Friday, October 31, 2008

WashPost: Boyda Independent of Party Labels

A lovely little piece in the Washington Post today about our Member of Congress- particularly so because it details how Nancy Boyda has eschewed her party in favor of Kansas.

She stayed home from the Democratic National Convention, saying she preferred time with family and constituents to schmoozing with party leaders. She declined the health insurance available to members of Congress, saying she would rather endure the "nightmare" of private insurance to better understand the struggles her constituents face.

And she is the only freshman Democrat in a tight House race to refuse help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which was prepared to spend more than $1 million on her race, an amount that would have nearly doubled her campaign coffers. Boyda declined to join the Frontline Democrats program, which provides fundraising and strategic help to vulnerable incumbents.

"What I wanted was to be able to make independent decisions about how I ran this campaign," said Boyda, 53, a chemist before entering politics. "What I'm fighting against is Washington's control over me, my message, the way I run."

The Washington way failed her bad in 2004; Boyda style worked in 2006, and it's working again in 2008.

Jenkins has the difficult task of trying to persuade voters to "fire their member of Congress twice in a row," and she doesn't appear to be making headway, [David] Wasserman, [House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report] said. He recently changed his rating of the race from "tossup" to "leans Democratic."

We're down to the wire- only 4 more days!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Lying Attack Ads; Boyda Sets the Reocrd Straight

Really, Republicans, enough already! A new ad on the airwaves now telling the world Congresswoman Nancy Boyda voted for "the largest tax increase in history" even though she never did any such thing.

Here's the ad from "Republicans Who Care" (gag, retch)



The awful, awful thing about this horrible, horrible claim is that IT ISN'T EVEN KIND OF TRUE. No truth. It's not that it's just partially true and we're quibbling about details, no, this claim is TOTALLY FALSE! Boyda hasn't voted to increase taxes on everyday, average Kansans even once. Gah! (We're nearing the Bounce Boyda freakout stage on this one, kids- watch out...)

If the claim even sounded remotely reasonable, the people of the district might respond to it, but the very idea Boyda voted for "the largest tax increase in history" sounds ludicrous, it sounds outlandish, and because of that, no one believes it. Doesn't stop the Republicans for repeating their favorite lie- Jenkins has now used the false claim in two of her four TV ads, it's the center piece of the NRCC's ad, and it's the basis of this new ad. So much money spent pushing a lie.

Anyway, Boyda responded today with a new radio ad:

"Hi, I'm Nancy Boyda. You know, I've heard it said there are only three sure things in this world: death, taxes, and attack ads.

"This campaign season, you're getting all three in one package: attack ads about taxes meant to scare you to death.

"These ads are paid for by D.C. attack groups, spending almost a half-million dollars to tell Kansans how to vote. And in case you were wondering, they're lying.

"Let's set the record straight. Congress has never voted for the so-called 'largest tax increase in history.' Check for yourself! The Journal-World reported these 'tax increase claims... are not true.'

"Here's the truth. I support renewing every single one of the middle-class Bush tax cuts – tax cuts for workers, for families, and yes, for extending the exemption on the death tax.

"These are tough economic times, and you'd better believe I'll keep fighting for middle-class tax relief.

"I'm Nancy Boyda, I'm running for Congress, and I approved this message because democracy requires a thoughtful and informed debate."

It's horrible the Republicans are willing to lie to steal a seat- but that's Karl Rove politics. It's too bad Lynn Jenkins thinks it's ok here.

Rundown of the Ratings: KS-02

Because someone was silly today and tried to comment something saying this race was something other than a toss up or leaning toward Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, we wanted to give you all nice clickable links to every single major race ranking list so you can see for yourselves what the political professionals think is going on in the 2nd District of Kansas:

  • Charlie Cook- The Cook Political Report: Lean Democratic (Oct. 30)
  • Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball '08: Democratic Hold (Oct. 30)
  • National Journal: Not in the top 55 most competitive seats (the KS-02 was 44rd last week) (Oct. 30)
  • Stu Rothenberg- The Rothenberg Political Report: Toss Up/ Tilt Democratic (Oct. 29)
  • Swing State Project: Lean D (Oct. 29)
  • Washington Post: 43rd Most Likely Seat to Switch Party (Oct. 24)
  • RealClearPolitics: Toss Up or Leans GOP (depending on where you look on the site); 19th Most Likely Seat to Switch Party (Last update unknown)
  • CQ Politics: No Clear Favorite (Last update unknown)
So, there you go- how all of the big national folk think this race is shaking out. It's obviously tight- a race for a Democrat in an R+7 will always be- but it's clear most agree with our assesment: Lynn Jenkins simply hasn't convinced the voters of the Kansas 2nd Nancy Boyda's been a bad representative, and Jenkins and the conservative third party groups would have been wise to keep their outlandish claims about "the largest tax increase in history" in their hats.

DCCC Buys Another $165K in TV

Another $165,3335.56 purchased by the DCCC benefiting Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

Jenkins Out of Her Depth on Military Issues

In a really stunning comment in an AP story today, Lynn Jenkins actually made the claim the United States isn't vulnerable because our military resources have been stretched thin.

We don't know what planet she's living on, but she sure as heck hasn't got a clue when it comes to the very real readiness strain our armed services are facing.

Probably shouldn't be all that surprising, though because Lynn Jenkins herself has already told us she doesn't know the first thing about the military:



That's not a kind of naivete that we can have representing us in Congress.

NRCC Tries to Save Jenkins: $335K of TV purchased

To anyone watching the race for Congress in the 2nd district of Kansas it's pretty obvious Lynn Jenkins is struggling to just hold on, with the whole "didn't do her job for months so she could campaign" thing, and then the "misallocating tens of millions of dollars all over the state that has caused tax increases in poor counties that might have been avoided had she been doing her job" thing. Oh, also, she's running against Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, who happens to be a pretty dang good fit for her district.

In the face of such hurdles, both of her own making and not, Jenkins has had to do the only thing trailing politicians can do: She has gone hard negative, out-and-out lying to voters about Boyda's record and trying desperately to distract them from the real positive work Boyda has done on their behalf.

The strategy is clear- if voters already think Jenkins negatively, just make them think of Boyda more negatively and, heck, you've got yourself an upset.

In that vain, the National Republican Campaign Committee, the NRCC, made a huge advertising buy in the district- almost $335,000.

Just like the Jenkins campaign, the NRCC buy is upsetting for one reason: It misrepresents Boyda's record by- again- claiming Boyda voted for the largest tax increase in American history. We all know that claim is bogus, and that the vote they're trying it to was for something non-binding that didn't increase taxes on anybody. Still, the Republicans push it, ignoring anything real that might help the people of Kansas, and what we should be talking about gets shoved off to the side.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already spent a couple hundred thousand dollars trumpeting Boyda's successes in her term (hmmm...someone else does that, too), and we expect they'll expand that buy- if there is any TV time left for them to purchase. Key difference between the DCCC ad and the NRCC ad- the DCCC is positive and record-oriented while the NRCC ad...isn't.

That brings us to a key indicator for what's really happening in this race: You dont' waste time on positive pieces if you think you're losing, folk, and you don't go hard negative if you think you're in the lead.

Five more days, folk, and we'll see what the district does. With both campaigns and the DCCC and the NRCC bashing each other about the head and neck, damage most certainly will be inflicted. We'll just have to see who's been hurt the worst.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boyda Endorsed by League of Conservation Voters, Receives an Award from Kansas Pharmacists

Two quick notes about awards & endorsements:

Today, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda will receive the prestigious Champion of Pharmacy award from the Kansas Pharmacists Association for her dedication to supporting Kansas community pharmacy.

"Nancy has been a reliable ally in Washington," said Mike Larkin, Executive Director of the Kansas Pharmacists Association. "Her work on the Medicare bill protected pharmacists from deep Medicare reimbursement cuts and from a new reimbursement formula that would force many independent drug stores to close up shop."

When notified of the award, Congresswoman Boyda said, "I am truly honored by this distinction. It is my privilege to represent pharmacists across the Second District. Pharmacies are a vital part of the make-up of any community, filling more than just the necessary prescriptions. Rural drugstores, especially, are often the only source of medical advice for many miles. And every time I've personally had a prescription filled, I've always gotten a smile and a friendly word with my change. It is important we support our local pharmacists so they can continue to be available to our Kansas communities."

