Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Thick Skin & Determination Keep Boyda Fighting for Us

Another article from another one of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's Congress on Your Corner events, this one in Humboldt.

The article leads with something about Boyda everyone on both sides of the aisle have learned about her since she took office: She's got a thick skin.

Why? Because even when she does something good for her district, she gets attacked by partisan broadsides- nevermind she helped her constituents back home.

Earmarks are a trickle of money, in comparison to all federal expenditures, from Washington, D.C. that members of Congress, House and Senate, propose for projects within their districts or states. Unlike most others, Boyda released the ones she proposed and they became fodder for political junkies on the 24-hour news channels.

None rivaled the infamous Alaskan “bridge to nowhere,” a $300 million project offered by Alaska Rep. Don Young to build a bridge from Ketchikan, population 8,000, to Gavina, an island where 80 people live, but “I still got a tongue lashing,” Boyda said.

She explained one to Humboldt listeners, a $100,000 proposal to aid construction of a museum in Lansing that would include $2 million to $3 million in private funding.

“There are four prisons there, including a U.S. prison and the U.S. military maximum detention center, and 14 men have given their lives,” working as prison guards, she said. “As a country we want to preserve our heritage and having a museum that documents the history of Lansing and its prisons is, I think, a good idea.”
Everyone knows the Radical Right (like our good friends at Americans for Prosperity) will never ever see that Boyda did in fact do something good for the people of Lansing with that appropriation...but the people of Kansas see it for what it is: their member of Congress caring about what's important to them.

Responding again to false Republican claims she wants to increase taxes on the middle class, Boyda told the crowd exactly what she does (and doesn't) want to do with the tax code.
Boyda is eager to end $18 billion in annual subsidies to the five biggest oil companies particularly in light of them having $181 billion in profits last year, and is critical of similar subsidies to the health insurance industry. Meanwhile, she voted against $22 billion in cuts to domestic programs (that were proposed by President Bush- BB), “including money to Area Agency on Aging, which funds this place (Humboldt’s Senior Center).”

“My opposition to he subsidies and cuts in domestic spending, money that filters down to help local government that has to face unfunded federal mandates, has been reported as me voting for tax increases,” Boyda said. “I’m in favor of keeping the tax cuts in place in for the middle class, but not for the very wealth and corporations” that enjoy huge profits.

“No one thinks tax money should go to subsidize big oil, except in Washington along partisan lines.”

She also mentioned that the top 16 hedge fund managers each made more than $1 billion last year, but none paid income tax.

“They paid 15 percent on capital gains, but no income taxes,” she said. “Does anyone think that’s right?”
She hit on immigration:
Illegal immigration was mentioned by several constituents.

Boyda said she preferred an identification system, through Social Security registration, that would offer better verification “than what we have now, which is a failure and inaccurate as much as 15 percent of the time.”

She has proposed documentation, with a photograph, name and Social Security number, in a computer database that could be checked at the click of a mouse.

“I don’t know the answer to world peace, but I don’t think immigration is that hard,” she said, noting that documenting newcomers and checking employers’ records shouldn’t be difficult.
And, just on a basically heartwarming side, Boyda told the crowd she was there in Humboldt because she didn't want to "go Washington."
“I went to Washington to make life better for everyone. Sometimes I think we can, sometimes I get awfully frustrated,” Boyda told about 40 people who listened to her 90-minute presentation, followed by individual conversations with constituents.

“Good people go off to Washington and change. I worry some about that. I don’t want to ‘go Washington,’” become insulated from the realities of everyday life in the 2nd District.

“Democracy is a contact sport and it also is a team sport. You have to understand what you’re doing” and how it plays out through layers of government, from the federal level to state to local.

“I think changes slowly are changing in Washington,” she said. “You can see it month by month.
We sent Nancy Boyda to Congress in 2006 because the direction or then-current Congressman was leading us was simply wrong. It's sad the Radical Republicans in the Senate along with the President have blocked quality change, but it's encouraging to know we have an advocate like Boyda still fighting the good fight.

Bounce Boyda: Rest in Peace


So, so sad...

Iola Register: Boyda Buoyed by Yates Center Visit

We here at BoydaBloc sometimes get so wrapped up in national stories about how unlikely it is Congresswoman Nancy Boyda will keep her seat that we forget the pundits in DC aren't really the ones in the know- the only ones who who really matter are all of us back here in Kansas.

It's good to get re-grounded, and an article that ran in the Iola Register last week certainly provided us with some on-the-ground real world commentary on what's going on in this district, and what normal rural Kansans think about their member of Congress.

And, you know what, it their opinion wasn't anything like the pundits and attack dogs in DC.

Nancy Boyda is a good listener. What she heard here was music to her ears.

Boyda, 2nd District U.S. representative, was cheered frequently during an hour-long presentation Saturday morning and got verbal support from several Republicans who said they would support her in November.

The Topeka Democrat noted “some positive things we’ve done,” in adding $5.2 billion to veterans benefits, moving a smidgen forward in ethics reform and making college more affordable, “in my two years in Congress.”

She noted college loan rates were cut in half, from 6.4 to 3.2 percent, application forms were streamlined, grant money was increased and provisions were made for college loans to be forgiven in return for 10 years of public service.

Meanwhile, Boyda said she was distressed that nothing had been done to deal with health care, energy and immigration concerns, which her listeners frequently said they shared.

[...]

But, if the 30 people who came to hear her had their way, Boyda would be re-elected by acclamation.
Her visit to Yates Center might have brought appreciation for her hard work in Washington, the folks in Yates Center weren't so positive about the state of the union.
They were sour on the economy, irritated by trade agreements they said took jobs away from America workers and were disgruntled by soaring costs of fuel, energy and food.

Boyda said she was sympathetic and was doing what she could to restore the American ideal that hard work paid dividends and led to the American dream of home ownership and a secure future, but that she was somewhat hamstrung as an individual member of Congress.

“When I got there I was told that big oil, big drug companies and the health insurance industry were off limits,” Boyda said. “Health insurance companies are being subsidized by $65 billion over five years and the five biggest oil companies are getting $18 billion a year in subsidies, even though they had profits last year of $123 billion, including $41 billion for Exxon.

“Why is nothing changing? We can’t agree to stop the subsidies,” she said.

Boyda, much as John McCain, presumptive GOP presidential candidate proposed, said she co-authored a federal gas tax moratorium bill. Boyda’s is different. A provision of it would take money from oil company subsidies to make up lost federal revenue, which goes for road construction.
We won't republish the whole article, but it is certainly worth a read. Boyda went on to hit on trade and job loses (saying the best way to stop losing jobs is by making sure we aren't sending them overseas). Boyda reminded the audience that she has voted in favor of more off shore drilling to help ease our dependence on foreign oil.

The article closes with upcoming plans for graduation season:
“I’m going to give some graduation speeches this year and I’m not going to say that one person can make a difference. I’m going to tell students that one person has to make a difference.

“There are many things going on that are wrong. We’ve inherited a mess and we have to do something about it.”
It's good to be reminded every once in awhile that people here in the Kansas 2nd District know Nancy Boyda is representing them, and that all the talking heads would do well to come and sit down in a diner in Iola or Yates Center before the say Boyda's a weak incumbent.

Nancy Boyda: Working for Families Every Single Day

Two great letters to the editor have appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal over the last week or so responding to a nasty letter that ran that said Congresswoman Nancy Boyda and Congressman Dennis Moore aren't "pro-family." Well, someone has a pretty screwed up definition of what it means to be pro-family, as these two letters demonstrate:

Letter: Truly helping families
Published Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A letter to the editor in the April 16 issue questioned the pro-family values of Reps. Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore. I'm wondering what pro-family values the writers refer to.

