Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pundit: Boyda More Secure

One of the more conservative prognosticators of political fortunes in this country, Stu Rothenberg, has, for the first time in recent months, moved Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's race for re-election out of the catagory of "Pure Toss-up" to "Toss-up/Tilt Democratic."

The race, of course, is still close, and could still turn on a dime, but it's nice to see some recognition of the fact Boyda's remarkably popular back at home, and that makes this R+7 seat not so likely to flip in 2008.

Boyda Brokers Deal on Military Housing

From CQ Today:

A long-running dispute between Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank over proposed changes to the low-income housing tax credit was quietly resolved with compromise language tucked into the recently cleared housing bill.

The tax credit is an important incentive for building affordable housing.

Roberts wanted to allow developers to be able to ignore the military housing allowance when calculating whether families qualify as "low-income." That change would largely affect communities near burgeoning military bases, such as Fort Riley in Roberts' home state of Kansas.

But Frank, D-Mass., and House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., objected. Military housing, they argued, is the Defense Department's responsibility, and they didn't want servicemembers crowding out home-building efforts for lower-income civilians.

Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., whose district includes Fort Riley, helped broker a deal that ended up in the broad housing bill (HR 3221) the Senate cleared July 26.

The compromise would sharply limit the number of bases where the new rule would apply. Qualifying bases are those that have grown in population by 20 percent between Dec. 31, 2005, and June 1, 2008, and those that have at least 1,000 members of the armed forces assigned to them. A sunset for the provision was included at the Defense Department's request, Boyda said.

Those changes reduced the provision's cost to $33 million over 10 years; by contrast, one Senate-passed version of the provision would have cost the government $259 million over the same period.

In December, each chamber of Congress twice passed differing versions of legislation affecting military tax breaks (HR 3997) without a single dissenting vote. But lawmakers couldn't agree on identical versions of the bill in part because of the military housing provision. A version of that bill became law (PL 110-245) without any such provision.

Frank said he wanted to make sure the solution matched the problem. "This is a much more limited thing," he said.


Nancy Boyda: Bridging the gap between parties- making sure Kansas gets what we deserve.

Ryun Endorsed by NRA

In one of those prized endorsement moments, Jim Ryun has secured the nod from the National Rifle Association in his race against State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins.

From Roll Call:
(sub. required)

Former Rep. Jim Ryun on Tuesday picked up a key endorsement from the National Rifle Association in his bid to outlast state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins in the 2nd district GOP primary.

The NRA gave Ryun an “A” grade for his record on Second Amendment issues; Jenkins received a “C.” The group’s backing could prove crucial in the heavily rural, eastern Kansas seat.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the National Rifle Association,” Ryun said in a statement.

The winner of the Aug. 5 primary will face freshman Rep. Nancy Boyda (D), who defeated Ryun in 2006 despite the Republican lean of the district.

This isn't a make-or-break kind of deal, but it certainly is a feather in Jim's cap. Also, it's our guess Kansas Republican primary voters will be happier with his endorsement from the NRA than they are with Lynn's from WISH List.

Just a guess.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Letter: Morgan Owes Boyda Apology

Here, here! From the Pittsburg Morning Sun:

Dear Editor:

Recently I read an e-mail release (dated July 11, 2008) authored by Christian Morgan, Executive Director of the Kansas Republican Party, which accused Congresswoman Nancy Boyda of being less than honest by "not telling her constituents the whole truth" about assistance from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in regard to a recent purchase of campaign advertising time paid for by the committee.

The truth is, in conformity with campaign finance laws, Nancy has absolutely no control over whether the DCCC buys ads on her behalf.

On July 18, 2008, the Topeka Capital-Journal wrote: "Congresswoman Nancy Boyda says she wants the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other third-party organizations making independent expenditures to political campaigns to keep out of the 2nd congressional district race in Kansas. The DCCC, as a third party, is not associated with any candidate’s campaign and acts on its own."

As Christian Morgan knows, independent expenditures in favor of a candidate can be made (remember the Swiftboaters?), but they cannot coordinate with the candidate and the candidate cannot ask for or influence the content of the ad. Further, the DCCC has bought the time, but has not run any ads yet for Nancy. Christian owes Nancy Boyda an apology.

Don and Betty Hight
Pittsburg

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ryun Airs Negative TV Ad

Republicans being all negative today:


Jenkins Goes Negative

Gloves = off.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Post Debate Tappin'

A blast from our past...but still hilarious.

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jenkins Endorsed by the Kansas City Star

An excellent endorsement for Jenkins- it'll appear in tomorrow's Kansas City Star:

U.S. HOUSE

2ND DISTRICT

In the Republican primary, we recommend Lynn Jenkins, who is in her second term as Kansas treasurer. She has been an energetic and capable officeholder, and speaks with enthusiasm about confronting national problems.

Jenkins made the state's college savings plans more accessible, created financial literacy programs and zealously sought to match unclaimed property with its owners.

She is a passionate advocate of good money management and promises to vigorously attack waste in the federal budget and pursue stronger border security.

Jenkins also has an ability to get along with politicians across the spectrum.

Also seeking the GOP nomination is Jim Ryun, who previously held this congressional seat but lost to Nancy Boyda in the general election two years ago.

Boyda is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Social Network Battleground

First off- so sorry! It dawned one of us last night that we didn't post an update to our social network tracker last week- our error, and we hope none of you were too put our by our omission...

We're tracking Facebook and MySpace only.
































































































































Candidate# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends














6/14/086/21/086/28/087/06/087/12/087/26/08
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)














FB Profile4936078749599891,028
FB Page820847853872890921
FB Group415431457600692721
MySpace1,9121,9331,9411,9852,0232,060
Frm. Rep. Jim Ryun (R)














FB Profile142152163173184196
FB Pagen/an/an/an/an/an/a
FB Group2790105121127131
MySpace121314141414
Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R)














FB Profilen/an/an/an/an/a
FB Page929299104113117
FB Group265266274273305305
MySpace101010101010


Again, Boyda & Ryun see improvements, while Jenkins is just sittin' still. Like, so, so many commenters have said (our guess- Jenkins supporters), friends on social networking sites certainly don't determine electoral success- but nearly do yard signs, or lists of endorsements, or anything like that. The world of organizing via social networking sites is just like old-fashioned door-to-door- it's another way to engage people, inform people, and convince people you're the right person for the job.

And, there is something undeniable here: Something Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has done has engaged a couple thousand people online, and Ryun & Jenkins can't compete with that. Does it mean anything? Nothing other than Boyda has a pool of potential supporters already identified that Ryun & Jenkins neither one have. That can't be but a good thing.

Remember, each week we'll indicate any up and down movement by putting increasing numbers in bold and falling numbers in italics.

Ryun, Jenkins Debate Posted Online

For those who missed the Jim Ryun- Lynn Jenkins throwdown (Babe-gate and all), you can either watch it again today in a little more than a half hour on KSNT Channel 27 in Topeka, or you can find the complete debate online on CJOnline.com- just scroll down to the video box, click it over to "Local Video" and witness the craziness yourself!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ryun's New Negative Mailer

New from the Ryun campaign taking a direct shot at Lynn Jenkins & her penchant for increasing taxes on hard working Kansans:

Don't worry, babe- it'll all be over soon.