And, the League of Conservation Voters would love to see Boyda returned to Congress:
Washington - Today, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, announced the endorsement of Representative Nancy Boyda for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas.

"Nancy Boyda is a proven leader who is able to look past the political rhetoric that so often dominates the debates on energy and the environment," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "She will continue to be an unfailing advocate of renewable energy and conservation and will stand up to the harmful influence of Big Oil."

"America's addiction to foreign oil is impairing our national security and weakening our economy," Boyda said. "Nothing will change as long as Washington keeps caving to the oil industry instead of doing what's right. It's an honor to work in Congress alongside the League of Conservation Voters and other organizations to strengthen America's energy future."

DCCC Spends Another $200K

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent another $180,046.52 on ads supporting Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's re-election yesterday.

Just an FYI.

Jenkins Lied, didn't contact KPERS board

After it was revealed state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins didn't bother to attended any of the meetings of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board during the last quarter- a quarter that saw the fund loose $1 billion- she reassured the taxpayers that she might not have been physically present, but she was in constant contact with the board members & staff. Her actual quotes were:

"We exchanged e-mails on a weekly basis," she said. "We're engaged. We're on the job."
and
"I'm very comfortable with the feedback I'm giving them," she said.
But even in that article, Jenkins has her bubble popped by none other than the Executive Director of KPERS Glenn Deck:

He said he hadn't received any e-mails or phone calls from Jenkins recently and said he wasn't aware of others receiving contact either.

"I don't think so because I think I would be copied," Deck said.

He also said he wasn't aware of feedback Jenkins has provided to the board while she was away.

Regardless of being caught in that lie, Jenkins has continued to tell everyone who is still listening that she's been in constant contact and that everything is fine, really, just fine. Hey! Look over here! Boyda voted to increase taxes!

Ah, but today, we get a little more information about what Jenkins "exchanges" with the board really were.

The question of whether state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins corresponded with officials at the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System while absent from three meetings this fiscal year was partly answered Tuesday by the disclosure of 12 e-mails sent from the KPERS staff to Jenkins.

An open records request by the Kansas Democratic Party shows eight of the e-mails are from the group's executive director, Glen Deck, updating all KPERS board members, including Jenkins, on business before the panel or providing a news article relating to the KPERS fund.

Four other pieces of correspondence were sent from board members to Jenkins congratulating her for winning the August primary.

Jenkins responded to two of the congratulatory e-mails.

So, the constant contact between Jenkins & the KPERS Board was really 14 emails- 8 sent to every single member of the board by Deck, 4 sent to congratulate Jenkins for kicking Jim Ryun's butt in the primary, and two back from Jenkins thanking folk for those kind, kind words.

Oh, but here's the killer:

Records show she didn't write to fellow board members or Deck at any other time.

So absolutely no evidence of any "feedback" from Jenkins.

Is a one way exchange really an exchange?

This is just a sad place to be caught 6 days before an election and awfully hard to explain away- but, dang it, Lynn's staff is trying!

[Jenkins Campaign Manager Patrick Leopold] said the 12 e-mails over three months equates to about one note per week.

"It's completely consistent with what she said," Leopold said in an interview Tuesday.

Getting a digest email once a week from the Director- we're probably talking agenda or minutes here, folks, isn't evidence of being "engaged" or being "on the job." It's evidence she's failing at work, willing to lie to the public, and not the kind of public official we can trust to do her job.

Public office is a public trust. Lynn Jenkins refuses to honor that.

Not a Broken Record: Jenkins & Boyda Clash Over Taxes & Spending

We're at that place in the cycle that has lots of newspapers doing summary stories about races, which means we've got lots of papers just repeating the same thing over and over again. We'll try to ignore any of them that don't break new ground or contain some fun new quote, but we will provide links to any we run across so you can read them if you so wish.

Today we've got a piece from The Kansas City Star- it has some nice fluffy stuff in it like:

Both candidates are waging a spirited campaign, with aggressive debates, lots of ads and tough criticism of each other.
Ain't that the truth?

Jenkins reminds us all that she's a CPA and that that, of course, makes her qualified to be anything in the whole wide world. 'Course, we're finding out more and more that she's a pretty piss-poor CPA, so that argument doesn't hold the weight it once did. Nice bit about the congresswoman, though:

Boyda notes that she’s got one of Congress’ most bipartisan records. She says she’s worked to pass bills aiding veterans, farmers and consumers, while closing loopholes in child pornography laws and speaking out about the federal deficit and corporate subsidies.

“These are challenging times,” Boyda said. “They require thoughtful, independent leadership and common sense. I think I’ve shown that I represent the people.”

It's another article that talks about Lynn's claim regarding "the largest tax increase in history" and another article that reminds us all that Lynn's lying through her teeth about it. And, of course, the point is made that Boyda hasn't increased taxes and that, wow, Lynn Jenkins has.

Boyda's got a good response to the whole thing in a companion piece The Star ran:

Boyda’s response? She says no one’s taxes went up, the resolution is merely a framework, and she’ll vote to make middle-class tax cuts permanent. The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sides with Boyda’s description.

“It’s like being criticized for not cooking dinner for my family a week from Thursday,” Boyda said. “When the tax cuts start to expire … I’ll do everything I can to keep those as low as possible.”

Why the Republicans keep harping on this we don't know- don't you think if the message would have been working someone it would have, you know, already worked? But none of the public polling available from the district shows anything of the sort.

So this didn't end up being so brief- we'll do better, we promise!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NRCC Does TV Ripping Boyda, Jenkins Up with New ad

Lots of waves on the airwaves today with two new ads ripping Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

The first, from the NRCC isn't anything new or interesting, just more of the same "largest tax increase in history" nonsense that Boyda has long since dealt with. We don't have a buy size yet, but it's in all the media markets that cover the district, and buying Kansas City TV is awfully expensive.

The other ad, Lynn's new one, is called "Team" and talks about what we'll get from the "team" that is Barack Obama and Nancy Boyda if they're both in Washington.



This tactic isn't new- tying independent local Democrats to national Democrats- though when the Republicans tried it in special elections in the spring and summer in Louisiana and Mississippi it didn't work at all. Jenkins does take a slightly new path, though, by misrepresenting both of their records & proposals. Boyda hasn't voted in the largest tax increase in history (lie, lie, lie Lynn) and Obama's tax proposals will result in substantially lower taxes for almost everyone that lives in the Kansas 2nd.

Whatever, though- Jenkins is desperate at this point and has to distract and misdirect if she has any hope of pulling off an upset. Just look at the front page of today's Topeka Capital-Journal and you'll understand why pretty dang fast.

Jenkins on Tax Mismanagement: Counties "should never have been notified"

The tangled web of state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' mismanagement of state motor fuel tax dollars got even more tangled yesterday when Topeka-area government officials had what the Topeka Capital-Journal called a "terse" meeting with the embattled Jenkins, during which she made it clear she had no interest in accountability and even going so far as to say the counties have no right to know so much they're been shorted or overcompensated.

Oh, and she also left the door open for massive tax increases to fix her mistake.

That from a women who seeks a higher office that requires an even greater commitment to oversight and openness than the one she currently holds.

While that attitude from Jenkins is deeply troubling, her proposal as to how the legislature should fix her failing is much worse- at least in a pocketbook sense.

Kansas Treasurer Lynn Jenkins vowed Monday to urge the 2009 Legislature to compensate counties shorted millions of dollars in state fuel tax revenue and avoid the political agony of seeking reimbursement from overpaid counties.

Shawnee County Commissioner Vic Miller and Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten, who attended a periodically terse meeting in Topeka with Jenkins, said the state treasurer's proposal would allow some counties to cling to huge financial windfalls.

"Why should they be unjustly enriched?" Miller said. "We might get what we should have been paid, but they will have received more than they should have."

"Life's not fair," Jenkins replied. "What I'm worried about is moving forward, and that will be my recommendation."