A review of some of the for-family issues tackled by Boyda and Moore indicate they have worked on too many pro-family issues to list, but here are just a few:

• A badly and sadly needed bill on congressional ethics.

• Working against tax subsidies for oil companies already awash in record breaking profits.

• The Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, to prevent credit card companies from arbitrarily increasing rates on card holders to as much as 24 percent.

• For improving funding for veterans benefits.

• Clearing up backlogs in veterans affairs and Social Security disability claims.

• The housing crisis (affects elderly savers, as the Fed rescued big banks and lenders, retirees have seen their CD rate of return plummet).

• Retirement of the KC-135 air tankers, saving millions of taxpayer dollars.

I suggest a broadening of what pro-family issues are, as many issues these worthy members of Congress and staff are working on benefit Kansas families. I commend them for standing tall and representing Kansas families instead of selfish interests outside of Kansas.

Now, a question: Why are so many contributions coming in from outside Kansas to help defeat Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore?

Check the issues they support. You'll probably find the answer.

JIM MILLER, Topeka


Letter: Record looks good
Published Monday, April 28, 2008

The April 16 Capital-Journal included a letter from Charles and Rujira Rightmeier in which they chastise Reps. Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore for their records on what the Rightmeiers call "pro-family votes."

They don't say what these issues were, but I'm sure they want the readers to assume that these were bills that we all would want passed when they may not have been. And they want the readers to help get these two out of office simply on the Rightmeiers' opinion of what is or isn't "pro-family."

Someone else could have written a similar letter lauding our good representatives for their superlative voting records on 16 "pro-Kansas" issues without providing any information on what constitutes "pro-Kansas."

We haven't kept track of how Rep. Moore votes since he isn't from our district, but we have on Rep. Boyda, and her voting has been consistently for the well-being of her constituency. She is hard-working and well-informed and always works for the good of Second District Kansans.

We believe it's time to commend Rep. Boyda and let her know we appreciate her devotion to Kansas and that we will all vote for her return to Washington in November.

DON AND GRETA ANDERSON, Topeka
Keep up the good work Nancy & Dennis!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jim!


Happy Birthday, former Congressman. We shall be your subjects again for this single day, because, fair king, your daughter told us you get whatever you want on your birthday.

And the good Lord knows there isn't anything you want more than that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You know the fence around his home doesn't have any holes...

The latest and greatest in negative YouTube ads coming out of the Republican primary in the KS-02.

And, no, we had nothing to do with this one...but we're happy to share it with all of ya!



We'd call this a "touche" from the Jenkins camp.

We should make a graphic to show the growing bloodiness...

Boyda & Moore Vote on Tax Relief While Republicans Lie

"Largest tax increase in history," right?

Wrong.

From the Lawrence Journal-World:

It’s a simple statement that packs a powerful political wallop.

Jim Ryun, Lynn Jenkins and Nick Jordan — all Republicans trying to unseat two Democratic congressional incumbents who represent Lawrence — say the Democrats voted for the largest tax increase in the history of the United States.

Did U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, whose district includes west Lawrence, and U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, whose district includes east Lawrence, endorse such a proposal?

Both Boyda and Moore say absolutely not, and that their potential rivals are distorting the record.

And they, of course, are distorting the records of both Boyda & Moore. What actually happened?

Hours after the vote, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a news release targeting what it considers vulnerable Democrats, and accusing them of voting for a record $683 billion tax increase.

But the Democrats say that’s not true, and so does a nonpartisan budget study group.

“It’s dishonest to claim that the budget resolution passed by the House ‘raises’ taxes,” said Moore. “The budget resolution does not change the tax code at all, but presents a fiscally responsible long-term plan for our nation’s finances, including keeping tax relief for families and the middle class,” he said.

Democrats argue the resolution envisions eliminating the budget deficit in 2012, while funding critical needs and preserving middle class tax cuts.

Repeat: it preserves the middle class tax cuts. Preserves them. End of story. Might taxes go up on the wealthiest Americans? Yes, yes they just might, but will they increase on middle class Americans. No.

But Jim Ryun is perfectly happy to lie about that.

In a speech before the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity, Ryun said the resolution that Boyda voted for will increase the taxes on millions of Americans, including many in the middle class.

But the resolution also includes policy language that calls for middle income tax relief, including extension of the increase in the child tax credit, relief from the so-called marriage penalty, and other deductions aimed at the middle class.

“Nancy has always believed that the middle class relief should be made permanent,” said her spokesman Thomas Seay. He said the sunset clauses in Bush’s plan don’t take effect until 2011. “Nancy has said again and again that when this issue reaches a vote, she’ll support extending middle class tax relief,” Seay said.

Ryun is willfully misleading anyone who will listen to him about what this resolution did- and that is simply beneath someone who wants to represent all of us in the United States Congress.

So, fine, you don't want to take it from two Democrats that they aren't raising taxes when Republicans say they are? That's fair. How about, instead, a non-partisan group of budget analysts?

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the budget resolution contains no tax increase, let alone the largest in U.S. history.

The resolution approved by the House assumed that the nation’s tax law would be amended to extend some of the expiring tax cuts, especially those affecting middle class families, according to the center, which is a nonpartisan group that works on policies and programs that affect low- and moderate-income families. The costs of those tax cuts would be offset by other changes in policy, which could include eliminating the tax cuts for the very wealthy, some Democrats have argued.

Of the allegations made by the Republicans, Aviva Aron-Dine, a policy analyst with the center, said, “Our view is that that claim is inaccurate.”

She added, “The language of tax increases is very powerful. It’s important to correct the record.”

You better bet your boots it's important to correct the record. Lynn Jenkins, Jim Ryun & Nick Jordan, along with the NRCC, are all misleading voters- and, we're sorry, lying about something as fundamental as a tax increase is deeply distressing.

Don't let the Republicans lie to voters- make sure everyone knows Nancy Boyda is committed to working for middle class tax relief.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jenkins Supports Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

In perhaps the weirdest article yet to come out of the "Tussle in District Two" Republican primary (we're tying to come up with something cute...."bloodbath" was getting old), Lynn Jenkins seems to be just taking every single opportunity she can find to move herself farther and farther out of the mainstream of the district she wants to represent in Congress.

She said this about immigration:

Jenkins also highlighted her stance on illegal immigration, which she predicted will be a major issue during the upcoming race.




She said her view on amnesty is another instance in which she differs from Ryun, and said she was “disappointed” with his stance on the issue.
While we're sure everyone one of us can point to problems with Jim Ryun's record on illegal immigration (10 years of ignoring the problem, stuff like that), probably one thing we can't fault him for, at least in terms of this conversation, is his unflinching opposition to amnesty for undocumented aliens. That's one small thing he and Congresswoman Nancy Boyda agree on.

So, can Lynn Jenkins really be saying she's in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants? Sure looks that way- and it goes along beautifully with her recent rhetoric of "not holding businesses accountable" for hiring illegals.

Good job, Lynn, just keep diggin'.

A Lot of Money, and We're Only Halfway In

In Ric Anderson's column in the Topeka Capital Journal today:

3 With the amount of campaign money that Kansans seeking seats in the U.S. Senate and the House 2nd and 3rd districts had on hand during the first quarter of this year, which of the following could be provided?

A) Salaries for 150 public school teachers

B) One semester of in-state tuition for more than 2,200 students at Washburn University

C) Either

Correct answer: C. The seven congressional candidates had about $6.2 million on hand between them.

The average salary for a Kansas teacher is $41,369, according the National Education Association.

