Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jenkins Sat on Fund Mess-up for Two Months

From not showing up to KPERS meetings while the fund was losing $1 billion to waving around a plan to cut funds for rural Kansas schools and student loans to mismanaging $15 million in taxes, Lynn Jenkins is proving more and more she's just really, really bad with money.

From today's Topeka Capital-Journal:

State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins made no effort to inform Kansas counties upon the initial discovery of a state computer blunder that led to misallocation of an undetermined portion of $22.5 million in fuel tax revenue and vehicle registration fees shared with county governments, officials said Wednesday.

The Topeka Republican said a software miscue introduced into the treasurer's computer system nearly a decade ago had gone undetected until April. For nine years, the glitch shortchanged or overpaid counties receiving shares of $2.5 million annually allocated to them, but a full accounting of mistaken payments doesn't exist.

If that's not unbelievable enough from a woman harping about on-the-job diligence when it comes to her opponent, read on:

Josh Hersh, spokesman for Jenkins' congressional campaign, said Jenkins "notified all relevant parties" about the computer malfunction by sending letters April 18 to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and leaders of the House and Senate. Another spokeswoman for Jenkins said a two-sentence statement, along with the letter to Sebelius, was simultaneously dropped in mail boxes of Statehouse reporters. It didn't result in any newspaper, radio or television coverage.

"Of course," Jenkins said, "none of the press found it worthy to report on."

It wasn't until June that the state treasurer's office systematically informed county officials about problems made in calculating distribution of payments, said Jeff Wagaman, assistant state treasurer. By that time, a private audit paid for by the treasurer's office had affirmed allocations to counties were wrong.

So, they knew in April the error existed and that for six years of the Jenkins administration they had been either shortchanging or underpaying counties across the state. She told the Governor (good girl, Lynn) and some legislative leaders, and then slide a two-line nothing into the drawers of the state government press pool. Story effectively made too small to notice- move on to the next step: Do nothing. Then, in June- months later- finally tell the counties you've been screwing up for years and years, all the while hoping it doesn't becoming public because lord knows you don't want to do anything to jeopardize you little run for higher office.

But, at least, in June we all know there's a mistake and it's been rectified, right? Oh, don't you betcha...
Wagaman said the 2008 annual payment to counties also was made in June. It was based on the old, faulty calculation scheme rather than a corrected formula.
Oh, good. Just keeping doing it wrong. Jenkins has told all the counties how much the either owe to the state or are owed from the state at least, right?
No spreadsheet has been produced by the treasurer's office denoting shortfalls and overpayments since 1999, Wagaman said.
Oh, no! Again with the failing!

But, gosh, she'll at least take the credit for screwing it all up for SIX FRIGGIN' YEARS, right?

A fact sheet distributed Wednesday by the Jenkins' campaign assigned blame to her predecessor as treasurer, Tim Shallenburger, nongovernment auditors hired by the state and the Kansas Department of Revenue. Some statistics transferred to the treasurer from the revenue department were wrong, Jenkins said.

Mike Gaughan, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, said statements by Jenkins and her campaign staff pointed a finger at everyone but the GOP candidate.

"For an accountant," Gaughan said, "Lynn Jenkins seems to have zero interest in accountability."

To say the least, Mr. Gaughan, to say the least.

For six years Lynn Jenkins- who promises to go to Washington and "clean house," had a huge, huge ledger book error right under her nose.

Finally, after someone else found it she waited two months before she told the people who really needed to know- our county governments.

Now, because of her inattentiveness, counties might be expected to pay the state treasury back for overpayments Jenkins allowed to happen. What on Earth will Woodson County or Brown County or Linn County do if Lynn Jenkins sends them a letter today that says, "Oh, I'm so sorry, but because I overpayed you for years you owe the state $150,000"? Counties have already crafted their 2009 budgets at this point- if she had acted with due diligence and delivered to them the amount the are either owed from the state or owe back to the state in April, May, or even June of this year, it's possible they wouldn't be faced with the potentially disastrous choice of paying for Lynn's error or funding necessary county projects.

This kind of lax attention to her duties as treasurer are simply unacceptable, and she owes every county government and every single Kansas taxpayer an apology for dedicating her time and efforts to running for Congress rather than the job she has right now.

With this horrible mismanagement of state money, and the fact she couldn't be bothered to even show up to meetings of the KPERS Board of Trustees while a $1 billion loss was happening, it is just amazing Lynn Jenkins would dare to ask us to trust her with our federal tax dollars.

How could she be this bad at her job in Topeka and expect to get sent to Washington, DC?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

i mean, seriously...this is just getting crazy. not only did she not go to kpers meetings she sat on the fact there was a problem with her formulas for MONTHS?!?

doomed doomed dooomed

Anonymous said...

holy fuck, jenkins- you skipped KPERS meetings and you mismanaged money? isn't that like the cardinal sin among CPA's?

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of lies ..... good thing the Governor provided her this material .... of course she lies too. They released this information to the Governor's office months ago along. It is not the State Treasurers job to tell the counties that the state messed up the formula prior to you even being in office..... another office sends this information to the State Treasurer's office..... No menition that your office is the one who found the problem .... not the state's auditors who have looked at it for years.

They let the Governor's office know right away ..... then they investigated as to how far back the problem went and where the bad formula was coming from.

Looks like desperation to me

Anonymous said...

nothing like desperation at all- looks like Jenkins is trying awfully hard to make people stop talking about it, though

Anonymous said...

Lies? Really? Jenkins staff certainly did find the error, that's true- after "overlooking it" for six years- and we're supposed to believe she'll be able to go to Washington and produce...anything...in 2 years.

Of course it's the treasurer's job to tell the county the treasurer's office screwed up- or, at least, they should assume that that is their responsibility.

Anonymous said...

This formula had been in the system for 10 years ... running incorrectly undetected by any state auditor or county treasurer. Instead of getting credit for finding SOMEONE ELSE'S error ..... Boyda turns it into a political issue.

I wonder how many things >>> Like this bailout package and crappy economy due to regulation changes in Clinton administration can be blamed on someone else too .... Congresswoman Boyda

Why did she not see the crash of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac coming? What did she do to try to prevent it?

Anonymous said...

and pinhead ..... no one mismanaged money

unless you count Congress

Anonymous said...

jenkins mismanaged money- there was an error under her nose for six years and she never caught it.

how does she expect us to believe she'll be able to find anything in the federal budget if she can't even handle the state budget?

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