Monday, March 31, 2008

Republicans begging for money while Boyda thanks supporters

Today's the last day of the first quarter FEC fundraing period for the good people running for federal office, and in about the last hour we've received e-mails from candidates all over the country begging for money- including Jim Ryun, who says he's only at 55% of his goal of raising $20,000 on the Internet!

Our heart goes out to him in this desperate time.

We've got nothin' new from Lynn Jenkins yet, but she did send out an e-mail last week sometime asking for little contributions ($10, $25, or $50), while Jim's e-mail pushes ya to give $2,300.

No real point, just thought it was interesting. Someone might be able to say something 'bout "small fries vs. big potatoes," but we certainly aren't sayin' it. Also, did anyone else notice in the CQ Politics article we posted earlier that when you call the Jenkins for Congress campaign the number on their web site takes you straight to her campaign manager's cell phone?

Nothing's quite as sad as running a congressional campaign out of your basement.

Nancy Boyda? She sent out an e-mail, too...but instead of begging on her knees for money, she thanked her supporters for helping her already reach her fundraising goal for the quarter.

Today is the final day of the first quarter of 2008, and you know what that means. Our campaign must soon file our quarterly FEC report, disclosing all of the contributions we've received in the last three months.

By long tradition, that means we should send you a high-pitched e-mail this morning, begging for last-minute contributions. Our opponents have already sent their panicked calls for support. One admitted to being $20,000 behind his fundraising goals; the other was $5,000 in the red.

But I have good news. Our campaign has already met our fundraising goal for the first quarter of 2008 -- and that's an enormous credit to your efforts.

You've hosted fundraisers, contributed what you can afford, and served as tireless advocates for our campaign. Thanks to your support, we're entering the second quarter of 2008 on very strong financial footing. Thank you very much!

Of course, our work is not done. A new quarter begins tomorrow, and we'll need your continuing support through Election Day. We'll need your help to share our message with voters and to stem the tide of attack ads. We've done extraordinary work so far, but we must not let up now!

So instead of seeing this e-mail as a final call for first-quarter contributions, consider it an opportunity to leap toward our second-quarter goals. Let's take this chance to show Kansans that our campaign has earned their faith and support.

If you can, please contribute $100, $50, or $25 to start the second quarter off right. Together we can repeat our tremendous success of the first quarter and carry our momentum through Election Day!

With warm thanks,

Nancy Boyda
Member of Congress

After these last ditch efforts (and thank yous for, you know, meeting goals), where will they all end up? Keep on making predictions.

Lynn Jenkins: A Glass Jaw on the Verge of Shattering

The primary battle between Lynn Jenkins and Jim Ryun has become one of the nastiest in recent memory in Kansas and has become particularly bloody at this point.

However shocking it might be, that has a lot more to do with Lynn Jenkins' inability to counter her opponents with measured, appropriate responses than it does dirty tricks from the Ryun campaign. Nope, from Lynn, it's always full tilt, guns blaring- in the wrong direction.

Yes, every single time she's been confronted with any criticism in this race, Lynn Jenkins has responded instantly, forcefully, and, without fail, wrongly.

Take, for instance, her response to the Club for Growth ad that was run attacking her (rightfully) for being a "proven tax-hiker" when she was in the state legislature.

How did she respond? First, she lied. Then she went all crazy all over Jim Ryun.

“Despite their slimy efforts, no false advertising funded by Jim Ryun’s Washington, D.C., friends will prevent the truth about Treasurer Jenkins’ fiscally conservative record from getting out to the voters of the 2nd District,” said Jenkins’ campaign manager, Pat Leopold.

[Leopold also said this in the press release Jenkins sent out:]

"Treasurer Jenkins was hopeful that Jim Ryun would agree [to run a clean campaign] and find at least one thing in his decade in Congress he was willing to run on instead of turning to the same attacks that got him fired in the first place."
But, Lynn...you did vote to increase taxes over and over again while you were in the legislature. Our fellow blue blog Blue Tide Rising had an excellent analysis of this whole mess at the time:
Lynn Jenkins overreacted. Immediately, she incorrectly accused Jim Ryun of being behind the attack. Because such coordination is prohibited by the FEC this is a serious allegation, she's accusing Jim Ryun of breaking the law. It begs the question, as a candidate is Lynn Jenkins experienced enough to win in a hyper-competitive General election? How many more "Clubbings" before her glass jaw breaks?
Call that "Lynn Flies of the Handle #1."

For "Lynn Flies off the Handle #2," we have a very recent, very public hissy fit that came when this blog and Jim Ryun's campaign, with just a little help from the KC Star, raked her over the coals for, oh, accepting political contributions from the CEO of a company to which she was about to give a multi million dollar state contract.

Illegal? Naw. Unethical? Depends on your point of view. Should she get as far away from the company as she can? You better betcha!

But did she? No, of course not, because they were planning on running TV commercials featuring her smiling face...in the district she's running for Congress in! How convenient!

So, Ryun called her out (as did this blog), and told her to tell the company to not run the ads featuring her gleaming grin as long as she was running for Congress. And how did Ms. Jenkins handle that? You win a shiny new quarter if you said, "She jumped the shark."

Lynn sent out an e-mail broadsiding Ryun for character assassination because he dared to question her ethical standards. In her e-mail, which we love, she returned the favor to Mr. Ryun.
Jim Ryun is running a character assassination smear campaign against Lynn Jenkins and he is launching ridiculous claims against Lynn targeting her as "unethical". Ethics and Ryun's business dealings with convicted felon Jack Abramoff was, of course, a major issue for Jim when he lost to Nancy Boyda in 2006, so he's trying a trick out of Hillary Clinton's playbook and trying to drag Lynn down with him. Well, it didn't work for Hillary Clinton and it won't work for Jim Ryun either! We need your help to stop him now!
Like we said at the time....she actually compared Jim Ryun to Hillary Clinton, which is the funniest thing anyone has said in Kansas politics since Speaker Melvin Neufeld last talked about carbon dioxide. 'Course, she was right on with the part about Jim Ryun being unethical, too...but we digress.

All comes down to that this is just another episode that paints a pretty clear picture of Lynn Jenkins as a woman who couldn't find a measured political response with the help of a Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil and an adding machine

(Accountant humor...we thought it was funny...).

By the way, with a jaw as brittle as it appears to be, Jenkins would be wise to not throw stones. She's not wise, of course, and was quoted hurling a big ol' rock in the July 7, 2007 issue of the Wichita Eagle when talking about Jim Ryun's campaign to win his old seat back:
"Most of the comments I've heard is that it smacks of a desperate attempt to regain his DC lifestyle, and Kansans rejected that in November of 2006."
She also lied to her hometown newspaper about where Ryun is currently living.

That's a dangerous game, Lynn. A word of advice, from us straight to you: Don't throw elbows unless you can handle them, too, ma'am.

So, when will Lynn "Glass Jaw" Jenkins finally crack? With only $90,000 raised last quarter and every last bit of momentum going toward her Republican opponent, we can't see that she's got much time left in her increasingly desperate quixotic quest for Congress.

CQPolitics: Republican In-Fighting "Hobbles" Chances to Beat Boyda

Congressional Quarterly Politics took a very balanced look at the battle for the 2nd Congressional district in Kansas today, reminding us all that the longer Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins bloody themselves the better Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's re-election prospects look.

The article paints a fair picture of the heated battle raging within the Republican ranks currently, mentioning Ryun's strong support within the conservative faction of the party, while Jenkins finds her support coming from the "moderate" wing of the state GOP.