Washburn charges $185 per credit hour in tuition for in-state students, which adds up to $2,775 for a 15-hour semester.

The cash on hand figures are as follows: U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., $3 million; Jim Slattery, Roberts' Democrat challenger, $288,000; Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., $812,000; former Congressman Jim Ryun, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Boyda, $461,000; Kansas Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, who also is competing for the Republican nomination, $486,000; Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., $889,000; state Sen. Nick Jordan, Moore's Republican challenger, $307,000.
Holy cripes, folks...and those numbers are only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Boyda Praised for Support of the Armed Services

Bringing you today just a little evidence there isn't any reason to listen to the radical right's message about Nancy Boyda and how much she refuses to support the military...because that's certainly not what the military is saying:

From Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commander of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth:

This year the great state of Kansas introduced three programs that directly improve the lives of military families and veterans. The first program was offered as an amendment to the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 by Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. This important program will allow service members and their dependents to automatically receive in-state college tuition costs where they are stationed across the nation. The second program, the Army Wounded Warrior Education Program, is a joint effort between the University of Kansas and the Army. This program offers select soldiers assigned to the Army Wounded Warrior Program the opportunity to return to college to complete their basic degree or pursue a graduate degree. Upon completing the degree program, the soldier can remain or return to active duty and use these new skills to contribute to their nation and the Department of the Army. Third, the most recent program, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children will help thousands of new students actively participate and contribute in their new schools.
Thank you to Congresswoman Nancy Boyda & Governor Kathleen Sebelius for your dedication to supporting our men and women in uniform.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boyda's Atchison Visit Gets Farmers Thinking


Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's recent stop in Atchison, Kansas for one of the many Congress on your Corner meetings she's been holding in the district, garnered a number of questions from local farmers.

Fluctuating prices for American farmers was a concern for several in attendance, to which Rep. Boyda shared her thoughts.

Although prices are currently high, Rep. Boyda reminded the community members that it could change quickly and have a drastic effect on farmers.

"If someone's going to make some money, I'm OK with it being Midwest farmers," Rep. Boyda said.
The conversation then turned to recent developments in beef industry acquisitions that could influence the bottom line for local Kansas ranchers.

Boyda "is concerned about a merger in progress that could make Brazil a powerhouse in the American meat market.

JBS SA, Brazil's leading meat packer, is buying out several companies in America, including National Beef, Smithfield Beef and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle, the largest cattle feeding company in the world.

Totaling $1.7 billion in acquisitions, it will allow JBS SA to slaughter 50 percent more cattle a day than its closest competitor, Tyson.

The Brazilian company is currently facing the Justice Department concerning the merger.

"Someone has to stand up and say, we have to change these things," Rep. Boyda said."
Local attendants were grateful for the opportunity to have questions answered and address concerns with Rep. Boyda and many stayed after for additional inquiries.

"I appreciated the way she responded to questions that were negative without confrontation," said Atchison resident Merry Carroll.

Ms. Carroll was in attendance to listen on matters of bureaucracy and immigration. As a special education teacher in Leavenworth county, Ms. Carroll said she sees the problems immigrants face: families being separated, children being abandoned and no income to support themselves.

She said she was concerned about there being a better way to handle these issues.

"There's so much fear going on, we just need to see the reality," Ms. Carroll said. "You'd be surprised at how hard working most of these people are, they're trying to do their part."

Ms. Carroll was one of several who remained after the open forum to discuss their thoughts in one-on-one sessions with Rep. Boyda.

Community members also spoke to Rep. Boyda individually about veterans' affairs, stem-cell research and Medicare.

Rep. Boyda said she was pleased that so many came to share their thoughts, it would be helpful for her efforts in the district.

"That's why we do this," Rep. Boyda said. "We can discuss it, and go in a positive direction."

Boyda Votes to Block Medicaid Cuts


Congresswoman Nancy Boyda joined 349 other Representatives in yesterday's truly bipartisan vote to to block the Bush administration from cutting federal spending on Medicaid health care for the poor by $13 billion over the next five years.

According to the Washington Post

Two thirds of the Republicans joined every voting Democrat in the 349-62 vote to impose a one-year moratorium, through next March, on seven rules changes that the administration argues are needed to rectify waste and abuse in the state-federal partnership to provide health care to the poor.

Supporters of the bill said the rules would merely shift financial burdens to the states at a time of economic distress while reducing access to health care for the country's neediest people.

The governors of all 50 states, state Medicaid directors and others oppose the rules, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., told the House. "They know the devastating effects these rules would have on local communities, upon hospitals, and upon vulnerable beneficiaries."

This kind of vote is what we in the 2nd District are accustom to. And when common-sense Republicans connect with more mainstream values sensible legislation is always the result. The vote margin is so large that the House has more than enough to override the President's veto.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Youth of a Nation


Rep. Nancy Boyda met with a US Government class at Leavenworth High School last Tuesday, continuing to advocate the importance of transparency and checks and balances in government.

Boyda told students she feels their U.S. government class is one of the most important they can have.

“When I was your age, I really didn’t think much about it,” she said."
Rep. Boyda went on to say


"that for years she wasn’t too concerned about politics. The congresswoman said she understood there were checks and balances in government.

“And basically I just thought it would always take care of itself,” she said.

But she said the checks and balances system is in trouble today.



Boyda went on to cite concerns she’s had with the Bush administration regarding surveillance of Americans. She later mentioned signing statements the White House attaches to legislation which she said pre-empt what Congress has done."
She also conducted a question and answer session where students probed deeper into some of these topics.

One student asked Boyda for three things she considers to be wrong with the government.


She said providing information to people is important.

“The American people will hold their government accountable if there’s transparency, if they know what’s going on,” she said....

She also expressed concerns about budget deficits which she said will have a day-to-day impact on how the students live their lives.

“And nobody is talking about that,” she said.

At a time when young people are voting in primaries in droves, its become clear that this new generation is more connected to issues that surround our government and that face their daily lives.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rothenberg Expects Boyda Win

Hat tip from MyDD

The Rothenberg Political Report lists the KS-02 as a pure tossup

Kansas 2, where Democrat Nancy Boyda is running for a second term, features a very bitter and potentially divisive GOP primary, which should make it fairly difficult for the party to pick up the seat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boyda Speaks Out in Favor of Expanding Student Loans

Via Thomas Voting Reports:

Student loan expansion: Voting 383 for and 27 against, the House on April 16 passed a bill (HR 5713) increasing by $2,000 per year the ceiling on the so-called Stafford Loans that students obtain from private lenders. At present, the ceiling on such loans ranges from $3,500 per year to $10,500 per year for undergraduates and higher for graduate students. The bill also raises aggregate loan limits and eases repayment terms for the federally approved loans that parents take out to finance their children's education.

Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., said families last year "borrowed almost $60 billion in federal student loans. Now, in this credit crunch, banks are tightening requirements and raising rates. We want to make sure that families have access to the low-interest loans so their kids can attend college."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Read Her Lips: Expect New Taxes

Lynn Jenkins Photo Caption Contest #3

After a week of Jenkins-related news, we're back again today with a Jenkins-related photo for your captioning pleasure. This week, a picture of Lynn Jenkins speaking at the Americans for Prosperity summit- you know, AFP are those folks who are virulently opposed to government spending...

Just thought it was a fun poke at Jenkins' hypocrisy.

Enjoy!


If anyone has any pictures of Lynn or Jim that they'd like to see featured here, e-mail us at boydabloc@gmail.com

Dancing on the Third Rail: Jenkins & Ryun Battling About Social Security

This whole mess for 2nd District Republicans just gets worse and worse, and today former Congressman Jim Ryun took what was, until this point, a fairly clear victory for his side and just screwed it all up.

