc

Jeff Black said...

Civilized discussion is great!

Reread the part about Boyda's campaigning last cycle. She said over and over that ALL earmarks were bad and yes that she wanted reform. I like the idea of putting them all on her website, but the fact remains I heard her say that all of them are bad.

Is she being dishonest as well? I've heard, but not directly from her, people say that's not what she said but I was there on more than one occasion when she did.

Did she just not know? It's perfectly ok to admit you were wrong or didn't understand something. Heck most Freshman Reps are doing well to not get lost every time they go to the bathroom for the first six months. Which is not me implying that she's dumb, we all know she's not, but she either knew that what I was saying was right (between good and bad earmarks) and was being dishonest by saying I was wrong...Or she just didn't fully understand the process, which now she does and is reaffirming what I was saying all along.

This will come as a shock to no one but Ryun isn't exactly begging me to help him this cycle. In fact he was kinda awkward when we ran into each other at an event in Topeka.

I just have concerns about people throwing out accusations of dishonesty about a "policy" issue. Policy changes all the time, it is not based on fundamental values and beliefs, it's based on what is the right thing to do at this point in time...see every Democrat that voted to go to war in Iraq. If Jim came out tomorrow and said he was Pro-Choice because he thought it would help himself get elected I would be the first to call him a liar. Too often people confuse policy and values to be the same thing.

It's when people flip flop on fundamental values that shows their true character. It concerns me more that Rep Boyda was for an amendment banning gay marriage in 2004 but against it in '06. Circumstances that one would think should have formed her opinion on such issues would have occurred before 2004 so there was no life altering event to change her fundamental beliefs (that I know of, if there was just tell us what it was). She told anyone who would listen in '06 the she had not been endorsed by Emily's List, as if the 2004 election hadn't happened. The only reason she wasn't endorsed in '06 is she didn't ask to be. Not because she had a change in fundamental beliefs, she is still proudly Pro-Choice (which is her right and honestly makes no difference since only the Supreme Court can over turn Roe v Wade and we all know Justices are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate and if the courts ever over turned it the decision to allow abortions would go back to the states so the next time someone tells you so and so who's running for congress is this or that tell them so what they can't ever do anything about it...sorry for the God awful run-on), but because as she told the Kansas Nurses Association, she found out the "Emily's List means baby killer in Kansas" so she didn't ask for their endorsement in '06.

I'm not saying Jim is a saint, none of us are. I just hate that so many people are so blind to their own party that they run out guns blazing calling the other side a bunch of lying cheats...and yes I see the irony to the fact that I might have done just that. :-)

God this was fun! I'm starting to hope I'm not real busy tomorrow too. For the official record, I am not Bounce Boyda, though I have some educated guesses as to who it might be. Thanks for letting me post so much and putting up with me.

boydabloc said...

honestly, perfectly happy to have you.

disagree fundamentally, of course, but perfectly to have anyone comment.

Anonymous said...

reading mr. black's commentary is fun- but i was at her speeches in 06, too, i don't remember her saying ALL earmarks were bad..at least none of the times I heard her speak. I heard her say pork barrel spending was bad- which is different from earmarks.

it might be semantics, but i think there is a difference in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I'm calling shenanigans. Mr. Black sounds entirely too reasonable to be a republican. ;)

Jeff Black said...

Nope, no shenanigans. Just thought it was time to come out of hiding.

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