As a side note, Burdett Loomis, Professor of Political Science at KU, has a good quote about "moderate" Republicans in Kansas:

“[S]he’s no moderate in the sense of New York or Connecticut moderates,” Loomis said. “The word ‘moderate’ out here . . . you end up using it, but you almost want to put quotation marks around it.” [Good point! We'll follow your lead!]
We appreciate CQ Politics for saying Ryun was kicked out on his duff for being a disconnected and miserable excuse for a Congressman, and that Jenkins has already been smacked around by outside groups.
Ryun, though, has already seen his personal efforts supplemented by those of ideologically compatible outside groups that support him. The political action committee of the Club for Growth, a national group that emphasizes conservative views on economic issues, ran ads as early as last summer calling Jenkins a “tax hiker.”
The piece concludes with some good "while the Republican's bloody themselves" content about what Congresswoman Boyda is doing to stay above the fray- occupying herself by doing her job.

While the Republicans duke it out, Boyda is trying to buff up an image, in the words of press secretary Thomas Seay, as a moderate leader in the Democratic Party who “stepped up to the challenge.”

Boyda, who only switched from the Republican Party herself in 2003, has a substantial presence in the district, returning nearly every weekend to host “Congress on Your Corner” events across the district. Seay said a recent “Congress on Your Corner” event lasted six and a half hours.

And Boyda, though she faces a very difficult challenge in holding her seat, enters her re-election campaign with the benefit of resurgent Democratic organizing efforts in Washington, D.C. — where the “50-State” strategy instituted by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has led to an infusion of funds and support staff in Republican strongholds long overlooked by the national party — and in Kansas, where the popularity of two-term Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has given her party a boost.

“Sebelius and the Democratic Party have put together, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd districts, a tremendous fundraising, get out the vote operation,” Loomis said. “It’s really one of the real success stories of Dean’s 50-state strategy. Boyda benefits from that substantially.”

The race is going to be tight, and regardless of who manages to claw their way out of the bloodbath that is the Republican primary, Nancy Boyda's going to have to work hard on the campaign trail to get sent back to Washington.

But, just like CQ Politics notes, the job Boyda has done has a Member of Congress has successfully defined her as an independent, moderate voice for district, and her on-the-ground appeal is going to make it harder to knock her off than the Republicans would like.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tongue-in-Cheek Day: McCain-Boyda for a Stronger America

Just two quick funny/interesting posts involving Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

First, for some reason, Republican presidential nominee John McCain is advertising his campaign on Nancy Boyda's MySpace page. Mike Connery talks about it here, and our good friend Ally Klimkoski talks about it here.

Generally, both of them point out it's 1) strange he's advertising on a Democrat's MySpace page, and 2) that it might be a sign, as Ally puts it, that he "has found the Internets."

We just thought it was entertaining.

Next, a post from months ago that we just found again- interestingly, also involving Nancy Boyda and John McCain. The post mentions Congresswoman Boyda has a potential Secretary of State in a potential McCain administration.

Yes, we laughed, too, but not in the mean way all of you Republicans are. :-)

All of us, Democrat and Republican, Boyda supporters and Boyda haters, can probably all come together and say the same thing: "That ain't gonna happen." But, it's nice to know someone out there thinks that highly of her.

(Become Nancy Boyda's friend on MySpace today!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

FEC deadline fast approaches...who will come out on top?

The weekend is always a slow time here at Boyda Bloc, but it's a perfect time to post ya'll with a question: With the FEC filing deadline coming on Monday, March 31, what do you think we should expect to see in terms of money raised and on-hand from Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins?

Just as a refresher, this is where they all started this quarter (listed in "Cash on Hand order):

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda
4th Quarter raised: $218,054.81
Cycle-to-Date: $771,305.76
Cash on Hand: $654,229.18

Lynn Jenkins
4Q raised: $90,376.52
Cycle to Date: $406,377.37
Cash on hand: $416,241.73 (it's higher than contributions because of some pesky "other receipts."

Jim Ryun
4Q raised: 198,454.18
Cycle-to-Date: $960,127.85
Cash on Hand: $364,789.19

So, who's gonna raise what? Will Congresswoman Boyda continue to win the cash-on-hand battle? Will Jim continue to blow his wad on stamps? And will Lynn even manage to break $100K? Give us your guess as to amount raised and CoH.

Friday, March 28, 2008

StayRedKansas lies...shocking, we know

What is quickly becoming a nearly impossible to read mess of spelling and grammatical errors, the right-wing radical blog StayRedKansas reminded us all this afternoon of another of their significantly more upsetting traits- LYING.

They post today that 1). Nancy Boyda has received $94,000 from unions this election cycle, 2) that this is very, very bad, and 3) that "Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins have largely turned to donors within the State of Kansas for financial help."

All of those things, particularly the first and third things are out-and-out lies. Blatant lies, so clearly lies we can show you they are with three mouse clicks.

First, please notice that Nancy Boyda hasn't even received $94,000 from PACs this election cycle, let alone specifically pro-labor PACs. Second, reflect back to our post from yesterday that showed Jim Ryun only raised 32% of his total campaign haul in the 4th quarter from Kansas- and only 14% from the 2nd Congressional District. Here, see his FEC report for yourself!

Come on, seriously? Seriously? Lies to easy to verify as lies it only took a few minutes to do it?

The bit we can quibble on is whether or not taking money from pro-labor organizations is good or not. Wait...no, no we can't- it is of course a good thing to have a pro-labor member of Congress. They all should be.

And someday you labor-hating anti-union right-wing hacks will realize HB 800 was a pro-workers bill. We don't expect that anytime soon, but hopefully, someday, the light will come on over your little pea heads.

This should serve as an example, readers, of what we all should expect this Fall. When Republicans know they're losing, they do the one thing that comes naturally to them- they lie.

Right Now 2008

A new video- not from us and not exclusively about Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, but it does talk about our little blog and Nancy, too, so, heck, we'll post it!


Jim Ryun Photo Caption Contest #3

Yet another installment of our popular Friday game. Please, poke fun along with the rest of us (Jenkins supporters invited, too, of course. We'll get to your candidate eventually). ;-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My name's Jim Ryun, and I'm running full-time to represent Texas in Congress

We need to squeeze in another report on a campaign stop for Jim Ryun even before he finds himself in California in April, because the former Member of Congress was in Texas on Wednesday campaigning hard for the right to represent all of us back here in Kansas.

It's unfortunate for Ryun that the article we found smashes the silly charade he's been carrying on for months- that his little trips around the country have just been nothing more than displays of a washed-up celebrity trying to get some ego stroking.

No, Jim wasn't at the track meet in Midland just to be at the track meet, he was in there for a fundraiser and just couldn't resist a little self-aggrandizing.

In Texas.

In Midland for a fundraiser at the home of Congressman Mike Conaway and his wife Suzanne, [Ryun] faces Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins in the Aug. 5 primary and hopes to take on Democratic incumbent Nancy Boyda, who beat him two years ago, in the Nov. 4 general election.
So, there you go. Jim's little flits around the country have been probably just what we expected: Fundraising visits camouflaged as desperate attempts to relive the glory days of his athletic career. While that makes us feel better for Jim's mental health (the alternative was just so sad...), it does make us wonder: After Jim travels the country raising money, who is it he's going to feel beholden to if he were to win? Kansas? Or California and Texas?

On that subject, the Conaways aren't the first Texans to go to the mat for Jim. In July of 2007, Gov. Perry promised Jim he'd do whatever he would to put him back in Congress.

That leg-up from Gov. Perry shows. Ryun's last FEC filing shows the almost exactly the same number of donations from Texas as it does from the Kansas 2nd Congressional District. Texas doesn't win, though- Jim did have 6 more people he would actually be representing give him money than he did Texans.
Perry wrote in an invitation letter that Ryun will support “our views in Congress.”

[...]

