Archive for Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Race for Congress gaining steam

Signs are pointing to heated contest for Boyda and Ryun

October 3, 2006


— Does Democrat Nancy Boyda have a shot at defeating U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun in the 2nd congressional district race?

On Monday, the campaign heated up as Boyda, of Topeka, and Ryun, a Republican from Lawrence, tangled over the airwaves during a radio debate and call-in show.

Boyda blasted Ryun, saying he has been part of a congressional majority that has "fumbled the ball over and over."

She added: "The good news is the American people get to play coach. We get the chance to put new players on the field."

But Ryun, one of the most conservative members of Congress, said his positions of lower taxes and less government regulation were in sync with the district.

Picking a winner

Handicapping the race, however, has been difficult because no public polling has been done.

Several factors working in favor of a Boyda upset include:

¢ Boyda campaign signs seem to be popping up like wildflowers across the sprawling district that includes west Lawrence.

¢ Ryun, a five-term incumbent, has launched a television ad criticizing his Democratic opponent, a possible sign that he feels threatened.

¢ Vice President Dick Cheney is traveling to Topeka next week to hold a fund-raiser for Ryun, another possible indication that Boyda is making headway.

¢ And nationally, congressional observers seem to think Democrats will make significant gains in Congress on Nov. 7.

Ryun advantages

But Ryun has several factors in his favor:

¢ Since first being elected in 1996, he has won re-election handily, including a 56 percent to 41 percent thumping of Boyda in 2004.

¢ Cheney is coming to Topeka on Oct. 12 to raise money for Ryun.

¢ The national Democratic Party has little traction in Kansas.

¢ And Ryun is a Kansas legend from his world-record track feats as a young miler and Olympian.

Demo sweep?

Joe Aistrup, head of the political science department at Kansas State University, said if Boyda defeated Ryun, it would have to be part of larger Democratic successes nationwide in congressional races.

"If Jim Ryun gets knocked off by Nancy Boyda, it will mean that a lot of other Republicans went down," Aistrup said.

He said a Boyda upset would be similar to 1994 when Republican Todd Tiahrt defeated Democratic incumbent Dan Glickman for the 4th congressional district seat.

Aistrup noted that he has seen a lot of Boyda campaign signs.

"From a political science perspective, signs are a sign that the campaign has a heartbeat and some funding, but not generally a good indicator on who will win and who will lose," he said.

In her rematch with Ryun, Boyda has focused on more populist themes and said she has rejected help from the national Democratic Party, a move that Aistrup said will help her in Kansas.

A jog for Ryun?

Kansas Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger, however, said Ryun will win re-election.

Shallenburger lives in Baxter Springs in Cherokee County, which is in southeast Kansas and is part of the 2nd district.

"We don't have any sense in Cherokee County, which is a Democrat county, that Ryun won't win big-time," he said.

Cheney's visit doesn't indicate Ryun is in trouble, Shallenburger said.

"It indicates that Ryun is on the Armed Services committee and Cheney wants to help," he said.

Candidates spar

On the Jim Cates show Monday on 1440-AM, Ryun and Boyda took callers' questions for about 40 minutes.

Ryun accused Boyda of supporting universal health care "where a bureaucrat in Washington" will decide on treatment. Boyda said she was willing to look at a number of proposals to get control of rising health care costs.

Ryun said Boyda supported amnesty for illegal immigrants, which Boyda said was a misrepresentation of her position.

"I have never stood for amnesty," Boyda said. "This just burns the living daylights out of me," she said.

Boyda accused Ryun of being in the pocket of large oil and gas interests. Ryun blamed liberals and moderates for blocking needed exploration of oil and gas.

Asked by a caller what the candidates would do about global warming, Ryun said: "Much of the global warming issue has been overplayed. We need to work with sound science."

Boyda responded: "If you're going to say global warming is a myth, then everything is going well in Iraq. We need to deal with reality."

On the war, Ryun said progress was being made, while Boyda said the situation was worsening.

Ryun said Boyda would raise taxes, a claim Boyda denounced as another misrepresentation.

The two also argued over plans to expand highways in Texas aimed at moving more trade from Mexico. Boyda said the proposal is a precursor to building a NAFTA super highway through Kansas.

