Monday, August 25, 2008

Boyda Leads in Independent Poll

From Roll Call:

Boyda, who upset Ryun in 2006 despite the heavy Republican lean of the eastern Kansas 2nd district, was at the critical 50 percent mark in a head-to-head matchup with Jenkins. And Kansas voters viewed Boyda fairly favorably despite their strikingly poor opinion of Congress and the fact that they preferred Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) by 13 points in the presidential race.

Asked whom they would vote for in November, 50 percent of poll respondents said Boyda and 43 percent said Jenkins. The poll of 620 likely voters, conducted Aug. 19-21 for Roll Call by the automated polling firm SurveyUSA, had a 4-point margin of error.
This is the first independent polling we've seen in the race- previous polls have always either been candidate polls or poll done by partisan groups. While we aren't so fond of the way SurveyUSA does it's polling, this is just that much more validation of what we've been saying for months: Boyda's well-regarded in her district, and even though Republicans hold a registration edge, they're happy with their current Member of Congress.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Breaking news...From Last July...That Wasn't Important Then

In politics, on either side, when faced with an opponent who has worked hard, has all the issues on their side, and is backed up by the mood of the nation, what do you do?

You find something, anything, to use to distract the voters from those things. Dredge up something that barely got a passing glance when it happened, toss it on TV with some scary, scary music, and you're in business.

What you do, of course, when you do that kind of thing is ignore the issues important to the people you're trying to represent, you just latch on to something that doesn't matter to anyone and their day-to-day lives. It can work and does, frequently, for folks on both sides, but it's cheap politics, and certainly not what any of our citizens deserve.

And that, my friends, brings us to the continuing Republican mudslinging about Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's "walk out" of an Armed Services Committee meeting. The National Republican Party and their mouthpiece candidate Lynn Jenkins are bound and determined to make 10 minutes of nothing news by overreacting to it and out-and-out lying about it.

Oh ho, but the very worst thing for Lynn Jenkins at this point is for facts to become involved in her disingenuous rhetoric. Thank goodness for the independent press:

The July 27, 2007, hearing was to examine a bill mandating that "dwell time," or the period between deployments, be equal to the length of deployment. The legislation also allowed the president to waive the requirement at his discretion.

"I thought it was common-sense legislation," Boyda said in a recent interview.

She was one of only a dozen of the 60 committee members who were attending that Friday.

Following opening remarks, Keane testified about his numerous visits to Iraq and said the surge had resulted in "significant change."

"Schools are open," he told the committee. "Markets are teeming with people. Most are operating at full capacity, some are returning to it. Cafes, pool halls, coffeehouses that I visited are full of people."


Sitting in the second row of the hearing room, Boyda said she was "not happy about what was going on."

The hearing was supposed to be about the multiple troop deployments beyond the Department of Defense's stated goal of 12 months. Instead, she said, it turned into a progress report. [From someone not privy to all of the information at hand- BB]

Frustrated, Boyda got out of her seat and walked to a side room where there was a coffee pot and a closed-circuit television of the ongoing hearing.

She said she returned 10 minutes later, and when she was called on later in the proceedings, she commented on her departure.

"There was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for awhile," she said.

She added, "The description of Iraq as if some way or another that it's a place that I might take the family for a vacation, things are going so well, those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying 'Here's the reality of the problem and people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue.' "

So, Boyda didn't leap up and make a scene, she didn't march out of the room when she heard news she disagreed with (which is exactly what Jenkins wants you to believe). No, when she heard someone start to go off on a subject that wasn't part of the hearing, someone who was trying hard to paint Iraq as stable and prospering (even though more than 300 Americans had died there in just the three months prior)- she excused herself. What she did showed no disrespect for anyone- in fact, the very fact she was in the hearing at all shows a level of dedication to her duty greater than the vast majority of the members of the Armed Services Committee.

Also, even on top of the apparent fact she did nothing wrong- she did nothing out of the ordinary:

Larry Korb, a senior fellow for the liberal Center for American Progress and a former assistant U.S. attorney general under President Reagan, sat next to Keane that day, ready to testify.

