Saturday, May 31, 2008

TheKansasRepublican: Nasty Primary Re-Elects Boyda

We just love it when folks on the Radical Right stumble accidentally onto the truth (it happens so rarely for them), and, for a state like Kansas, it's really kind of shocking we don't have a single rational, fact-based, non-hyperventilating conservative blog.

The blog that has lately become the very most offensive- in a "I'm with Fred Phelps" sort of way- TheKansasRepublican did post late on Friday with their laundry list of reasons the Kansas Republican Party just keeps falling on its ass.

In part:

...the bitter primary in the 2nd could blow our chances at defeating Boyda...
Why, yes indeed! Jenkins and Ryun have taken after each other like the Hatfields and the McCoys, and every single day it gets harder and harder the for Kansas Republican Party to pull itself out of the same tailspin it gets into every single time they have a contested primary.

And it will blow your chances of defeating Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

(We'd add something else to your litany of woe: The Kansas Republican Party continues to suffer because blogs like yours ignore current events and instead either make something up, draw a hair-brained connection between unrelated things, or you post pictures that are so far outside the realm of good taste they even turn off other Republicans. Also, someone should tell the KS GOP that they really need to allow comments on their blog...it's just unseemly for them to be that chicken).

Friday, May 30, 2008

Photo Caption Contest- Loser's Gallery

It's sad, really, but it certainly doesn't mean we can't poke fun. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Letter to the Editor: Boyda Fighting for Kansas Citizens

From the Pittsburg Morning Sun:

Dear Editor,

With gasoline prices about $4.00 a gallon, and with many people being squeezed financially and considering whether a trip somewhere is really necessary, I find myself grumbling about our national energy policy and the $40 billion that Exxon Mobil made in profit last year (that's $77 thousand per minute). And also thinking about the tax breaks that the largest oil companies get from us, the taxpayers. I don't begrudge reasonable profit for a company that has taken risk to bring a valuable product to the consumer, but do the largest oil companies really need these tax breaks? I don't think so and neither does Nancy Boyda, who has voted to end these unnecessary subsidies for the largest five oil companies. She wants to throw out our old energy policy that was created partly for corporate oil interests, and wants to help create new energy policy that will benefit ordinary citizens. She has demonstrated that desire by voting to raise fuel mileage standards for new cars to 35 miles per gallon, as well as voting for renewable fuel and energy efficiency standards.

But this is just a starting point as we need to go further by developing a strong renewable energy industry. To help push that idea, Boyda voted for an energy tax package that would provide $18 billion in renewable energy incentives for wind, solar, and other renewable energy and that would help create thousands of new jobs in the renewable energy industry. Some of these jobs would be in Kansas with our resources of land, wind, sun, and technology. These incentives would be paid for by the removal of some of the tax breaks for the oil companies. As she says, we need to invest in the Midwest, not the Middle East.

Nancy Boyda is a friend of Kansas citizens by fighting for an energy policy that works for us rather than the oil companies that are making record profits.

George Weeks
Pittsburg

Jenkins: Endorsing Ryun in '04, Calling Him an Embarrassment in '08

Lynn Jenkins did an interview with Kansas Public Radio Wednesday morning filled with the basic content we've come to expect from the our very favorite glorified accountant, but this particular interview also held a couple of gems we just had to share with y'all.

First, she said Jim Ryun was an "embarrassment to her as a Republican" and, second, she said that she wasn't as "informed as I should have been" when she agreed to record a television commercial endorsing Jim Ryun in his re-election battle against Nancy Boyda in 2004 (you'd forgotten Jenkins had done that, hadn't you? Oh, how the years pass).

So, first:

This is a race about somebody who had 10 years in Congress. His time has come and gone and it's time for new leadership. I would not want to be running on Jim's record in Washington, DC. The biggest difference is probably in the area of financial responsiblity and, um, when you spend money on vanity projects like he spent money on, when you, maybe in 10 years in Congress only voted for maybe one balanced budget- he mortgaged my kids' future- that is an embarrassment to me as a Republican and it should be to him.
Nearly every time we post something Jenkins has said we say this, but we'll say it again for good measure: So much for keeping the primary polite, huh, Lynn? Or did you mean he's an embarrassment in the neighborly, friendly way?

Also, since the voters got the change they wanted last November, we hope you can pivot off this "the Republicans failed us" message pretty quickly- if you are lucky enough to survived the primary.

Next, Jenkins was asked why, if she thinks Jim Ryun is an embarrassment to Republicans everywhere because of his record over the last 10 years, why she filmed an endorsement TV commercial in 2004? Her answer? Well, gee, it's because "they" told me I should!
We were in a time of war and everyone said, "Well, you know, we've got to support our folks." And now is a time to reflect- because we've learned a thing or two, and after reflecting it's become glaringly obvious to me that that was a wrong path.
That's a stunning admission from anyone trying to earn the trust of the people. If we take Jenkins at her word, then, by her own admission in 2004 she was simply shockingly clueless and acting as nothing more than a party stooge-making her the very last person anyone in their right mind should want in the United States House of Representatives.

So glad you've "seen the light" now. But God, lady, the man's record hasn't changed between then and now- he was just as worthless in 2004 when you were endorsing him as he is in 2008 when your running against him. The single difference we can see now is that it's politically advantageous for you to go ahead an let your mind-numbing ambition shove him out of the way.

And, did we miss something, but we are still "at a time of war" aren't we?

To close, another little humdinger from the CPA-Who-Would-Be-Congresswoman:
Well Peter, I am a CPA, and I know a lot about finance. What I don't know, or what I don't have an expertise in, is prosecuting a war.
She goes on to make it pretty clear Congress should just abdicate it's constitutional authority to declare war and just let the generals and the President do as they please. Wonderful, Lynn, you sound like exactly what we need: Just another lock-step Republican...just like Jim Ryun before you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Topeka Capital-Journal Praises New GI Bill

An excellent editorial in the pages of the Topeka Capital-Journal today lauding the new GI Bill, which has seen full support from Congresswoman Nancy Boyda:

We think this bill, however, is one worth championing and one that should be signed into law when it reaches President Bush.

The legislation would increase education benefits available to military veterans to bring them in line with the actual cost of a college education.

[...]

A spokeswoman for Rep. Nancy Boyda, R-Kan., said that under the bill passed recently, the tuition amount available to veterans would be based on that charged by each state's most expensive state university.

The current benefit is sufficient to cover tuition cost at The University of Kansas, but wouldn't cover other fees, books, housing and living expenses. The University of Kansas has requested an 8.7 percent increase that would raise tuition for incoming freshmen this fall to $3,471 a semester.

During a visit to Topeka, Boyda and a former Marine sergeant now attending KU noted many veterans take on jobs or large loans to pay the remainder of the cost of their education.

Granted, many students who haven't served in the armed forces also work and take out loans to finance their educations. We're not trying to make light of their predicament, one that also should be addressed by universities and federal and state governments, but we think the time is right to live up to the original intent of the GI Bill for those risking life and limb at their government's behest.

We agree wholeheartedly that this is the very least we can provide to our men and women who have served us overseas- and the funding mechanism- an income tax surcharge of one-half of 1% on individuals with incomes of more than $500,000 and couples with incomes of more that $1 million- is a small price to pay to do what's right for our veterans.

And to the lying liars who say the bill will hurt small businesses, we have this from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities:

Critics of the House-passed bill maintain that their concern is its impact on “mom and pop” small business operations, which they describe as the engines of economic growth and job creation. These critics should be reassured by the fact that the overwhelming majority of such enterprises will never generate enough profits to make them subject to the surcharge.
and
Moreover, even the 1.2 percent figure likely overstates the impact of the surcharge on small business owner-operators.

