Archive for Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ryun asks potential donors to help build war chest

Letter warns that Democrats are working hard to unseat him

June 26, 2005


The next congressional election is more than a year away, but campaigning has already started.

U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, a Lawrence Republican, has sent a letter to potential donors asking for money before Thursday. The Federal Election Commission requires congressional leaders to file campaign finance reports by Thursday, and Ryun said in his letter that a healthy war chest would discourage Democratic opposition.

"The Democrats are working hard to take this seat," Ryun wrote in the letter. "They are recruiting a well-funded challenger and they are laying the groundwork for an unprecedented voter turnout effort."

Ryun was re-elected in November 2004 to a fifth two-year term to represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes western Lawrence. He beat his Democratic challenger, Nancy Boyda, with 55 percent of the vote.

In the letter, Ryun alleges that the Democrats are recruiting a "wealthy, retired neurosurgeon capable of dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into the race."

Mark Simpson, director of the Kansas Democratic Party, on Friday laughed off the question of whether the Democratic candidate for the district would be a retired neurosurgeon.

"There are a lot of people who would make very good candidates, but there's not anybody who is ready to have their name out there," he said. "There is not a set candidate. But it's important to find someone good."

Simpson said the fact Ryun is talking about his future opponent without knowing who it will be is noteworthy. It shows Ryun is nervous, Simpson said.

"I think Jim Ryun is just trying to raise money and he'll need it because he's out of step with the district," he said.

But Kansas Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger said the GOP isn't worried about Ryun's ability to withstand a challenge, though he didn't know who a Democratic opponent might be.

Ryun is very popular and represents the 2nd District well, Shallenburger said.

"He's a regular Kansan," he said. "I don't know who the Democrats could run that could beat him."

Calls to Ryun's campaign office on Friday were not returned.

Ryun's letter also stated that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has announced that the national committee would provide the Kansas Democratic Party as much as $1 million to assist with voter registration drives.

A spokesman with the DNC said the party has provided $2 million to 18 states, including Kansas, to assist with grassroots campaigning.

Simpson wouldn't disclose the amount of money provided by the DNC to the Kansas Democratic Party. The DNC has agreed to partner with the state party to assist with voting efforts, he said.

Shallenburger said Kansas Republicans have known for quite some time that Dean and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, are planning to battle the Kansas GOP.

"I haven't heard any dollar amount, but I know the Democrats are sending out-of-state people into Kansas to register people to vote and that's fine," Shallenburger said. "We encourage people to register to vote. We also trust most Kansans will vote Republican."


Richard Heckler 12 years, 9 months ago

Jim Ryun is one of the Religious Radical Right Wing Neocons not a republican. The republican party is no more as Jerry Falwell and his unchristian coalition spent lots of money and about 25 years(according to Falwell) lying to real republicans in order to accomplish taking over the party.

publicdefender 12 years, 9 months ago

To say Ryun is "a regular Kansan" is absurd. There is nothing regular about him. This is yet another attempt by the GOP to cloak the Congressman's true character with the "regular" Kansan slogan. The GOP "political machine" will stop at nothing to make sure that Republicans like Ryun (who achieved early success in sports or the military) are perceived by their constituents as "common," "ordinary," and "regular" people. When I constantly hear the "regular guy" mantra, I really question the sincerity of such statements. I truly wonder if Mr. Ryun cares about "regular" people issues such as rising health care costs, higher gasoline prices, and the increasing death toll of our young service men and women in Iraq. I doubt the Congressman could articulate responsive answers to these issues without invoking some of his "pre-packaged" answers containing some of his religious, ring-wing beliefs. I have also noticed that the Journal-World has been unsuccessful in contacting Mr. Ryun for his comments regarding two recent stories. Is the Congressman avoiding the Journal-World? Is he afraid of saying the wrong thing? I wonder:

Democrats4Ryun 12 years, 9 months ago

As a Democrat, I am upset that my party is trying to unseat a very effective congressman in Mr. Ryun. Congressman Ryun has fought hard for the 2nd district and has a voting record that is clearly in step with mainstream Kansas. He has done nothing to deserve removal from office.

I urge all Democrats to vote for the best person for the job (Jim Ryun) and not blindly follow the party line.

bill_priff 12 years, 9 months ago

Democrats4Ryun - Parody or Eric Haar? I'm really not sure.

erichaar 12 years, 9 months ago

Democrats4Ryun is someone other than Eric Haar, for here I am.

Democrats4Ryun 12 years, 9 months ago

I am not Mr. Haar or a parody. I'm a Democrat who is tired of the endless partisan attacks on a Kansas hero who has served us well in Congress. As Democrats we should not attack Jim Ryun, but rather embrace his outstanding leadership in Washington.

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