Boyda & Jenkins Pre-Primary FEC

Lynn Jenkins:

Beginning of Period: $486,228.54
Raised: $134,829.90
Disbursements: $131,846.68
Cash-on-Hand: $489,211.81


Congresswoman Nancy Boyda

Beginning of Period: $814,103.78
Raised: $243,043.61
Disbursements: $165,421.82
Cash-0n-Hand: $891,725.57

Once again, Boyda finds herself far, far in the lead when it comes to the number that matters most: cash still in the bank. Jenkins, while still holding a good chunk of change, isn't figuring this puppy right- what good is $500,000 in the bank if you lose the primary? True, she's upped her spending in the last several days with new TV and some nasty, nasty mailing hitting Ryun for being, well, worthless, she's still probably going to end the primary cycle with lots of money in the bank and with nothing to spend it on.

Ryun, on the other hand, is going to end the primary cycle with almost no money left (after an equally aggressive TV buy & some nasty mailers hitting Jenkins on raising taxes)- but all indications are he's going to have a general election still to run in. With Boyda sitting on nearly a million dollars on hand, Ryun'll have a hard time closing on her.

It's crunch time, kids- start watching for negative TV ads.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ryun's Pre-Primary FEC Filing

First of our pre-primary filings:

Jim Ryun

Beginning of Period: $459,048.51
Raised: $447,382.75
Disbursements: $683,838.64
Cash on Hand: $222,592.62

Probably, too, Ryun will have spend even more between the deadline (July 15) and today.

I got you, babe

One of the most jarring moments of Tuesday night's debate between Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins was the one in which Lynn called Jim "babe."

It was just...weird. And markedly non-congressional.

While it was strange (like the rest of Lynn's performance), we aren't sure it really deserved this much ink:

— In what may be a first in Kansas political history, one candidate publicly called another “babe.”

It happened Tuesday in the televised debate between Lynn Jenkins and Jim Ryun, who are seeking the Republican Party nomination to face U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Topeka, in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes west Lawrence.

Jenkins said part of the reason she voted for a tax increase while a legislator was because state lawmakers had to pay for federal mandates from Congress, in which Ryun served at the time.

“We were at your mercy, babe,” she said to Ryun.

A couple of bloggers wrote that if Ryun had said “babe” to Jenkins, he would’ve been labeled a sexist.

Ryun’s campaign manager Kyle Robertson described Jenkins’ use of the term as “childish behavior.”

Pat Leopold, managing Jenkins’ campaign, said Jenkins uses “babe” frequently when talking to her friends, and that it was just an innocent slip.

It was, of course, just an innocent slip...it was still unprofessional, still tacky, and still just...weird.

Jerri Blank from Strangers with Candy weird.

Oh, and hey, lets don't forget the substance of the debate...Ryun was incompetent & Lynn Jenkins has actually raised taxes on every single Kansas family 12 separate times- making her the only candidate in the race on either side to do such a thing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The American Conservative: Boyda's "Walk Out"

This piece from The American Conservative dovetails nicely as a response to some of the nutsy-ness that came out of the mouths of Jim Ryun & Lynn Jenkins last night:

Last summer, I noted the numerous references to Nancy Boyda’s abrupt departure from an Armed Services Committee hearing featuring testimony from Gen. Keane. War supporters kept flogging this as evidence of antiwar Democrats’ intransigence and inflexibility in the face of new evidence. Never mind that Boyda’s frustration with administration spin on Iraq was, is, widely shared, and her gesture, while a tad dramatic, was actually appreciated in many quarters. Now Politico has dredged up the episode in its profile of five at-risk Democratic incumbents (most of whom are freshmen elected to traditionally Republican-leaning districts in ‘06) as one of the reasons why Boyda’s re-election is at risk. At the heart of this sort of analysis is a very much inside-the-Beltway assumption that someone’s opposition to the “surge” will prove to be a major liability for Democratic candidates. Just as I am doubtful that obsessing about the “surge” will aid McCain, I very much doubt that opposition to it is going to hurt House members.

One small problem that I see with Politico’s analysis is that it seems to pay no attention to the opinions of the actual people in Kansas’ 2nd District. At last glance, Boyda was leading former Rep. Jim Ryun by 17 points in a poll last month (and she was leading her alternative Republican challenger by 30), and her approval numbers were quite good. As Reid Wilson reported:

68% of respondents in her district said she was doing an excellent or good job, while just 21% had a negative impression of her job performance. 54% said they would definitely or probably vote to re-elect Boyda, while just 35% said they would give someone else a shot.

68% approval is usually a good sign that a House member is going to be returned to office. If these numbers are any indication of how Kansans are responding to Boyda’s performance, those predicting or hoping that anti-”surge” Democrats in “red” districts are going to lose because of their prominent opposition to the “surge” are going to be proven wrong.

In the end this "incident" is anicent history, and simply will not overwhelm all the good Boyda has managed to accomplish during her two years in office.

Update on Jenkins/ Ryun Ad Buys

Just as a quick update as to media expenditures from Lynn Jenkins & Jim Ryun:

Jenkins:

Topeka: WIBW, KSNT and KTKA- total of 91 spots for $11,075
Kansas City: KMBC- 45 spots for $20,855
Joplin: KSN, KODE, KOAM and KFJX- total of 102 spots for $11,425

Total buy: $43,355

Ryun:

Topeka: WIBW & KTMJ- total of 138 spots for $14,960
Cable: 206 spots for $1,981
Joplin: KOAM & KFJX- total of 104 spots for $12,680

Total buy: $29,621

Letter to the Editor: Roberts & Ryun Both Useless

From today's Topeka Capital-Journal-

Letter: Enough of them

I am getting tired of Pat Roberts and Jim Ryun telling Kansans how they are for Kansas while their actions dictate otherwise.

For example, Sen. Roberts talks about how Jim Slattery, his opponent in the November election, is a Washington lobbyist. He fails to tell readers that Slattery still has roots here. The front page article July 11 notes Slattery still owns property here, so he comes back to Kansas often. Roberts has two condos in Virginia, land in South Carolina and a home in Dodge City. All of Slattery's property is in Kansas. Who is the real Washington insider?

Also, when Roberts runs his ad about the Boeing contract, why doesn't he mention that he voted to allow the Department of Defense to accept bids from agencies outside of the United States as long as they had some connection to this country (which Northop did).

And let's not forget about former Rep. Jim Ryun. He states he will stand by the principles he had before. Does he not remember those principles are why he was voted out the last time?

Ryun ignored veterans, the lower and middle classes and workers. I know many veterans who called his office to ask for his assistance and his response was that only when their problem reached his committee in Washington would he become involved.

Rep. Nancy Boyda has kept most of her promises since being elected, and she has made her presence known. Every congressman and congresswoman should strive to emulate her.

We cannot afford to have the same bad ideas and philosophies continue in government. We need to keep Ryun out and make sure Roberts knows how the majority of Kansans feel. I wish the true winner the best in the elections.

MICHAEL NORMAN, Topeka

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Winner, Losers from Last Night's GOP Debate

Can we just say we didn't realize it was still the 4th of July? But, my, the fireworks we saw last night!


For the most part, the Lynn Jenkins vs. Jim Ryun Republican primary race has been low-key and without the significant explosions we would have expected. Sure, there have been spats and cat fights, but most of that has happened in small venues and received next to no coverage (save on this little blog). Last night's debate on KSNT Channel 27 in Topeka, however, blow the doors off the barn in terms of shear viciousness and negativity from both sides- with Ryun actually managing to come away as the more respectful of the two (hard to believe, right?).


