The explosive revelation Lynn Jenkins hasn't done her job while serving as our State Treasurer- missing nearly every meeting of the KPERS Board of Trustees in the last quarter while the retirement fund of every teacher & state employee in Kansas lost $1 billion- is only made that much sadder by her campaign's shockingly lame attempts to make this all just go away.
Jenkins herself said she didn't attend the meetings because, "I have a lot of balls in the air right now." Always a good one- I was just too busy to do my job. Drat!
Today in the Topeka Capital-Journal, though, the explanation was much more...layered.
Following Monday's debate, the treasurer said she was staying informed of the board's actions.
"We exchanged e-mails on a weekly basis," she said. "We're engaged. We're on the job."
Ah, good. As long as you're "on the job." Give us some more, Lynn':
Asked if she had sent staff members in her place, she said no and that she was confident in how she was handling her board position.
"I'm very comfortable with the feedback I'm giving them," she said.
But- and this is where pesky records and conversations with other people start to spoil the spin- it seems the Director of KPERS simply hasn't got any idea when the last time Lynn Jenkins even, oh, contacted his office or staff...for anything...though they did call last week to see if the market downturn was hurting investments. Ya think, Lynn?
KPERS executive director Glenn Deck said a member of the treasurer's office contacted him last week to find out the slumping market's effects on the pension fund. He said he hadn't received any e-mails or phone calls from Jenkins recently and said he wasn't aware of others receiving contact either.
"I don't think so because I think I would be copied," Deck said.
He also said he wasn't aware of feedback Jenkins has provided to the board while she was away.
After a fiscal quarter in which KPERS lost $1 billion- a quarter during which Lynn Jenkins spent hundreds of hours away from the job she already has trying to get a new one (those are the balls Lynn keeps talkin' about), so much time, in fact, she couldn't even manage to attend a monthly meeting to....listen...to presentations and reports on the health of KPERS- yes, after all of that, LAST WEEK Lynn thought to call to find out if the markets were hurting our state pension fund.
We'd laugh if it weren't dereliction of duty. And it's certainly the kind of "leadership" Kansas can't afford.
Oh, one last thing from Lynn's intrepid campaign manager:
[Patrick Leopold] added: "It's not exactly doing day trading here. So it's not like there are major changes happening in the investment funds at every meeting."
So glad you don't think $1 billion gone "major," Patrick.