Just so we're clear on what our petulant child of a state treasurer wants to do: The Jenkins Plain will compensate the counties who have been shorted, but will not require repayment from counties who got more than they were due.

Where will all of those millions come from? It will almost definitely require increased taxes or significant cuts in state spending.


How would Lynn like to pay for it? Mums the word. That Jenkins will push off the hard choices to the State Legislature, while it was her office's blunder, is telling as to her lack of leadership ability and a quite sad coming from home who harps about accountability and diligence on the campaign trail.

There's lots more in the article regarding Jenkins' basic lack of interest in open government and public accountability for the actions of her office. Read on:
Jenkins said she chose not to voluntarily distribute to county officials a detailed report on which jurisdictions were overpaid and underpaid in 2008. She said she withheld the information to avoid a "feeding frenzy" by counties that might engage in battles with other counties over the fuel tax money.
Read: Jenkins won't tell anyone what they're due because, gee, they might get upset and ask for it. Probably not a position the local government involved will be willing to take lying down, and, oh, look! Members of local government unwilling to take that lying down were in the room with her when she said it!

During the meeting in Wagnon's office in Topeka, Miller sought a full report on all 105 counties.

"What is your interest in every other county?" Jenkins said.

"I believe that is public information that would be vital to each and every Kansas county," Miller said.

Jenkins dismissed his concern, saying "some people are bright enough to understand that it's not something we should concern ourselves with."

WHAT ON EARTH? "Some people are bright enough to understand that it's not something we should concern ourselves with"?!?!!? Did she honestly say that local governments shouldn't be concerned with the fact they've been either underpaid or overpaid by her office for years? She can't have actually said that, because to deny something so obvious would be evidence of a total disconnect from reality.

It continues, though, and it's obvious that is actually what our dear state treasurer believes:

Miller said he remained unsatisfied with the flow of information to counties about the mix-up.

"You should never have been notified," Jenkins said.

"Why is that?" Miller said.

"My hope is that you're not shorted — that you're going to be made whole," Jenkins said. "We're hoping it's irrelevant to the discussion."

The amount you've been shorted, counties, is "irrelevant to the discussion." Can you believe that?

Can you believe she actually thinks no one should be concerned about the amount of money misappropriated?

Of course every single county government and every single member of the state legislature is deeply, deeply concerned with the actual amounts of money concerned in this disaster- because someone is going to have to pay to fix this mess.

Does Lynn Jenkins just not understand that?

CQPolitics: KS-02 Race Close & Hot

An interesting analysis piece appears at CQPolitics.com today and it say, this time for a national audience, though, all of the same sorts of things us kids on the ground have been hearing for months.

Since her 2006 victory, Boyda has done something of a balancing act on economic issues. She joined most Democrats in voting to increase the national minimum wage and supported a bill to expand a health care program for lower-income children whose families lack insurance. But Boyda has also sided with conservatives on issues such as limiting illegal immigration and in voting about a month ago against both the failed and successful version of legislation to implement a financial industry assistance package (widely described as the “bailout” bill).
Good, good- worked with Democrats to help the poor in the district, but sided with the Republicans on illegal immigration & the bailout- pretty clearly striking an independent pose, no?

If that's not enough of independent credentials for you- here's some more:

Boyda is so determined to maintain an image as a political independent that she asked, for the second consecutive election, that national Democratic Party organizations stay out of her race. Officials at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — who had been poised to put roughly $1.2 million into independent expenditures for TV ads aimed at swaying voters to Boyda’s side — initially said they would honor Boyda’s request, made in August, to keep their distance. But last week, the DCCC overruled and began airing a 30-second TV spot in the 2nd District.

Still, unlike DCCC independent expenditure campaigns in many districts that harshly criticize Republican candidates, the Kansas 2 ad highlights some of Boyda’s legislative efforts over the past two years and makes no mention of challenger Jenkins.

No need to mention Lynn- with her trials and tribulations regarding KPERS meetings and tens of millions of dollars mismanaged on her watch, simply reminding voters why the love Boyda does exactly what's needed.

Two leading Kansas political science minds are of two minds regarding the race:

“Jenkins has said she considers [the 2nd district] a Republican seat, and I think there is something to that,” said Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University in Topeka. “It is a district that’s tough for a Democrat to win. In a presidential year with more voters, are they willing to keep a Democrat to be their rep?”

But Burdett Loomis, a political science professor from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, said of Jenkins’ tax argument, “I think it’s hard to pin much on Boyda. She’s pretty darn conservative. I’m not sure that that’s been going very far.”

Loomis added that the grass-roots enthusiasm that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has generated could boost turnout among the Democratic Party base even in a district like Kansas 2 that is expected to go fairly handily to Republican John McCain. If that occurs, it could temper the conventional wisdom that increased presidential year turnout should benefit the Republican ticket.

“It’s a good Democratic year, even in Kansas,” said Loomis. “This district has been represented by Democrats in the past. It’s more of a populist district than a Republican or Democratic district. I think Boyda fits that really well.”

Here, here, Prof. Loomis! And, certainly while Prof. Beatty makes an excellent point, we've thought all along Boyda's outreach all over the district- her service to the people she represents- will make up for the Republican leans of the district.

The article goes on to make a fun point about outside influences in the race- Boyda has shirked all outside help, instead hoping to let the voters make up their own minds, while Jenkins has pulled in as much outside assistance as she could find, including scheduling a fundraiser with President George W. Bush (that he canceled on her) and recently with a visit from failed presidential candidate and former Governor of "Taxachusetts" Mitt Romney."

In the end, CQPolitics leaves the races in the catagory of "No Clear Favorite" which, we're sure, makes good sense to folk just looking at the race through the prism of dollars and party registration. In Kansas, though, party registration doesn't tell you that much, and Boyda has already proven you don't need to break the bank to win in the Kansas 2nd.

One week out, kids, one week out.

Letters to the Editor: Kansas Deserves Better than Lynn Jenkins

Two good letters in today's Topeka Capital-Journal from regular folk again saying we, as a state, simply can't afford Lynn Jenkins in Washington, DC as our representative.

We Deserve Better

I am writing in response to the article Oct. 8 about Lynn Jenkins' attendance — or should I say lack thereof — at KPERS board meetings.

I don't doubt for a moment that running a campaign for Congress can be distracting, but even so, Kansans expect their state treasurer to keep an eye on their investments.

Yet Lynn Jenkins missed every single KPERS board meeting last quarter as the pension fund suffered a billion-dollar loss.

These are very, very difficult economic times. We work hard for our pensions. And our hard-earned income from tax dollars should receive the same attention that we as state employees bring to our jobs.

We don't make much money, but we make Kansas work and pay taxes, too. KPERS board members are expected to be trustees of our retirement fund as well as keepers and advisers of important tax dollars paid by all Kansans. It's times like these when sound leadership and close oversight are most important.

Showing up for work is not only a part of the job description, it's a minimum expectation. Hardworking Kansans deserve better.

LISA OCHS, Topeka


Keeping Money at Home

After reading the Oct. 17 article, "Who's got the money?" I was curious to learn where candidates for the 2nd Congressional District seat were spending their campaign money, so I went to CJOnline to check it out. It seems that, despite her commercials saying how much she will do for the people of this district and how important her local roots are, Lynn Jenkins prefers to spend her campaign money out of state.

Some examples: Her campaign flyers came out of Lexington, Mass.; her campaign banners and yard signs came out of Houston; and a firm in Alexandria, Va., provided the following — commercial broadcast buys, media placement, commercial production, television ad artwork production — and even conducted a voter attitudes survey.

It would seem to me there must be some companies in the 2nd District capable of at least producing campaign yard signs.

On the other side of the ticket, Nancy Boyda has spent her campaign money here, with companies in Topeka and Lawrence supplying her signs, commercial ad production, advertising placement, media buys and graphic production. I like the fact that a candidate wanting to represent me in Washington, D.C., is spending her campaign money with local businesses, especially in this time of financial stress and difficulty for so many business people.

SUSAN D. CHAN, Topeka

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Home Stretch: Jenkins Offers No Substance, Attacks Straw Men

Some bits and pieces of articles that published over the weekend that have some lovely quotes regarding this little ol' race for Congress.