[...]

Many of these individuals, however, play no role in managing the business and are simply passive investors who contribute some capital to the enterprise and, in exchange, receive a share of the profits. Their ranks include President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, as well as many other wealthy investors who are not actual small business operators — and whom the public generally does not think of as “small business owners.”
In a time of war, when thousands of our young men and women are sacrificing for us, the least we can do as a nation is to provide them with opportunities when they return home. This bill, thankfully, does that.

(For even more, visit Left Brain Kansas)

More from Boyda's Gas Price Press Conference

Some more from yesterday's press conference on the price of gasoline held by Congresswoman Nancy Boyda and reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal.

A further sample of what Congress has tried to do to address the problem of gas prices in both the short- and long-term:

Boyda said Congress approved fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. A reduction in consumption and the use of such alternative energy as wind, solar and biofuels will bring down the price of oil.

She said Congress approved a bill that stops the filling of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which holds about 700 million barrels of oil. She said a temporary suspension of government purchases could reduce oil and gas prices by as much as 24 cents per gallon.

Boyda has also voiced support of the concept of a national gas tax holiday (as long as those lost infrastructure repair dollars are made up somewhere else) and, again, has voted for expanded exploration for domestic supplies of fossil fuels.

It's nice to have a Member of Congress who is proactive, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boyda: "Congress Has to Stand Up to Big Oil"

The Republicans did nothing when they had control of Congress to address our dependence on foreign oil. They did nothing to prevent the disaster America faces now, as the price of gas in the 2nd District of Kansas hovers near $4 a gallon.

What could you expect, though, with Oil Men in the White House? Or from Members of Congress who had been bought lock, stock and, yes, barrel, by the oil industry?

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has made fighting back against Big Oil one of the keystones of her term in office, as was again evidenced by a press conference held at a Topeka grocery store yesterday.

While Boyda and the Democratic majority have taken the lead in attempting to address the problem at hand and that's a newsworthy items in itself, it's the stories of those directly impacted by the increase that are of interest here.

Jim Bauersfeld, owner of Mike’s IGA, said the cost of shipping product to his store from the wholesaler has increased $10,000 per year because of rising diesel prices.

The cost of groceries has gone up about 6 percent in the past year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The cost of many staple foods is rising even faster. The cost of milk has shot up 15 percent, the cost of flour was up 18 percent and the cost of eggs by 31 percent.

Rob McCune, owner of Frontier Trucking, said high diesel prices have hurt his business.

“It’s wiped me out,” he said. “I had 10 trucks, now I have five.”

He said he used to pay $2,500 per week for fuel, but now is paying $6,400 per week — for fewer trucks.

Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union, said he had asked another farmer to join him at the Boyda press conference, but the friend declined because he couldn’t afford to pay for the gas to drive there.

In what has become a famous speech because of her content regarding FISA, Boyda addressed the shocking profits and stunning spin of Big Oil during her remarks to the Kansas Democratic Party State Convention in March.


(Just so we're all clear on one important point: Boyda has voted multiple times to invest money in alternative fuel research, but she has also voted to expand exploration in US coastal waters. Both moves are necessary, but everyone recognizes we must wean ourselves off of our dependences on fossil fuels sooner rather than latter).

Kobach with Fear in His Eyes

The Kansas Republican Party has invented all sorts of reasons for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's victory over former Congressman Jim Ryun in 2006, ranging from intervention by aliens to a vast left-wing conspiracy lead by the Clintons, Howard Dean, and some guy in a Volvo they used to see driving around the block by the KS GOP headquarters.

He may have actually been drinking a latte. And eating sushi.

We kid.

The actual reason cited over and over by the KS GOP is that Boyda only won because Republican turnout was miserable in '06...it wasn't that people liked her- no, certainly not- it was just that Republicans stayed home. Why'd they do that? Couldn't have been because they decided Jim Ryun was a horrible Member of Congress...naw, that couldn't be it...

They do have a point, of course, all joshing aside. While it can't account completely for Boyda's win, Republican turnout was indeed awful in 2006, which, without a doubt, did significant damage to Ryun.

So, given that reality, the doomsday scenario for the Kansas Republican Party- the horror of all horrors the KS GOP could face- would be a repeat of 2006, when Democratic enthusiasm was high and Republican turnout was depressingly depressed.

Welcome to 2008.

And, while we'd love to be the harbingers of that impending doom we aren't:

But if he [McCain] is going to rely on turnout within the Republican base more than on winning over independents and disaffected Democrats, there is evidence that he has not gone as far as needs to — particularly given how energized Democrats appear to be.

"He is going to need extraordinary participation of Republicans if Democrats continue to flock to the polls the way they have," said Kris Kobach, the Republican Party leader from Kansas. "It's critical that he use this period to generate enthusiasm from his base."
Kobach's basic concern is that Democrats are going to continue being really, really excited, and that John McCain won't be able to turnout those same conservative voters who stayed at home and refused to vote for Jim Ryun, which would certainly result again in a horribly and crushing defeat for the Kansas Republican Party.

No, we aren't evil liberals putting words in the beloved chairman's mouth- he said as much in the New York Times just yesterday:
“I’m still perceiving a need to reassure his base,” said Kris Kobach, the Kansas Republican chairman, one of the state party leaders interviewed Thursday. “I think he has got to reassure conservatives that he respects the core principles of the Republican Party [...]."
You're "perceiving" that, are you, Kris? Is that because you personally still aren't so convinced McCain "respects the core principles of the Republican Party? We all remember that he wasn't your first choice for your parties nominee.

So, donations, everyone, for the Kansas Republican Party: Let's help them build the Doomsday Shelter their Chairman is so very certain they're going to need!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"To Thank God That Men Like These Lived..."

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's Memorial Day message:

At a 1945 remembrance ceremony for fallen soldiers, General George Patton offered the words that remain, in my view, the clearest expression of the purpose of Memorial Day. "In my mind," General Patton said, "we came here to thank God that men like these lived, rather than regret that they died."

To thank God that they lived, rather than regret that they died. Memorial Day will always be a day of mourning, but even more than that, it is a day of celebration. We celebrate the American spirit that has driven so many to sacrifice so much. We celebrate the families who willingly sent their sons and daughters into harm's way so that the rest of us could live in peace. And we celebrate the soldiers who still serve today, who even now are brokering peace among families of Sunnis and Shiites or steering their Humvees down dangerous roads.

If we are truly to thank God for these extraordinary men and women, we must show our gratitude through more than a few words at a somber, annual ceremony. We must turn talk into action.

In recent weeks, Congress passed two bills that will demonstrate America's gratitude to our troops, just as General Patton's generation expressed their gratitude after World War II. I hope that this Memorial Day will be taken as an opportunity to advance these bills into law.

Just last week, the Senate passed a provision that I helped author which would abolish the so-called "soldier tax." The tax is an obscure IRS penalty, due to take effect in the 2008 tax year, that would reduce or eliminate the ability of some military families to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Unless the Senate bill is signed into law, 150,000 military families will pay sharply higher taxes next year. The exact increase would vary depending on each family's size and income, but in some cases, it would exceed $4,500 – a harsh financial blow to the soldiers on the frontlines of the war on terror.

In addition to the prospect of increased taxes, today's soldiers must confront the steady erosion of the benefits that America extends to our veterans. Consider the long, slow decline of educational support under the 1943 GI Bill. At one time, the bill fully paid for the education of America's veterans, including tuition, room, board, and books. In the aftermath of World War II, its benefits helped lift millions of American families – including my own – into the middle class.

