Topeka No rest for those weary of politics.
Liz Newcomer of Lawrence recently received a robocall slamming U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat whose district includes west Lawrence.
Listen to the "robocall" from the Republican Party criticizing Nancy Boyda.
Newcomer said she got so mad, she hung up. Robocalls - telephone calls made using a computer that plays a recorded political message or sales pitch - have become a dominant force in American politics.
Carol Williams, executive director of Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, talking about a new state law taking effect July 1 that deals with political robocalls.
"I hate that kind of politics, and it absolutely turns me off," said Newcomer, a registered independent who thinks Boyda is doing a good job.
Newcomer also noted the election for the 2nd congressional district isn't until November 2008.
"Eighteen months, we will have to put up with this junk?" she said.
The automated phone call was from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which recently paid for a week's worth of calls and radio ads denouncing Boyda.
Ken Spain, a spokesman for the NRCC, said he's just doing his job.
"We believe it is our job to hold Nancy Boyda accountable," Spain said.
The NRCC has an ongoing, vigorous campaign to retake the House, and it has made Boyda a prime target.
Boyda scored an upset victory in November over five-term incumbent Jim Ryun. She is featured prominently on the NRCC Web site www.therealdemocratstory.com, which is dedicated to tossing out the freshman class of Democrats.
Ryun, state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins and possibly several other Republicans will face off in the August 2008 GOP primary to try to get a shot at facing Boyda three months later.
In addition to the western parts of Lawrence and Douglas County, the district includes Manhattan, Topeka and southeast Kansas.
Spain said the ads and phone calls criticized Boyda for voting for appropriations bills that he said were filled with "pork" and would lead to one of the largest tax increases in history.
Spain also said Boyda supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., 97 percent of the time.
"She had promised to be an independent voice for Kansas," Spain said.
Thomas Seay, a spokesman for Boyda, said "those claims don't make a whole lot of sense."
One of the bills referred to by Spain included funds for improvements to military bases, disaster relief for farmers, and health care funding for children, military veterans and active duty military.
"Rep. Boyda doesn't consider military health care to be pork," Seay said.
Seay said Boyda's office had received several complaints from people receiving the robocalls. Boyda is sponsoring legislation that would apply the no-call registry to recorded political messages, he said.
A recently approved state law that takes effect July 1 requires that robocalls identify the sponsor at the start of the call. Federal law, which governs congressional campaigning, already has this requirement.