First, from Chris Green with the Harris New Service:

Christian Morgan, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said Jenkins' financial numbers show that Jenkins' campaign is peaking at the exact right time.

"The 2nd District voters are tired of Boyda's spin and 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality and want a change," Morgan said. "It is clear from these financial numbers that Lynn is gaining speed fast."
Not so fast, Christian, babe:
But Jenny Davidson, a spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party, points out that Jenkins has accepted $73,000 in the last two weeks from mostly out-of-state special interest groups.

"Lynn Jenkins continues to feed us this line about 'new Republican leadership' but then turns around and grabs every single special-interest dollar she can get hands on," Davidson said.
Green also does a breakdown of what it is this race has really boiled down to- and for those out there wondering who has "momentum" on their side this really ought clear that all up:
During the course of the campaign, Boyda has criticized Jenkins for missing recent board meetings for the state's pension fund while it suffered more than $1 billion in losses.

She also faulted Jenkins for taking six years to discover a mistake, initially made under her predecessor, that robbed some counties of fuel tax revenues while overpaying others.

Jenkins has blasted Boyda for walking out of a hearing featuring a general's testimony about progress in the Iraq War and for signaling her willingness to rescind President Bush's tax cuts in a nonbinding vote.
That almost made this writer giggle. OK, it actually did.

And then from the St. Joe News following the last Boyda-Jenkins debate in Leavenworth:

Ms. Boyda, the Democrat who surprised long-time lawmaker Jim Ryun two years ago, worries about the nation’s military readiness as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan spend human and materiel resources.

“We did not have equipment to put those five brigades in for the surge,” she said. “I am very concerned about the safety and security of Iraq. … My number one priority is the safety and security of Americans.”

Lynn did her required song-and-dance on budget slashing and got back-handed by Boyda:

Ms. Boyda laid out a plan to begin balancing the budget, which included stopping oil-company subsidies, controlling the pharmaceutical and health-insurance industries and curtailing tax breaks to companies that move their operations abroad.

“I am not willing to cut Meals on Wheels, I am not willing to cut rural school funding, I am not willing to cut Head Start while we’re paying billions and billions of dollars to big oil companies,” the Democrat said.

And, finally, on taxes:

Ms. Jenkins accused the Democrat of supporting large tax increases and failing to take action in correcting the alternative minimum tax, which the Republican said she would vote to eliminate.

Ms. Boyda countered that Republicans had 12 years of congressional leadership and did nothing to remedy inequities in the tax code. She added that Ms. Jenkins, despite the anti-tax talk, supported a $294 million tax increase while in the Kansas Legislature.

Both of these pieces did a great job laying it all out there and made it awfully clear which candidate is actually qualified and has the right ideas for the district.

AP Analysis: Jenkins' Vagueness Hurts Her

As reported by the Lawrence Journal-World, Lynn Jenkins waved around a piece of paper with two paragraphs of a "plan" to slash $310 billion out of the federal budget during her debate in Lawrence against Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. While Jenkins said during the debate it was her "plan" that she had been "working" on, in reality, the plan was constructed by The Heritage Foundation and would, if enacted, cut billions from federal support for rural school and eliminate Perkins Loans- college loans given to high school graduates who couldn't afford college otherwise.

Since the debate, though, Jenkins has been mum on any new details.

Jenkins provided the outlines of her proposal during a televised debate nearly two weeks ago, giving reporters a half-page summary after the event ended. Since then, her campaign for the 2nd Congressional District seat hasn't filled in more details.
Why isn't she providing details? Two reasons: She probably doesn't have any and, even if she does, she's scared offering them would open her to more attacks from Boyda & the press.
She has reasons not to go beyond the broad outlines, of course. The more details she offers, the more Boyda can criticize what Jenkins is proposing - and the more voters can get lost in the nuts and bolts, pulling their attention away from Jenkins' bigger themes. Jenkins also has limited time and staff resources for hashing out the wonky stuff while raising money and making campaign appearances.
'Course, Boyda & Kansas voters have already caught on to Jenkins' lack of substance.

Boyda, seeking her second term in her eastern Kansas district, dismisses Jenkins' proposal, saying that many voters already have concluded, "There's nothing to it."

"Why doesn't she go out there and put some detail behind this?" Boyda said. "People expected more from Lynn Jenkins. Really, in the long run, it's not serving her well."

A few more kernels from the article:

Which position is more reasonable?
The Republican challenger argues that Congress should make permanent the tax relief pushed by President Bush during his first term. Boyda has said she wants to preserve tax relief for the middle class, but that Congress must consider closing loopholes for the wealthy and big corporations before tackling cuts in spending on important programs.
Pretty clear to us.

And, this golden gem:
Still, Jenkins promises to go through the federal budget, line by line, to find savings, and she says as a CPA, she is trained for such work.
Oh right, Lynn, just like you were SO careful with the Kansas budget...how many millions have we mismanaged? How many millions do you owe Shawnee County? How many extra tens of thousands did you give Riley?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Social Network Battleground

Back again- our rundown of what Congresswoman Nancy Boyda and State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins are doing on the two biggest social networking sites.

We're tracking Facebook and MySpace only.
































































Candidate# of Friends# of Friends# of Friends

















7/26/0810/11/0810/25/08
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)

















FB Profile1,0281,2211,226
FB Page9211,0591,067
FB Group721803830
MySpace2,0602,0762,082
Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R)

















FB Profilen/an/an/a
FB Page117224233
FB Group305352351
MySpace101010


Poor Lynn- one fewer person wants to send you to Washington. A pity.

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

48 Hour Filings from Boyda/Jenkins

For these 48-hour FEC filings, we aren't going to detail each individual check (unless there is something interesting), we'll just give you the total.

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (filed 10/24/08)- $17,500

Lynn Jenkins (filed 10/23/08)- $39,500

Should be noted both woman are pulling mostly chase from PACs in both of these reports. One strange note for the Jenkins filing- it appears one Michael Lerner gave Lynn two checks for $2,300 on Oct. 22, which would violate campaign finance law.

We'll assume this was just another of Lynn's accounting errors and that it really didn't happen.

Jenkins Opposes New Stimulus Plan

Operating on the old Republican axiom of "Why help the working class, silly?" Lynn Jenkins has announced she is opposed to any effort to issue another round of stimulus checks.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republican Lynn Jenkins says she doesn't support efforts by Congress to approve a new economic stimulus package.

The GOP nominee in the 2nd Congressional District said the first package, approved earlier this year, didn't adequately stimulate the economy.

As for talk of a new one, she said Friday that it "reeks of political expediency."

That's fine, Lynn- you've had that excuse for helping out the middle class before (just a couple days ago when talking about the Wall Street Bailout you said Congresswoman Nancy Boyda was taking the easy way out, even though you said you would have done the same).

Boyda, rightly, said Jenkins' stance we irresponsible.
Boyda said it would be irresponsible to take any proposal for improving the economy off the table.
Jenkins retorted with "We'd be better served by making the Bush tax cuts permenant." Again, Lynn, glad you're looking out for the wealthiest Americans rather than trying to help struggling families make ends meet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

FEC Pre-General Reports Filed

Nancy Boyda:

Beginning of Period: $622,330.89
Raised: $39,250.00
Disbursements: $325,925.37
Cash-on-Hand: $335,655.52


Lynn Jenkins:


Beginning of Period: $553,287.77
Raised: $124,253.10
Disbursements: $315,247.36
Cash-on-Hand: $362,293.51

In a race this close, the distance between Jenkins and Boyda is as good as zero- particularly with all of the independent expenditures that have exploded in the last few days. But, for the first time, Lynn Jenkins has pulled into the cash-on-hand lead in her race to kick out Nancy Boyda.

Candidates are now also reporting 48 hour notices of large donations- we'll do a daily roundup for both Boyda & Jenkins.

CULAC Spends Another $47K for Jenkins, NRCC Buys Radio

Another report from Credit Union Legislative Action Committee- another $47,837 on TV ads for Lynn Jenkins.

Also, listening to the radio this morning we heard a spot paid for by the NRCC. More on the buy when we have it.