Let us explain.

In an article that appeared in this morning's Topeka Capitol-Journal, the MSM picked up Ryun's complaint Jenkins has been traveling the district lobbying for an increase in Social Security taxes- even though she signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Kyle Robertson, Ryun's campaign manager, said adaptation of the state model to the federal system would mandate a tax increase on all contributors to Social Security.

"We don't think raising taxes and cutting benefits is the approach," he said.

[...]

Application of the KPERS model to Social Security would "recklessly raise taxes by $234 billion over five years," Robertson said.

Jenkins, of course, backtracked almost instantly, saying something along the lines of "Yes, I said that, but that's not what I meant."
Leopold clarified in an interview that Jenkins was speaking at the GOP event about an avenue for resolving gridlock on Social Security, "not the actual plan" adopted for KPERS.
Uh, what? So, she was talking about a solution for Social Security but not a plan to reach her solution? Lord, Leopold, this is the big leagues, put on your big boy pants. It was oh so clear from the transcript of the event what Jenkins said:
"They pay a little extra because they're going to get a little extra [from KPERS]," she said during the appearance. "We need to take that approach and apply it to Social Security."
As the Jenkins camp is trying desperately to spin back the fact she forgot she promised not to raise taxes when she suggested the government raise taxes, the Ryun campaign should have just stayed quiet and let her bleed to death.

Did they? Oh no. Instead, they jumped on the live wire, too, and reminded us all they want to do the single most risky thing being tossed around about Social Security: Privatize it.
Ryun, seeking to recapture the 2nd District seat he lost in 2006, said part of the solution was to give workers authority to invest some of their Social Security contributions in personal accounts[...]

[...]

In a 2005 meeting in Topeka on Social Security, Ryun said creation of these personal accounts would "provide a greater retirement" for Americans. In 1996, Ryun also supported "compassionate privatization of both Medicare and Social Security," but his campaign staff said the term privatization didn't reflect Ryun's present thinking on the issue.
God bless the GOP as the Kings of Semantics. Fine, don't like "privatize" anymore, Jim? He wants to increase personal control over Social Security and allow monies to be invested in the stock market, which, particularly for people on a fixed income, could devastate their only safety net if our economy turns sour. A funny thing to advocate as the economy turns sour.

Jenkins lied to her would-be constituents when she signed a pledge not to increase taxes- that's a flip-flop of a dramatic extreme. Ryun, on the other hand, wants to thrust our elderly to the wolves and let them fend for themselves against the Market.

Welcome to a second term, Congresswoman Boyda.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lynn "George H.W. Bush" Jenkins: Read My Lips...

State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' call for increased income taxes to pay for Social Security certainly doesn't strike us as your standard "Republican Value."

One could have assumed, until recent events, that Jenkins didn't consider it one of her values either- seeing as she signed the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge."

Oh, hypocrisy be damned! Now we've got Lynn doing exactly what she said she wouldn't- she's championing an increase in taxes.

Just in case that link dies, here's an image of Jenkins' broken promise to not advocate for increased taxes:

A Helluva Bad Week: Jenkins Encourages Increase in Social Security Taxes

This has to be the very worst week Lynn Jenkins has had thus far in her sad little campaign for Congress.

Now, on top of a tiny FEC report, a fundraiser with the poster child of pro-choice Republicans, and a poll that shows her getting just slammed by Jim Ryun, we're hearing from all over the tubes that Jenkins has actually said she wants to increase Social Security withholding taxes.

We'll say it again more slowly: Lynn Jenkins has suggested the government increase taxes.

Just...wow.

Honestly, though, when we read the quote from Kyle Robertson in the article about the new poll in yesterday's The Hill, we thought he was reacting very strangely to what we thought looked like good news for the Ryun campaign. Really, a 16-point margin isn't anything to sneeze at, but the Ryun campaign called Jenkins out for "dirty tricks."

“It’s obvious that Lynn Jenkins will use dirty tactics to avoid discussing her latest plan to raise taxes on Social Security.”
What? Increase taxes on Social Security? Hadn't yet heard that one..but we're obviously behind the times, because a poster at RedState.com says this has been Jenkins' MO for awhile now:
Jenkins' has been saying for weeks that the best way to fix Social Security is to do at the federal level what Kansas did (under her leadership as State Treasurer) to KPERS- the Kansas state government retirement system. Jenkins actually lead the charge to increase withholdings from employee paychecks. Now she says that's exactly how we should "save Social Security"- more taxes.
And, yes children, there is video:



Golly gee, Lynn...this doesn't seem wise. You remember you're running in a Republican primary, right?

Worth noting that Lynn Jenkins isn't the only Republican jumping on the third rail of politics (Social Security- touch it and you die) in this race, because Jim Ryun is an advocate for privatization. Which extreme will the Republicans prefer?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

GOP Primary Poll: Ryun Leads Jenkins 50-34

From The Hill:

Former Rep. Jim Ryun leads state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, 50 percent to 34, in a GOP primary poll released by a pro-Jenkins group.

The poll, which was conducted for the state chapter of the Republican Main Street Partnership, showed the 2nd district congressional race narrowing from the 61-27 margin in a poll commissioned by Ryun from May 2007.

The winner of the primary will face freshman Rep. Nancy Boyda (D), who defeated Ryun in 2006.

The poll surveyed 451 self-identified likely primary voters last week by phone and was conducted by Mary Christine and Associates. Mary Christine Banwart is relatively unknown as a pollster but is an assistant professor of communications studies at the University of Kansas.

“The more voters in this district learn about Lynn Jenkins, the more her message resonates, and these poll numbers clearly reflect this,” said Ryan Wright, the executive director of the pro-Jenkins Kansas Traditional Republican Majority.

Ryun campaign manager Kyle Robertson suggested the poll wasn’t credible because it also tested a negative message about Ryun’s connection to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff: “It’s obvious that Lynn Jenkins will use dirty tactics to avoid discussing her latest plan to raise taxes on Social Security.”

— Aaron Blake
So it appears Jenkins campaign activity has made a dent in Ryun's standing amongst likely Republican primary voters, but, really, what is Kyle Robertson complaining about? His boss is still kicking tail, and Jenkins has succeeded in making more people undecided.

Still, for a statewide "moderate" officeholder to not even break 40% against a once-defeated has-been should be horribly unsettling for all you Jenkins supporters out there.

But, looks like the conventional wisdom remains the same: Jim Ryun will beat Lynn Jenkins in Republican primary.

Anti-Boyda Group & NRCC Breaking Election Law?

A front page story on The Politico today reveals House Democrats will file a compliant with the Federal Election Commission today charging the NRCC and one of the conservative attack-dog groups helping them attack vulnerable Democrats, Freedom Watch, with "illegally coordinating campaign activities."

In a draft of its complaint, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee points to a script Freedom’s Watch submitted to Louisiana TV stations on Tuesday for an attack ad bashing Democratic House candidate Don Cazayoux.

The Democrats say the “metadata” in the Microsoft Word document contains the letters “NRCC” in the title field and shows that the document was last modified by “cforti” — apparently a reference to Carl Forti, a former NRCC official who was recently named as executive vice president for issue advocacy at Freedom’s Watch.

“It is impossible to know from the available facts the exact nature of the relationship between the NRCC and the Freedom’s Watch script,” the DCCC says in its draft complaint. “However, any number of scenarios are consistent with the presence of ‘NRCC’ in the metadata of the script. The NRCC may have created the script and sent it to Freedom’s Watch. Freedom’s Watch may have created the script using a file or computer provided by the NRCC. In any event, the metadata tend to show that the NRCC was involved in some way in preparing the ad.”