“His vote is a national vote."
So national, in fact, only 14% of this itemized contributions listed in his 4th Quarter FEC filing are from the 2nd District of Kansas- and only 32% are from Kansas at all.

Yes, Governor Perry, Jim Ryun's a national candidate- and might represent Texas values very well. He has support from everywhere.

Everywhere except Kansas.

More on Boyda's effort to save taxpayer money, free up space at Forbes Field

We posted on Monday about Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's efforts to save Kansas taxpapers $1.1 million by allowing the Air Force to retire unused tankers at Forbes Field. We have more today from a piece from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The aircraft have been parked on the ramp at Topeka's Forbes Field since last fall as the Kansas Air National Guard moves toward using only new versions of the tankers, KC-135Rs. Ground crews have been keeping the old planes, KC-135Es, in a federally mandated "warm ready" state in case of emergency, even though the Kansas Guard has no one certified to fly them.

[...]

The 190th Air Refueling Wing based at Forbes flies 12 of the newer KC-135s, making space limited for operations, said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, adjutant general for Kansas.

"We want to keep it as open as possible," said Bunting, who approached Rep. Nancy Boyda about accelerating the retirement of tankers.

Boyda, a Democrat representing Kansas' 2nd District, said the decision to keep obsolete tankers made no sense and was wasting resources.

"It has a nationwide impact," Boyda said. "It's time to put them to bed. They've had a very good life."

[...]

Bunting and Boyda said clearing space at Forbes would create more room for current operations or to bring another air mission to Kansas, such as an airlift wing flying cargo planes.
Congresswoman Boyda has worked since she was elected to do what's right for her district, and this is another example of her hearing the needs from people on the ground and creating legislation to help. Not only do Boyda's efforts free up space at Forbes Field, retiring planes no one can fly, she also saves us $1.1 million in Topeka alone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boyda puts in requests for Kansas, Ryun reminds us he wouldn't

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda followed her own example and again released her full list of earmark requests- while challenging every single other member of the Kansas delegation to do the same thing.

These aren't the projects Boyda has received funding for- these are just the projects that local governments and police departments all over the district have asked her to ask for in the federal budget.

The full list can be found here.

The other side is going to scream "pork-barrel projects," but Kansans know the truth: these aren't fluff, these aren't some pie-in-the-sky project, these are deeply necessary, gravely important funding issues that many of these city's have no other way to obtain.

Boyda, who is running for re-election this year, seeks $2.5 million for planning a new section of the Interstate 70 viaduct through Topeka. The Kansas Department of Transportation is interested in options to a curved 45 mile per hour zone that has recorded 122 crashes, including 44 injury accidents, in the past dozen years.

Boyda also recommended $1.6 million to buy land and design a redevelopment project on the Kansas River near the Great Overland Station and $1.5 million for water and sewer improvements near Heartland Park Topeka.

Smaller Topeka projects are: $834,000 to restore Constitution Hall, $500,000 for a Children's Discovery Center in Gage Park and $250,000 to study restoration of the former Wanamaker wetlands.

Thousands for local police forces, thousands for infrastructure improvements- the list is filled with all the sorts of things Congress should be paying for and the sorts of things that could benefit tens of thousands of Kansans everyday.

Jim Ryun is quoted in this same article, and the juxtaposition is just devastating- for him. Boyda has just announced the works she is doing on behalf of the district- and the work she is doing on earmark reform, and Ryun is quoted saying he'll not ask for a dime- even though he always used to- because we're in an earmark "crisis."

A crisis he let happen on his watch. He always leaves that part out.

Congresswoman Boyda didn't this time- and good for her for saying something.

Boyda said local communities support the earmarking process. She received a joint letter from the city of Topeka and the Topeka Chamber of Commerce urging her to oppose an earmark moratorium.

She said Ryun was a member of the Republican-led Congress that increased earmarks 285 percent from 1994 to 2005, climbing to 15,877 from 4,126. She said Congress last year cut earmarked funding by one-third below the previous year.

"I have been a strong advocate for transparency," Boyda said. "It was the lack of transparency that created the crisis that Mr. Ryun pointed to."

Boyda announced she is proposing a bill that would require every member of Congress to follow her lead and make all earmark requests public. It will probably fail. Why? Because we have too many members of Congress like Jim Ryun, who talk the talk, but when pencil comes to paper, they refuse to actually do the right thing.

For more witty analysis on this very subject , visit our friends over at Left Brain Kansas.

KS AFP's Alan Cobb doesn't like us much

We've spent much of last Friday e-mailing back and forth with Alan Cobb, Executive Director of the Kansas branch of Americans for Prosperity.

He doesn't like us much.

Why? Because he doesn't like the way we represented his organization in our post about the AFP meeting of anti-government hacks in Topeka- at which Jim Ryun & Lynn Jenkins spoke.

Mr. Cobb demanded we issue a retraction- heck, take the whole post down- because we were "knowingly making a false statement(s)" about AFP.

We, very politely, told him we had done no such thing.

He, generally, didn't like that we had said AFP's stated goal was devastating cuts to government programs. We tried to explain to him that, well, his own mission statement says the goal of the organization is to cut taxes and reduce the size of the budget, which, at the federal and state level would lead to cuts in something. We just guessed as to where those cuts would be.

He didn't like that.

Excerpts of said e-mail exchanges follow. :-)

From Alan Cobb:

You have intentionally and deliberately posted false information on your blog. You have yet to provide any evidence or source for your statements about budget cuts we advocate.
No, no we haven't posted anything false- and, certainly the Americans for Prosperity web site serves as a beautiful source. He is right to say, though, that they don't lobby for specific cuts, just great big general ones. We'll get back to that in a moment.

He went on to say:
I understand you and other bloggers need to be politically provocative, but it is certainly intellectually weak, and illegal, to knowingly post untruths about groups with whom you disagree. Is the actual truth not good enough to get your folks riled up?
Gosh, tossing out insults certainly is the sign of an intellectual giants, of course. As to the "illegal" part, he supports his point by quoting for us a definition of libel.
li·bel
  1. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.
  2. The act of presenting such material to the public.
I suggest you change your statements to more accurately and truthfully reflect our organizations specific goals, and ideas.
Tossing out scary legal terms in an effort to strong-arm a poor, defenseless blogger into doing what you want certainly isn't very nice. Neither is knowingly misrepresenting the law in an effort to do the same thing.

Everyone, please read the definition provided by Mr. Cobb. Note the word "person's."

A plain text reading of the Kansas statute that happens to be applicable (K.S.A. @ 21-4004 for those few, few who care) and even to Mr. Cobb's definition, says libel is an offense against a person. Americans for Prosperity is a group, not a person, and, thus, would have some pretty significant hurdles to jump before they could even attempt to bring a defamation suit. We believe Mr. Cobb is an attorney, and knows that full well- which makes it that much more unfortunate that he'd threaten us so.

But all of that is silly to discuss (as we told Mr. Cobb), because nothing we've posted anywhere on this blog ever even approaches the Kansas statutory definition of defamation (which, of course, isn't nearly as simple as the cute little quote Mr. Cobb lobbed at us in his e-mail). In the end, all we've done is offered a perspective Mr. Cobb doesn't like. Unfortunately for him, that's just not illegal.

Anyway, we responded thusly:
From: Boyda Bloc
To: Alan Cobb
Subject: RE: your blog

Mr. Cobb, we will have to continue to disagree. This blog posted nothing false about your organization, we merely correctly stated your organization leads the charge for reduced federal/state spending- reduced spending equals reductions in services. The two cannot be separated.

Your STATED goal is budget reduction, lowered taxes. Your STATED goal results in massive budget cuts and the slashing of social services. Nothing we've said is false, unless you live in a world where actions have no consequences. We, sir, do not.