GOP "Death List" has KS-02 as "Lean Democratic"

Fairly good news for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda- her Republican colleagues in the House think she's probably going to get re-elected according to a chart produced...and then frustratingly spread to the wind:

Voter displeasure with the war and economy, coupled with Sen. Barack Obama's popularity, has the House GOP running for cover. Even though polls have shown that Americans don't like congressional Democrats any more, a new internal GOP tally of House races suggests a Democratic rout that could keep the Republicans in the minority for decades. A document provided to Washington Whispers from a House GOP official shows that they could lose a net 34 seats.
Just in case you think it's all a scam:
The document provided to Whispers is no gag: It comes from one of the key House GOP vote counters. The source called it a "death list." The tally shows several different ratings of 66 House Republicans in difficult races or open seats held by retiring Republicans. "Rating 1" finds 10 Republicans "likely gone." Those districts are New York 13, Alaska, Arizona 1, Virginia 11, New York 25, Illinois 11, Florida 24, Michigan 7, Nevada 3, and North Carolina 8. Under "Rating 2," nine Republican seats are listed as "leaning Democratic." Under "Rating 3," some 22 GOP seats are listed as "true toss-up." The fourth rating, "lean Republican," finds 15 seats in the category that comes with this warning: "If there's a wave, some could be in trouble." The last "likely Republican" rating finds another 11. Only three Democratic districts are seen as "hopeful" GOP pickups. They are Florida 16, Pennsylvania 11, and Texas 22. Another 10 Democratic seats are listed as "possible" pickups. The loss of 34 House GOP seats is among the most dire predictions in Republican circles. Most analysts have suggested a drop of at least 20 seats and at most 30 seats. A key Democratic official refused to provide his own list but said, "I'd rather be us than them."
Want to see it for yourself? Well, it's all online, right here. Or, view it below:

DCCC Ad Buy: $104K

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's first round of ads in support of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda totaled $104,565

Interestingly, that buy actually appears to be two separate ads- one pro-Boyda and one anti-Lyn Jenkins, though no one has seen any evidence of any such anti-Jenkins ad.

It is possible, of course, that there isn't actually an anti-Jenkins ad out there, and that the same pro-Boyda spot fills both bills.

Letter to the Editor: Look Beyond Party

A great letter from today's Topeka Capital-Journal:

Can a person be a loyal American and consistently vote a straight-party ticket?

Recently a letter writer stated, "I will not vote for Nancy Boyda because she is a Democrat." Another wrote that he didn't vote for the past three Democratic candidates for president because they were Democrats.

Question: Do men and women serve in the armed forces to preserve political parties or do they serve to preserve our government?

We have a candidate in this district who has gone well beyond the requirements to serve her constituents. She spends nearly every weekend traveling around the district helping people with their problems with government, health, medical drug issues and just plain everyday problems. She has introduced legislation to help veterans of current and past wars. She works with small-business people to solve their problems. She has introduced legislation to remove crooked members of Congress from government pensions. She is available to anyone who needs to talk to her.

I ask, are you going to reward her for her outstanding service to her district and send her back to Washington, or are you going to vote to remove a dedicated public servant just because she happens to be running on the Democratic ticket?

Is party more important than good government? We gripe and groan about our government, but are our real problems with people casting "party" votes?

JACK BARRON, Topeka

Jack, you're right on- and we think most people that live in the Kansas 2nd District think the same way you do. Regardless of the fact, as Lynn Jenkins likes to point out, this is a Republican-majority district, it will support candidates of both parties if they're good at their jobs. Nancy Boyda has been an excellent congresswoman, and, because of that, she'll get re-elected November 4.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

KC Star Endorses Nancy Boyda for Re-Election

Fabulous news for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda in today's Kansas City Star:

Nancy Boyda pulled off a big political surprise in 2006 by unseating well-known incumbent Jim Ryun in the U.S. House’s 2nd District in Kansas. She’s earned a second term.

The Topeka Democrat is not shy about identifying problem areas in Washington, and she explains her positions in more detail than do most candidates — including her Republican challenger, Lynn Jenkins.

Boyda has pushed for stronger ethics in Washington, writing a law that stripped pensions from members of Congress who commit crimes related to their elected offices.

Seeking greater political accountability, Boyda backs legislation that would require lawmakers to post their “earmark” spending requests online for public scrutiny — as she does already.

She deserves credit for her work against child pornography and to improve veterans programs. She is appropriately concerned about the decline in U.S. military readiness.

She has been a strong critic of wasteful corporate subsidies.

Her opponent has done a good job as state treasurer.

But while Jenkins offers financial expertise as her central qualification for Congress, she does not seem to be particularly well versed on federal budget matters.

This week she suggested that the federal government had months to deal with the financial crisis, which is simply incorrect.

On the economy and other issues, Nancy Boyda seems better equipped to deal with the challenges Congress will face next January.

We'll, of course, quibble with the Star's assertion Lynn Jenkins has "done a good job as state treasurer," but, other than that, this is a lovely little bit of newprint for Nancy Boyda.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boyda: "Please Stay Out of My Race"

Text of a letter written by Congresswoman Nancy Boyda today in regards to independent expenditures in the 2nd Kansas Congressional district race:

In late July, I made a public request in the pages of the Topeka Capital-Journal. I called on out-of-state political groups, Democratic and Republican alike, to keep their TV ads out of the race for the Kansas Second Congressional District.

To my knowledge, no such call had ever succeeded in American history. Because these groups are fully independent, they can buy television time in any district in the country, without asking permission from me or anyone else.

Even so, I believed that urging them to stay away was the right thing to do. Many out-of-state groups have a history of running negative, misleading ads aimed at advancing a political party rather than informing voters. I felt that Kansans should have the opportunity to decide our election without their interference.

Unfortunately, in the months since then, numerous Washington groups have disregarded this request. Freedom's Watch, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have all reserved ad time in Kansas.

My sincere hope remains that all of these groups, on both sides of the aisle, will take their ads off the air. In particular, if anyone who is running ads in my support is reading this letter, here's my message to you: "Thanks, but no thanks." Please stay out of my race.

I continue to believe that I made the right decision in calling on out-of-state groups to keep out of our election, and you'd better believe I'll do the same thing when I run for re-election in 2010.

Sincerely,

Nancy Boyda

Member of Congress

(For what it's worth...we hope lots more independent groups spend on Boyda's behalf...but that's just another time we can prove we aren't in Boyda's pocket :-) )

Kansans for Life Endorses Leslie Martin in KS-02

Hold for phones, kittens- we've got some late-breaking news: Kansas for Life, the largest anti-abortion organization in the state of Kansas has declined to endorse either major party candidate running for Congress in the Kansas 2nd District, instead giving the nod to Reform Party nominee Leslie Martin.

No, she doesn't have a web site, but here's a lot of wonderful information on where this particular right wing nutjob stands. Martin says this on abortion:

Human life begins at conception. If the mother's life is in danger, then save her life; do not kill her unborn child. Thousands of families are on very long waiting lists to pay thousands of dollars to women for new-born children. The fraudulent case Roe v Wade was contrived to override states that were outlawing abortion, and "Jane Roe" herself is now a strong pro-life advocate. In the short term, Congress must act to take that power back from the Supreme Court to return it to the states. The much longer constitutional amendment process can start after that.
Out of the mainstream much?

While the KFL almost never goes to anyone other than Republicans, we're sure they never in a million years even considered endorsing a woman like Lynn Jenkins, who has received thousands of dollars through WISH List, and organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Republican woman. In fact, she's their only endorsed challenger.

First the National Federation of Independent Businesses, then the VFW, now Kansans for Life. Which will be the next traditionally Republican group to bail on Jenkins?

DCCC Ad: "The Change Washington Desperately Needs"

Live from YouTube, the DCCC's ad in support of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.



Something interesting- this is a positive ad, which isn't something the DCCC is known for. Their ads are almost always hard negative, so that they aren't attacking state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins might just mean these ads are nothing more than a little bit of icing for Boyda's cake- a little added window dressing for a candidate already on the way to victory.

At least, that's the spin this partisan is putting on it- the good folk of the Kansas GOP would probably spin it a different direction.

We'll know who was right in 13 days.