After the contenders voiced agreement on the need to drill for more Alaskan
oil and the necessity of limiting federal spending, former U.S. Rep. Ryun dug
his spurs into Jenkins for voting a dozen times for tax increases while a member
of the Kansas Legislature. Three votes were to raise gasoline taxes, he
said.

"That's not standing up for Kansans," Ryun said.

Jenkins, the Kansas state treasurer and former member of the Kansas
House and Senate, said the core responsibility for those tax hikes often rested
with federal politicians such as Ryun who foisted billions of dollars of
unfunded mandates on states. It is that kind of leadership, she said, that
should be shunned in Washington.

"God love you Jim, I think you had your chance," Jenkins said.

"I voted the right way," Ryun replied.

"We were at your mercy, babe!" Jenkins said. "I think we did the
responsible thing. We balanced the budget."

It really is hard to do a blow-by-blow for this debate- there were just so many blows. So, instead, we're going to do a winners & losers analysis.


Loser(s)

1a. Lynn Jenkins: For many people, last night was their first
experience seeing Jenkins speak, and, we just have to say, it was jarring.
Her body language was strange, her speaking style was strange, her general
demeanor was strange. Most of the time, she came off as condescending and
down right rude and disrespectful. She got in her hits, and they were good
hits for sure- particularly making sure to point out Ryun accomplished nearly
nothing when he was in Congress- but she misjudged when she accused Ryun of
supporting amnesty because he voted to help Haitian and Cuban refugees normalize
their status (what, Lynn, you want to send them back to Communist Cuba?) and her
strange "casting yes and no votes isn't leadership" song and dance makes
all of us think she might actually believe she's running to be President and not
just a freshmen member of the minority party in the House of
Representatives.

Oh, also- Ryun's broadside on Jenkins tax increases is dooming- however
responsible Jenkins knows she was being, she raised taxes 12 times while in the
state legislature, and Ryun was masterful in speaking directly into the camera
and pointing that out again and again and again.

Probably, though, Lynn's most significant problem, outside of the whole tax
increase thing, was that fact she came across as nothing short of weird,
rude, and condescending.

1b. Jim Ryun: Jenkins hit Ryun exactly, perfectly, where he
needs hit- right on the fact that, when he was in Congress he failed the people
of Kansas. When Ryun said he tried to stave off the mortgage crisis
Jenkins said, "Some results there! We can do better." Ryun's
performance was far superior to Jenkins' without any doubt- he seemed more
poised, far less strange, and just more congressional. He dinged Jenkins
for being clueless, ("You really don't understand...") and he called her out for
spewing her ridiculous "voting isn't leadership" rhetoric.

Regardless, though, Ryun came away damaged.
Oh, one last thing- the moderators made a significant mistake letting Ryun get away with and out-and-out lie when he was talking about BRAC funding. He said, while he always worked to secure monies for Kansas BRAC project, Congresswoman Nancy Bodya actually cut funds after she took office. Look, we know we've said it before, but, please people, this old lie needs to die, because it really is nothing other than a lie. It was Ryun & his cronies that cut the funding, funding that Boyda & the new Democratic Congress managed to put back in- plus more. Please, read (again)

So, finally, our night's winner:
Winner

1. Nancy Boyda:
Boyda comes away the winner if for no other reason both of her potential Republican challengers showed last night their significant vulnerabilities & that neither of them will be able to provide the voters with any reason at all to switch horses in midstream. Jenkins was right, Ryun had his shot and blew it, and Ryun was right regarding Jenkins penchant to jacking up taxes. On top of that, Jenkins clownish performance in the debate certainly didn't make her seem to be "congressional material" and while that isn't nearly as important as her total lack of a clue, it can't not come into play. Jenkins was particularly hesitant to come after Boyda directly, and while Ryun had no problem with it, he chose to hit her with a lie- so that shows you something about what we're going to see for the next several months.

All in all, last night was entertaining as all get-out...this writer is just blessing his lucky stars that he isn't a Republican.

A Trained Monkey...

Lynn Jenkins, getting more negative (and more desperate) compares Jim Ryun (and Nancy Boyda, too) to trained monkeys.



Just...wow.

What Christian Morgan Really Means: He's Scared to Death

The Kansas Republican Party is falling all over itself, clamoring to tell the world the fact the DCCC purchased ad time for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda means both that Boyda's on the brink of defeat and that it's just proof (proof, I tell you, proof!) that Boyda's beholden to House Democrats.

In the end, Christian Morgan and the KS GOP are trying desperately to get voters to ignore their real motivation behind attacking the ads: They know that, if the DCCC does indeed spend $1.2 million in the Kansas 2nd lauding Nancy Boyda's first 2 years in Congress, whoever ends up winning the primary won't stand a chance in Hell come November.

They want- and who could blame them, really?- to keep the good news about Boyda's record from the eyes and ears of the voting public. They want to do anything they can to make the ads toxic because they're not so dumb that they don't realize what 16,000 media points would do to this district.

So, what is Morgan doing? Painting this as evidence Boyda's in league with the devil herself, Nancy Pelosi, he's alluding Boyda & the House Leadership coordinated the whole thing. That's a mighty significant claim- and in making it Morgan's insinuating Boyda has broken the law, because, just like Washburn political science professor Bob Beatty said last week:

"There's nothing she can do about it. She can't even call and say, 'I don't want it.' Any involvement with third-party independent expenditures would be illegal."

Even though a candidate disavows a third party's actions or asks the group not to be involved in his or her race through a public statement, that doesn't mean the group will comply, Beatty said.

Morgan's not dumb enough to actually say what he's insinuating, because he knows it's not true: he knows Boyda isn't coordinating the ads because he knows she's not breaking the law. He's just trying to manage perceptions...a good trick that we're hoping he doesn't get away with.

Why is he so afraid of the ads the DCCC has bought? Because that much message about all the good things Boyda has done while in office will be impossible for him to cut through. The DCCC might talk about Boyda's efforts to end the Solider Tax (and lowering taxes on 150,000 of our fighting men and women). The ads could talk about Boyda's efforts to secure $80 million in federal investments into Kansas- including money for highways, police departments, and our military bases. And the ads might touch on the fact Boyda's office has helped 2,600 Kansans solve problems with federal agencies ranging from Social Security to Veterans Affairs. And they could talk about so much more...and he's scared to death they will.

Boyda has publicly said she'd rather the DCCC not invest in her race- that's certainly her prerogative. She'll, of course, run her campaign exactly as she always has, independently and free of outside influence. But, as everyone involved knows, the DCCC will run ads if they so chose, no matter how much Boyda or Christian Morgan scream- because it's illegal to coordinate the purchase- or cancellation- of a third party ad buy. The DCCC would have to decide independently to pull out- and we just dont' see that happenin'.

In the end, the straw man Morgan is trying to create here isn't the story- the story is his abject fear someone will knock down his straw man and see the ads for what they really are: An independent buy Boyda legally couldn't have anything to do with- and an independent ad buy with which the Kansas Republican Party cannot even begin to respond. It's nothing more than a ham-fisted attempt on his part pull a bait and switch on the voting public. And it just ain't gonna fly.

Good try though, Christian. Maybe next time.

Jenkins Buys TV Stupid; Wastes Money Talkin' To Dennis Moore's Voters

Yesterday we brought you the news Lynn Jenkins had (finally) expanded her TV commercial buy outside of the Joplin, MO market- but instead of doing the logical- buying Topeka time to target her Topeka-centric district, Jenkins went all stupid and spent ridiculously more money (per spot) to talk to significantly fewer of her potential voters with a $21,000 ad by on KMBC (the Kansas City, MO ABC affiliate).