But the bill's luster has faded after so many years. Its benefits have not kept up with inflation, so today the GI Bill covers only a fraction of the cost of college tuition, and it barely scratches the surface of the other costs of college attendance.

The GI Bill was always meant to be a permanent promise, a contract with our soldiers, a bill of rights for our veterans. Its guarantees must not be allowed to die. Recently I voted in the U.S. House of Representatives to extend the GI Bill's full benefits to the new generation of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.

On this Memorial Day, I can imagine no more fitting tribute to our armed services than for President Bush and Congress to act quickly to turn the soldier tax relief bill and the new GI Bill into law.

Only by fully supporting our soldiers and veterans, in both our words and our deeds, can America heed General Patton's call to celebrate the sacrifices of our soldiers.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Boyda Secures $20 million for Kansas, Gives Our Troops a Pay Raise

More excellent news out of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's office- another $20 million for the district, and, perhaps more importantly, a much deserved pay raise for our fighting men and women.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) voted for the bipartisan 2009 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which she helped craft as a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
(It included the Boyda Amendment, which placed a 3 year ban on public-private competitions in the Defense Dept. and passed unanimously. We talked about it here).

The bill advances the efforts of last year's NDAA to restore America's military readiness, and it includes over $20 million in defense authorizations for the state of Kansas. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a 384 to 23 vote.

Congresswoman Boyda said, "In the face of continuous deployment and redeployment of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, our military and their families need additional support. The funds authorized on Thursday will strengthen the Kansas economy and improve the security of every American."

The bill includes numerous authorizations to support Kansas military installations, including:

  • $2 million for a dynamometer for the Kansas National Guard
  • $6 million for the Urban Operations Laboratory development at Kansas State University
  • $3.4 million for the Defense Command Integration Center (Eisenhower Center) for the Kansas National Guard
  • $2 million for Leadership for Leaders at Kansas State University and Fort Leavenworth
  • $3 million for a new fire station at Fort Riley
  • $4.389 million for the second phase of the new chapel at Fort Leavenworth

The bill also takes major steps to strengthen America's military readiness, which has been one of Congresswoman Boyda's top concerns since entering office in 2007. It authorizes $8.6 billion for the Army and $1.8 billion for the Marine Corps to reset equipment -- fixing broken equipment and replacing that which is not fixable. The National Guard and the Army Reserve will receive $800 million for procurement of high-priority equipment.

The NDAA also includes a hard-earned pay raise for American soldiers. All uniformed personnel will receive a 3.9% pay raise, 0.5% higher than was proposed by President Bush in his 2009 budget. In addition, the bill prevents any increases in health care premiums and co-pays for TRICARE and the TRICARE retail pharmacy program.

The NDAA also authorizes $65 million to school boards that provide support to military children, $15 million of which is directed to school districts impacted by force structure changes. Manhattan, Junction City and Leavenworth all stand to benefit from this provision.

Congresswoman Boyda added, "Last night we achieved a major leap in the right direction by supporting our military's efforts to be the best prepared force in the world. America's leading generals have repeatedly told us that, with our military so focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have limited ability to respond to terrorist threats elsewhere in the world. The NDAA provides the funding needed to address the military's concerns and to restore America's readiness to respond to any threat, anywhere, at any time."

It was a bipartisan effort, and every member of the Kansas delegation to the House supported the bill- and, with it's significant margin, is indeed veto-proof.

We're particularly please the Republican agreed to go along with the Democrats and give our men and woman in uniform a larger pay increase than the President proposed. They deserve much more than we can afford to pay them.

Photo Caption Contest: Lynn's Fairytale Edition

We're runnin' low on pictures again, so if any of you lovely readers can come through with a couple again that'd be lovely.

On to today's fun:

Boyda Speaks Out for Community Pharmacies

From Boyda's press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District), along with other members of Congress, spoke this morning on the Cannon Terrace in support of legislation to protect community pharmacies.

Congresswoman Boyda introduced the Saving Our Community Pharmacies Act in August, 2007. This bill is meant to prevent a drastic cut in pharmacy reimbursement rates by Medicaid. Many fear these cuts would drive smaller, community pharmacies out of business. "These community pharmacies," said Boyda, "are the nearest healthcare providers in many rural areas." Boyda, along with other supporters of the bill, want to keep these pharmacies open so they can continue to provide a much-needed service.

Without action, Medicaid will change how it calculates reimbursements to pharmacies for generic prescription drugs. Rep. Boyda described the change: "The new formula is a convoluted calculation based off the Average Manufacturer's Price (AMP), but the effect is plain: shuttered pharmacies."

The nonpartisan General Accounting Office (GAO) studied AMP-based reimbursement and found that, on average, pharmacies would receive 36% less in reimbursement than they pay to acquire prescription drugs. According to Rep. Boyda, "That's like forcing a bank to sell dollar bills for 64 cents. No business can survive if they're reimbursed less than their cost."

Boyda's bill calls for a national median price to be calculated for each drug dispensed; and all pharmacies would then be reimbursed at 150 percent of this cost for each drug they dispense to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Under the Saving Our Community Pharmacies Act of 2007 (H.R. 3140), states would be required to increase their utilization of generic drugs. The savings from using cheaper generics would offset the higher reimbursements to pharmacies.

Said Rep. Boyda, "We've been working to raise awareness and spread the message about the peril that community pharmacies face. The hundreds of co-sponsors on these bills are proof that the message has been heard. Now we need action. Today we call upon Congressional leadership to begin moving these bills and pass relief for community pharmacies before this Congress is out."

Boyda's work to save our community pharmacies is commendable. Let's all hope she's successful.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NRCC Won't Take Sides in Ryun-Jenkins Primary

According to NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), the national party isn't going to wade into the dangerous waters that are Kansas Repubilcan politics this summer.

If former Rep. Jim Ryun or Kansas state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins is secretly hoping for national Republicans to bigfoot into their primary battle in Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, sorry pal.

You’ve got to win it on your own.

It's a strange situation. After a string of three embarrassing loses, Minority Leader John Boehner seems to want the NRCC to take sides in primaries in an effort to produce higher-quality candidates. But Cole is...hesitant, particularly where the Kansas 2nd is concerned. From Roll Call (subscription required):

Another sticky situation for the party could come in Kansas, where former GOP Rep. Jim Ryun is attempting a comeback but faces a party-splintering primary challenge from state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R).

Cole also said he didn’t think the party should get involved there either.

“We’re going to help the winner. That’s not one that I feel we ought to get into,” Cole said.

All the indications are, of course, that if the national party did get involved in the race the support would go to Jim Ryun over Lynn Jenkins. After all, several of Ryun's former colleagues, including Minority Leader Boehner, have already endorsed him.

The spin is up to the campaigns on this one: Is Ryun's endorsements from party leadership a sign of his strength and Jenkins' weakness, or is it just an indication he's part of the problem.

To us it is pretty clear it's both.

Letter to the Editor: Boyda "Working for District"

From Thursday's Topeka Capital-Journal:

Letter: Working for district
The Capital-Journal
Published Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hearing that Rep. Nancy Boyda helped postal workers for a couple of hours on Mother's Day weekend collecting canned goods and other food items for the community food pantries, I was reminded that she is still a good neighbor even while being our conscientious representative and advocate in our nation's capital.

She leads by example even as she listens intently to our requests for help and our other concerns throughout the 2nd District, especially during her "Congress on your Corner" listening times. And when she returns to Washington after her busy weekends here in the district, she gets back to work on the people's business. Congresswoman Boyda is truly there to represent her constituents.