VFW Spends $14,000 on Radio in Support of Boyda

According to a report filed with the FEC today, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee has expended $14,316.30 on radio ads in support of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

The VFW PAC endorsed Boyda over Lynn Jenkins earlier this fall, citing Boyda's work on behalf of veterans during her term in Congress.

Also, Boyda today received a grade of "A+" from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Lynn Jenkins: Only Person Running in the KS-02 who has Raised Taxes

A nice little article on the race from the Joplin Globe today- includes most of the barbs we're used to hearing from state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' group, with the sound rebuttals that always follow (you'd think the Jenkins people would try to find something new...guess they're that short on material).

Now, Jenkins hopes to convince voters in the state’s 2nd Congressional District that Boyda also has failed them on tax policies and spending in her first term, and that Jenkins is the one who can bring fiscal reform to Congress.

Oh, that's rich. Tell that to the county commissioners you owe tens of millions because you're a bad accountant.

“She (Boyda) thinks you can just tax your way out of trouble, and I, on the other hand, think you need to do something about spending,” Jenkins told the Globe in a phone interview.

Her television ads accuse Boyda of supporting the largest tax increase in the nation’s history and claim the Democrat has taken a pledge to raise taxes.

Boyda bristled on the subject of the ads in a recent phone interview, calling them “bizarre” and pointing out that several newspapers in Kansas have noted how the ads distort her actual voting record.

For instance, “the largest tax increase in the nation’s history” refers to a nonbinding budget resolution for future years that assumed an expiration of the Bush tax cuts. The resolution did not actually affect tax policy, Boyda said. She equated the ad’s message to criticizing her “for not cooking dinner for my family next Tuesday.”

That's a fabulous analogy from Boyda, and paints ridiculous Jenkins' arguments pretty clearly. The nonbinding resolution can assume whatever it wants, but when push comes to shove, Boyda has already promised to protect tax cuts for the middle class and wants to go even farther than Jenkins and George W. Bush want.

It does bring up something upsetting, though- the fact Lynn Jenkins is the only person running in this race who has actually voted to increase taxes- even after promising she wouldn't:

“Every tax that she’s accusing me of raising are, in fact, ones that she raised herself,” Boyda said, referring to a $294 million tax increase for which Jenkins voted as a state senator to eliminate a budget deficit in Kansas. Boyda said that bill included increases in sales, property, cigarette and estate taxes.

So sad, Lynn, to get caught in your own rhetoric.

Jenkins also smacked Boyda for voting against a fix on the alternative minimum tax, but Boyda countered, saying the last version of the bill simply spiked the cost off into the national debt- which isnt' what you call 'fiscally responsible'.

Boyda said fixing the alternative minimum tax is a top priority for her. But the bill that was passed and eventually was incorporated in the $700 billion measure bailing out the nation’s financial institutions was unfunded and added $65 billion to the deficit, she said. Boyda said Congress needs to fix the tax without adding to the national debt. She said eliminating tax giveaways to millionaire money managers is the way to pay for it.

Boyda also wants to eliminate subsidies in the tax codes for the oil, health and pharmaceutical industries, and to reinvest those funds “in the middle class and in small, independent and regional businesses.” She said giving subsidies to oil companies at a time of record profits makes no sense.

Note that Jenkins promises she won't close loopholes or cut subsidies...because those are tax increases in her mixed up world. That also makes no sense.

The article closes with a funny little exchange regarding the Wall Street bailout that really just exemplifies how confusing and desperate the Jenkins rhetoric has become:

Boyda voted against the bailout of the nation’s financial institutions both times it was put to a vote in the House. She said she spent nine days talking to economists and business leaders before deciding against it.

“I just couldn’t vote for something nobody could tell me might work,” she said.

Jenkins said Boyda took the “politically expedient route,” but she acknowledged she would have done the same.

Even when the women agree, Lynn Jenkins wants to make it clear Boyda is just playing politics, while Jenkins is the real deal.

But that's Lynn Jenkins for you- fake to the very last minute, willing to draw distinctions that don't exist, and willing to distort her opponents record to get herself a new job. Kansas deserves better, and on November 4 they'll get better- by re-electing Nancy Boyda.

Jenkins Refuses to Reveal KPERS E-mails until after Election

From the Kansas Democratic Party:

Jenkins’ Office Refusing to Reveal KPERS E-mails until after Election

As Extent of Contact with KPERS Board Remains in Question, Jenkins Won’t Reveal Why She Skipped Board Meetings

TOPEKA – State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins’ office has refused to immediately respond to an October 9 Kansas Open Records Act request for any e-mails she sent to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) board between July 1 and September 30, a period during which Jenkins skipped every single board meeting and the fund lost one billion dollars.

Under state law, records requested under the Kansas Open Records Act must generally be released within three business days. However, Jenkins’ office maintains they may not release the records until after the November election, writing:
“Please be advised that due to current heavy workloads for the agency’s management staff and multiple projects involving our information technology staff we anticipate completing the research required to fulfill your request October 31, 2008. As I’m sure you’re aware, once the pertinent emails have been located staff will have to review them to determine if any exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act apply.”
The content of the e-mails are of significant public interest because Jenkins’ claims about her contact with the KPERS board directly contradict the statements of board members.

Jenkins has insisted that she remained in frequent touch with the KPERS board during her extended absence: “We exchanged e-mails on a weekly basis,” she told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “We’re engaged. We're on the job.”

But the board's executive director sharply disputed her account:
KPERS executive director Glenn Deck... said he hadn't received any e-mails or phone calls from Jenkins recently and said he wasn't aware of others receiving contact either.

“I don't think so because I think I would be copied,” Deck said.

He also said he wasn't aware of feedback Jenkins has provided to the board while she was away. [Topeka Capital-Journal, 10/08/08]
“Lynn Jenkins skipped KPERS board meetings as Kansas workers lost a billion dollars,” said Mike Gaughan, Executive Director of the Kansas Democratic Party. “Now she is dodging straightforward questions about her absences until after Election Day. Voters deserve to know the answers before they cast their ballots on November 4.”

------

What are you scared of, Lynn? Why on Earth would you refuse to tell the people of Kansas where you were during all those missed meetings if you were attending to different business of the State of Kansas? Could it be...because you weren't attending to the business of Kansas, and rather attending to the business of Lynn Jenkins?

And, really, which is true- have you been in contact with the Board via email, or is the executive director telling the truth, and that you really actually haven't been?

Only time- and a freedom of information request- well tell since you so clearly refuse to.

Another County Realizes Jenkins Screwed Them

Newspapers and county commissions all over the state are continuing to turn their attention to the multi-million dollar blunder that has been state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' management of Kansas motor fuel taxes- today's article comes to us from Sumner County:

During the debate, Boyda said Jenkins should have sorted out the issue long before entering her sixth year as treasurer. And, Boyda said, recipients of revenue sharing had a right to forthright disclosure of the situation.

"Have you contacted the county commissioners to let them know?" Boyda asked Jenkins during a debate last Tuesday night at KSNT-TV.

Josh Hersh, spokesman for Jenkins' congressional campaign, said Jenkins "notified all relevant parties"
Oh, really, Josh? That's not what the good folk of Sumner County would tell you:
According to the latest information from the state, $10,805.29 is owed to Sumner County in fuel-tax revenue, but officials in the County seemed to have no idea of it.

“Really? Oh, I didn’t know anything about that,” said an official in the treasurer’s office.

[...]

Officials in Sumner County aren’t sure when they will receive the money owed them, but assured the public, “We will be looking into this. We didn’t know anything about it.”
Fine, Josh, Jenkins might have told Governor Sebelius and the Republican Party leadership in Topeka about her failings, but she didn't let the people who really needed to know- the county commissioners and the taxpayers of Kansas- until months and months later.
“Basically for six years, (Jenkins) wrote checks to the wrong people. Then, once they finally found out, it took her then another two months to tell counties about it, and even after that, it took her another four months to tell counties how much they were owed or how much they might owe. Even then, when she finally got around to announcing it, she got her numbers wrong. And she told all the counties that had been overpaid that they were underpaid and vice versa,” said spokesperson Tom Seay, an aide for Boyda.
Shocking- particularly coming from a person running based on her qualifications as a CPA- and stunningly irresponsible.