He said he didn't remember anything unusual about Boyda leaving. Of the few committee members present, he said, most came and went throughout the testimony.

"That's how things work up here," he said.

The story was a non-story when the national Republicans jumped on it last year- it's ridiculous we're still talking about it today- but more than that, it's sad Jenkins won't talk about what's important to the people of Kansas when it comes to the war & veterans issues. But, in the end, it's obvious why she doesn't want to- Boyda's done more to advance the causse of our men and women in uniform in her two years in office than Jenkins' Republican Party did in the 10 years prior.

So, in the end- will the people of Kansas care more that Boyda pushed through a tax cut for the families of our service members, or that she got frustrated about a rosier than reasonable assessment of the war in Iraq? Aren't...most...Kansans in the very same place when it comes to Iraq? Don't we all want to see our troops home soon and our veterans treated better? Of course we do- and it's sad Lynn Jenkins doesn't get that.

But, really, do we have any reason to expect any better of Jenkins? First, when it came to outside money in the race, it was "Let them eat cake," to her would-be constituents from our tone-deaf little State Treasurer- now it's, "Quick, look over there! It's Bigfoot!"

We're just so happy you're taking your responsibility to the people of Kansas seriously, Lynn!

BREAKING: George W. Bush to Campaign for Lynn Jenkins

Details all still a little soft (at least we haven't had outside confirmation), but it looks like President George W. Bush will be in Topeka fundraising for Lynn Jenkins and her perpetually stumbling campaign for Congress on September 16.

Wow...nothing like standing up for "new leadership," huh, Lynn?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Let the Voters Sort the Lies Out Themselves

Sometimes, in politics, people take firm, principled stands that cost them dearly.

The general election race is only a week old in the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas, and both women running have already taken such stands: Congresswoman Nancy Boyda by rejecting independent expenditures on her behalf, and Lynn Jenkins for not.

Think whatever you want about Boyda's push to prevent outside groups from spending on her race- Lord knows her war chest is in pretty fantastic form, but every last dollar spent on her behalf makes her even more safe than she already is. But her desire to keep this campaign in Kansas Kansas-centered is noble- it's about making politics what it's supposed to be, a reflection of the will of the people being represented, not of some DC-based action group.

Lynn's position is similar to most of the positions she's taken so far: Lock-step compliance with the national GOP platform & and an identical disconnect from the voters we saw from Jim Ryun- exactly the kind of messaging she needs if she plans to get crushed in November.

In this particular instance, Lynn brings us the best of Karl Rove politics: Stand idly by as her big money cronies shove as many lies and as much distortion down the throats of voters that they can't tell up from down and then reap the benefits. Most people running for elective office have the good sense to never admit to anything that cynical- or out-and-out un-American- it is true no one on this blog has ever accused Lynn Jenkins of having good sense:

“It’s free speech,” Jenkins said. “Let anybody come tell their story and let the voters sort it out.”

Of course it's free speech, and, yes, anyone can say anything they want. But, as someone hoping to be a representative of the people of the Kansas 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, one would hope you would have the common decency to stand up for those would-be constituents and say, "Enough of the lies, enough big money influence, let's talk about the issues important to Kansans and not the issues important to Washington, DC special interests." No, the mind-numbing ambition of our little state treasurer certainly won't allow that. Instead, Lynn, you're doing what the man you beat did- you're just going to sit back and let Washington dictate to you what needs done, and heaven help the people of the Second District start hearing real-live lies about Nancy Boyda, because you sure as Hell aren't going to do a damn thing about it.

Lynn, it's this kind of cavalier "just let the voters sort out the lies themselves" attitude coming from the Republican Party that put this country in the miserable mess we're in today. How do you expect the people of the district to trust you to represent them in Congress if you won't even make sure the election your running in is fair & honest?