Ryun said no such road plan for Kansas exists and that Boyda was trying to frighten voters.

According to July campaign finance reports, Ryun had a large edge over Boyda. He reported having $421,896 on hand. She reported $163,980.


Ken Miller 11 years, 7 months ago

Wilbur hits the nail on the head. Forget internal polls - use your eyes and ears. Where are Ryun's yard signs?

However, I want to know why Boyda continues to harp on the fictional "SuperCorridor" issue. There is not enough money NOR desire to build a 10-12 lane superhighway through the middle of the country. Call KDOT to confirm that if you must. How dumb is Boyda to believe a bunch of conspiracy theorists? If these clowns can sway her, how many times will she be goat-roped in DC by slick lobbyists?

There is NO good choice in this race.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 7 months ago

"Ryun blamed liberals and moderates for blocking needed exploration of oil and gas."

Ryun is now pitting himself against moderates, illustrating to all just how far to the radical right he is. This is not a good sign for him.

prioress 11 years, 7 months ago

"good christian?"

Interesting, isn't it, we need this characterization. Are there "bad" christians? Those who have hijacked the TEACHER and corrupted his message for political gain should hang their heads in shame. Mr. Ryun, reread the Sermon on the may bring you back.......

WilburM 11 years, 7 months ago

This is exactly the kind of story that Boyda needs. More than her fishy poll results of a couple weeks ago, this straight-ahead story illustrates there may be some life in her candidacy, especially against a down-the-line GOP foot soldier who has offered little to the Congress for a decade (and is now tied to Foley, DeLay, a floundering Speaker Hastert, etc.) No one knows exactly how the 2006 winds -- now blowing pretty strongly -- will affect the 2nd District, but Ryun is bad at taking criticism, and to the extent he feels some heat, it's an open question how he'll react.

Still, Boyda needs money and has to be up in the relatively cheap Topeka tv market. With Barnett a nonfactor and Kline looking more and more desperate, this race may gain some attention from Ds -- much as it already has from the GOP (a la Cheney's appearance).

If Boyda's up on tv within ten days with a substantial buy of ads, this could become interesting.

ksmoderate 11 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if Ryun thinks he's a "good" christian by running lies and attack ads? Oh, that's right: he's the type of "good" christian who has no qualms about shady real estate deals. And is pro-war. And anti-public school.


youngitized 11 years, 7 months ago

There are two choices for somebody who only hears the far right wing of his party, somebody with shady ties (Abramoff, DeLay, and Hastert), somebody who lies and cheats to win office. The other choice is someone who seems to be listening to everybody, someone who knows the issues, someone who has an answer to Ryun's childish ads, and someone who seems to be in synch with the district. I have not seen one Jim Ryun sign, but I have seen tons of Nancy Boyda signs. Could the tide be turning in the second district?

helix 11 years, 7 months ago

Ryun has accomplished little in Congress, besides of course securing himself a sweetheart real estate deal from Abramoff lackies for a Washington townhouse.

The second district needs, and deserves, new representation.

Scott Tichenor 11 years, 7 months ago

Ryun is campaign wealthy and morally bankrupt. Jim, ya spent Abramoff's money yet? He's in the same league as Phill Klown and the one-man-think-tank-soon-to-be-unemployed education commissioner.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

Ryun claims that global warming doesn't exist, that the we are winning in Iraq and that he is a fiscal conservative.


The only reason Ryun is ignorant about global warming is that his only reading material comes from the big oil companies, who are using some of their massive profits from the high price of gasoline to fund his campaign.

The only reason Ryun is in denial about Iraq is that all he only listens to is Halliburton and the other tax-sucking monopolies, who want to keep our tax dollars flowing into their pockets.

The only reason he supports the status quo on health care is that he wants to keep our tax dollars flowing into the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

To support all this rip-off of our taxes for his corporate sponsors, Ryun has voted to borrow more money than at any time in American History, and then he turns around and pisses it all away.

We don't need to raise taxes. We need to get rid of fiscally-liberal crooks like Ryun, who see our tax dollars and money borrowed in our name as a way to repay the monopolies that put up much of the $421,896 Ryun has to promote his lies.