We've published opinion & fact & logical extensions of AFP's mission statement, and you don't like our take on it. That doesn't make it libelous, sir.

We'll gladly do one thing for you: We'll clarify. We'll be happy to point out it isn't Social Security and Education you want to see cut. It's everything- literally all programs- that could see devastating cuts due to your efforts. It wasn't precise of us to limit it to the social programs we listed, and we apologize.

We should have been more broad.

And we should also say you don't care what gets cut, who gets hurt, and what kind of havoc you cause- as long as taxes go down, and budgets don't grow. The people of Colorado thank you, I'm sure.

-BoydaBloc
In the end, Alan's right- we misspoke. We didn't commit libel, we merely didn't expound enough. They aren't calling for specific cuts in anything. They're championing cuts- ridiculous cuts- to pay for irresponsible tax policy. It might not be social programs, it might be Defense, or infrastructure maintenance- something will get cut if you cut the monies available.

So, yes, Mr. Cobb, you were right. We weren't clear. We put limits on the real damage you and your organization could do. We're dreadfully sorry- and thank you so much for giving us the chance to clarify that fact.

By the way...Mr. Cobb e-mailed us a several more times- finally saying he was asking "one more time" for us to make the changes he demanded. Hopefully this post will placate him- though, for some reason, we don't see that as a likely outcome.

And, just for giggles- here are a half dozen stories about exactly what could happen if Alan Cobb gets his way...and, wow- cuts to social services, education- even public safety as Colorado Springs is in such awful shape 55% of the city's budget is generated by sales tax..and can't afford enough people to answer 911 calls.

A Taxing Debate
, BEWARE: TABOR is coming;
After devastating government services in Colorado, the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" threatens to spread, Commission's Revenue Cap Proposal Would Require Cuts in Education, Health, and Safety, and Harm Business Climate, Springs' 911 callers give up, Business leaders learn Colo. is still short on money for critical services, Fund our higher education.

(Credit where credit is due: The above picture was taken from the Americans for Prosperity web site. What on Earth are they doing to those children?)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Boyda saves taxpayers $1.1 million

Great news from Congresswoman Nancy Boyda via the Kansas Democratic Party blog:

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Boyda will join Kansas Adjutant General Todd Bunting to announce the planned retirement of Forbes Field's 12 obsolete KC-135E refueling tankers.

Until this year, the National Guard was required by law to maintain the aircraft, even though they no longer serve any national security purpose. Now, under a provision of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act requested by Congresswoman Boyda, the planes are scheduled for retirement.

The move is expected to save taxpayers at least $1.1 million per year.
We covered this story once before when it was just in the very beginning stages, and we're glad to have the chance to announce now that Boyda's plan has been approved.

As we said in our previous post:

According to the article, eight of those KC-135Es are currently located at Forbes Field in Topeka, with four more expected to arrive soon. The planes are no longer needed, but current federal law requires the planes to be kept at "warm-ready" status- resulting in an expenditure of $1.1 million annually in Topeka alone.

And, just so no one says anything about this bring "anti-military," the Guard thinks it's a good idea, too.

Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas National Guard, said the act should result in freed-up space and money at Forbes.

"We have a number of planes stored at 190th Air Refueling Wing that would be impossible to retire given the former legislation," she said. "We're very pleased to see this bill pass."

Great job, Congresswoman Boyda!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where's Jim? Getting ready for a trip to California!

First Hawaii. Then Florida.

Now, Jim "Campaigning Full-time" Ryun as found a campaign trail in Kansas that somehow leads him to sunny California.

This time, though, it isn't a running event, so he isn't trotting out that old celebrity. Instead, he's tossing out a title he doesn't have anymore as takes up the prestigious honor as the headliner at the The 23rd annual Community Leaders Prayer Breakfast for the Christian Business Men's Connection on April 11 in Redding, California.

The special guest speaker will be Jim Ryun, a Republican congressman from Kansas. Ryun received national acclaim as a track and field star and won a silver medal in the 1500 meter run in the 1968 Olympics.
So, they did trot out the "he's a track star!" line, but the bit that's more upsetting is that they call him a "Republican congressman from Kansas."

He used to be a Republican congressman from Kansas. The voters of Kansas made it pretty clear they didn't want him to have that title when they handed him a defeat just as stunning as the one he suffered in the '68 Olympics.

And don't even get us started on how icky is it he's speaking at a "men's only" event...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jim Ryun Photo Caption Contest #2

Blue Tide Rising has Friday Funnies....BoydaBloc has Photo Caption Contest.


This week we'd like you to come up with a good slogan for the Ryun campaign to go along with this picture:


Recycled Congressman for everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

10,000 hits!

Just a quick purely self-indulgent post: We're on the verge of our 10,000 hit, and we'd just like to thank all of our readers- Boyda fans and otherwise- for making this blog such a stunning success.

Keep coming back for more- we promise to remain the very best source for news, gossip, and rumors about the hottest congressional race in the country!

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.]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jenkins & Ryun: "We promise to cut funding to Social Security, Medicare, Education"

Today, Americans for Prosperity, one of the most radical anti-governement organizations active in America today, held a rally in Topeka, and two of the featured speakers were the two Republicans vying to replace Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. Characteristically, they ripped each other limb-from-limb.

You know, actually, it's funny that AFP wanted Lynn Jenkins and Jim Ryun to speak at their event. Neither one of them are what you'd call paragons of fiscal responsibility. Much to our glee, they both pointed that out.

We're just partisan bloggers, so we understand if you don't want to take our word for it. Would you prefer, instead, to take it straight from Jenkins & Ryun themselves?

[Jenkins] also blasted Ryun, accusing him of being part of the former Republican majority that ratcheted up pork-barrel spending.

"Republicans like our own Jim Ryun, voted yes and sat back and watched as our spending and debt skyrocketed," Jenkins said.

[...]

[Ryun] also criticized Jenkins for supporting what he called "irresponsible" tax hikes and for failing to commit herself to rejecting tax increases while in the Legislature. His comments echo criticisms lodged by a national anti-tax-hike group that attacked Jenkins' record last year.
Those things are so true! Club for Growth has indeed already run TV commericals in Kansas reminding voters Lynn Jenkins voted to increase taxes again and again when she was in the state legislature.


And, well, like this blog pointed out only a few weeks ago, Jim Ryun certainly never shied away from requesting earmarks when he was in Congress- and he was content to watch the number of earmarks increase 10 fold while he was in office (they've gone down since Boyda took the seat, by the way).

In the end, we shouldn't be surprised. This was just another display of two desperate politicians looking for any constituent group they can sell themselves to in order to win the nomination of their party- even if they have to deny their own realities to get it done.

Honestly, while all that wallowing in Fantasyland is beneath a federal candidate, it's actually horrifying Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins would even be willing to speak to an organization as radical as AFP (who, if they got their way, would eliminate ALL funding for social programs- that includes Social Security, Medicare, student loans- the list goes on and on). It's shocking to see anyone running for office tie themselves to a group who are actually dedicated to making people's lives harder.

Luckily, we have a better option in November, and while Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins side with radical groups who want to make all of our lives worse, we can be sure Nancy Boyda will do her best to prevent ridiculous cuts to social programs, and that she will do everything in her power to make sure the sort of irresponsible policies being proposed by Jenkins & Ryun, Inc. will never go into effect.

Boyda backs changes to credit card rules

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda is backing changes to the Truth in Lending Act that would make signing up for a credit card more transparent and fair for consumers.

As reported by WIBW TV in Topeka, Boyda's co-sponsoring the bill, which is now on its way to the United States Senate.

Boyda says she believes credit card companies have all the power and consumers "don't even have a fighting chance a lot of the time."