That $21K bought her 45 ads

For some perspective: The buy Jim Ryun made that ran from July 15- 21 was on all of the Topeka stations and in Joplin- a total of 381 spots for a grand total of $23,215.

Ryun: 380 spots for $23K
Jenkins: 45 spots for $21K

You don't have to be a CPA to understand who got the better deal on this one...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Get Ready to Rumble! Ryun & Jenkins Debate Tomorrow!

Just so you all remember, tomorrow night will be the only televised debate between Republican candidates for Congress Lynn Jenkins & Jim Ryun (on NBC-affiliate KSNT Channel 27 in Topeka).

The station is requesting questions from the viewing audience in advance- we encourage all of our loyal readers to dive right in!

New Ad Info: New from Ryun & Stupid from Jenkins

Jim Ryun has a new ad up and running and Lynn Jenkins as, ridiculously, bought time in the Kansas City media market.

More later!

Here is Ryun's ad

Boyda: Drill Here.

The below text was sent out of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's press office and we thought you all might be interested in reading it:

Letter to the Editor Energy: the Great Debate

By: Congresswoman Nancy Boyda

The much needed debate about our nation's energy future has finally begun. From the rising cost of fuel to increased fertilizer prices – everyone is hurting. We all know that our country needs a comprehensive plan to address our energy future. The plan developed by Big Oil and the White House eight years ago has brought us nothing but higher fuel prices and has sent trillions of your dollars to unfriendly governments across the world.

If you've heard me talk about energy, you've heard me talk about the "three legged stool." First is conservation – the cheapest and fastest piece of this puzzle. Second is an absolute determination to break our addiction to oil through new technologies like plug-in hybrid vehicles that rely on wind, solar, nuclear, and other alternative sources. Energy prices are driven by supply and demand. We must increase energy supply and reduce oil demand with these new technologies. Third, even with alternatives and conservation, oil and gas will continue to play a significant role in our energy policy. We must use the lands currently open to drilling, like the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), and we need to invest in technologies that make it easier and more environmentally friendly to access.

As I write this, there are 68 million acres of publicly leased lands available for drilling that are not being drilled. 80 percent of the oil available on the Outer Continental Shelf is already open for drilling. Today, these leases are in place; the environmental hurdles have been cleared, but no drilling is happening. The American people want to know why. So do I.

It is Big Oil's dirty little secret – they don't have the equipment necessary to do more drilling. If we opened up the remaining 20 percent of offshore areas for drilling, there won't be new rigs available to drill in those areas for years! According to the American Petroleum Institute, in a time of increasing demand and high profits, the oil companies have not been growing their stock of drilling equipment even for the lands they currently have leases for! Unbelievable.

My mom always taught me to clean my plate before asking for more. The oil companies aren't following mom's advice. They have been collecting lease after lease but not drilling on those lands. It is time that drilling started. The high price of oil helps the oil companies and maybe this is a good business decision for them, but its killing American families, businesses and farmers.

Congress can't force the oil companies to drill, but we can pass legislation that stops hoarding of oil leases on federal lands. I voted to do just that three weeks ago, but like other important energy bills, it is opposed by the President.

As important as it is to get this right, we cannot drill our way out of this mess. America uses 24 percent of the world's oil yet we have only two percent of the world's oil reserves. We must be aggressive about conservation and alternatives to oil. We must break our addiction to foreign oil and stop importing more than 70 percent of our oil. We must harness the ingenuity of our scientists and entrepreneurs to discover and make new technologies work. After all, if we can put a man on the moon, we can break our dependence on foreign oil. Only by breaking this dependence will we be able to restore our economy and hope in the future.

Nancy Boyda

Member of Congress

Letter to the Editor: Ryun Was Worthless

Also from Sunday's Cap-J:

Letter: Twisting the Facts

The Ryun campaign must believe voters have short memories, or it wouldn't be airing the recent ad claiming that the former congressman was instrumental in securing BRAC money for Forts Riley and Leavenworth.

The truth is that Ryun and the Republican-controlled Congress in 2006 were responsible for eliminating the BRAC funding for the two military installations because they failed to pass a budget that fall. The continuing resolution that they did pass held all funding at previous levels, which threw out the BRAC budget additions.

It wasn't until the new Congress took office in 2007 that BRAC funding for the two Kansas facilities was reinstated — through the hard work and perseverance of newly elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, a member of the House Armed Services committee.

Since the day after her election — when she went to Parsons to attend a BRAC meeting for their ammunition plant — to now, Boyda has been a strong and determined advocate for the military in Kansas and for veterans across the country.

If we can't count on the Ryun campaign to be honest in its advertising, can we expect anything different back in Washington?

JAN GARTON, Manhattan

Here, here!

Driving at Her Own Expense

A strange little puff piece in the Topeka Capital Journal today about our Members of Congress and who is paying for their travel- the Kansas delegation doesn't take advantage of a rule that would allow them to get free rides- but good press is good press, right?

Rep. Nancy Boyda doesn't accept the federal mileage reimbursement when she drives her own car for official use, much less use taxpayer's money for leasing a car, said spokesman Thomas Seay.

"Our aim is to run our office as effectively as possible," Seay said.

Just another savings brought to you by Nancy Boyda (no, we don't know what Ryun did for a car when he was in office...we'd imagine he wasn't dumb enough to have the taxpayers pay for one...but does anyone know for sure?)

Yes, Virginia, There is a Lynn Jenkins

From Sunday's Topeka Capital-Journal, from our fav columnist Ric Anderson:

Question No. 1 — Kansans in the Pittsburg area saw something that others might not believe exists. What is it?

A. Bigfoot
B. A UFO
C. A Lynn Jenkins campaign ad on TV
Correct answer: C. Early in the week, Jenkins began running a commercial in her campaign against Jim Ryun in the 2nd Congressional District GOP primary. But initially, anyway, the Jenkins camp aired the ad only in the Pittsburg-Joplin, Mo., TV market.
Poor Lynn...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Get the Heck Out of My Race"

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has done exactly what anyone who has spent any time looking at this race expected her to do- she's now said publicly she doesn't want the DCCC to spent any money in the Kansas 2nd on her behalf.

Rep. Nancy Boyda says she wants the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other third-party organizations making independent expenditures to political campaigns to keep out of the 2nd Congressional District race in Kansas.

"I am asking the DCCC to get the heck out of my race," she said Friday.

Christian "I'm a twit" Morgan from the KS GOP has taken credit for Boyda's statement, which is beyond arrogant, and, in the end, shows how disconnected he really is from reality in his own backyard. Boyda, who already declined to participate in the DCCC's Frontline fundraising programs for freshmen has made it very, very clear she doesn't want the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to get in the middle of her race for Congress.

As to the always- present discussion of "Well, of course she says she doesn't want it, but, really, of course she's telling them to go ahead behind the scenes," Boyda & Washburn political science professor Bob Beatty do a good job breaking that argument into tiny little pieces:

Boyda said she hasn't had any contact with the DCCC in regard to her campaign and to do so would be in violation of election laws.

"I certainly haven't accepted any money," she said.

Bob Beatty, associate professor of political science at Washburn University, said Boyda and other candidates targeted by the DCCC and other third parties are in a tough spot.

"There's nothing she can do about it. She can't even call and say, 'I don't want it,' " Beatty said, explaining any involvement with third-party independent expenditures would be illegal.