Oh dear. That seem to be quite the clear violation of federal election law.

Freedom Watch attacked Congresswoman Nancy Boyda in November 2007 with a full page ad in the Topeka Capitol-Journal. Boyda took them to task at the time for being "deeply irresponsible." Now, we learn the full level of their irresponsibility- they'll break the law to get their ridiculous message out.

Ryun Pulls 16% of Donors from the KS-02

Continuing with our breakdowns of FEC reports from the folk competing for the pleasure of getting beaten by Nancy Boyda in November, we now turn to former Congressman Jim Ryun.

Previously, we've made hay out of the fact Ryun seems to really like visiting Kwik Shops, McDonalds', and giving himself great huge fat reimbursements from the campaign.

He also spends crazy amounts of money on stamps.

This quarter, it isn't much different- though fewer trips to the Kwik Shop. Also, Ryun didn't give himself nearly as much money as he has in the past- this time only pocketing $1,494.92 in campaign dough.

He continues flying through money, though he did slow down a little bit during this quarter. Last quarter we reported he had spent 75% of his total raised, this quarter our fiscal conservative improved that number by keeping some more coin in the bank, but he has still spent 66% of his total take.

Still leaves him in last place in the only important contest in this part of the game: cash-on-hand. Even by only raising $108K, Lynn Jenkins still has almost $30,000 more in the bank than he does, and, of course, Congresswoman Boyda almost doubled him.

The Ryun Campaign did spend a lot of money tapping into the fundraising list they've spent a year building- forking out $48,000 on postage alone. Mixed success...it appears the folks that gave Ryun his huge boost in the 2nd Quarter of 2007 aren't all that interesting in repeat performances.

One last tidbit: Of Ryun's 541 (yowza) itemized donors, 185 were from Kansas, and only 88 were from the 2nd District of Kansas. The man actually lies to people and tells them he has more Kansas donors than either of his opponents- when Jenkins beats him percentage-wise and Boyda beats him that way and in real numbers, too. Sorry, Jim, the facts don't lie: only 16% of your itemized contributions are from in-district, while Jenkins is at 43% and Boyda (who we'll breakdown next) is right at 51%.

So much for the people of Kansas wanting you back so desperately, huh, Jim?

Quickly: Lynn Jenkins is Disingenuous

Anyone who's been paying attention to this race for Congress knows that Republican Lynn Jenkins has said over and over again that she's running a "Kansas campaign" filled with "Kansas boys."

Yes, fine, that's true...though her campaign manager has spent most of his adult life working in Washington, DC, he is, in fact, from Kansas originally (as opposed to Ryun's CM, who probably couldn't have found Kansas on a map before the NRCC backroom-dealers sent him here. Nancy Boyda? Her CM is a life long Topekan...take that! Ha!).

But, we think, probably, when Jenkins travels the district and tells folks she's running a Kansas campaign they assume she means she's pulling her support (and staff) out of this part of Kansas- the Kansas 2nd Congressional District.

Not so much.

True, yes, Lynn's itemized donors are nearly all from Kansas (unless they're pro-choice women from New York). Only 22 of her 169 itemized contributions came from out of the state- which is really excellent- a better percent than either Ryun or Congresswoman Boyda. True, that's easier when your competitors have 5 times as many donors...

Problem is- more than half of them come from Kansas City and Wichita. Only 43% of Jenkins' support comes from within the district she wants to represent in Congress.

So, if Jenkins does manages to pull it together and win this puppy...who will it be that actually pushed her over Ryun? The voters of the 2nd District, or the money people from Kansas City and Wichita?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where for art thou, Lynn?

Still lots and lots to pour over on the FEC reports, and we'll have detailed breakdowns up tomorrow early for both Ryun & Boyda, but the thing that strikes us first today is this: What in the world has happened to the once promising (for moderate Republicans, anyway) campaign of Lynn Jenkins?

For the second quarter in a row, Jenkins hasn't just been out raised by her opponents, she's been trounced by both Jim Ryun and Nancy Boyda. And it hasn't been just a nice, gentle trouncing, either, but a full on, hardcore, full-body trouncing where she's seen the numbers she's put up more than doubled by both of the people she's running against.

Credit where credit is due: Nearly ever penny of Jenkins' money came from Kansas...though more than half of it came from Kansas City and Wichita. Lord knows anyone would be a stronger challenger than Nick Jordan is again Congressman Dennis Moore...but we digress.

Anywho, outside of being embarrassingly small, the thing that really stands out on the Jenkins camp report is the amount of money Jenkins received from pro-choice groups- she took $2,000 this quarter from the PAC Republican Majority for Choice (who aired ads attacking Mitt Romney for flip-flopping on choice when he was running for President- see it here), took $2,810 in contributions earmarked for her from WISH List (which is a group that works to elect pro-choice Republican women), and a $885.43 in-kind donation from WISH List itself for the cost of a mailing.

All of this on the back of the announcement Jenkins will be throwing a fundraiser (in Kansas City, mind you) featuring the poster-child of pro-choice Republicans, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. Gov. Whitman should also be remembered as the disgraced former Bush Administration head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Yep, the same director of the EPA that lied to folk in New York about the safety of the air post 9/11, only to see thousands suffer horribly because of it.

Great catch, Lynn. Best you could do? Would no non-disgraced Republicans appear at an event for you?

We don't have any problem with Jenkins being pro-choice- we think that makes her significantly more reasoned than her Republican opponent. However, in a district, and a state, that went for Mike Huckabee in the Presidential Caucus, we can't imagine her very, very public pro-choice positions will help her much in her Primary Election.

Oh, and Lynn? About that $7,767.13 you gave the Dublin Group for "fundraising expenditures?"

They're obviously not worth it.

UPDATE- And (Finally) Jenkins Numbers In

We've got everyone now- Jenkins trails badly in the fundraising category, while Congresswoman Nancy Boyda is way way way out in the lead in money in the bank.

More analysis tonight!

State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins
Beginning CoH: $416,241.73
Receipts: $108,200.13
Disbursements: $38,213.32
CoH: $486,228.54

Frm. Congressman Jim Ryun
Beginning CoH: $364,970.71
Receipts: $251,581.53
Disbursements: $157,503.46
CoH: $459,048.78

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda
Beginning CoH: $654,420.83
Receipts: $226,617.82
Disbursements: $69,813.07
CoH: $811,225.58

Monday, April 14, 2008

BREAKING: Boyda Nearly Doubles Ryun's Cash-on-Hand

Reported by the AP:

Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda is reporting about $812,000 cash on hand for her re-election bid this fall.

Former Republican Rep. Jim Ryun has about $461,000 in the bank.

Ryun raised slightly more than Boyda over the past three months. Ryun pulled in $247,000 in the first quarter of the year, while Boyda took in $220,000.

Ryun is trying to win his old job back after Boyda defeated him two years ago. But Ryun faces a tough primary challenge from state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins.

Jenkins has not yet reported her latest fundraising tally.

We'll have details as soon as we have details.

Boyda Creates Scholarship with Her Automatic Pay Raise

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda did the right thing last year when she voted to prevent Congress's automatic pay increase from going into effect. She went above and beyond to do even more when she co-sponsored the bill that would have prevented it.

At the time she said:

“In my district, the median wage is still going down, so it just doesn’t seem right for Congress to take care of itself,” Boyda said. “I guess maybe it depends where you’re coming from . . . . If we get a pay raise, I will donate it to charity.”
It went into effect anyway.