The proposal would also require a credit card bill be sent 25 days before payment is due.. and for the company to give 45 days notice before changing your interest rate.

Video of the interview can be found here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boyda does what's right on energy policy, reduces subsidies for Big Oil

As the economy continues to sour, Congress's response to energy policy becomes more and more vital, and Nancy Boyda has been at the forefront of the struggle to response with this massive problem.

In yet another clip of her remarks to at the Kansas Democratic Party State Convention, Boyda asks a simple question: "Do you think that you and I should be subsidizing the big five integrated oil companies?"


Like she says- that shouldn't be a hard question.

Boyda joined a bipartisan majority in late February to pass the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act, which invested millions of dollars into ending our dependence on foreign oil.

Boyda said, "Renewable energy offers tremendous promise for our state's economy. Kansas has the soil to grow crops to be converted to biofuels, the skies to harvest wind energy, and the research base to nurture new technology. Now all we need is a national commitment to energy independence. That's what today's bill is all about. It should be called the 'Kansas Economic Development Act' – that's how important it is to our businesses and communities."
Nancy Boyda's stand on energy is clear: We've got to break our dependence on foreign oil and other nonrenewable fuels and that we've got invest in alternatives- the greener, the better.

*Note- The timing on the video is a little off, we be uploading a better version ASAP.

KS Republican legislator sides with Boyda on NAFTA & Superhighway

As reported by the Kansas City Star, conservative Republican member of the Kansas State House of Representatives Judy Morrison has introduced a resolution seeking to express the opinion of the entire Kansas State Legislature that the United States should withdraw from NAFTA and oppose construction of the NAFTA Superhighway.

At a hearing Monday, Morrison, a Republican, said powerful financial interests are working to create a new super highway and trade corridor from Mexico to Canada through several states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

During recorded testimony played before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, Oklahoma Sen. Randy Brogdon said the corridor would be subject not to U.S. laws but international law.

“The super corridor will cause the largest confiscation of private property ever seen in the United States,” he said.

Morrison’s resolution is supported by the Teamsters Union and U.S. Reps. Nancy Boyda of Topeka, a Democrat, and Jerry Moran of Hays, a Republican.

[UPDATE: Congressman Moran's office contacted this blog, directing us to an update to this quote story, which clarifies that Moran doesn't support withdrawal from NAFTA, but does not support construction of a NAFTA Superhighway.]

Jim Ryun's campaign screamed in 2006 that Boyda was just trying to scare voters into supporting her. We wonder what he says to people like Rep. Judy Morrison and Rep. Jerry Moran.

Or to former constituents like Richard Oates of Topeka, who sent in a letter to the Topeka Capital-Journal thanking Boyda for her dedication to opposing a NAFTA supercorridor.

Take it from me as a truck driver: Mrs. Boyda deserves enormous credit for her efforts to prevent the NAFTA superhighway and improve our road safety.

The superhighway is a rotten idea for many reasons. It threatens highway safety by allowing uninspected, poorly built Mexican trucks on American highways. It threatens the American trucking industry by allowing low-paid, undertrained Mexican drivers to take our jobs. It threatens our immigration laws by weakening our border with Mexico. And it threatens the American economy with limitless, runaway trade.

Mrs. Boyda has fought to address all of these problems. She wrote the Safe American Roads Act, which blocked funding for a program to allow Mexican trucks onto American roads. Her bill passed the House of Representatives last year. She has also introduced a bill to renegotiate NAFTA to improve America's trade imbalance.
We agree with Mr. Oates, who concludes by saying he's thankful Rep. Boyda is protecting the border. It's just another issue that is deeply important to our national security and to her constituents that she has already shown more leadership on than Jim Ryun did in his whole career.

Monday, March 17, 2008

KS GOP blog objects to Boyda's speech on FISA, calls her "profane"

After being viewed more than 6,000 times in 48 hours, we're pretty comfortable saying Nancy Boyda's speech on FISA is a runaway success.

And, with a runaway success for a Democrat in Kansas, we were also equally comfortable saying it would be met by the screeching sound of Kansas Republican bloggers dragging their fingernails across computer monitors all over the state in an effort to eviscerate Congresswoman Boyda for her position.

We waited all day Saturday. Maybe they were researching the history of FISA- you know, that it was established to prevent another Nixon of spying on American citizens again. We waited all day Sunday. Maybe it was going to a point-by-point response with charts and graphs. We waited through nearly the whole day Monday before, finally, one of our comrades on the Right finally put finger to keyboard and posted a response.

What, after three days of preparation, did they say?

"Nancy Boyda's a potty mouth and doo-doo head!" And then they misquoted her.

Yes, that's right, the attack that seems to be the one the Republicans are going with is that Nancy Boyda is just a foul-mouthed sailor-of-a-woman who dared to say the word "damn" in public, which, apparently, is all you have to do to be "profane" nowadays. At least she's in good company, since, you know, she was quoting Mark Twain.

But, remember friends, the folk at The Kansas Republican are from a different era...just like the leadership of their party.

"My land, she cursed! Carrie, quick, get the smelling salts, I do believe Wild Bill is going to faint! Oh, he's been overcome with the vapors! Call Doc Holliday on the party line!"
Next they'll be after her for wearing pants in public. And what on Earth will we do about her driving- and voting! Just- goodness!

While the response is unfortunately pathetic (we waited so long for it!), we can't ignore the fact they decided to misquote Boyda's speech, even though the transcript is published in full right here at BoydaBloc. They're lying when they say Nancy said these two things:
“Republicans Are Damn Liars… they should be ashamed”

and

Boyda felt comfortable calling Republicans peddlers of “lies, damn lies.. who should be ashamed of themselves.”
Take a look at the first post from today, which contains the whole transcript of Boyda's remarks, and you can see for yourself that she never, once, said either of those things.

She was, indeed, very specific that the Kansas Republican Party, not Kansas Republicans, should be ashamed of its ad suggesting that she is on the side of terrorists.

We might be going out on a limb here, but we think ads like that one already make Kansas Republicans ashamed of their party leaders. What kind of person with any sense about them could ask if a sitting Member of Congress is on the side of the terrorists? She right, that's a stupid question, an unpatriotic question, and we'd guess the vast majority of Kansas Republicans agree with her on those two points.

In the end, this was a pathetic attempt to redirect discussion away from the fact Nancy Boyda's position on FISA is right, the people of Kansas agree with her, and that they simply can't get any traction out of criticizing her for what she actually said- so, instead of talking about that, they make up quotes, attribute them to her, and then spew righteous indignation about her swearing.

'Course, it would be too much to expect of any of the Republican blogs in Kansas to actually talk about the issues when they have character assassination and misdirection to use instead. That's fine, because if they tried to engage Boyda on the issues they'd lose.

Nancy Boyda's FISA speech transcript

The following is the transcript of the video of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's speech on FISA.



You've heard that there are three kinds of lies? Lies, damned lies, and statistics?

... If that's the lies, then you know what's coming next. Well, we're talking about damned lies, and when it comes to damned lies, we're talking about the debate that right is going on, and that's on FISA. This is a hundred times more sinister, it's a hundred times more frightening, and I believe a hundred times more shameful.

You've probably seen the TV ads that are attacking me right now. Ominous pictures and scary, scary music. Here's their line. "Midnight. February 16th. The law that lets intelligence agencies intercept al-Qaeda communications expires."

Well, in case you're wondering, that would be what is called a damned lie.

(laughter)

It's such a damned lie that Newsweek ran a fact check piece – you saw it last week – and it just tore [the ad] to shreds.

These are not my words, these are Newsweek's: "misleading," "a play to fear" – come on, we didn't need Newsweek to tell us that this was a play to fear – and "simply not true." These are Newsweek's words, not mine.