It is time to let her know that her hard work and her leadership are appreciated. Thank you, Rep. Boyda, for giving us all a strong and compassionate voice in Washington and a sympathetic ear here at home in Kansas.

MERCEDES CRAUGHWELL, Topeka

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

President Bush Vetoes Farm Bill; The House Overrides

For only the second time during his Presidency, George W. Bush has seen one of his vetoes reversed.

The House quickly rejected President Bush's veto of a $290 billion farm bill Wednesday, and the Senate was poised to follow suit, a stark rebuke of a president overridden only once in his two terms.
Republicans abandoned the president (and their House leadership) in droves over this bill, designed to provide assistance to farmers and pay for nutrition programs.
Supporters praised the spending on food stamps and emergency food aid.

"Twenty-five percent of my state is now in need of food assistance," said Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter, R-Michigan. "I work for them, not for the president."

One would have to wonder, then, who Kansas Republican Representative Jerry Moran works for- he voted against today's successful override.

Boyda Listens to the Military, Sees Amendment Approved

America has always relied on private companies during times a war to help arm and protect our fighting men and women. But many functions have always, always been performed by our highly trained federal employees.

Until changes made by the Bush Administration, that is, which has now resulted in an amendment penned by Congresswoman Nancy Boyda that would put in place a three-year ban on outsourcing Defense Department civilian jobs.

In Boyda's words:

Don’t get me wrong; contractors have their place within the defense environment and work as partners with the Department of Defense and with our bases.

However, in House Armed Services Committee briefings and hearings, I heard time and time again that the pendulum had swung too far to contracting out all types of functions, which is affecting readiness. The Boyda amendment allows the Department of Defense, not the White House, to determine when it is in the best interest of national security to contract out.

So, to rephrase: It is wholly appropriate to seek outside contractors to do some work in some areas- not only is it possible there are experts out there that could be useful, it also could save the taxpayers a few bucks. The problem is that the Administration leaned hard to leaders of the armed services to engage in this public-private competition process- even if they knew their internal work force was the best prepared and most able to do the job.

With two wars and BRAC, the last thing our armed forces need to be strong-armed into engaging in a resource-intensive process that redirects attention from supporting our men and women in the field, and Congress has already acted in an attempt to limit such bullying and refocus those priorities, but it hasn't produced the desired effect.
[Army] Officials told the inspector general that they feel "extreme pressure from the [Office of the Secretary of Defense] to conduct public-private competitions" and they asked for relief from competitive sourcing targets, but to no avail.
So, since 2005 the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy have been asking the Administration to back off and stop micromanaging the system- but they've been ignored, so Congress decided to act.

Boyda's amendment, unfortunately, isn't the first step along this road- it's just the latest action taken to correct the problems within the system.
The A-76 ban is the most aggressive move lawmakers have attempted so far to limit the controversial practice of job competitions. Last year, Congress passed many measures curbing the practice, including: barring public-private competitions at some agencies; granting protest rights to federal employees who lose competitions; and excluding federal health benefits costs from agencies’ calculation to determine the winner of a jobs competition.
All of this culminates in the reasons behind Congresswoman Boyda's amendment, and why it is so important today.

IFPTE President Gregory Junemann wrote to Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, urging inclusion of the amendment in the authorization bill. Junemann said Boyda's amendment was crucial, as Defense was failing to adhere to provisions of last year's authorization bill directing the department not to follow OMB contracting quota requirements. The union also insisted Defense continues to force federal employees who won A-76 competitions to recompete for their jobs every five years, despite legislation reversing that requirement.

"Unfortunately, the [department] has refused to conform to the law, and [Rep.] Boyda's amendment would put a stop to the A-76 process until the existing law is followed," wrote Junemann.

In addition to support from three branches of the armed forces and her fellow Democrats, Boyda's amendment also saw support from the Republicans on the committee. Actually, it passed unanimously.

With our forces spread thin, and our resources even thinner, the Boyda amendment will make sure those limited resources are directed to supporting our troops, and used to fund unnecessary and time-consuming distractions.

Roll Call: Stung by Poll, Jenkins Pulls D.C. Card on Ryun

Roll Call published (subscription required) a nice little piece demonstrating that when Lynn Jenkins says she wants to keep the campaign between herself and Jim Ryun "friendly" she really means no-holds-barred and personal.

And Lord it's fun to watch!

State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, running against former Rep. Jim Ryun for the 2nd district GOP nomination, has responded to an internal Ryun poll that showed a big lead for the ex-Congressman with a news release that labels him a carpetbagger and a product of Washington, D.C.

“As former Congressman Jim Ryun wraps up a tour of the Second District to introduce himself to those he previously represented for 10 years, he still has a home in Washington, D.C., his campaign has a branch in the D.C. suburbs, his entire paid staff hails from east of the Mississippi, and most of his supporters are not from Kansas,” the news release read.
Not news to any of our readers, of course- at least the parts saying that Ryun draws the great majority of his financial support from states like Texas and Virginia...and also that he considered himself a resident of Washington, DC for much of his final years in office (and right after he lost his seat, too), but the bit about Jim having a "branch office" in DC is new. But, hey, when Jenkins finds herself falling behind, she tends to lash out in whatever direction she's turned.

More Republican bloodsport? Read on:
“Time after time, we’re reminded just how deeply Washington changed Jim Ryun,” Jenkins campaign spokesman Pat Leopold said in a statement. “Jim spent 10 years in Washington talking a good game, but spent money on nearly everything except border enforcement.”
All true...and all why he lost in 2006. Ah, but the Ryun camp couldn't just let any of that go.
The Ryun campaign disputed several of the Jenkins campaign’s charges.

Really? Do tell!

The Ryun campaign emphasized that it doesn’t have a “branch” in Washington, D.C. — only that it uses a bookkeeping firm that has an office there — and noted that not all of its paid campaign staff “hails” from there, either.

Oh, so you just pay people in Virginia to handle your books. I ask you: Are there no CPAs in Topeka? (Look real hard...no, down, she's short).

As to staffing...unless you count the Ryun children, it appears every single person on the payroll is indeed a non-Kansan. 'Course, Lynn doesn't have any staff, so it's an easy attack for her to make. Boyda? Nearly all of her campaign staffers are Kansans- either by birth or tenure in the state. Don't believe us? Call 'em and ask yourself. But, really, arguing about staffers is bad form- keep it to each other, kids.

“A day after finding themselves down 44 points, Lynn Jenkins confirms our polling numbers are correct by launching a desperate attack,” Ryun campaign spokesman Kyle Robertson said. “Hey Lynn, there are real issues in this campaign more important than where campaign staff grew up.”

First- Kyle Robertson proves yet again he's an arrogant prick. Second...he's right. Jenkins is floundering, and obviously has flailed into a support response again on this one.

More in the next few days about this primary....we've got a doozy of a post about Lynn in the pipes. 'Til then!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Boyda: "Outsourcing Defense Hurts the U.S."

Addressing a grave problem that has only recently even been an issue, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has a special column published in the DC newspaper Roll Call on Friday. In it, she makes all the points that needed to be made by Congress before they agreed to allow companies based in foreign nations to bid on Defense Department contracts.

Outsourcing Defense Hurts the U.S.
Special to Roll Call
Congresswoman Nancy Boyda

Rosie the Riveter. The indelible poster harkens a feeling of the American can-do attitude. More than 60 years ago, our nation’s industrial base answered the call to produce the airplanes, tanks and jeeps that our armed forces needed to win World War II. Their efforts helped to secure our country’s freedom and put the United States on the path to world leadership and economic success.

Since then, the U.S. military has fought in three major wars, and in every conflict the primary suppliers of military equipment were based right here in the United States. But today is different. The rise of globalization, questionable U.S. trade policies and the transformation of the American economy from manufacturing-based to service-based have increasingly led the United States to outsource our national defense.