All you have to do is watch Ryun's TV commercials to know that he is a liar. Ryun's commercials about being an environmentalist and a fiscal conservative are laughable. His dishonest attack ads on Nancy Boyda are reprehensible.

But, of course, Ryun needs to win. What would he do with that new house in Washington, D.C., that was partially paid for with money that Jack Abramhoff stole from the Indian Tribes, if he loses?

He shouldn't worry. He could sell that house it at a fair market value and use the $200,000 gain from tainted money for a nice retirement.

Ryun is both a liar and a crook. All good Republicans and Democrats need to contribute to Nancy Boyda's brave campaign and support her effort to bring honesty, fiscal responsibility and morality back to Congress.

Even though she is a Democrat, Nancy Boyda does a better job of standing up for Republican principles than Jim Ryun ever has.

white_mountain 11 years, 7 months ago

oscarfactor, here is information on the very real SuperCorridor that you may want to read:

It goes right through Kansas and might even connect with the SLT.

I have heard there are plans in the works to convert the Sunflower ammo plant into a NAFTA facility as well.

Boyda is not making this stuff up. It is very real, and Jim Ryun knows it.

BigDog 11 years, 7 months ago

GOPConservative - I guess there have been no Democratic scandals that all of them can be guilty of. How about Barney Frank having a male prostitution ring out of his Wahington DC home? How about Senator Byrd and his former leadership position within the KKK (now a Democratic leader)? President Clinton and an intern. People also seem to forget Jack Abramoff's money also went to Democrats including Harry Reid.

The point being neither party should be throwing stones when it comes to political scandals.

Also please explain what Republican principles has stood up for and examples?

avoice 11 years, 7 months ago

Dick Cheney coming to fundraise for Ryun is a POSITIVE????

The only thing that could be worse would be to have Donald Rumsfeld come fundraise and campaign for you. If I were Ryun, I'd steer clear of Cheney (especially now that the hunting seasons are gearing up).

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago


Since I never made the claim that one Party of the other was free of scandal, your point is irrelevant to my post.

Lobbyist Abramhoff gave money to every person in Congress who gave extraordinary assistance to the special interests he represented. Some were Democrats. Most were Republicans. Jim Ryun was one of the big "winners."

Scandals usually result in politicians being booted out of office. Using the excuse that "everyone does it" is hogwash. As Kansans and as Americans, we must demand a certain level of dignity and integrity from our representatives. We do that by voting out the crooks and liars when they get caught.

As for explaining Republican principles. Here are a few:

  1. Fiscal responsibility (not borrowing trillions of dollars, even from the atheist commies in China).

  2. Free enterprise (not subsidizing monopolies so they can eliminate competition and drive out small business).

  3. Privacy (not big-brother government looking into our personal lives).

  4. Conservation of natural resources (not selling them out in backroom deals).

  5. Limited government (not the greatest expansion of the Federal bureaucracy in history).

These are just a few principles that separates those, like Nancy Boyda, who believe in true Republican principles, from fiscally-liberal, socialist crooks like Jim Ryun.

Ken Miller 11 years, 7 months ago

white mountain is seeing black helicopters.

wikipedia will print anything anyone wants - for a price. Like I said, check with KDOT. Call MoDOT. Email Oklahoma DOT. The Texans are considering an expanded corridor along I-35 because they have horrible congestion problems in their urban areas. Do your research (something that Boyda did NOT, and apparently will NOT, do.)

However, I do want to thank you for adding yet another layer of buffoonish mayhem to the fantasy... the "SuperCorridor" is now tied to the South Lawrence Trafficway and the old Sunflower Ammunition plant.

Personally, I thought this conspiracy theory could NOT get more ridiculous. It just did.

Steve Jacob 11 years, 7 months ago

I will give the republicans a pass on the sex stuff, (even though they should at the very least made sure he did not run for re-election AFTER they knew), but Abramoff gave SO MUCH more to the republicans, including calling the White House 150 times.

If Ryan loses an election with TWO military bases in his district to someone to the left of Dennis Moore, the whole republican party across the county will be beaten badly.

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