In a press release today, Congresswoman Boyda said she thought long and hard about what to do with the money added to her pay that she had worked to prevent, finally deciding to create a $1,500 scholarship for a 2nd District high school senior.

Full text of the press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) has announced that she will create a scholarship fund with a $4,100 automatic Congressional raise in pay.

Boyda said, "As the middle class struggles to get by on shrinking paychecks, it is unconscionable for Congress to vote itself a pay raise. I voted against automatic raises last year and I have cosponsored another bill (H.R. 2934) that would suspend pay raises to Members of Congress in 2008."

"I just could not, in good conscience, put this raise to personal use." said Boyda. "There are so many worthy causes in Kansas that it took long and careful consideration to decide exactly where to put this money. I ultimately decided to put it toward the education of tomorrow's Kansas leaders."

The requirements for the Representative Nancy Boyda Scholarship are:
Applicant must be a graduating senior residing in the Second District of Kansas who is planning to pursue studies in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields and planning to attend an accredited school in the state of Kansas.

Applications must include the following information:

1. A statement of circumstances of financial need (completed Parent Financial Analysis form).
2. An essay of no more than 500 words answering the following two questions: "What do you think should be done to encourage an interest in and the study of STEM fields?" and "Why is this your chosen area of study?"
3. Applicant should have at least a 3.0 G.P.A., and must provide verification of G.P.A. via a high school transcript or equivalent.
4. Proof of United States citizenship with a copy of a birth certificate or U.S. citizenship naturalization papers.

Procedure for selection of recipient:
1. An independent reading team of the Topeka Community Foundation will review and select the recipient of the scholarship.
2. The award is for one year and a family is eligible to receive the award one time.
3. In all other respects, these funds will be awarded without restriction to race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation or disability.
4. The $1,500 annual scholarship will be paid to the college or university of choice and the student.

The scholarship fund will be managed by the Topeka Community Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the region by connecting donors to their philanthropic priorities as well as to the needs of the community, by increasing charitable giving and providing leadership on critical community issues. The Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It has more than $50 million in assets and granted more than $2 million in 2007.
Nancy Boyda didn't just do what was right when she voted against giving herself a pay raise. She didn't just do what's right when she sponsored the bill up for a vote. She also did what was right by given the money back to her constituents- and, even better than that- she'll help someone further their education.

This was truly above and beyond the call of duty, and we hope even our Republican reads will agree that Boyda deserves credit for her actions today.

Audience Participation in Upcoming Debates & FEC Predictions

According to a Q&A with Dr. Bob Beatty that appeared in Saturday's Topeka Capitol-Journal, residents of the 2nd Congressional District have been officially encouraged to submit potential questions for the announced debates between Lynn Jenkins & Jim Ryun in July, and between whichever one of them wins and Congresswoman Nancy Boyda in October.

If you've got a question you want asked, e-mail it to page2@cjonline.com. Probably ought to hold off on questions for the Boyda vs. Republican debate for a few months (and we'll remind you then), but the Ryun vs. Jenkins rumble is just around the corner.

Another little bit of news- We should have the FEC reports tomorrow. So, we'll ask again: Who's going to report what?

Lay it on us, kids!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lynn Jenkins Photo Caption Contest #2

Back again to its regular day- and by popular demand- Photo Caption Contest!

Today, we'd love to know that you think these to famous faces are saying to each other:

Republican Public Officials Just Can't Handle a Tape Recorder

They've been wheedling us for days, but we've successfully ignored TheKansasRepublican and their days of off-the-wall accusations that Congresswoman Nancy Boyda is sneaking around with a camcorder going all paparazzi on Lynn Jenkins.

We kid, of course, but not as much as we'd hope. Here's the gist of their actual complaint:

  • Nancy Boyda, who voted against FISA, is now paying for a "stalker" to follow Lynn Jenkins around and tape her every word. They'd like you to think he's taping her at the grocery store, probably.
  • This is very, very bad, and also hypocritical.
Oh, how to respond without being disrespectful...

OK, we'll start with the easy ones: Congresswoman Nancy Boyda isn't paying anyone to film anything at this point of the campaign (check the FEC reports yourselves). The tracker (yes, that's what the "stalker" is really called by people not trying to be incendiary) is paid for by the Kansas Democratic Party, and is a standard part of federal-level campaigning this day and age.

The fella from the KDP isn't following Lynn to the bathroom or getting in anyone's face...he's attending public events...the PUBLIC events of an ELECTED official running for a federal OFFICE. No elected official has any right- ever- to complain about being recorded at a public event.

The idea our State Treasurer is so secretive she doesn't want her potential constituents to know what she's saying, and that the Kansas Republican Party wants to keep it from us all, too, is one of the scariest things we've seen thus far in this race.

We can't really expect Republicans to be advocates for open government, though, can we?

Next, the Republicans, in their crazy rush to push out silly analysis, also left out the fact the KDP is also recording Jim Ryun at his events, too...they're ignoring that, but we aren't sure why. Too busy, probably.

Speaking of things the Republicans are ignoring: You can also ask Ryun or Jenkins or any staffer thereof...from what we've been told, they all know the "stalker" doesn't work for Boyda...but facts get in the way of quality spin.

In the end, the bit that's drawn a post out of us is that the Republican bloggers have the audacity to compare the recording of public events hosted by people wanting to be our representative in Congress to the federal government spying on American citizens. That's why they're calling Boyda a hypocrite, by the way- because she voted to prevent warrantless wiretaps of American citizens without oversight, but then recorders her opponents (which she isn't doing...oh, whatever...you get the picture).

That Republicans in Kansas are callous enough to compare taping public events to a federal government attempting to spy on Americans without a warrant is grossly inappropriate, but no one needs us to point that out- it's obvious to anyone other than Republican partisan hacks.

We will come back, in the end, to the fact this is just another occasion of Republicans lying when it can be proven that they are...and another example of exactly how desperate Republicans are to keep as much information as they can from the American people- and exactly how desperate they are to take down Congresswoman Boyda with baseless drivel.

Luckily, no one is listening to them.

Vets Without Care: Boyda Says System is Overloaded

A really heart-wrenching story ran in the Topeka Capitol-Journal about an Iraq War veteran who is simply not receiving the quality or level of care we should all expect our returning veterans to receive.

These stories aren't rare- quite the opposite of that, like Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's district representatives for military affairs said in the same article.

Two district representatives in U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda's Topeka office, Jefferson Lawson and Adam Stolte, said they hadn't heard about Sanders' case, but weren't surprised.

When Lawson was asked if the office received a lot of complaints from veterans about similar problems, he replied, "extremely."

He and Stolte can tell lots of horror stories, but they also try to put the complaints in perspective.

"People don't call us with good information," Stolte said.

So there is no way of knowing how many veterans receive good service, he said.

And, he said, almost every VA employee they deal with is well-intentioned. The problem is the system.

Lawson explained there are two divisions of the VA — The Veterans Health Administration that provides the health care and the Veterans' Benefit Administration that sends out the checks to qualifying veterans.

"I can tell you from experience those two agencies do not talk to each other," Lawson said.

This is a horrible situation for our very bravest Americans to be in, and Boyda has already tried to address the problem, though we would probably not be out of line to say everyone knows more needs to be done.

Boyda blamed the problem on an overburdened system. She said Congress increased funding for the VA by $6.6 billion last year and by another $4.9 billion this year. More is needed, she said.

"This is the real cost of war," she said. "It's easy to wear a yellow ribbon. Veterans need real help. And that takes money."