On Feb. 29, the Air Force selected a European- based aerospace conglomerate, EADS, to build a next-generation air refueling tanker. I was and am still extremely troubled by this decision for several reasons. The negative effect on the economy of Kansas is enormous. As has been reported, the final step in manufacturing these aircraft would have been completed at the Boeing facility in Wichita. With the contract now set to be awarded to a foreign manufacturer, Boeing and other Kansas suppliers face the loss of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

In addition to the negative economic effect is the loss of skilled labor. Every contract sent overseas takes with it critical national defense skills — skills that will be very hard to replace once those employees walk out the door. Especially in a time of war.

The ability for America’s industrial base to quickly manufacture military goods is severely depleted. The conflict in Iraq is a perfect example of our difficulty to quickly mass-produce needed equipment. The Humvees that we sent to Iraq in 2003 were not up-armored. When the insurgency began to deploy deadly improvised explosive devices, the U.S. military needed several years to produce mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles in mass quantities. The delay cost too many soldiers their lives and undermined America’s counterinsurgency efforts. The United States simply did not have the manufacturing capability or the skilled work force needed to provide for our own defense.

Jobs here at home are important, but there’s another side of sending military contracts overseas that doesn’t get nearly the attention it should: illegal transfer of technology. With more and more components of military equipment made overseas, our national security could be in jeopardy if foreign-built technology is sold to the highest bidder.

In 1999, the Defense Science Board determined that the threat is very real. “From a long-term strategic standpoint, globalization’s most significant manifestation is the irresistible leveling effect it is having on the international military technological environment in which DOD must compete. ... The technology DOD [anticipates being able to leverage most] to maintain military dominance is that which the United States is least capable of denying its potential competitors. Access to commercial technology is virtually universal, and its exploitation for both civil and military ends is largely unconstrained. ... Indeed, owing to the proliferation of military technology, the commercialization of former military-specific technology, and the increasing reliance of militaries worldwide on commercially developed technology, and the general diffusion of technology and know-how, the majority of militarily useful technology is or eventually will be available commercially and/or from non-U.S. defense companies.”

The trends noted by the DSB haven’t slowed down. The Department of Defense relies on multiple international defense companies every day to buy equipment for the military. Is anyone looking out for our country’s best interest when dealing with foreign competitors?

The answer should be yes. Earlier this year, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the National Industrial Security Program. NISP was created in 1993 by executive order to ensure that cleared U.S. defense contractors safeguard the classified information in their possession while performing work on contracts, programs, bids, or research and development efforts. NISP manages contractors under foreign ownership, control or influence in order “to facilitate foreign investment by ensuring that foreign firms cannot undermine U.S. security and export controls to gain unauthorized access to critical technology, classified information, and special classes of classified information.”

Back in 1993, there may have been a legitimate reason to want to “facilitate” foreign investment in the industry. But as the recent tanker deal has shown, we may have facilitated too much. NISP is administered by the Defense Security Service, but incredibly, this agency played only a minor role, if any role at all, in determining the appropriateness of the EADS contract.

To be very clear, I don’t intend to suggest that EADS has any ulterior motives behind bidding for the contract. But the contract raises significant questions about the influence of foreign companies and governments on our defense procurement needs.

At a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing, a Government Accountability Office analyst called America’s procedures for overseeing foreign military contracts “Swiss cheese.”

Somewhere, Rosie the Riveter is rolling over in her grave.

Boyda & Vets Push for New GI Bill

Standing in Topeka with members of the armed forces, Nancy Boyda joined the call for a updated and revised GI Bill, standing together with other Members of Congress and the military calling for better care for our soldiers after the return from active duty.

From the Topeka Capital Journal:

Former Marine Sgt. Dan Parker is fighting for a new GI Bill.

The 25-year-old veteran of deployments to Iraq and Liberia is a semester away from earning degrees in political science and English at The University of Kansas. He attributes discipline and maturity drawn from years in uniform to making him a solid college student.

Financial support through the existing GI Bill helped pave the way for Parker's education, but inflation has compromised a benefit created for veterans of World War II. Parker and many of his peers find it necessary to hold jobs to make ends meet. Others take on massive loan debt.
The value of a strong GI Bill is something Congresswoman Boyda can vouch for personally- as can the families of thousands of World War II veterans.
"The GI Bill was what actually took our family into the middle class," said Boyda, who represents the 2nd District that includes Topeka. "I don't think the American people understood how the benefits had eroded."
So, members of the House approved sweeping reforms, bringing the GI Bill back to the strength it had for our grandparents. Under the new bill, "benefits would be available to veterans for 15 years rather than the current 10 years. Veterans could expend a portion of the funding for tutors, continuing education, and license and certification tests. A mandatory $1,200 buy-in fee, (and) a $600 supplemental charge to broaden benefits, would be dropped."

If the bill makes it past the Senate, the president may still veto it. The veterans at event in Topeka, though, had strong words of caution on that front.
Parker, who grew up in McPherson, advised the commander in chief to update incentives for veterans to attend college. About one-third of veterans draw upon GI Bill benefits, he said, but less than 10 percent earn a college diploma.

"It would be a politically devastating mistake if the president were to veto it," said Parker, a Marine from 2000 to 2005. "Nobody is going to get rich off the GI Bill."

And, for just some more visual stimulation:



Monday, May 19, 2008

3,000 Strong: Boyda Files for Re-Election By Petition

Out only moments ago from the Boyda Campaign HQ:

TOPEKA, KS Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) today delivered petitions signed by 2,986 Kansans to the Kansas Secretary of State's office – over 500 more signatures than needed to file for re-election to the United States Congress.

Only 2,441 signatures were required to qualify Congresswoman Boyda for the ballot.

The petition process allows a candidate for Congress to bypass the usual $1,672 filing fee by demonstrating enormous grassroots support. According to the Secretary of State's office, it is highly unusual for a federal candidate to file by petition in Kansas. The last candidate to successfully do so was Congresswoman Boyda in her 2004 campaign for office.

"It's humbling and a true honor to have the support of so many thousands of Kansans," Congresswoman Boyda said. "Of course, the campaign season is still months away. Congress has a great deal of work to do between now and Election Day, and my focus remains on representing Kansas to the best of my ability."

Congresswoman Boyda will formally announce her candidacy for re-election at a public event later this year.

This is the second time Boyda has filed by petition- the first time was in 2004 when she first ran for Congress. At the time, the Secretary of State was unsure when the last federal candidate in Kansas had filed via a petition drive.

It was historic then, and it's historic now- and a very real indication of her on-the-ground support.

Ryun to Host Reception to "Honor" Miserably Failed Presidential Candidate

Radical conservatives stick together. Jim Ryun's seen several of his former pals in Congress help him out over the last few months- even throwing nice fundraisers for him in Texas, which netted him a nice chunk of change.

Now Jim's "giving back" by throwing a reception to "honor" failed Republican Presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)...that just so happens to also be a fundraiser for the Ryun campaign.

Ain't it convenient when things work out like that? You can honor your friends and use them to raise moolah all at the same time!

Yes, we are fully aware you don't know who Duncan Hunter is (no one does...). So, who the heck is he? Well, like we said, he ran for president- badly- pulling about 3% in national polls when they even bothered to include him. Also, he was endorsed by Ann Coulter as her number one choice for President of the United States. (Yes, Ann freakin' Coulter!). If that doesn't tell you he's a wack job...