Even though a candidate disavows a third party's actions or asks the group not to be involved in his or her race through a public statement, that doesn't mean the group will comply, Beatty said.

"(Morgan's) argument is very simple when, with most things in life, it's much more nuanced," he said.

Ah, poor Christian. Too thick to actually get the nuances of election law. Perhaps that's why the GOP is doing so poorly in Kansas...how did Jim Barnett fair, Chris?

Our guess? Boyda's request of the DCCC will arrive to deaf ears- they're going to spend their money where ever they please, and in districts in which they think it's going to do the most good- regardless of what the individual candidates say. It happens on both sides- after all, John McCain has asked the GOP to take certain commercials down that attack Michelle Obama, but he's been ignored. Look for the DCCC to ignore Boyda, too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lynn Jenkins Duck Questions, Gets Left at the Alter

As we posted earlier this week, Lynn Jenkins had a swanky fundraiser hosted by Frm. Governor and Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency in New York City on Monday.

Whitman never showed up.

But, in addition to that embarrassing little snafu, our in-over-her-head state treasurer got caught with her britches down when confronted by people asking for her to respond to Whitman's erroneous claims the air was safe to breathe in Manhattan after the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11.

And we even have video!



Now, hold on rabid Republicans- before you post that lovely YouTube video of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda not responding to a man with a camera asking her to answer questions she has already answered- this is a different animal: Jenkins has never publicly said anything on this issue and, indeed, the people have the right to know what she believes.

Why didn't Lynn give these fellas an answer? Because she hasn't any idea what they're even talking about.

And that's a shame.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

At Least She's Trying Now: Jenkins' Ad Buy

From Roll Call (sub. required)-


State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, hoping to upend former Rep. Jim Ryun in the 2nd district Republican primary, is up with her first television ad of the campaign, although the buy is limited.

Jenkins on Tuesday launched a mostly positive, 30-second spot on broadcast television in the Joplin-Pittsburg market, which covers about 21 percent of the Republican-leaning, eastern Kansas 2nd district. The Jenkins campaign bought 500 gross ratings points for the ad, which focuses on government spending, taxes and immigration.

For someone with pitiful name ID in most of her district, it's unfortunate she's decided to only talk to a handful of voters. What, Lynn, out of money? Or are you dumb enough to have suddenly become over-confident?

Will someone tell her yard signs don't actually vote...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lynn Jenkins' WISH for NYC Money

Courtesy of fellow Kansas blogger Kansas Meadowlark, there is a little more information now about yesterday's gala fundraising event in New York City sponsored by pro-abortion group WISH List on behalf of our very own State Treasurer (and CPA, did you know that?) Lynn Jenkins.

Dear WISH Friend,

As a loyal WISH List Member, I wanted you to be aware of an upcoming event in your area for an impressive WISH-endorsed candidate — Lynn Jenkins, candidate for Congress in Kansas’ 2nd District. Lynn is running in one of the most crucial “tossup” Congressional races in the country this year, and is one of our only chances to replace a Democrat with a mainstream Republican.

She is in a hotly contested race right now for the GOP primary nomination, and she needs WISH Members’ strong support to win. That’s why I hope you will consider supporting her at the July 14, 2008 reception at The Union League Club, 38 East 37th St., New York City. The reception will be held from 5:30 pm to 7 pm, and tickets are $500 per person. Please see the attached invitation for RSVP details. Thanks, in advance, for supporting Lynn Jenkins’ bid for Congress!

Best,

Pat Carpenter
President, The WISH List
Again, hosting said-gala event was former Governor of New Jersey & poster child for the pro-abortion minority within the Republican Party, Christine Todd Whitman.

The Union League Club of New York City isn't the Downtown Ramada in Topeka, and not so much the kind of "Kansas" venue you'd expect coming from a woman who has touted her deep, deep support in...Kansas. But, just like Jim Ryun, she's obviously finding it easier now to find money to support her among people who have never had to deal with her directly.

For more, please visit Kansas Meadowlark.

Letter to the Editor: Ryun a Dud

From today's Topeka Capital-Journal:

A Record of Helping

I'm responding to the letter from Joe White of Denison regarding Nancy Boyda. I worked for Rep. Boyda during the last election. I got to know her well and saw her deep concern for the problems we have in Kansas and the nation.

She visited Fort Riley and went to hear the concerns at Fort Leavenworth. She has gone to Iraq to see first-hand the conditions there and to visit with our soldiers from Kansas.

Has Jim Ryun shown any concern about what our soldiers are enduring in the war zone?

I've seen Jim Ryun's TV ads. I haven't seen any mention of what he has done for Kansas, or our country. His advertisement touts his running ability many years ago — showing Jim running as a young man. We all know he was a medalist during the Olympics, but this is old news. I have followed his track record in Congress (no pun intended). The way I see it, he only voted the way his peers in the Republican party told him to.

We have Rep. Nancy Boyda, who is working hard for us in Congress. Let's re-elect someone who has a real record of working for us in Washington.

FLORENE V. JOHNSON, Topeka

Wonderful letter- an a great point. Why change horses in mid-stream? Particularly for a old, brokendown racehorse...

File for Your Rebate Check!

A friendly reminder from Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (and your favorite neighborhood Democratic blog):

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) is urging Kansans who have not filed their 2007 tax returns to do so promptly. According to Internal Revenue Service figures, more than 40,000 Kansans have yet to file, meaning $12 million dollars in stimulus rebates have not been distributed in the Sunflower State.

Boyda said, "These are tough economic times. People are hurting. The stimulus rebates are not enough to turn the tide, but an average of $300 per person is enough to help put food on the table and gas in the car. I just hate to see anyone miss out on help they are rightfully due. "

Additional figures from the IRS show that 95% percent of the individuals who have unclaimed stimulus rebates are Social Security recipients. Rep. Boyda encourages people who may have elderly family members, friends or neighbors to help spread the word that it's not too late to file. Even if senior citizens haven't filed a tax return in years, they should file an IRS 1040 A form to receive their stimulus payment. Boyda said, "These are individuals on fixed incomes – people who especially need the help."

According to the IRS, millions of people are eligible but may not know it, or think it is too late to get a payment. These are certain retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who normally don't file a tax return because their income is too low or nontaxable. This year, they must file to receive their stimulus payment.

While the April 15 tax filing deadline has passed, the deadline for filing for economic stimulus rebates is October 15, 2008.

For more information on the economic stimulus rebates, go to www.irs.gov or contact Rep. Boyda's offices: (Topeka: 785-234-8111, Washington D.C. 202-225-6601).

Make sure to file!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Jenkins Ad!

Lynn Jenkins CPA has started her advertising campaign with her first ad. Congrats to the Jenkins campaign for getting up on TeeVee... we've missed you!


More Ad Buys from Ryun

New TV ad buy from Jim Ryun- approximately the same size as previous- almost $24,000- in Topeka & Joplin.

No word as to if this is a new spot or not (lets hope he doesn't break the law with it the same way Roberts just did with his new negative piece on Jim Slattery).

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Where is Kansas Treasurer Lynn Jenkins?"

The above question- a really, really good one, was asked last week in a piece in Roll Call (subscription required), as they struggled to explain why it is Jenkins has decided to, well, hide from the public, during her first run for the United States Congress.

In her race for the Jayhawk State’s 2nd district GOP nomination against former Rep. Jim Ryun, who was ousted in 2006, Jenkins has opted for a relatively low profile.