We'll hope we can convince Republican members to vote their own rhetoric and treat our men and women in uniform with the respect they deserve.

More from Boyda on the Petraeus-Crocker Testimoney

As reported by the Manhattan Mercury:

After hearing Gen. David Petraeus urge a continued commitment to Iraq Wednesday, Second District Rep. Nancy Boyda said she remains concerned about the impact that commitment is having on the military.

''In view of today's testimony, I remain deeply concerned about the impact of the Iraq war on our military readiness,'' she said. "Our troops are clearly strained by repeated 15-month deployments, and the Army is burning through supplies and equipment at an alarming rate.''

Boyda cited comments by Gen. George Casey, chief of staff of the Army, and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the effect that the military commitment is close to a ''red line'' beyond which it cannot be sustained. Citing comments by CIA chief Mike Hayden that the next 9-11 style attack would come from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, she worried about whether the U.S. can combat the growth of Al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Boyda noted that Hayden had described the situation along that border as presenting clear and present danger to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, and to the west in general and to the United States in particular.

''Gen. Petraeus' recommendations carry great weight,'' she said, adding, however, that ''as we move forward in Iraq, we must not lose sight of our highest goal, to protect America.''

President Bush adopted one of Boyda's recommendations today, saying he will instruct the Pentagon to impose 12-month rather than 15-month combat tours in Iraq. However Bush, echoing Petraeus, said he would not order additional troop drawdowns beyond July.

Petraeus told Congress that it's too early to talk about future drawdowns because the situation in Iraq remains fragile, and that while security has improved and Iraqi forces are shouldering more of the fight against extremists, Iraq still could descend again into chaos.

The article, of course, overstates the facts when they say President Bush adopted on of Boyda's recommendations: when he said he would impose a 12-month instead of 15-month combat tours in Iraq. Certainly that has been something Congresswoman Boyda has pushed, but she wasn't alone in that call- Democrats & Republicans alike have asked the President to let our men and women be home with their families as soon as possible.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jenkins' American Century Problem Just Not Going Away

Poor Lynn Jenkins. It seems as the stories about her unethical participation in TV ads paid for by a company whose lobbyist and CEO gave her money right before she gave them a big ol' state contract just aren't drifting into the ether like she so hoped they would.

We've done our part, of course. We've already post about it here and here. Also, here and here.

The Kansas Democratic Party is in the game, now, too- they issued a press release on April 1 criticizing Jenkins for not being up front about the whole thing with the people of Kansas.

While defending her appearance in mailers and ads for American Century before two different elections, Jenkins wrote in the Kansas City Star that “Research conducted by American Century found that [her] presence in the ads…bring credibility, attention and reassurance to Kansans” and that she would have been “knowingly doing a disservice to the program and to the people of Kansas” had she not participated. Yet, Jenkins has not produced any such research to verify these statements.
Well, she did produced "research" to "verify" her statements. Her office managed to find one slide from one PowerPoint presentation that says "she makes the ads better!" without any statistics or any references to back it up. And the quote from the silly slide isn't even very good:
"They see it's from Lynn Jenkins and it's professionally done and that impresses people and carries a lot of weight."
That's a three conjunction monster-of-a stupid quote.

So, we're just supposed to take Lynn Jenkins and American Century Investments at their word that it's all on the up-and-up and that her gleaming grin is just necessary for the ads to be successful at all.

No one's buying it, Lynn.
“If there is any disservice, it is for Lynn Jenkins to engage in this kind of questionable behavior so close to an election and only now attempt to defend these actions with false claims. Kansans deserve a straight answer from Lynn Jenkins about her participation in these ads and a promise that she will not continue what would be a flagrant violation of federal ethics rules in this race,” said Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Mike Gaughan.
In the end, this isn't about whether or not Jenkins is lying out of her behind when she talks about how "research proves" it is very, very, very necessary it is for her to appear in those ads, this is about Lynn Jenkins not having the moral clarity to do what's right- and what's right is for her to say "Thanks, but no thanks," to American Century Investments if they choose to run ads featuring her smiling face again while she's still a candidate for Congress. Not just because it's the morally correct thing for her to do, but because anything else would have her coming awfully close to violating election law.

Today, we're happy to join with the Kansas Democratic Party in there call:
One PowerPoint slide doesn’t seem adequate to justify her presence in these ads if we’re talking about a future potential FEC violation. We’re calling on Lynn Jenkins to promise she won’t appear in American Century ads during both the FEC primary window and general election window.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations define an electioneering communication as: “Any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that (1) refers to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office; (2) is publicly distributed within 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election for the office sought by the candidate referenced in the communication; and (3) in the case of a Congressional candidate, is targeted to the relevant electorate.”
Sorry, Lynn...you're the one with a bad ethical compass who decided to run for Congress. 'Course, as we've pointed out before, this doesn't make you any different than former Congressman Jim Ryun...peas in the same corrupt pod.


House Balks at President's Demands; Boyda & Moore Stand Up for Kansas

In a direct confrontation with the White House over free trade policies that hurt Kansans, the House of Representatives voted today to change House rules regarding "fast-tracked" trade agreements.

From Politico.com:

In a clear rebuke of President Bush, the House approved a change to chamber rules on Thursday that would allow Democratic leaders to suspend consideration of a controversial trade deal with Colombia.

A largely divided House voted, 224-195, to suspend a requirement that would force lawmakers to vote on the free-trade deal with Colombia within 60 legislative days from the time Bush sent it to Capitol Hill.

Both Congresswoman Nancy Boyda and Congressman Dennis Moore voted with Kansas and supported the change in rules. Both of our Republican members of the House voted in lock-step with the Bush Administration.

Uncontrolled free trade is a folly- like we've seen with NAFTA. We're proud half of our delegation decided to do the right then and say "no" to further force-fed trade policy.

Boyda Responds to Petraeus, Expresses Concerns Regarding Readiness

After another report from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before Congress, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's public statements seem to be very similar to the statements she made after their last update.

"When it comes to Iraq, I think everyone is rejoicing that we have increased stability," Boyda said. "The question is, what does that mean to our strategic readiness? What does it mean to our ability to defend our homeland?"
In a pair of articles in the Topeka Capitol-Journal and the Pittsburg Morning Sun, Boyda again called for a draw-down of US troops in Iraq- not necessarily for the preparations of total withdrawal, but so the ever worsening situation in Afghanistan can be address and our overall strategic readiness can be improved.

Boyda said military leaders were also increasingly concerned with the situation in Afghanistan. About 10 months ago, a National Intelligence Estimate reported that al-Qaida had regained its pre-9/11 strength in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"When we ask why we aren't addressing that more, we are told that Iraq is our number one priority," Boyda said. "But why and when did Iraq become the number one priority? It wasn't the number one priority on Sept. 12-13."

Boyda said she wasn't in favor of a large withdrawal, rather a slow and steady progression that would allow the U.S. to reset its military readiness. Boyda cited a quote from General George Casey, Army chief of staff, who said there was an "invisible red line" that would indicate the current operations can no longer be sustained.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said April 2, "I think we're close to (the red line) now."

"While everyone rejoices in some stability in the region, the questions are two-fold," Boyda said. "One, will we be able to stay and hold on to that stability and two, at what cost could we do it? It's clearly having an affect on readiness moving forward.

"We're on uncharted ground," Boyda said. "There's no doubt in my mind that if we had another 9/11-type incident, we would be able to have an overwhelming and immediate response. The Air Force and Navy are ready (to respond quickly). The problem is sustaining that response. That's what we're hearing from senior military leadership."