In the Iowa caucuses Hunter finished in seventh place with 524 votes or less than 1% of the total...last for all intents and purposes (Tom Tancredo got 5 votes...so, there's that). He also placed last in the Michigan primary...right behind "Uncommitted," which, incidentally, did receive 15,000 votes MORE than Hunter did.

But that uncommitted is crafty...

Just like Jim Ryun, it seems Rep. Hunter doesn't care much about actually doing the job people elected him to do- in the 110th Congress Hunter has so far missed 27% of all votes cast (compare that to Congresswoman Nancy Boyda who has missed 1.6% of votes cast or Congressman Dennis Moore who has only not voted 0.7% of the time).

So on June 7, our favorite Republican loser Jim Ryun is bringing the single biggest loser (and Ann Coulter's favorite loser) of this year's Presidential contests in for a barbeque- and for only $250 you can get your picture taken in his stunning splendor.

All in his honor, of course.

Letter to the Editor: An Example for Congress

As appeared in the May 15 issue of the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Letter: Example for Congress

On May 3, Rep. Nancy Boyda visited Valley Falls as part of her 2008 listening tour called "Congress on Your Corner." She is back in the 2nd District nearly every weekend, listening to what folks have to say and helping people get results from federal bureaucracies where difficulties persist.

I am always amazed how hard-working and genuine she is. In Valley Falls, Rep. Boyda and our community had in-depth and candid discussions on issues ranging from supporting veterans, continuing middle-class tax cuts, immigration policies that are enforced and work, sound trade policies that strengthen the United States and difficulties within Social Security and health care.

I was thoroughly impressed when Rep. Boyda stated that she and her husband, Steve, declined the stellar health care plan offered to her as a member of Congress. Instead, they pay gobs of money every month out of their own pocket. The reason: they couldn't accept this benefit in good conscience when so many of us here in the district struggle to obtain and/or pay for coverage. This is a bold example that other members of Congress should follow.

After the session ended, townspeople had an opportunity for one-on-one time to get help battling bureaucratic obstacles. Then, she was off to Fat Jack's on Broadway for ice cream and antique browsing.

She had a few minutes before heading to her next stop, so she stopped by the home of a Valley Falls woman who has been battling health problems and didn't have the strength to make it to the event.

What an excellent example Nancy Boyda is.

CRAIG GUNTHER, Valley Falls
:-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

KS GOP Blogs Stupid- Again

First they posted a link to a video that included a minute and a half of content countering the argument they thought it was defending.

Now they post a link to a survey that says Republican obstruction and George W. Bush's vetoes of common sense legislation makes people dislike Congress.

Let's look, shall we?

In their post, the KS GOP tries to convince you that it is Nancy Boyda & Dennis Moore's fault people hate Congress right now, pointing to the fact that body does indeed have the lowest approval rating of any Congress in the history of the Gallup poll.

The neglect to mention Todd Tiahrt, Jerry Moran, Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback are all also in Congress...and are actually the problem.

No, we aren't just saying that because we support Nancy Boyda- we're saying that because that's what the poll says.

The poll says Americans disapprove of Congress in about the same numbers. Now, the Republicans really want you to believe that the reason the public disapproves of Congress is because the disapprove of the kinds of things the Democratic leadership and people like Boyda and Moore are trying to accomplish.

That isn't true. And we can prove it with numbers.

They ignore that every poll released in the last year say people support increasing the minimum wage, they support stem cell research, and they support a reasoned withdrawal from Iraq- all the kinds of things the Democrats have championed, that the Republicans opposed, and that the President attempted to prevent.

Republicans, of course, disapprove of Congress...because they aren't in charge anymore. But that survey shows Democrats also disapprove of the job Congress is doing- because the Republicans are preventing any real action on the things that matter to people.

So, Christian, consider that a spike- Boyda and Moore are doing exactly what the people of the United States want them to do, while Republicans are standing pat in the way of progress.

Photo Caption Contest: Presidential Edition

In honor of both the President's newly abysmal polling numbers, and to the fact Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins both still want to be seen in his company, we have today's photo caption contest.

(We know it isn't the best picture ever...but we trust in your creativity!)

More on the Farm Bill

Another article today from the Wall Street Journal talking about why the Farm Bill found veto proof success, even though the President and the Republican leadership in the House instructed members to vote against it (which bleary-eyed lapdogs Todd Tiahrt & Jerry Moran dutifully did).

Last time around, Republicans were pretty generous when it came to larding up the farm bill.

This year, though, some of them had a change of attitude.

President Bush directed his party to get back to its fiscally conservative roots. He said he would prefer no new farm bill to the one written by Democrats.

The elected leader of the House Republicans, John Boehner from a corn-growing district in western Ohio, called the bill “a great example of what’s wrong in Washington.”

But half of Rep. Boehner’s caucus didn’t see it that way – 100 Republicans voted for the bill, which racked up such a large victory margin – 318-106 – that overriding a veto shouldn’t pose much of a problem, if it comes to that.

It’s a testament to the power of an important constituency in both congressional and presidential contests: the rural vote.

Yep, the rural vote, and the deep necessity to protect our farmers. Democrats and Republicans expressed the same reason for voting as they did: "I was voting my district."

That's what Nancy Boyda did. Dennis Moore, who's district has almost no farmers (if any) voted the way he knew Kansas farmers needed him to vote. Even Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback voted with a veto-proof majority in the Senate to pass the bill (though they both expressed the same hesitations Boyda did- that the bill wasn't perfect, but it was certainly better than nothing). Heck, Farm Bureau back the dang bill.

Only Tiahrt & Moran seemed to forget they represent a state of farmers and not San Francisco. Luckily Nancy Boyda was looking out for their constituents.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Boyda Secures $404 Million for Ft. Riley

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda announced in a press release today that the Emergency Supplemental Budget the House acted on today included $404 million for a new hospital at Ft. Riley.

Congresswoman Boyda said "This funding is a huge step in the right direction. The new hospital will improve the quality of life for our soldiers and their families by providing them with the best and most modern care available."
The bill, which was broken up into three parts, also includes $50 million for the Transitioning Warrior Support Complex at the fort, which will provide better housing for wounded soldiers residing at the fort.

Additionally:
The Supplemental Act also contains the new GI Bill, in honor of the hard work and sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform, and recognizes the debt America owes them for their service. The new GI Bill expands the education benefits veterans receive under the GI bill to restore the promise of a full, four-year college education, and make the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan part of an American economic recovery, just like the veterans of World War II were.

Also included, are extended unemployment benefits for workers who have exhausted their benefits by up to 13 weeks. The number of Americans looking for work has grown by 800,000 over the last year, and the number of American jobs has declined by 260,000 since the beginning of 2008.
The portions of the bill that contained those deeply needed programs and construction requests passed the House, but the bill that contained funding for the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan drew a Republican protest vote and failed to pass.

The House failed to pass a measure funding the war in Iraq on Thursday afternoon by a vote of 141 to 149, with 132 Republicans voting “present” to protest what they see as unfair treatment by the Democratic majority.

[...]

The measure would have provided $163 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Boyda's $404 million for Kansas, however, did pass- with Kansas Republican Representatives Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran voting against their own state. Moore, of course, joined Boyda in investing in Kansas.

Moran and Tiahrt also voted against the new GI Bill...just for those of you keeping score. Another day to be glad you live in eastern Kansas (and a day to pity your friends with sub-par representation).

Boyda Joins Veto-Proof Majority in Backing the Farm Bill

From the Hutch News:

Democrat Nancy Boyda, of Topeka, said the bill is far from perfect, but called the measure a reasonable compromise that won the backing of most major farm groups, including the Kansas Farm Bureau.