Oh, also- there might be more of a bombshell yet to hit. Remember, this isn't a new mistake, and the amounts paid over and under what were owed only deal with the most recent fiscal year- just wait until we see the total damage for the whole of Jenkins' term.

We'll have to wait to see that, though, because Lynn's office doesn't know what the number is yet.

After the election, right, Lynn?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Morgan Insinuates Illegal Coordination, Finds Britches Too Big Again

My God, Christian.

Just...good grief.

Read:

We shouldn't be suprised at this point that the DCCC and Nancy Boyda are teaming up again to run ads in the 2nd Congressional District race after they said they wouldn't.
Morgan, you pansy- if you're going to actually say Boyda's doing something illegal, say she's going something illegal, don't lie to your tiny little readership. You know "the DCCC and Nancy Boyda" aren't "teaming up" to do anything at all, because you know that would violate federal law. Unless you're going to come out and actually attack her for breaking the law, don't lie about what Congresswoman Nancy Boyda is doing.

Just to be clear, cats, it isn't legal for campaigns to talk, discuss, coordinate, meet in back alleys or send smoke signals to groups who do independent expenditures. To do so would break federal law.

Paint it even clearer, you say? Boyda has NOTHING to do with these ads.

Boyda has been very, very clear that she doesn't want outside ads run on either side of the contest, and remains exactly as clear:
Boyda's campaign said they still haven't seen the ad, but that "Rep. Boyda believes this race should be run without the interference of out-of-state groups. That includes the DCCC, and it includes the out-of-state groups that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her opponent's campaign," according to Boyda spokesman Thomas Seay.
Morgan, however, is either implying something much more sinister than he intends, or he's stupid. Or, perhaps, it's just that he enjoys lying to his party faithful. Regardless, he ought not.

He continues, saying:
I don't know if it says more about Nancy Boyda going back on another promise or that Washington thinks Boyda is in BIG trouble in 14 days.
Now hold on one bright blue minute- why is it that, regardless of what happens with money from the DCCC, it means Boyda's losing? When the original ad buy first went up, it was because Boyda was flailing. When the ad buy was canceled, the GOP said it was because she was a lost cause. Now that the ad buy is back- so it again means Boyda's GOT to be losing. Do you play like that because you think no one is paying attention, or because you're that intellectually lazy?

One last note:
It does beg the question: If Nancy Boyda kept the DCCC out of Kansas before, why isn't she telling them to get out now? Shouldn't she put down the ads? I think so - but I won't hold my breath.
See above, Christian- she already had, even before you'd written your silly little post. Again, don't lie to your voters- perhaps the Republican brand wouldn't be so damanged if you'd learn that lesson.

Lynn Jenkins Campaign Manager Now Speaks for State Legislature, Too

Ever since the story broke that Lynn Jenkins has mismanaged tens of millions of Kansas tax dollars over the course of the last six years, the Jenkins campaign has been desperately trying to blame anyone other than Lynn Jenkins herself for a mistake that has resulted in increased taxes all over Kansas.

So much for the buck stopping with you, huh, Lynn? Is that "New Republican Leadership?"

“Now she’s saying it isn’t her job to make sure $15 million in taxpayer dollars goes to the right counties, despite those funds being specifically under her control,” said Kansas Democatic Party executive director Mike Gaughan. “For an accountant, Lynn Jenkins seems to have zero interest in accountability.”
One of the really scary problems counties face now is what will happen next. Jenkins says her failure will get corrected by state legislature (Why? Why on Earth should the Legislature fix an Executive Branch screw-up?), and that it's all out of her hands. The only facts we actually know are that dozens of counties were overpaid millions by the state, and dozens more are due millions of dollars from the state.

Don't worry to much, though, because today in the Manhattan Mercury, Lynn's campaign manager Patrick Leopold offered some fortune telling that should reassure counties statewide.
Leopold did say, however, that overpaid counties, such as Riley, "can safely assume that they (the state legislature) will not ask for the money back."
How in the world can anyone "safely assume" anything like that?

We'd say, actually, you can safely assume the exact opposite of what Mr. Leopold is saying, and that, in about five months, the legislature will have its collective hand out in front of each of the overpaid counties asking for the funds back- so the state can then turn around and cut checks to the counties still due millions. Counties like Riley and Osage and Wilson and Jackson will get to pay the "Lynn Jenkins Screw-Up Tax" at the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a pop while taxpayers in Shawnee and Douglas and Leavenworth counties might have actually seen lower taxes for the last six years- had Ms. Jenkins been doing her job.

It's obvious the Jenkins Campaign is in overdrive in an attempt to smooth this disaster over, but one thing is for certain: Lynn Jenkins, CPA, let a massive error go unnoticed in her office for six years. We simply can't trust her enough to send her to Washington, DC.

Jenkins Says DCCC Running Ads in KS-02

According to an email from the Jenkins campaign today:

What is Nancy's latest broken promise? Boyda vowed to run an "independent" campaign and told the people of Kansas she wouldn't accept help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Well, today, the DCCC has begun running ads to help Boyda win another term and continue her support of Nancy Pelosi's liberal agenda.
Outside of the fairly boring partisan bit (Lynn, you know perfectly well the Boyda campaign doesn't want the national party in this race but that they can't legally have anything to do with the DCCC...you know that), Jenkins does give us something breaking: The DCCC has is running ads in the KS-02.

Are the positive pieces? Negative ones? We don't know, but we'll have details as soon as we can find any details.

Across the District: Jenkins Misappropriation Costs Counties Millions

Newspapers across the state have exploded with stories about Lynn Jenkins failure to properly manage state motor fuel taxes, and local officials are scrambling to make up for her massive mistake.

From the Pittsburg Morning Sun:

When financial times are tough, as they seem to be nationwide these days, any revenue is good revenue.

So when Bourbon County Commissioner Bill Brittain was told on Monday that his county was recently shorted more than $1,400 in state fuel tax revenue, he was quite concerned.

"This is a very tight budget year," he said. "So any revenue that we can collect that is uncollected... those all add up. We definitely would like any revenue we can get."

Bourbon County joined Crawford County as part of the 65 counties statewide that were shorted during this year's fuel tax revenue distribution from the state. Crawford County is owed approximately $7,900.

On the flip side, Cherokee County was one of 40 counties that received too much fuel tax revenue and could possibly be forced to pay back the extra amount. Cherokee County received roughly $5,400 too much.

[...]

“Ultimately, the Legislature will determine and make a policy decision on the overpayments and the underpayments,” Wagaman said. “It’s clearly a situation the Legislature wants to have hearings and take action on.”

But not a situation that Rep. Julie Menghini, D-Pittsburg, said she wanted to see. Menghini said it was good news that Crawford County didn’t owe money, though she said she wasn’t sure how the Legislature would proceed.

“It’s going to be a delicate balancing act with the counties that were underpaid,” Menghini said. “And hopefully we don’t do too much damage to the counties that were overpaid.

“I don’t see why it’s a Legislative issue when the treasurer’s office made the mistake,” she said.

Rep. Bob Grant, D-Cherokee, was more succinct in his analysis.

“Stuff rolls downhill,” Grant said. “So I guess we’re at the bottom of the hill.”

Grant said he also wasn’t sure why it was the Legislature’s problem.

“We allocated the money, but it was up to (the treasurer) to make the distribution,” Grant said. “I don’t know if leadership is trying to take the heat off Lynn Jenkins at this (election) time or what it is.
From the Manhattan Mercury:

For Riley County, what started out looking like a windfall Friday afternoon might have become a shortfall instead.

According to a report in the Topeka Capital-Journal Saturday, Riley County commissioner Mike Kearns received a phone call Friday morning from Capital reporter Tim Carpenter informing him that the state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins' office had made an error in calculating the shared fuel tax earnings for 2008. According to the reporter, Riley County was due $70,000 in back revenue.

That news quickly turned to frustration, however, when Carpenter called Kearns back later that afternoon. After talking to the treasurer's office, Carpenter reported that Jeff Wagaman, the assistant state treasurer, had misread the spreadsheet and incorrectly told the newspaper that Riley County had been underpaid for its 2008 gas tax figures, when in fact it had actually been overcompensated by $70,000.