Readiness has always been Boyda's reason for backing calls for a draw-down of troops in Iraq, in every public statements she's made since taking office. The threat to our national security the War in Iraq has caused is becoming more and more real military officials, Members of Congress, and to the American people.
"We are in a volatile, dangerous situation," Boyda said. "The American people are waking up to the fact that having all our eggs in Iraq is not keeping us safer."
We're thankful for Congresswoman Boyda's dedication to keeping us all safe at home, and we're glad to see someone remember Iraq wasn't responsible for 9/11 and that we have allowed a very real threat come back to life in a different part of the world.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ryun & Jenkins, Boyda Agree to Debate

As reported by KSNT Channel 27 in Topeka, Jim Ryun & Lynn Jenkins have agreed to debate each other live on TV on Tuesday, July 22 from 6- 7 p.m.- only days before the Republican primary election.

KSNT also announced Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has agreed to debate whichever Republican it might be who wins said primary on Sunday, October 26 from 5-6 p.m. [Edit: We've been informed the date for the Boyda vs. Republican Candidate debate isn't firm, but that one will indeed take place before the election live on KSNT].

According to KSNT:

Both debates are sponsored by 27 News, The Topeka Capital-Journal, and AM 580 WIBW Radio and may air nationwide on C-Span.
(Thank you for the tip, tipster).

Letter to the Editor: Classy Gesture

The following letter ran in the Topeka Capitol-Journal on April 5- it's just a nice thank you that we wanted to share with Internetland.

Letter: Classy gesture

Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., recently sponsored a program at the Docking building here in Topeka that was aimed at helping those needing assistance filing their tax returns. During the same time, she held an open meeting discussing suggestions and problems brought to her by some of her constituents.

During the discussion, Congresswoman Boyda paused the meeting and asked one of her aides to get some quarters that could be handed out to those at the meeting who might encounter parking meter problems.

Now, that's class!

I remarked to the congresswoman that I felt that was a very considerate gesture and not what I would expect from a "politician." She whispered back and assured me it would not be at the taxpayer's expense.

If we could only hire responsible people such as Congresswoman Boyda for both sides of the aisle who had this much concern for us here at home, just imagine what all could be accomplished in Washington and in Topeka.

DALE E. VAUGHN, Topeka

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

General Petraeus on The Hill

General David Petraeus is on Capitol Hill for the next few days answering questions about operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the Washington Post "The top U.S. military commander in Iraq told a Senate committee today that improved security in Iraq is "fragile and reversible" and recommended a pause in the withdrawal of U.S. forces after mid-July."

Second District Rep. Nancy Boyda expressed concern this morning about the impact of the ongoing military commitment in Iraq on military efforts in Afghanistan.

At the same time, she made it clear she wants to hear what Gen. David Petraeus tells Congress about the Iraqi situation this week, describing herself as ''all ears'' in that regard.

Says the Manhattan Mercury about a Chamber of Commerce breakfast where Rep. Boyda spoke on Monday.

Rep. Boyda has long been respectful of our soldiers, particularly those currently in combat overseas. But has approached our situation in Afghanistan and Iraq with cautious realism particularly with regard to the military readiness. ''How long will the increased stability stay in place...we don't know,'' she said.

Boyda said one imperative was to reduce deployment lengths from 15 to 12 months, and a second was to shore up the situation in Afghanistan. ''We are close to a strategic failure in Afghanistan,'' she said. ''It begs the question of when did Iraq become our first priority?''
"In addition to the military situation, she touched upon the prospects of Manhattan being selected as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Laboratory (NBAF), as well as health care and budgetary issues" The Mercury Reports. Boyda said further that Manhattan is one of five in the running but that "we have a very good shot."

Hail to Old KU

We join the many Kansans proud of an amazing victory tonight in congratulating the players, coaches, and fans of the University of Kansas.

That 3 pointer was magic...


And if you haven't heard it yet the Jayhawk Remix is below from YouTube

Monday, April 7, 2008

Explaining the Other White Meat

As the comments section of our post on Thursday shows - understanding earmarks and pork-barrel spending can be tough. You can be a snappy political operative and still have difficulty following the trail of federal money.

That's why I'm grateful for what the Pittsburg Morning Sun addressed in their Monday issue.

Perhaps the best-known example of pork spending is the "Bridge to Nowhere," a $223 million allocation to build a bridge from a small Alaskan town to a tiny island.

Pork is often a type of government spending categorized as earmarks. Earmarks occur when Congress makes specific funding provisions for a particular use or recipient.

If pork is such an issue, where do local politicians rank and what are they doing about it?


As someone commented on the blog last week said there are two different issues we're talking about when we address pork and earmarks.

1. Earmark reform is for back scratching earmarks....

There is a huge difference from bringing back money to one's state that is rightfully theirs ... (See "federalism") and money allocated to one's friends or relatives or campaign contributors.

2. Boyda's earmarks are not allocated to specific contracts, corporations, or people that are contributors to her campaign or associated with her campaign....
The Pittsburg Sun quotes rankings for all of the Kansas Reps.

"The Taxpayers for Common Sense releases an annual list of earmarks among politicians.

"According to that list, U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) is 36th out of the 445 representatives listed (while there are only 435 representatives in the House, ten of them have been replaced in the last year) in the amount of granted earmarks with $66.8 million in earmarks. U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.) is 102nd with $38 million. U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) comes in at No. 374 with $8 million, followed closely by Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) at No. 380 with $7.4 million....

"Those numbers were for earmarks, not necessarily for pork spending.

"The "Pig Book" has similar, but not identical results for pork spending. Tiahrt ranks 33rd with 61 projects for $76.4 million. Moran is tied for 99th with 19 projects for $40.4 million. Boyda is tied for 110th with 48 projects for $37.3 million. Moore is tied for 363rd with 24 projects for $7.8 million...."

A similar story also appeared in the Lawrence Journal World today talking specifically about the local effects of earmarks for the University of Kansas.

“These are not a bridge to nowhere. There are not something we just dreamed up,” Yehle said. “We will use this equipment every day. We identify a need and then try to find funding.”

In 2008, KU received four earmarks: $2.3 million for research and development on advanced vehicle technology, $1.1 million for a biodiversity research center, $700,000 for pharmaceutical small-business development and about $406,000 for equipment in the office of therapeutics. Kansas’ U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts and Rep. Nancy Boyda helped secure KU earmarks.....

This year, KU was relatively small potatoes on the earmark list. Out of 848 schools, KU was 107th for the amount of earmarks received. Two other Kansas universities, Kansas State and Wichita State, both received substantially more. WSU received $17.5 million — 15th most nationally — and KSU received $11.5 million, making it 36th on the list.

Yehle said it’s nearly worthless to compare rankings because they swing wildly from year to year. As an example, he said KU received a multimillion-dollar earmark in a 2005 federal highway bill.


This comes after Congresswoman Nancy Boyda unveiled new legislation that demands unprecedented transparency in the Congressional earmarking process on Friday. Under Boyda's resolution, H.Res. 1072, all Members of Congress would be required to disclose their requests for federal earmarks on their official Congressional websites.

"It's time for meaningful transparency in every step of the earmarking process," Boyda said. "Once the American people know how lawmakers want to spend their tax dollars, they'll hold Congress accountable. They won't let Congress waste their money."

Boyda added, "In this day and age, it only takes a few clicks to publish your earmark requests online. If Congress has nothing to hide, then we shouldn't hesitate to post that information for all the world to see."

Boyda has already set the precedent for online disclosure by posting all of her earmark requests to her official website, http://boyda.house.gov/. A complete list of Boyda's requests for the 2009 fiscal year may be found at http://boyda.house.gov/?sectionid=53.

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.