"I think we all worked to restore those cuts to direct payments, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that direct payments were slashed," Boyda said. "Over 10 years you'll see less than one half of a percent of the direct payments cut, which I'm not saying is a good thing, but we just need to keep it in perspective."

"The farm groups are not happy about it, but it could have been worse and they know it," Boyda said.
The Farm Bill, which is our national safety net for our farmers, has been delayed for months by threats of vetoes from the president and endless partisan bickering, will provide support to millions of farmers nationwide. While the bill isn't perfect, it's seen as the best that could be done in the present political climate in Washington.
Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus said his group supported the bill, despite some misgivings, and encouraged the state's delegation to vote for it.

"We don't like the fact that they had cuts to direct payments and cuts to federal crop insurance which is extremely important to our folks," Baccus said. "At the same time, we've gone though a lengthy process of negotiations and this bill is just a compromise. We feel like under the current scenario with the current administration and the current Congress, it's probably the best deal we could work out."
The bill thankfully cut payments to single farmers with an annual income of $750,000 or more, or to married farmers with an annual income of $1.5 million.

More on the New Ryun-Jenkins Poll

Little snippet from The Hill gives us some more reaction to the recently released poll that shows Jim Ryun destroying Lynn Jenkins by 44 points in the primary in the KS-02:

Former Rep. Jim Ryun leads state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins by roughly 3-to-1, according to a Ryun-commissioned poll of their GOP primary race released Wednesday.

Ryun’s 65 percent-to-21 percent lead among GOP primary voters represents a significant bump for the former congressman since a poll released nearly a month ago showed Ryun leading 50 percent to 34.

That poll was conducted for a group supporting Jenkins.

“While this race is bound to tighten as the campaign progresses, there is no question that Jim Ryun has a very strong edge among GOP voters,” says the poll, which was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. “The report indicates that Ryun benefits from significantly higher name identification.”

Jenkins campaign manager Patrick Leopold took issue with the poll, noting that it was not “independent.”

“We haven’t spent a dime on advertising and sit here today with more money to spend on the primary than Ryun,” Leopold said, adding that the April poll showed that “the more people hear about his record, the better we do.”

Ryun communications director Jacqueline Harrison said: “This poll speaks for itself.”
Indeed the poll does speak for itself- Jim Ryun continues to out-perform the pro-choice, pro-tax Lynn Jenkins with Republican primary voters. We will, however, have to wait and see what these numbers do after both candidates go up on TV, which should, probably, be any time now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ryun Crushes Jenkins in New District Poll

As released today in the DC-based newspaper Roll Call (which you must have a subscription to access), Jim Ryun has a shocking 44 point advantage over Lynn Jenkins in the run up to their August primary.

Ryun’s internal poll found that he led Jenkins 65 percent to 21 percent, showing a net gain for the former Congressman since he polled at this time last year. Last May, Ryun’s internal polling had him out in front of Jenkins by a margin of 61 percent to 27 percent.

Ryun’s poll, conducted by Republican pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies on April 27 and 28, surveyed 350 likely GOP voters, and had a margin of error of 5.66 points.

And, in what we think is simply classic:

The Jenkins campaign declined to comment.

Of course they did! What could they have said? "Nuh-uh!"

So, now it looks like you just have to decided who's internal polling you agree with more: the Ryun polling that shows Jenkins down by 44, or the Jenkins polling that shows her down by 16. Either way, looks like Jenkins is fairly desperate waters.

Conservative Bloggers Take Notice of Jenkins' Stand on Abortion

From Kansas Meadowlark today we get some more coverage of Lynn Jenkins' decision to accept contributions and other fundraising assistance from WISH List- the nation's largest pro-choice Republican organization.

Wikipedia explains that “WISH” stands for “Women in the Senate and House” and is considered a counterpart to Emily’s list, a group that supports pro-abortion Democratic women, and the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that elects pro-life women.
All quite true.

KS Meadowlark goes on to mention Jim Ryun has been endorsed by a couple of anti-abortion groups.
Ryun’s recent report shows “earmarked” contributions from Concerned Women for America PAC. See all Ryun’s FEC reports here. Wikipedia explains that CWA is a conservative Christian political action group.
They also mention Ryun's endorsement by FRC Action, which this blog has already discussed. While that organization isn't the sort of org anyone should be courting, this take on the differences between Ryun & Jenkins on issues of deep concern to the primary voters in the Kansas Republican Party.

Letter to the Editor: "Thank You"

A Letter to the Editor from the Pittsburg Morning Sun-

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda called on Nancy Pelosi and other leaders in Congress to stop charging American taxpayers for reconstruction projects in Iraq and to also insist the government of Iraq to assume ownership of all such projects and to take full responsibility for $153 million the United States spends per month on fuel in Iraq.

Boyda said "Five years and $45 billion dollars in money given to Iraq for the purpose of reconstruction is more than enough. It is time for the Iraqi government to step up and take some responsibility. Taxpayers are being hit with a double whammy — once at the pump and again with money we are giving to Iraq with no strings attached."

Thank you, Nancy Boyda, for pressuring Congress into action in terms of what the invasion of Iraq is costing American taxpayers.

Vincent F. Scimeca
Arcadia

We couldn't agree more- thank you for standing up for Kansas taxpayers, Nancy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Republicans Fail- Again- To Win A Republican Seat in Congress

Honest-to-goodness, it's music to our ears:

A GOP House leadership aide told the Politico last week that “if we don’t win in Mississippi, I think you are going to see a lot of people running around here looking for windows to jump out of.”
They didn't win in Mississippi.

For the third time in a row, the Republicans have failed to keep a solidly Republican House seat in their column For the third time Democrats have been elected over supremely well funded Republicans to seats that haven't seen Democratic representative in the last 20, 30, 40 or more years.

For the third time in a row, seats just as or even more Republican than Nancy Boyda's have been won by Democrats, even as the Republicans have scrambled desperately to paint the Democrats with national brushes, when it's local issues, and deep, deep dissatisfaction with the Republican brand, that has won the day time and time- and time- again.

First it was Congressman Bill Foster's stunning win in the seat once held by Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert in Illinois- a seat with a PVI of R-5 that the Democrat carried 53% of the vote. Then, Congressman Don Cazayoux was elected in the Louisiana 6th- a district with a PVI of R-1o that hadn't been represented by a Democrat since 1974. And now, just tonight, Congressman-elect Travis Childers has found himself elected in the Mississippi 1st- a district that has been held comfortably by Republicans since 1994 and that Childers took tonight with 54%.

In each race, the Republicans pulled exactly the same tricks they're going to try to use against Nancy Boyda. They're going to try to make the race about Nancy Pelosi, they're going to try to make the race about Barack Obama- they're going to do whatever they can to make the race about anything other than Nancy Boyda's track record or about the Republicans, because, if they do allow the race to be about the job Boyda has done, or about the miserable job the Republicans have done, they know they'll be destined for yet another lose in a "Republican" district.

It didn't work there, and it won't work here.
A third loss in Tuesday’s 1st District special election would prompt new predictions of electoral doom in November, hurt the party’s already flagging morale and usher in a new round of public finger-pointing among an already fractured GOP. Politico.com
With good reason- they're heading toward yet another election year like they had in 2006.

The Mississippi First is a district 4 points MORE Republican than Nancy Boyda's. This wasn't in Boston, kids, this was in rural Mississippi. And rural Louisiana. And rural Illinois.

Our hunch is- rural Kansas is going to be more of the same.

President George W. Bush in Kansas City

That's right, the least popular president in modern history is coming to Kansas City, Kansas, to campaign for Republican congressional candidate State Senate Nick Jordan.