This kind of rhetoric is old and tired- the same song and dance we had for 10 years that voters rejected in 2006.
"People are so tired of that kind of partisanship that they're looking for a change," Boyda said. "They've had enough of the infighting, and that's why I'm running for re-election: because Congress needs the right kind of change."
Lynn Jenkins, ladies and gentlemen- just more of the same.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boyda Up on TV; Releases Second Newspaper Insert

We've gone on something of a vacation this week (relaxing after the primary- lord knows we needed it!), but we couldn't pass up posting Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's first TV commercial:

The Jenkins camp tried to respond to this first general election broadside from Boyda with a feeble, "the people of Kansas want action, not a booklet in their newspaper." Well, that certainly is the case and by reading said booklet the people of Kansas will figure out pretty dang quickly Boyda has been working for them and has sound ideas regarding what to do in the upcoming years.

Jenkins, much like her Republican predecessor in this race, would much rather ignore the substance of Boyda's proposals & treat the people of her would-be districts like dopes. People want information and facts, they don't want empty partisanship, Lynn- figure that out or this puppy's going to be over before you've made it out of the gate.

Friday, August 8, 2008

So It's the Rank of the Tracker By Which They are Offended!

The Kansas Republican Party has bitched and moaned for months about the campaign trackers the Kansas Democratic Party has on the trail attending public events hosted by Jim Ryun & Lynn Jenkins.

We thought they were complaining because they just knew that, someday, Lynn or Jim would say something stupid and it'd be on tape someplace.

But that, obviously, isn't it at all- they were just pissy the trackers are so lowly in rank- they were miffed the KDP didn't have someone of at least senior staff level on the road following their Republicans around.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Executive Director of the Kansas Republican Party Christian Morgan- yes, that's him filming Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's campaign kick off.

Hey, Christian- we don't have any problem with you being there, it was a public event and all so it's cool- but, God man, shouldn' doing that sort of thing? Money troubles? Organizational problems? Bad leadership making it hard to keep competent people around?

For those of you who have missed the photo caption contest...have at Mr. Morgan!

Right Out of the Gate, Jenkins Falters

In the universe of things to never, ever say in politics, Lynn Jenkins' quote from her press conference yesterday ranks near the top:

"Jim and I agree on a whole lot more than we disagree on, and we certainly agree on the direction of the nation," said Jenkins, surrounded by Republicans on the House floor.
Oh, you stupid tone-deaf woman. The majority of your would-be constituents don't want anyone even kind of like Jim Ryun in Congress. That's why Congresswoman Nancy Boyda beat him in 2006...and it's why you just beat him on Tuesday!

That's as stupid as saying "You know, I'm a CPA, and, thus, I know jack-shit about military things..." (We're paraphrasing...)

It was stupid to admit, stupid to sing, but, of course, it's true. Be it on irresponsible tax policy (favoring Big Oil over the middle class) or continuing the Republican Culture of Corruption (not demanding ads produced by her lobbyist donors be taken off the air during the primary), Lynn Jenkins is just more of the same miserably failed Republican leadership we've all come to know and detest over the last decade.

Thank you so, so much, for reminding voters, Lynn.

But, hell, what can we expect? The day after she won her primary by harping on "new Republican leadership," Jenkins swaddled herself in GOP party hacks: Christian Morgan, Kris Kobach, Ray Merrick, Todd Tiahrt, and, of course, Jim Ryun in one of those great juxtapositions. Which were we to pay attention to, Lynn, the empty rhetoric or the frightening visual?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

National Democrats Drop Ad Buy

Again, from the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has dropped plans for a $1.2 million ad by in the Kansas 2nd District.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Bodya, D-Kan., said today the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee complied with her request to withdraw plans for $1.2 million in campaign commercials in her district.

She expressed concern recently the influx of independent advertising in her 2nd District campaign against Republican Lynn Jenkins might too heavily influence the outcome.

"This is terrific news for anyone who believes that Kansas voters should control Kansas campaigns," Boyda said. "By canceling their ads, the DCCC has given Kansas the chance to run our election without Washington interference."