Although Jenkins’ fundraising has been active and fruitful, she has decided to delay airing her first television spot and dropping her first direct-mail piece until next week — just three weeks before the Aug. 5 GOP primary and roughly one week before early and absentee voting begins.

Meanwhile, Ryun has been on broadcast television in more than 70 percent of the district since mid-June, and his second ad, targeting cable television markets in counties with military bases, launched on Tuesday. His second direct-mail piece is scheduled to begin arriving in mailboxes today in the heavily rural, Republican-leaning district now held by freshman Rep. Nancy Boyda (D).

Jim's doing exactly what any sane person would expect any candidate for Congress to do- try as hard as he can to put himself in front of as many of his potential voters as possible, while Lynn, the much lesser known of the two, is focusing on....doing door-to-door herself.

Not exactly how you jump up name recognition, Lynn.

Jenkins campaign spokesman Patrick Leopold said Tuesday that he expects his candidate to make up ground — and then some — once she is “properly introduced” to 2nd district voters.

“I see an extremely tight race that we’re going to win,” Leopold said. “The reality is, everyone knows Jim Ryun, and no one is particularly fond of him.”

No kidding, Patrick. But, and we're just boggled on this point, how on Earth do they expect people to get "properly introduced" to Lynn if she never gets into their living rooms?

As to a "tight race." We don't know what polling you're looking at, kiddo, but every single poll we've seen shows you at very least 14% down- and that was the DCCC poll leaked earlier this summer.

But, go after it, folks- if you think you can close that gab without massive TV spending- go after it. It does appear there are some in your backyard that disagree with you, though.

One Republican operative based in Kansas said Jenkins’ failure to be more active on the campaign trail and in the media earlier on could be what sinks her on Aug. 5. This operative predicted that Jenkins would spend the final three weeks of the campaign attacking Ryun’s Congressional voting record but said the effort would fall short.

“They’ve had no message and no direction, and I still don’t see a direction,” this GOP insider said. “Unless they’ve found something that is going to blow everyone out of the water in the last 25 days, it’s not going to happen.”

Poor Lynn. But don't feel too bad. She is getting read to have some fancy fundraisers with fancy celebrities to help bring in the dough.

Jenkins...is set to raise money in Wichita and New York at an event headlined by former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman[.]

New York City! Well, so much for being so Kansas-focused you didn't even know there were other states, Jenkins. We should mention, of course, this is the second round of fundraisers for Lynn with Frm. Gov. Whitman...the unabashed leader of the very, very small world that is pro-choice Republicans. Good for you, Lynn! Good for you!

The article also contains just a couple of lines from Christian "I'm a Twit" Morgan, talking about how, obviously, the Kansas Republican Party is just amazingly unified and, golly gee, they're just going to rally behind whoever wins the primary and everything! (Sure Christian...just keep saying that to yourself. How many incumbent state senators have conservative primary challengers this year? Hmm?)

Jenkins' first ad buy of the cycle is supposed to start today in the Joplin, MO markets, and while we haven't seen hide nor hair of the commercial as of yet, Mr. Leopold did give us a sneak peek, so to speak:

Leopold signaled that Jenkins intends to hit Ryun for what she will claim was his failure while in Congress to address illegal immigration, high gas prices and excessive government spending.

We love that they used the word "hit." And we certainly do hope they do hit- and hard. The nastier this primary gets, the better it is for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

23 days.

Nation's First Autistic Congressional Page Back Home

From NPR-affiliate KCUR in Kansas City:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Social Network Battleground

Sorry to be late- but with the holiday we got a little behind on our updates. Regardless, here we are back with our weekly update of how each of our major party candidates are doing in the world of social networking.

We're tracking Facebook and MySpace only.


















































































































Candidate# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends













6/14/086/21/086/28/087/06/087/12/08
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)













FB Profile493607874959989
FB Page820847853872890
FB Group415431457600692
MySpace1,9121,9331,9411,9852,023
Frm. Rep. Jim Ryun (R)













FB Profile142152163173184
FB Pagen/an/an/an/an/a
FB Group2790105121127
MySpace1213141414
Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R)













FB Profilen/an/an/an/a
FB Page929299104113
FB Group265266274273305
MySpace1010101010


Growth all over the place (save the Republicans on MySpace...), and Lynn Jenkins was even able to rebound of her lose of supporters in her Facebook Group.

Something's odd though- and it's something we hadn't honestly thought about before...why are Nancy Boyda's numbers increasing so steadily, while Ryun & Jenkins aren't growing as much...yet they're in an active primary? Shouldn't we see pretty dramatic increases in numbers, if only because Ryun's up on TV?

Odd...

Remember, each week we'll indicate any up and down movement by putting increasing numbers in bold and falling numbers in italics.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boyda on Tankers & Medicare

Snippets from press releases from Boyda's official office.

On the Senate bucking the Bush Admininstration and blocking disastorous cuts to Medicare reimbursement to doctors:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the lead of the United States House of Representatives, the Senate today voted by a wide margin (69 – 30) to pass the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA).
Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) said "This is an extremely important piece of legislation. I am glad that, at the end of the day, the Senate put partisan politics aside and voted to protect health care in America."

[...]

The passage of H.R. 6331 reverses a 10.6% cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors and other providers that went into effect last week after the Senate failed to take action. It helps ensure patients' access to therapy services and protects pathology laboratories and ambulance service in rural areas.
Senator Sam Brownback voted against it- again- and the President has previously promised to veto the legislation.

On the Pentagon's decision to reopen bids on the Air Force's new tanker:

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) issued the following statement in the wake of today's announcement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reopen the bidding process for a $35 million tanker contract:

      "I am so pleased the Pentagon has decided to heed the decision of the Government Accountability Office and reopen bidding for the tanker contract. This is the right thing to do. I have said from the beginning that it just makes no sense for America to outsource our ability to defend our nation. With every contract we send overseas, we lose our capacity to build for our own military. This concern of outsourcing our national security remains at the forefront. It is important to get this right – for the protection of our country and America's economy."

You & I aren't the only ones who should buy American.

DCCC to spend $1.2 million on TV in the KS-02

From the Associated Press & TMP, the DCCC has announced plans to spend $35 million in potentially vulnerable districts before the November election, and the Kansas 2nd is on that list.

We've just obtained from a Democratic source a long list of 31 races that the DCCC has decided to target with ads this fall -- a list that offers a glimpse into the national Dems' view of which Republican seats are ripe targets and which Dems are vulnerable.

The DCCC's list adds up to over $34 million on TV ads this September and October in 31 targeted districts, a move designed to swamp the NRCC with the Dems' huge cash advantage.
More power to them.

According to TMP Election Central, the cut for the Kansas 2nd will be $1.2 million. We will remind everyone (because the Republicans will lie about it if we don't), these are independent expenditure figures, this isn't (because it can't be) a coordinated effort with the campaign.

It's interesting, also, that the DCCC has decided to invest in the race, if only because Congresswoman Nancy Boyda declined participation in the Frontline program, which is dedicated to rasing money for potentially vulnerable members.

Every dollar that makes it harder for the Republicans to unseat Boyda makes the folks at this blog pleased.

UPDATE: And just so we are all aware...that's 16,200 points. That, my friends, is HUGE.



Tying Boyda to Obama Won't Work for the GOP

From Campaigns & Elections Magazine:

The incumbent candidate in Mississippi's 1st district congressional race is a pro-gun, pro-life, fiscal conservative-and he's the Democrat.

