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