So let's talk about what's really going on, because this is the very core, the very core of our democracy. The main law used to wiretap terrorists is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – that's called FISA. Make no mistake: It is in full force today. Intelligence agencies have every right and today they are wiretapping any terrorist in the world at any time, anywhere. And I personally thank God for that. My number one priority is keeping your family and my family safe.

Nobody, nobody disagrees that we should aggressively wiretap terrorists. Here's the question – and let's reframe this argument. It's not about wiretapping terrorists. Here's the question: Do we want the United States government wiretapping Americans without a warrant? Ladies and gentlemen, that is the issue that is at stake here. I say absolutely no. We do not want the United States government spying on Americans without a warrant.

But President Bush says that's OK, and right now, this is right down party lines. And the Republicans in Congress are sticking with him. In fact, he has threatened to veto any FISA bill that requires meaningful court oversight. "Get rid of the annoying judicial branch. Get rid of that annoying Congressional branch. All we need is oversight within the executive branch."

Folks, the reason that we have the FISA bill in the first place – who knows? Thank you: Richard Milhous Nixon. Watergate. Nixon was caught spying on Americans, and that's where this bill came from in the first place. If we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it. This is something that we don't need to be told; we don't need our mothers to remind us that if we forget our history, we will be doomed to repeat it.

The FISA court must be flexible enough to deal with emergencies. And I strongly support a bill that would allow the executive branch to wiretap anyone, including Americans – to wiretap anyone, anywhere in the world, and even without waiting for judicial approval. Here's the policy: Wiretap first, ask permission later. But here's where we differ. We give 14 days – that's two weeks – for the intelligence agencies to go back to a court, to make sure that we have two branches of government.

Wiretap first, ask permission later. It's a good strategy, and it will keep America safe. But unfortunately, the damned lies just continue.

Yesterday, you probably heard, the Kansas Republican Party launched a new radio ad attacking my stance on FISA. If you haven't heard it, they're telling listeners to call my office, and – this is so unbelievable. You're supposed to ask the question, which side am I on?

Am I with America, or am I with the terrorists?

You know, they say there's no such thing as a stupid question.

(laughter)

That would be a stupid question. But it's ultimately not a stupid question as much as it is a deeply, deeply unpatriotic question. And the Kansas Republican Party ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Our democracy depends on open and honest debate, and this is nothing of the sort. What it is, I believe, is just a transparent attempt to change the subject.

If we talk about the economy, what happens? Republicans lose and Democrats win.

If we talk about Iraq, what happens? Republicans lose and Democrats win.

If we talk about health care, it's the same thing: Republicans lose and Democrats win.

So the last, best hope of the Kansas Republican Party is to use scary words and scary music and to try to scare the hell out of you and all of us.

And my friends, what I'm telling you today is that I will not, I will not be intimidated by what they're doing. And neither should you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

All we can say is "Wow!" Boyda's FISA speech draws 5,700 hits in 24 hours

Yesterday we posted a video of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's speech to the Kansas Democratic Party State Convention. That speech railed against the Kansas & National Republican Parties for lying to the American public and trying to strong arm Congress into rubber-stamping a fundamentally flawed version of FISA.

We knew it was a fantastic speech, and we knew she was speaking for thousands of Kansans and millions of Americans with her condemnation of the politics of fear- but we didn't know how massive the response would be.

After about 12 hours, the video had been viewed just over 3,000 times. After 24 hours, it had been viewed nearly 5,700 times.

Yesterday, it was the 94th Most Viewed video under the category of News & Politics on YouTube. As of 6:15 p.m. tonight, it's stats for Sunday show it is the 53rd Most Viewed video, the 80th Top Rated, and 92nd on the "Top Favorites" list.

UPDATE: As of midnight, the stats stand thusly: 49th Most Viewed and 75th on the Top Rated list.

This kind of response to a message like this one is fantastic, and we're glad we were able to bring it to you. Congresswoman Boyda's message on FISA is the winning one, and the more people that hear her lay it out, the better.

We're deeply thankful for our friends at DailyKos who helped promote the video.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Boyda's courageous vote on FISA protects our Constitutional rights

On Friday, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda did something courageous. She did something brave. She did something historic.

And she did what was right.

On Friday, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda voted for an update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillances Act, or FISA. She voted, in every procedural motion, to send the House version of the bill- the version without retroactive immunity for the phone companies- to the floor for a vote. It's exactly the way she voted in August, too.

Through it all, her position stayed the same. In newspapers up and down the district she laid out her case:

In her own Op-Ed that ran in the Ottawa Herald she said:

To my mind, “wiretap first, get permission later” makes perfect sense. It gives the executive branch the power it needs to fight terrorism, and at the same time, it preserves the checks and balances our Constitution guarantees. It ensures that the U.S. intelligence community has every tool it needs to fight terrorists. And, by providing judicial oversight, it ensures the privacy of Americans who travel overseas for business or pleasure. It is simply wrong to wiretap Americans without a warrant.

Very unfortunately, the president has drawn a line in the sand. He has sworn to veto any FISA bill that includes court oversight. Instead, he wants the executive branch to oversee itself; he wants all FISA programs to fall under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.

That is a flagrant violation of checks and balances, and what’s more, it won’t help America fight terrorism more effectively. The FISA court is extremely generous with its warrants. Through 2004, the court had granted 18,761 wiretap requests. It had rejected only five.
And in the Leavenworth Times she was quoted as saying:
"I am adamant about protecting the Constitution. They're giving nothing in return for it. We're not getting any more security and they're shredding the Constitution," said U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Second Dist.

[...]

"What shocks me is how members of Congress from Kansas would so readily give up 230 years of our Constitution without gaining any additional security," Boyda said.
And, she said in the Lawrence Journal-World:
“The foundation of our democracy … is at stake in the House of Representatives,” she said. She said Bush’s attempts to stifle inquiries into wiretapping and the role of telecom companies was “a massive cover-up … because he doesn’t want you to know that the Constitution has been shredded and he doesn’t want you to know how long” wiretapping has been happening.
And here, in her speech before the Kansas Democratic Party State Convention, she explained herself brilliantly:



The Republican Party has tried to scare Americans into allowing this President to have carte blanc authority- and to hand immunity to companies, even when he won't tell us why they need it. TV commercials and radio ads have attempted to scare all of us- and our members of Congress- into doing & believing what they wanted.

Nancy's right- that was a damn lie. And, now, 197 Republicans voted against updating FISA, only because telecoms didn't get overarching protections from being sued. This version of FISA protects us all, lets our national security organizations engage in investigations that are necessary- and doesn't shred the Constitution in the process.

197 Republicans voted against ensuring Americans are safe because a phone company might get sued for potentially breaking the law. And the President promises to veto the bill- because Lord knows phone companies are more important than American lives.

Boyda did what was right- and saying she didn't is a losing argument for the Republican Party.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Boyda votes for revisions to FISA; no telecom immunity

In a historic vote, the House of Representatives passed a revision to FISA today that not only let the executive branch intercept phone conversations with terrorists but also preserved Constitutional right of all Americans to be free from warrantless searches and to the right to sue for redress of grievances.

The finally tally was 213-197.

It's deeply disappointing 197 members of the House voted "no" on this bill- even more depressing if you use Republican rhetoric about it: Those 197 members were more interested in protecting the bottom lines of phone companies than the lives of Americans.

More- including statements from Boyda- later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ryun campaign continues to hit Jenkins on unethical ads

It pains us- you have no idea- to continue to serve as a mouthpiece for Jim Ryun's campaign. But, oh, we simply cannot resist helping knock the snot out of Lynn Jenkins.