We're proud of Boyda for standing by her guns on this issue- and we'll echo the challenge she laid down for Lynn Jenkins:

"I hope my opponent will join me to demand that these out-of-state groups keep out of Kansas," Boyda said. "Together, we can make this a different kind of campaign: a Kansas campaign, free of the Washington special interests."
Who wants to beat Lynn Jenkins doesn't have the balls to stand up to conservative outside groups and tell them "no meddling" in this election?

Oh, and on another note- the DCCC wouldn't have ever agreed to drop the buy unless they were confident the money wasn't needed- either because they decided Boyda had enough of her own cash, or that her opponent wasn't strong enough to muster a real challenge. Either way, the DCCC's decision is a positve one for Boyda. However, don't be surprised if they go up on air with ads later on- particularly if Jenkins doesn't reign in right wing wacko groups on her side.

Ryun to Endorse Jenkins

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Kansas GOP officials said Ryun would attend a news conference at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Statehouse to endorse Jenkins.

“I made that commitment,” Ryun said. “We have got to work together to win this seat back.”

Well, God bless you, Jim Ryun, for being the big man and endorse Lynn. Repaying the favor she paid you when she endorsed you in 2004? Perhaps just doing exactly what she did...endorsing someone you think is doing a bad job just because you're being told to?


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

And It's Jenkins

What a wild night of election returns!

Those of us here at Boyda Bloc do, certainly, have to say last night's results were a surprise- if only insomuch as the Kansas Republican Party did what we said all along we thought they should do, even though we never expected them to do it. They rejected re-run Jim Ryun for all the same reasons the people of Kansas tossed him out on his ear 2 years ago: He was an incompetent legislator and the worst failure Kansas has had in our congressional delegation in a generation.

For those reasons (and so, so much more), even Kansas Republicans couldn't allow the possibility of Jim Ryun representing them in Congress again.

Therein lies the rub for poor Lynn Jenkins. This isn't her victory, not even at all- this is a backlash against Jim Ryun, and this was her simply beating a man who had already been sent out to pasture by his former constituents.

We have to admit, we didn't know the rank-and-file of the KS GOP felt the same way about Jim Ryun as we do here- we didn't realize they recognized him for the failure he was the same way we do. But, obviously, they do indeed, and, because of that simply truth, Lynn Jenkins finds herself the Republican nominee for Congress.

So- fair points to Lynn Jenkins for the upset win. Good job to her team (Patrick- *kisses*)- but, dear readers, please ponder this with us today: Jenkins has now proven she can beat a man who failed us, a man who had already been beaten, and a man who should have ridden off into the sunset. How does she translate her apparent ability to beat washed up failures into beating a wildly popular & thus far wildly successful incumbent of the majority party?

Our bet? She can't.

Jenkins Squeaks Past Ryun


Lynn Jenkins: 32,240 (50.8%)

Jim Ryun: 31,233 (49.2%)

Jenkins managed to pull out substantial wins in 15 counties, compared to just 10 falling in for Ryun.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Primary Day!

After all these many months, today is finally the day- the day on which Kansas Republicans get to decide which monumentally flawed candidate they'll put up against Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

Will they pick the man she beat, the former Member of Congress already turned out on his ear once before, who is looked on as a do-nothing by moderates & conservatives alike, and who still, even after months of campaigning, has yet to come up with any legislation he supported or any bills he passed during his entire 10 year term in the United States House of Representatives.

Or, will they instead choose our light-weight, disgustingly ambitious State Treasurer, a woman who has been elected to two different offices two separate times only to then bail on her constituents to run for something bigger and more shiny- a woman who, while in the state legislature, voted to increase taxes 12 times, and who is perfectly happy to admit she knows literally nothing about our military, but will be very happy to do as she's told.

What will Kansas Republicans do? Our prediction: They're going to stick with the evil they already know. Jenkins' name recognition in most of the district is just too light for her to be able to dislodge Ryun, and while her apparent plan of smashing Ryun in Shawnee County while doing what she can to mitigate her loses in the rest of the district might have worked, she got started too late, she went negative too late...her campaign could be studied as a perfect example of an opportunity squandered.