Therein lies the challenge for Republican Greg Davis, who is running again this fall in a re-match of the most highly publicized special election that the GOP lost this spring. In May, Democrat Travis Childers beat Davis in a district where George Bush won 62 percent of the vote in 2004. That defeat, says Davis, provides a valuable strategic lesson.

"We're going to spend more time going out there and meeting with voters and letting them know who I am, and less on the contrast ads which just didn't work," Davis says, referring to ads that tried to link Childers to presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Both Davis and the Mississippi GOP say they realize the negative ads linking Childers to Obama and the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright didn't do the trick for conservative voters in northern Mississippi.

[...]

The Mississippi race could be indicative of other congressional contests across the country in which GOP candidates will be facing off against conservative Democrats. And if Greg Davis is right, running against Obama may not work in those districts either.

In Kansas' 2nd Congressional district, freshman incumbent Rep. Nancy Boyda is another Blue Dog Democrat likely to face a strong Republican challenger this fall. Boyda avoided an official endorsement of Sen. Obama until after he clinched the nomination, and, like Childers, Boyda has said she may not attend the convention in Denver.
In the end, Democrats have learned a lesson the Republicans learned first- run candidates that fight the district, not candidates that fight some pie-in-the-sky ideal of what a candidate should look like. Republicans did it in 1994 and took back the House. Democrats did in 2006 and did the same thing.

Dems like Childers & Boyda, who fight their districts so well, are going to be awfully hard to knock out- and the GOP knows it.

Continue with Change- Keep Boyda in Office

The supporters of Lynn Jenkins are trying to do everything they can to save her failing candidacy for Congress, including simply ignoring the fact even if she does manage to beat Jim Ryun August 5, she still will have to provide a compelling reason to elect her over Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

In a letter to the editor that appeared in yesterday's Topeka Capital-Journal, a fellow (who doesn't even live in the district, by the way) wrote how important it is to have someone the people can see coming home and working for them represent them in Congress.

The 2nd District is hungry for someone who is visible in their towns, someone who is willing to take on the always changing political jargon of Washington.
Wow...it's almost like he's talking about Nancy Boyda...and since this man doesn't live in the Kansas 2nd, it's excusable he'd just ignore the fact Boyda has been home nearly every single weekend since she was elected, and that she's held 58 Congress on Your Corners, and that she has had more than 400 public meetings with people from all over the district. He'd know all of that, of course, if he lived in her district, or if he had seen her first newspaper insert (which should have now appeared in ever newspaper in the district).

You sure can say you don't like how she's voted on things- that's tremendously fair, because not everyone agrees 100% of the time. But something even Jim Ryun & Lynn Jenkins (and their supporters) can't deny is that Nancy Boyda has been incredibly visible & incedibly accessible during her time in office. Honest to goodness, she can't be attacked on that front with a straight face.

And, incidently, people commenting on the letter on CJOnline agree:
  • Nancy Boyda is far better than Ryun or Jenkins.
  • This Republican likes Boyda, so I plan to write in Nancy Boyda on my primary ballot.
    Maybe the writer in Council Grove plans to move.
  • I agree. Nancy Boyda is far better than Ryun or Jenkins. Both of these candidates are career politicians and I still can't get past the fact of how many taxpayer dollars Lynn Jenkins has spent keeping her name and face in front of the public with her "public service announcement".
  • We don't have to "revive" our fervor for change in Washington--it is alive and well. Nancy Boyda is part of that plan of change and has proven it over the last year and a half. We need to keep her in office and send a few more persons of change to Washington!
  • I am also a Republican that will vote for Boyda. She at least takes the time to write back when I send a question to her. Ryun is just sleazy!!! He needs to go away. Jenkins so far has not impressed me with anything.

Sorry, Republicans....try again.

Boyda Fulfills Promise on Highway Funding with Bipartisan Bill

Kansas Members of Congress Nancy Boyda & Jerry Moran have teamed up to help fund our Kansas highway system.

Yep, you heard it right- Republicans and Democrats working together in an election year for a common cause.

From KSNT Channel 27 in Topekal:

Fulfilling a promise Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives to temporarily address a shortage in the Highway Trust Fund.

In June a provision to address the transportation shortfall was stripped away in order to ensure Senate passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill.

Boyda's bill HR6447 will put $8 billion back into the Highway Trust Fund.

Of that $8 billion Kansas will receive about $120 million.
And from the Topeka Capital Journal:

Reps. Nancy Boyda and Jerry Moran have introduced a bill to fix the federal highway fund shortage that threatens to delay or cancel four Kansas transportation projects.

The projected $3.4 billion shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund would leave Kansas $120 million shy of the amount needed to finish work in the final year of its 10-year highway plan.

[...]

"We're in a part of the country where we have to move goods like agricultural products," said Moran, a Republican. "So here, the highway system is vital."

[...]

Boyda, a Democrat, cautioned against complacency on the issue. She said with declining motor fuels tax revenues and ever-increasing construction costs, the need for a long-term fix is still present.

"This is a stop-gap measure," Boyda said.

Moran said it was unlikely their bill would pass Congress, but he expects action on the issue before lawmakers depart Washington at the end of the year.

Good work, both of you- now both of you work on members in your respective parties and get this thing done for the people of Kansas!

Jenkins in Bed with Sebelius/ Morrison Backers?

When seeking endorsements in a party primary, it's good to go for the salt of the Earth party regulars- the kind of people the rank & file know and respect as leaders of whichever political party we're talking about.

That appeared to be exactly what Lynn Jenkins was going for yesterday when she released a list of 11 former chairperson of the Kansas Republican Party who have endorsed her candidacy in the Republican primary race against Jim Ryun for the opportunity to grapple with Congresswoman Nancy Boyda in November.

We say that's what it appears she was trying....because she might have hit a sour note.

According to research conducted by the writer of the blog Kansas Meadowlark, 7 of those 11 former Republican chairs have either donated directly to Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius or former Democratic Attorney General Paul Morrison, or they have been involved with groups "friendly to the Kansas Democratic Party."

While we might quibble with what constitutes an organization that is "friendly" to the Kansas Democratic Party (not so sure the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority counts...), but this list does more to underline the on-going fracture of the Kansas Republican Party than it does to boost Jenkins' flagging campaign.

Does this help her or does this hurt her? Primary voters tend to be the most ideologically extreme (in both parties), so we've always operated under the assumption Jenkins' liberalness on social issues would be a drag for her- and we can only assume being supported by so many liberal Republicans won't be an asset when she tries to convince primary voters she's a Republican they can trust.

Jenkins Endorsed by 11 Has-Beens

Light up the electric sign, Muriel, we gots a 'nouncement to make!

Lynn Jenkins has been endorsed by 11 former chairpeople of the Kansas Republican Party- including by the man who many would consider the single biggest failure of a chair the KS GOP has ever seen (notwithstanding dear, dear Kris Kobach) and immediate past Treasurer of the State of Kansas Tim Shallenburger.

Ah, what is that smell in the air? Could it be the smell of...failure? Always seems to follow Mr. Shallenburger around.

Securing these endorsements certainly does prove one thing: the aparatus of the Kansas Republican Party want Jim Ryun to be their nominee again like they want Phill Kline to be their nominee for AG again...about as much as they'd like to shoot themselves in the foot.

But, really Lynn, trumpeting the endorsement of the man that started the downhill slope the KS GOP is currently in? Does that seem even kind of sensible?