What follows is a letter written by Jim Ryun's campaign manager Kyle Robertson as found in the Kansas City Star:

Kansas treasurer should be accountable for TV ads

Kansas state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins is under fire from the media for taking unethical campaign contributions from an American Century Investments’ then-CEO and chief lobbyist less than 60 days before awarding the company a $1.6 billion contract.

Instead of admitting that it was a mistake to take the contribution, she has repeatedly attacked those holding her accountable for her actions.

The media, especially in Kansas, has scrutinized her decision to run advertisements promoting a program that is at the forefront of her campaign as a 2nd District Republican candidate for Congress. (The Kansas City Star, Candidate’s links to firm questioned; Lynn Jenkins’ appearances in ads for a college-savings plan give her an unfair edge, Ryun campaign says, March 3).

She argues that it is her responsibility to appear in the ads because “polling shows” it is good for the program. This does not pass the smell test.

In order to deflect attention from her questionable judgment, Jenkins redirects the scrutiny onto American Century Investments, its lobbyist and her staff. She should be ashamed of herself for avoiding the real issue here: accountability.

Jenkins chose to accept unethical contributions, she chose to schedule time to film TV ads, and she chose to award a $1.6 billion contract to a firm that a “personal friend” just happens to represent. It must be nice to be one of her “personal friends.”

Jenkins appears to be exceptionally skilled at navigating the gray areas of campaign finance law and that should send a chill up Kansas taxpayers’ spines. In order to reduce the appearance of impropriety, Jenkins should return the political contributions and demand her name and image not be used in advertisements going forward.

More than $1.5 million in “management fees” have been spent promoting an obscure politician’s personal ambitions. This needs to stop.

The political smell test is simple: is this right or wrong?

Is it right to accept contributions from a CEO and lobbyist who profit off their relationship with her office?

Is it right to run such TV ads during a political campaign?

Is it right to attack the media for holding you accountable for your actions?

You be the judge.

Personal accountability is the foundation of a person’s character. Jenkins’ avoidance of accepting responsibility for her actions is troubling. Her unethical approach to politics is something Kansans should take into consideration when judging her candidacy.

She may argue that her “vote is not for sale” but who is she kidding? Kansans know when someone fails the smell test.

Kyle Robertson is the campaign manager for Jim Ryun, Jenkins’ GOP primary opponent. He lives in Lawrence.
Saying Kyle Robertson lives in Lawrence isn't a lie- as far was we know, he does. It's unfortunate to insinuate he's a Kansan, though, because Mr. Robertson is nothing more than a NRCC operative who has been sent from on high to manager Ryun's race for him. But, regardless, we're perfectly happy to help him let people know Lynn Jenkins is unethical- and just another member of the Republican Culture of Corruption.

What did you say? Jim's calling the kettle black? Well, by golly, you're right!


Boyda praises budget for cutting taxes on Kansas families

Today the House of Representatives passed the 2009 budget today, and Congresswoman Nancy Boyda applauded the move, noting that it "increases federal funding for veterans, cuts taxes for middle-class Kansas families, and cracks down on wasteful spending."

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) said, “I’ve always promised to vote to extend middle class tax relief, and today’s vote does exactly that. The last thing middle-class families can afford is to watch their tax cuts expire on President Bush’s schedule.”

The resolution rejects deep cuts in Medicare, veterans’ health care, and law enforcement programs proposed by the Administration. Boyda added, “The president’s budget would have left our nation less secure, our children further in debt, and our veterans without promised medical services.”

The resolution passed today by the U.S. House, H.Con.Res. 312, focuses on programs that will help our country today and tomorrow. It provides for:
  • the expansion of children’s health insurance coverage – up to $50 billion
  • reforms to protect access to care for Medicare beneficiaries
  • an increase in veterans’ funding by $3.6 billion over current levels
  • expanded investments in renewable energy programs and “green collar” job training

The budget also promotes math and science education, and extends tax cuts that target middle-income families. Specifically, the resolution calls for an increase in child tax credits, and it proposes extending tax relief for people who fall in the 10-percent tax bracket. These tax cuts were initially enacted by President Bush and the Republican Congress in 2000 but were set to expire in 2010.

So, now, at least, everyone has to agree the 110th Congress, controlled by Democrats, did one thing the 109th Congress, which was controlled by Republicans, never did: they just did their constitutional duty and passed a budget.

(Note: both Kansas Republican members of Congress voted against cutting taxes for middle-class American families. Just wanted to toss that in).

UPDATE: FISA revisions up for vote today

Later today Congress will debate revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

The bill presented will not include retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.

Remember, the Republicans have told us we must have this bill to protect Americans, that if we don't have it, people will die.

Watch how many vote against it because it doesn't protect phone companies. If their own rhetoric is true, watch how many would rather protect phone companies than Americans.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boyda votes to end subsidies for Big Oil

We want American businesses to make a profit. But we have a pair of words for it when a company jacks up prices for consumers just to line the pockets of their executives: price gouging.

The big five oil companies recently reported record profits for 2007, with ExxonMobil earning $40.6 billion - the largest corporate profit in American history. That’s earnings of more than $111 million a day or $77 thousand dollars a minute! While oil company profits have quadrupled, high energy prices continue to squeeze American families – gas prices have skyrocketed and home heating oil has jumped along with other household costs.
Record profits tied to the rhetoric of "We have to increase prices because of lack of supply" is ludicrous. Big Oil is taking us for a ride- and at $3 a gallon, it's a ride that's too expensive for a big chunk of Americans.

Sad thing? Even as they gouge us to the point of record profit, we, the American people, are giving them subsidies- yes, we've been giving them our tax dollars.

In a historic vote in late February, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda joined with a bi-partisan majority to end tax subsidies to Big Oil and reinvest the money into renewable energy.

'Course, the bill didn't just do the commonsense thing that is ending tax breaks to companies seeing HUGE profits, it also directly infused money into the Kansas economy.
Boyda said, "Renewable energy offers tremendous promise for our state's economy. Kansas has the soil to grow crops to be converted to biofuels, the skies to harvest wind energy, and the research base to nurture new technology. Now all we need is a national commitment to energy independence. That's what today's bill is all about. It should be called the ‘Kansas Economic Development Act’ – that's how important it is to our businesses and communities."

[...]

“I can understand why someone from New Jersey did not vote for this bill, but I cannot fathom why anyone from Kansas would vote against our own best economic interests. It’s really disappointing.” said Boyda. “I have spoken with hundreds of people during 40 Congress on Your Corners throughout the Second District of Kansas. I have yet to hear even one person say they believe their hard-earned tax dollars should go toward helping ExxonMobil, or any of the big oil companies, earn record profits.”
Of course, you haven't, Nancy- because no sensible person thinks our hard-earned tax dollars should be given to businesses that obviously don't need them.

Jim Ryun photo caption contest

Just as a little filler...what do you think is being said in this vaguely depressing picture of Frm. Congressman Jim Ryun talking to one sorry soul at a KU basketball game?


Use the comments section to write in your suggestions. Make sure to keep it PG-13, folks.

Boyda signs "No Robo-Calls" pledge

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda announced yesterday she had signed a pledge to not conduct robocalls of her constituents who have signed the new National Political Do Not Contact (NPDNC) registry at StopPoliticalCalls.org during the 2008 campaign season.

"The foundation of our democracy is the belief that voters should be in control," Boyda said. "Voters should be able to choose not to receive political 'robo' calls."
Boyda is only the second member of Congress to sign the pledge.