What on Earth is wrong with Jordan we do not know- this comes after he threw an ill-attended fundraiser with Vice President Dick Cheney- so this makes him only the second Republican candidate in the nation to bring both Cheney and the President in to glad-hand for him.

The other? Missouri Congressman Sam Graves- who, like Jordan, suffers from a desperate lack of money and Democratic opponents they're going to have an awfully hard time defeating.

How does this fit into the race in the Kansas 2nd?

Our sources say Lynn Jenkins is on the sponsor board of the event (she was also in attendance at the VP event). Strangely absent from the list of sponsors- Jim Ryun.

Is Jenkins simply too dumb to know her potential district disapproves of the president as much as the rest of the country, or is she simply a gadfly who is in desperate need of attention? And why is Ryun not supporting fellow candidate Nick Jordan? Has he really been pushed that far out of the center of the Kansas Republican Party?

UPDATE: Well, indeed Jim Ryun is on the invite- and while he is, apparently, still welcome to play with the big boys (and girls) of the KS GOP, we're now left with TWO candidates for Congress in the 2nd District stupid enough to put their names next to George W. Bush's. Guess it was just to much to expect any of them to learn from the disaster that was Bush's swing through for Ryun in '06.

More at Left Brain Kansas.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Boyda Praised for Actions on Healthcare

From this Sunday's Wichita Eagle, in an article about the state of Kansas's work toward health reform for children:

In the end, the Kansas Legislature chose wisely by approving a health reform package that will make health care more accessible to children in working-class families, provide expanded medical and dental services for low-income pregnant women, and more adequately fund safety-net clinics across the state that provide medical care for uninsured Kansas families.

[...]

Children are a relatively inexpensive population to insure because they are less likely tLinko have developed costly medical conditions. By insuring children from the start, before the onset of such conditions, health care providers can encourage healthy habits and treat medical concerns before they become costly conditions.

Furthermore, federal resources available to the states provide 72 percent of the funding for the Kansas children's health insurance program. Combined with monthly premiums paid by the families of those children enrolled in the program, the cost to the state is minimal.

Some argued during the session that federal resources would not be available to extend the eligibility level for our state children's health insurance program. That is highly unlikely, considering that Congress -- including our own Sen. Pat Roberts and Reps. Jerry Moran, Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore -- wholeheartedly has supported reauthorization at a level that will more adequately address uninsured children in working-class families.

Clearly, much remains to be done to improve access to health care in our country, but most Kansans will agree that a path to reform that puts children first is good for children and good for the future of Kansas.

If only Todd Tiahrt & Sam Brownback would get on board...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, but just from the Democrats

All of us here at BoydaBloc, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, Congressman Dennis Moore, and 235 other members of the United States House of Representatives would like to wish you and your mothers a very happy Mother's Day.

Kansas Republican Representatives Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran and 169 House Republicans would rather just play politics in the House.

On Wednesday afternoon, the House had just voted, 412 to 0, to pass H. Res. 1113, "Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother's Day," when Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), rose in protest.

"Mr. Speaker, I move to reconsider the vote," he announced.

Yeah, of course, Tiahrt had just voted in favor of the resolution, and, in this recommit, but then joined 177 other Republicans (just Repubilcans) in voting against it. This was an effort, you see, to prevent the House from accomplishing a singularly important goal:

As House Democrats tried to pass legislation to ease the mortgage crisis on Wednesday, Republicans served up hours of procedural delays, demanding a score of roll call votes: 10 motions to adjourn, half a dozen motions to reconsider, various and sundry amendments, a motion to approve the daily journal, a motion to instruct and a "motion to rise."

The high point came just after 6 p.m., when, after one of the motions to adjourn, 61 members lined up to change their votes, one by one. Forty-six went from aye to no, while 15 changed from no to aye. The maneuver ate up 28 minutes in all -- and caused an eruption by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who accused the minority of a "filibuster by vote changing."

The Mother's Day resolution wasn't a big deal, and, really, most of America's mothers are probably just fine today knowing folks like Tiahrt and Moran would rather play politics than honor them, but this sort of obstruction, this sort of rank partisanship, is ridiculous when people all around the nation are losing their homes.

File this one under "Callous, and they don't care."

(By the way, if you needed any more evidence this was just a game, Tiahrt's spokesman has affirmed that Todd does indeed still love his mother).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Photo Caption Contest Friday

Happy Friday... go wild

To Privatize or Not to Privatize: Where is Jim?

Great LTE in the CapJournal about Jim Ryun's stance on the privatization of Social Security.

Best part ... Scroll down and read the comments - they are particularly interesting. Specifically
Snert2 who I found was particularly funny
"I agree that Jim Ryun should run. My doctor tells me that regular physical exercise leads to a healthy lifetime. I am one registered Republican who will not vote for him to "run" for public office again."

Bassman
"I too am a registered Replublican(can't remain an Independent to vote in a primary)that plans on voting for Nancy Boyda.Mr.Ryun only came home at election time.Nancy listens."

Reharkins
"Wow! I hope he reads this. It could save him much public humiliation. The people that voted for him over Nancy Boyda didn't know what representation was. Now they do. Sure you get some people who only follow party lines but I don't think blatent stupidity will prevail in this race. Republican and Democrat fall way behind doing a job and stuffing a shirt."


Good people - just gotta say ... good people

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ryun Endorsed by Group with Ties to the Ku Klux Klan

We posted earlier today former Congressman Jim Ryun has received the endorsement of the legislative arm of the Family Research Council, but it wasn't until this afternoon that we looked into FRC Action closer and found out that the endorsement ties Ryun directly to a man who once paid Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke $82,000 for a mailing list and was then fined for trying to cover it up.

In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.
On top of that, in 2001:
Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South.
How Ryun could even fathom accepting an endorsement from any organization with ties to white supremacist is beyond anything we can understand. We demand he publicly reject the endorsement of FRC Action and publicly distant himself and his campaign from any group with ties to the Ku Klux Klan and any other white supremacist organization.

KS-02 Rankings & Ratings: Boyda in a Close Race Pundits Say She's Likely to Win

Something is certain in the Kansas 2nd, regardless of how much faith you put in DC talking heads: The race for the seat currently held by Congresswoman Nancy Boyda is going to be hard fought- and, quite possibly, the hottest congressional race in the country.

We say that, but we thought it would be nice to back it up with some context for you. We love context...and links...links are awesome in blogs.

So, today, we thought we'd give you a quick rundown of how those pundits perceive the KS-02 right now, and then tell you why that makes sure that much more optimisic as we get closer and closer to election day (180 days...).

Those of us who support Boyda will point you to the four raters who say the seat leans in her direction, while we're sure those of you who hate her with a burning evil passion will point to the three who say the seat is just too close to call at this point. You needn't scream, we can see it, too.

That's fine, of course, but it certainly doesn't point to anything even approaching a likely lose. No, if anyone thought that was going to be the case, they'd classify this seat as a "Leans Republican" or even a "Likely Republican." But no one does- ever- and they haven't in the nearly year and a half Boyda has been in office.

That in itself is an amazing turn of events- in just two years this seat went from "Solid Republican" to "Leans Democratic." Thanks in large part to the ineptness of the Kansas Republican Party leadership, of course, and to a gentleman named Jim Ryun. Oh, and of course to our current Congresswoman's ability to connect with her district in away they haven't felt since Jim Slattery represented them in the Eighties.

So, take it or leave it that's where the national pundits put this race as of today. Our guess it will only look better and better for Boyda as the Republican primary takes to the TVs districtwide.

But when 26% of Republicans say they'd rather vote Boyda than one of her Republican counterparts, you know things are getting better in Kansas.

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.