You certainly aren't known for common sense, so we ought not be surprised.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In Memory

We're going dark this afternoon in memory of Jana Mackey, a former employee of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda who was murdered in Lawrence at the end of last week.

All of us involved in this blog, and anyone who ever had a chance to meet Jana, miss her desperately, and we hope today's services help her family find peace.


- Boyda Bloc Team

Largest Tax Increase in History? "Marlarky," Says Boyda Camp

We've been hearing it for months- "The Democrat [sic] controlled Congress has passed the largest tax increase in history, blah blah blah..." We've all heard it, and, hopefully, everyone on both sides knows it's nothing more than partisan lies.

Even though it is just partisan lies, that certainly doesn't prevent both Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins for repeating it- often. There lack of integrity isn't new or so much surprising, but, still, holding their fee to the fire is the calling of this particular blog, so we're glad to again oblige.

Today, however, we have the help of the mainstream media.

Former Congressman Jim Ryun's campaign spokeswoman told Harris News Service on Monday that Boyda's first term as Kansas' 2nd District congresswoman included her vote for "the largest tax increase in American history."

But Boyda's spokesman, Thomas Seay, refers to a national nonpartisan organization's conclusion that the claim, oft-repeated by Republican candidates, simply isn't true.

"It's, frankly, malarkey," Seay said.
Why, oh wise Mr. Seay, is it malarkey? The article provides a narrative of how this persestent falsehood came into being.
The tax hike claim, first promoted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, surfaced in March after House Democrats, including Boyda, passed a budget resolution, a non-binding proposal to map out budgets for coming years.

Republicans opposed it and issued press releases decrying it as a $683 billion tax hike, or a $2,863 annual increase for the average Kansan.

The resolution laid out a plan to balance the federal budget by ending tax cuts put in place by the Bush administration in 2001 and 2003.
But, wait...so the Democrats do want to increase our taxes? Ah, but there is more:

However, Democrats say they want to change the law to extend the middle-class tax cuts indefinitely beyond 2010.

"Of course, the congresswoman strongly opposes allowing the middle-class Bush tax cuts to expire," Seay said. "She believes that marriage penalty tax relief, the 10 percent tax bracket, and the increased child tax credit should all be made permanent.
Ah ha. So, really, in the end, we're just talking about the Republicans trying to protect the tax cuts for their base- multimillionaires and billionaires.

But wait, Boyda has sympathy for those good folks, too.
"She's also willing to consider extending cuts for the super-wealthy if Congress can find a responsible way to pay for it."

That could occur if lawmakers opt to, say, cut billions in funds elsewhere, such as by scaling back subsidies to big oil companies and major health insurers, Seay said.

"That alone could save more than $70 billion tax dollars over the next five years."
So...there you go. Boyda doesn't support increasing taxes on average Americans, and she doesn't support increasing taxes on the vast, vast majority of Kansans. And she'll even consider keeping the cuts in place for the super-rich if we can eliminate tax breaks for, say, Big Oil.

But there is one final bit to all of this that the Republicans always conveniently ignore: The "largest tax increase in history" that the Democrats supposedly passed...never did. No budget, not one line of any bill, has contained any of the language the House approved in the above mentioned non-binding resolution. Nada. None of it.
"The truth is that Congress has yet to vote either way on extending the Bush tax cuts," he said. "The sunset clauses don't take effect until 2011, and Congress won't pass a 2011 budget for another two years."
So, is that the end? Can we finally put this mess behind us? Have we fully and completely discredited the Republicans by now?

We should only be so lucky.
However, Seay said he expected to continue to hear Republicans repeat the tax hike claim.

"They're going to keep on making it until Election Day."
Nothing more than a skipping record, those dang Republicans.

Jenkins is Correct: Ryun's New Ad Overstates His Recrod on BRAC

Lynn Jenkins spokesman little Joshie Hersh and this blog has agreed on so very little these many months, but his statements, made to AP reporter John Hanna yesterday, are right on the money regarding Jim Ryun's new "not only did it save all the military bases in Kansas from certain closure, but I also single-handedly beat the Russians" campaign ad.

In 2005, Kansas did well compared with other states as the federal government picked military installations to be shut down, even gaining an estimated 3,600 military and civilian jobs as changes were made. Only the Parsons Army Ammunition Plant was targeted for closing.

Jenkins spokesman Josh Hersh said the work of others, including Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts and 1st District Rep. Jerry Moran, was crucial.

"The whole Kansas delegation had a big part in that process," he said. "No one of them single-handedly saved those bases."

Absolutely right- every member of the Kansas delegation was insturmental to keeping the bases open in Kansas, and it's disingenuious of Ryun to claim he was any more important than any other member.

But Mr. Hersh wasn't done:

Hersh also said the ad raises questions about Ryun's true position on earmarks because in it, the colonel praises Ryun for "setting up the infrastructure" at Forbes Field and Fort Riley and an unidentified supporter adds, "Jim came through for us."

Ryun has said previously that he will not support new funding earmarks in the budget. Jenkins has pledged to support reforms of the budgeting process so that earmarks are limited to projects of national interest.

Hersh said Ryun is being inconsistent.

"That would kind of raise the question of what that is going to mean for the district," Hersh said.

Ah, indeed it does. When Jim Ryun did "deliver" for the military bases in his district when he used to be in Congress, he did it via earmarks. When Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has delivered, she's used earmarks, and, one would assume, Lynn Jenkins would indeed attempt to do the same thing. With Ryun's new found aversion to earmarks, he's going to be up a creek without a paddle.

And, of course, there's that whole disasterous vote Ryun cast to defund $300 million worth of BRAC projects in Kanas right after the 2006 election, too. Thank God Nancy Boyda was able to get the money reinstated, because Ryun obviously didn't care about the people of the district very much after they voted him out of office. All comes together to show a man who probably shouldn't be trusted to actually be in that position again.

Lynn Jenkins, you say? By her own admission, her training as a CPA has prepared her for many things (like straightening out the federal books...such a mess...let's pray we dont' get audited...), but the one thing she doesn't know a damned thing about our armed forces and the needs of our men and women in uniform. Trusting her with protecting our bases would be a lot like trusting Jim Ryun to rein in federal spending...

Oh, by the way- 'member the retired colonel Ryun features so prominently in his ad? As far as we can find, he's never ever served in Kansas and, now, he's a lobbyist in Virginia. We aren't questioning his previous service to our nation, but you would have though Ryun would have found someone from or who had served in, say, Kansas, to back up his story.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ryun's New TV Spot Focuses on BRAC, Misleads Voters

For those of you watching television in the Topeka media market this morning you've probably already seen it, but Jim Ryun's newest campaign commercial takes credit for keeping Kansas military bases from being closed during the last round of the Base Re-Alignment and Closure program (BRAC).

UPDATE: And here's the ad:



Never mind Ryun & his old buddies in Congress dropped the ball at the very end of 2006 and refused to fund 2007 BRAC projects, specifically Kansas BRAC projects...never mind Ryun, because of his inaction, nearly lost Kansas military bases more than $300 million.

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Bottom line, the lame-duck Congress didn't pass a fiscal 2007 budget last fall. Instead, the 109th Congress approved a continuing resolution, financing the Base Realignment and Closure Commission at 2006 levels but eliminating money for projects at both Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth.
That's money Ryun cut- and that Congresswoman Nancy Boyda put back in. She did better than just put back in, though:
By late January, with the second continuing resolution on the verge of expiring, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed another resolution that actually raised BRAC funding by $1 billion.
Never mind that.

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.