From the press release issued by Boyda's office, Shaun Dakin, found and CEO of StopPoliticalCalls.org, congratulated Boyda for taking "the first decisive step" in letting citizens decide how they want people running for office to interact with them.
"We are extremely pleased that Representative Boyda has agreed not to robocall constituents that sign up on the National Political Do Not Contact Registry," said Shaun Dakin, founder and CEO. "She has taken the first decisive step in what I believe to be the crucial effort of giving voters back their privacy and peace and quiet in their own homes. Her constituents are fortunate to have her fighting for this cause in Washington."
It's deeply disappointing only two member of Congress have pledged to stop using campaign robocalls. Not only are they invasive and annoying, some of the very dirtiest campaigning occurs via robo calls, and they need to be discouraged. We hope every member of the Kansas delegation and every person running for federal office in Kansas agrees to honor the wishes of those who register with StopPoliticalCalls.org.

We look forward to telling you when Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins follow Congresswoman Boyda's example- or, lacking that, telling you why they won't honor the wishes of the people they hope to represent.

(See more remarks from Shaun Dakin in the comments on our blog on BaldwinCity.com)

Missouri lawmakers protest Boyda's resolution honoring KU

OK, so we know we predicted it...but we didn't actually believe they'd do it!

WASHINGTON—Missouri’s congressional delegation staged a mini-protest on the House floor Tuesday.

The source of their outrage? A non-binding resolution congratulating the University of Kansas’ football team for winning the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl and “having the most successful year in program history.”

Okay, so it’s not the war, the economy, or another hot-button national issue. But it is a sore point for many Missourians, not just the state’s big-wig politicos.

After all, Mizzou claimed the Big 12 North title by beating KU. Kansas got to play in the Orange Bowl even though the Tigers had finished ahead of the Jayhawks in the polls and had stronger strength of schedule.

So it’s no wonder the House resolution congratulating KU, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Kansas Democrat, didn’t sit well with Missouri lawmakers.

“I commend KU on their season,” said Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia. “It was almost as good as the Missouri Tigers’ spectacular season.”

He said that “in the spirit of compromise,” he had intended to cast a ‘yes’ vote but “found myself physically unable to do it as I reached for the lever. Besides, all the votes in the world won’t make the #7 higher than the #4.”

He voted “present,” as did the state’s other lawmakers. Despite the protest, the measure passed, 396 to 21.
Congrats to the KU football team- and to Congresswoman Boyda for prevailing regardless of the whining of her esteemed colleagues from the not-so-great state of Missouri. All of us, in our hearts, know they voted against the KU resolution because they simply can't bring themselves to recognize Kansas is, in fact, superior to Missouri.

We can only hope Kay Barnes has better sense. (We're being tongue-in-cheek, just so we're clear. -BB)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

We try to teach, but they just won't learn

We've been around this bush with BounceBoyda before- the affable SOB's dedicated to lying and "she's so stupid"-ing their way to defeating Nancy Boyda in November. Beaten to Hell for refusing to be big kids and call a member of Congress by her actual name, they've finally been convinced it doesn't do their cause any good if they, you know, aren't talking about a real person in their posts.

While they're just so clever in calling this blog "BlocBoyda," "Boyda Blocheads," or some other deeply amusing junior high-caliber name, they do actually do one thing that's worth being upset about, and one thing that's worth giving them the time of day on this blog.

They lie.

Now, in the end, we expect Republicans to lie. We expect them to fear-monger (think the 2004 Jim Ryun for Congress ad that morphed Nancy Boyda's face into Osama bin Laden's and the current fight over FISA), and we expect them to misrepresent reality whenever reality doesn't suit them (again, think FISA currently).

This time, luckily, it's a little deal, but it speaks to the character of the people on the other side.

You've all seen the story we posted the other day- "Boyda: 'The New Center'"- about Boyda being on the cover of National Journal and being listed as one of the most centrist members of the House of Representatives- something all of our colleagues in ConservativeLand call preposterous because, well, I mean, she's voted with liberal Speaker of the House San Francisco Nancy Pelosi 93% of the time! (Which isn't true, of course, and if the italicized part of the sentence could be dripping blood it would better represent the vitriol being spewed when they mention Speaker Pelosi by name).

Anyway, the article did, indeed, just as Bounce pointed out, have an error in it...which Boyda's press staff noted when they sent out their press release announcing the article to the Kansas press. That release said, in part:

(Please note that the mention of the Blue Dog Coalition is slightly inaccurate. Nancy did apply for membership in the Blue Dog Coalition early last year, and at the time the Blue Dogs had reached their membership limit. Since then Nancy has found that not being a Blue Dog has helped to preserve her independence.)
So, the National Journal made a small reporting error- BounceBoyda would be all over them for that one, right? Seeing as they're already so horribly wrong about her being a centrist, it's just icing on the cake, right?

Oh, of course not. That'd just be coherent logic, and we know Republicans don't like logical flow to interrupt their viciousness.

In fact, they now say this about the esteemed publication:
Moreover, I tend to believe that the National Journal had the impression Boyda was trying to say she didn't apply to the Blue Dogs. It is a reputable publication with good reporters. What would they have to gain by making it up?
So, we have to ask: Which is it? Are they "a reputable publication with good reporters," and thus we should take them at their word Nancy Boyda is a centrist, or is it they don't know what they're talking about when it comes to Nancy Boyda's rating, but, oh, they're beyond reproach when it comes to the article?

We're certain they're a reputable publication, and equally certain that they weren't trying to "make it up," you dolt, they simply made a small error. And, you know what? Boyda's staff was stand-up enough to make sure the press release they sent out about it clarified the situation. You and the good folk from the NRCC that are feeding you your content are the only ones who see a vast conspiracy here.

One last snip:
Since Rep. Boyda's office didn't send me the press release she ... sent out clarifying the information she gave the National Journal that she did not apply to the Blue Dog Coalition, I'm under no obligation to do anything. In fact, if the National Journal was in error in reporting, then they should be the ones to issue a correction, not a retraction. Please, BlocBoyda [told you...aren't they mature?- BB], if you are going to pretend to be a journalist, at least know what you're saying.
Since you seem befuddled, let us help: National Journal should indeed issue a correction- that would be appropriate. You, though, should retract your post and apologize for calling a sitting member of Congress a liar, when she isn't the one who made the mistake. You've screwed up, and you should be a big enough person to admit that- publicly.

If you were a journalist, you would certainly apologize for printing a lie. But you aren't a journalist, you're a partisan blogger with no great desire to admit you were simply bashing an elected official without cause. This time, though, you've been caught playing a dirty game.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: If you want to play ball with us, bring a bigger bat.



(We'd like to thank our new friends over at Left Brain Kansas for defending Congresswoman Boyda tonight, too. It's great to have another logical voice in the field that is the Kansas blogosphere).

Boyda introduces resolution to congratulate KU's football program

In a little bit of personal privilege (and, yes, some legislative fluff), Congresswoman Nancy Boyda introduced a resolution commending the Kansas University football team for winning the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl and having the most successful year in program history.

Her floor statement:

"Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce H.Res. 948, which honors the University of Kansas football program on their recent victory at the Orange Bowl and their most successful year in program history.

"On January 3rd, the KU football team won the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl, marking their first major bowl victory in university history. Leading up to the bowl game, the team placed 12 wins on their roster, setting a new school record for wins in a season. KU also reached the number two spot of the AP national poll, which marked the highest national ranking that the program has ever received.

"Among their athletic accomplishments this season, the team also produced three students who received All-American titles for their performances on the field and two other students who were Academic All-American recipients. Head Coach Mark Mangino also received multiple national Coach of the Year honors.

"Please join me in recognizing these accomplishments and congratulating KU on their amazing victories this season."
The resolution should come to a vote later this week- and we'll assume it will pass (unless the Missouri delegation teams up with Nebraska and Okkahoma...then we might have ruckus on the floor...).

Rock Chalk!

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.