We'll know tonight, however- and, when turnout is as low as is expected today, literally anything is possible.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Primary Challenge

If you haven't seen it yet, CQ Politics had a good piece posted yesterday about the KS-02 race.

While the decision of the district’s rank-and-file Republican voters is still up in the air, Ryun is clearly the preferred candidate of most of the national party figures and sympathetic organizations that have invested in the contest.

Of a total of $1.8 million in receipts through July 16 — much more than the total of $1.1 million he raised for his 2006 election cycle — Ryun reported about $241,000 raised from political action and candidate committees, including those of many of his former House Republican colleagues. His total also includes $1.4 million in individual contributions.

Jenkins reported raising $757,000 total through July 16, which included $101,000 in personal funds. A campaign committee related to Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida donated to Jenkins’ campaign, as did committees connected to Illinois Rep. Judy Biggert and former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey. But Jenkins’ total of $45,000 from PACs and candidate committees was much less than that received by Ryun.

The article continues to tell us more about the make-up of the two candidate's platforms. They both are anti-immigration, and taxes has become a huge element of this campaign with a noteworthy independent expenditure very early on attacking Lynn Jenkins for her taxing taxes, we of course brought you the Jenky Tax earlier this year.

“In Kansas, if you position yourself as a moderate Republican in the primary, you may as well say ‘I’m also on a suicide mission,’” said Bob Beatty, a political scientist at Washburn University in Topeka, the state capital and the 2nd District’s largest city. “Once you get to the general, that’s something you may want to work on.”

Jenkins has faced a challenge, though, in eroding the strong support Ryun typically received in the past from strongly conservative voters, including those who give high priority to social issues. Ryun has campaigned by portraying Jenkins as less conservative than she purports to be, and has strongly criticized her record on fiscal issues.

Beatty, who has been interacting with the candidates as a political analyst for 27News on Topeka’s local NBC affiliate, noted that Kansas has closed primaries, so appealing to the Republican base is all-important in Tuesday’s outcome. Unaffiliated voters make up 27 percent of the district’s electorate, but they are not permitted to participate in the primary.

There is more - worth the read, and always interesting to speculate what will happen tomorrow.

Topeka Bridge Finally Opens

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda was on hand to celebrate the opening of the Topeka Blvd. Bridge. As a frequent driver in Topeka I personally am grateful! But more, I think I can speak for the general traffic in Topeka that its a great blessing.

According to the CapJournal

"The opening came 70 years after Topekans first came by the thousands to celebrate the opening of the Topeka Avenue Bridge — but with temperatures reaching 100 degrees Sunday, the crowd at the ribbon-cutting ceremony numbered in the hundreds, not thousands. The $51.1 million bridge opened to traffic at 10 p.m. Sunday."
The picture above features "Adam Pfeifer, 18, of Topeka High School" who according to the caption "spontaneously includes Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., in the performance Sunday during the bridge's opening"

Amusingly enough former Rep. Jim Ryun is not pictured according to that same caption.

Noteworthy of course is Ryun's eagerness to attend the opening and continue to take credit for his "work" in this project.

According to the August 17, 2004 piece by the CapJournal:
"Ryun voted against a bill in December 2003 that added $8.5 million in funding for the bridge and nearly $24 million for the 2nd District as a whole."

Wowzers! Thanks Jim! Great leadership there...

2nd Chances

Does Jim Ryun deserve a 2nd Chance in the 2nd? Its the question asked by today's AP article in the Hutchinson Daily News.

Nationally, both parties view the 2nd District race as highly competitive. Boyda, Jenkins and Ryun raised more than $3.5 million through mid-July, and Ryun and Jenkins have begun aired competing television ads.

Democrats in Kansas believe that Barack Obama's campaign for president has energized young voters and brought new voters to the polls - helping Boyda. Jenkins argues that the GOP needs a new candidate to beat her, but Ryun, whose raised about $1.7 million, said his conservative views still sell well.
Evidently some just aren't sure Ryun is the right babe for the job.

"It never seemed like he was on the forefront of anything," Malle said. "He wasn't generally around unless it was election time.

Really? We hadn't noticed.

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.