[...]

Kearns told the Mercury Saturday that he is "still trying to figure out exactly what side of the issue" Riley County is on, and expressed frustration over the fact that the treasurer's office had not notified the county of the problem themselves.

"You get the money from the state and you bank that they do their bookkeeping properly," he said, adding that he would "not be pleased" if the state asked for the $70,000 back. "I don't know where this will go, but we'll just have to work it out."

[...]

Representatives from Jenkins' office were unavailable for comment.

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Shawnee County Commissioner Vic Miller says the state owes Shawnee County about $3 million and wants to know why there is any question about whether the state will pay the money.

"If we had had the money in hand a couple of months ago, we could have given the taxpayers an even bigger refund than we did," Miller said.

[...]

Miller has said Shawnee County was shorted $1 million last year alone. He also believes the county missed out on similar amounts in 2006 and 2007.

He said cities and townships in Shawnee County especially would benefit because more than half of the total owed to Shawnee County would be passed along to the county's townships and cities.

From the Lawrence Journal-World:

Douglas County has been shorted $340,000, and possibly much more, because of an error in calculation of state gas tax reimbursements to counties, officials said Monday.

[...]

Some counties got too much, and some not enough. Douglas County received too little, as did Shawnee County, $1 million; and Leavenworth County, $192,000.

Jenkins’ office said the error was programmed into the system in 1999 -- three years before she was elected state treasurer. Jenkins has praised her staff for discovering the problem.

Democrats, however, have pounced, saying that the issue undermines Jenkins’ assertion that as a certified public accountant she would be able to rein in the federal budget. She should have caught the mistake earlier, they say.

“Now she’s saying it isn’t her job to make sure $15 million in taxpayer dollars goes to the right counties, despite those funds being specifically under her control,” said Kansas Democatic Party executive director Mike Gaughan. “For an accountant, Lynn Jenkins seems to have zero interest in accountability.”

Fine, Lynn Jenkins hasn't increased any taxes since she was in the state legislature directly- but, through her inaction as state treasurer, Jenkins has increased taxes all over the state as counties have had to make up for funds they should have been receiving from the state. It's ridiculous someone who has managed a department this badly would ever ask anyone to trust her with a new higher stress job.

Lynn Jenkins: Can't be trusted with our Kansas budget, can't be trusted with the federal budget.

Credit Union PAC Spends Another $66K for Jenkins

The only independent expenditure in the general election race thus far- pro-Jenkins pieces from the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee- has been extened by another $66,000.

That brings CULAC's spending propping up Jenkins at more than $145,000.

KS GOP Hold Seven-Man Protest- with a Great Big Check!

Part Deux of our explanation of the erratic behavior of the Executive Director of the Kansas Republican Party Christian Morgan details his sad, sad little protest of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's use of the congressional "franking privilege" to send out official newsletters and invitations to public events to her constituents.

Meanwhile on Monday, Morgan joined seven protesters outside Boyda's campaign office to criticize her use of $221,000 in franking charges to, among other activities, make automated calls informing constituents of her "Congress on Your Corner" events.
Yes...that's seven people including Mr. Morgan. Also, the large Michael Scott-esque check he's holding seems to be asking Boyda's campaign to pay for official mailings...which would be illegal...whatever, he's trying to make a point, dang it- who cares if the law gets in the way?

This is one of those silly election year things, and smacks of even increased desperation from the attacks yesterday. Maybe Christian doesn't get it, but one of the reasons Jim Ryun was kicked out on his tail was that he never, ever communicated with his voters until election season. Boyda's not dumb enough to make the same mistake, and the people of her district are better informed because of it.

Oh, but Christian has to pull out the "hypocrisy" card:

Morgan said the mailers were perfectly legal but called Boyda a "hypocrite" for criticizing her 2006 opponent, Jim Ryun, for one of his franking expenditures.

"Nancy Boyda is getting this reputation now as 'Do as I say, not as I do,'" Morgan said.

Seay said the congresswoman raised the issue in 2006 because Ryun had sent out a franked mailer on the last day allowed, three months before the election. The full-color cards "looked and smelled like a campaign piece," he said.

He said Boyda stopped using any franking money in April to try to steer clear of complaints.

Damn, again- even though Morgan wants to make it seem she's being a hypocrite, he just ends up proving she's being more ethical and more prudent than her Republican counterparts.

Sometimes it must just suck to be Christian Morgan.

Boyda Missed Meetings for Other Meetings, Jenkins Skipped Out to Campaign

As promised, more on the KS GOP and Christian Morgan's little stunt today- Part Uno, which we will call "Nancy Boyda missed a bunch of meetings, too...so stop talking about Lynn Jenkins missing KPERS meetings!!!!"

OK, first off- Christian, darling...when you're trying to distract voters, you can't be so damn obvious...

A Republican official is attacking Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda for missing 11 meetings of the House Armed Services Committee.

The GOP attack is a [desperate...BB] effort to blunt Boyda's criticism of her Republican opponent, Lynn Jenkins, a two-term state treasurer who missed a dozen meetings as a state pension fund trustee.

"See!" shrieks Christian Morgan, "Boyda missed as many meetings as Jenkins did!"

No so fast, little one:
Boyda's staff on Monday confirmed that she missed 11 Armed Services Committee meetings and, in response to questions from The Associated Press, provided a list of scheduling conflicts.
Oh dear...the gambit starts to unravel. You mean...Boyda was...in other meetings? Like...the Agriculture Committee? Or she was back home dealing with constituent issues? You mean...gulp...she was still doing her job the whole time? Crap...

Where was Lynn when she wasn't at the KPERS meetings? Hmmm? Will anyone tell us? Ever?

No, of course they won't- because when Lynn Jenkins wasn't at the KPERS Board of Trustees meetings she was out campaigning for a new job- skipping out on Kansans to feed her own ambition.

Christian, who can't help himself, just keeps digging:

Christian Morgan, the Kansas GOP's executive director, questioned some of Boyda's reasons for missing the meetings but said the larger issue is Boyda's hypocrisy in raising such an issue about Jenkins.

"It wouldn't be an issue unless Nancy Boyda kind of understood that elected officials have a lot of going on," Morgan said. "She wants others to play by a certain set of rules, and she wants to play by another."

First off...what are you, a valley girl, with that condescending "kind of" tossed in there? You should have just said, "Like, totally, Boyda should so know state treasurers are like busy and stuff."

Gag me with a spoon.

Second- if Lynn missed KPERS meetings because she had intense and important treasurer business to attend to, that'd be one thing, and understandable. But if that had been the case, she would have already detailed exactly where she was and why it was important she was there- and she hasn't. Why hasn't she? Because that wasn't the case.

Regardless, each and every time Boyda missed one of the meetings of the Armed Services Committee she was still doing the business of the people of the 2nd District.

Boyda spokesman Thomas Seay said the congresswoman posts her schedule online, so that her constituents can see when she has conflicts. Also, when she misses committee meetings, he said, she sends staff. [Which Jenkins did not bother to do- BB].

"It's politically motivated nonsense," Seay said.

The AP story does go on to say Jenkins has dismissed the meeting attendance issue as "unimportant," and repeats her lie that she was in contact with the Board via email- something the Executive Director of KPERS says isn't the case.

Morgan and the Republicans are grasping at straws, and their desperation is showing. As Boyda's spokesman says, regardless of what Boyda does, they're going to critisize her.

Seay said if Boyda had attended the Armed Services meetings and, for example, skipped Agriculture meetings, Republicans would criticize her for not being diligent about agriculture issues.

"Her opponents are going to attack her no matter what she does," Seay said.

In the end, again, it's clear who wasn't doing their job for Kansans. Certainly, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda hasn't attended every meeting of the Armed Services Committee- but every time she missed it was because she was attending to different official business. Lynn Jenkins skipped out on her responsibilities to the people of Kansas because she was too busy trying to advance herself.

When Jenkins stopped working for Kansas and started working solely for herself is one of the saddest questions we all have to face this election cycle.

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.