Archive for Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ryun, Jenkins argue many issues

July 23, 2008


— Republicans Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins on Tuesday traded political jabs early and often during their only televised debate prior to the Aug. 5 primary for the 2nd District congressional GOP nomination.

Ryun, a former five-term congressman, took Jenkins, the state treasurer, to task for voting for tax increases when she served in the Kansas Legislature, saying she buckled under pressure from legislative leaders.

"That's not the kind of leadership we want to send to Washington," said Ryun, of Lawrence.

Jenkins, of Topeka, shot back, saying the Legislature was forced to increase state taxes because of federal requirements approved by Congress.

"We were at your mercy, babe," she told Ryun. "You were passing all of the unfunded mandates."

The two also argued over illegal immigration, budget earmarks and leadership during the one-hour debate televised live on KSNT-TV, Topeka's NBC affiliate.

The winner of the Republican Party primary will face U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., who defeated Ryun in 2006. The 2nd District includes western Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeastern Kansas. National Republican leaders have made Boyda a primary political target, saying they believe they can win back the 2nd District.

On immigration, Jenkins accused Ryun of voting for several bills that included granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, a charge that Ryun vehemently denied.

"I have not supported amnesty. My record is being distorted," he said.

Both said they would oppose earmarks spending in the budget, but Jenkins said Ryun voted for frivolous earmarks while in Congress, such as $1 million for a locomotive demonstration in Pennsylvania.

Ryun said sometimes earmarks were inserted into larger bills that overall were good for Kansas, but Jenkins said several of those Ryun votes were "straight up or down votes."

They also tangled several times over the issue of leadership.

Jenkins said that while Ryun was in Congress, Republicans held the majority and the White House, but spent and borrowed too much, doubling the national debt.

"I think you had your chance," Jenkins said to Ryun. "It's time to send someone else to Washington."

But Ryun argued he showed leadership by working on tax cuts that helped families while also standing up to President Bush, such as his vote against the No Child Left Behind Act.

On the issue of energy, both candidates said they supported opening to oil drilling the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The candidates also took questions e-mailed to them by viewers. Of the approximately 50 e-mails, not one dealt with U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty, who helped moderate the debate.


HMcMellon 9 years, 9 months ago

I hate to call fellow Republicans liars, but both Ryun and Jenkins were not honest last night when they claimed that if the GOP doesn't win this fall, we will see "the largest tax increase in history." In a perverted sense, their claim about taxes does have an element of truth. Since the Bush tax cuts for the rich was the largest tax cut in history, it could be said that not extending this massive windfall could be considered "the largest tax increase in history." However, if you look at the tax cuts the Democrats plan to give to the middle class, the total increase in tax revenue from not extending the cuts for the rich will not come anywhere near "the largest in history." Eliminating these tax cuts for the rich is actually pretty modest when you consider that during the Eisenhower years, the top bracket was 90%. If the tax cuts for the rich are not extended, the top bracket will still be less than 1/3 of what it was during most of the 20th Century. If we increase the taxes for those making $1 million or more per year, it could eliminate the budget deficit and help discourage to the absurdly high salaries for CEO's, athletes, entertainers, etc.Personally, as a Republican, my first priority is fiscal responsibility. I have no problem if Ryun's or Jenkin's mega-millionaire contributors have to pay more taxes. If one of the oil company executives that contributes to their campaigns has to goes from paying $20 million per year on his $100 million dollar per year salary to $25 million per year, it really doesn't bother me. That's just $5 million less that will have to borrowed to make up the budget deficit. The tax cuts that Bush and his mega-millionaire cronies put into place in 2001 should have been targeted toward the middle class in the first place. Let this windfall tax cut for the rich expire, and let's get back to having a balanced budget. It is wrong for Ryun and Jenkins to want to continue to borrow more money from the Communist Chinese and the totalitarian Saudi Arabians. In my opinion, putting this kind of burden of debt on our children and our grandchildren just so the rich can get richer is very un-Republican.

cato_the_elder 9 years, 9 months ago

As is wanting to raise taxes rather than cut spending.

cato_the_elder 9 years, 9 months ago

I watched this very informative discussion of issues between the candidates. There were no "arguments." While the candidates articulated a number of different views on the issues, there was not one heated word exchanged. Frankly, it was one of the best examples of civil discourse I have seen in recent years. Both candidates came off extremely well, whether you agreed or disagreed with their respective approaches to the issues. The author of this story has intentionally engaged in rank sensationalism by twisting the facts toward an appearance of hostility that was never present. He should be ashamed.

coldandhot 9 years, 9 months ago

Rothschild again distorts very civil discourse. He made this debate a FIGHT...trying to create news when there is none. Please, Scott, report the news, don't editorialize your liberal positions and stances into all your articles.

dinglesmith 9 years, 9 months ago

"I'm sorry, cato, but when have Republicans ever supported spending cuts?"Bingo. Anyone can generate support for tax cuts, even when they are for someone else. However, no one has the political will or skills to actually curb spending. The choice seems to be between tax and spend or borrow and spend. The former would seem to be the lesser of two evils.The one exception to this seems to be when budget shortfalls are used as an excuse to eliminate popular programs that are disliked by small constituencies.

cato_the_elder 9 years, 9 months ago

Geniusman, I agree that when two sides present a case in court, it's called "argument," and it doesn't imply that anyone is yelling at anyone else. However, lay newspaper readers don't understand that, it's clearly not what this reporter meant at all, and the story remains shamefully misreported.Concerning spending cuts, I have previously posted on multiple occasions my view that after Republicans obtained control of both Congress and the presidency and finally had a chance to effect meaningful cuts in entitlement programs, many of them were quite content to act just like most Democrats and fail to find the will or the courage to do so - which has been a major disappointment to those of us who believe that government spending on entitlement programs has been out of control for longer than anyone cares to admit. At present, the only real difference between Republicans and Democrats in Washington on fiscal issues is that most Democrats will always want to spend a lot more of your money and raise your taxes as much as they can get away with, Senator Obama being at the forefront of same.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 9 months ago

True conservatives like spending cuts, that's why a lot of Bush voters who supported him on the war don't like him.And I am still convinced Bush won 2004 because people don't like paying taxes, and that's the only reason why I give McCain a chance to win.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 9 months ago

"True conservatives like spending cuts."Again, I ask you when, in history, this actually happened.Also, in at least one sense of the word, "argue" is synonymous with "disagree." It doesn't imply rancor. You all know that words have more than one meaning, right?

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, cato, but when have Republicans ever supported spending cuts? I mean actually supported, not just theoretically supported.

blessed3x 9 years, 9 months ago

HMcMellon (Anonymous) says:"However, if you look at the tax cuts the Democrats plan to give to the middle class..."...Do you seriously believe this will happen? Oh and isn't Bush's extra $400/child tax credit also in the list of "tax cuts for the rich" that the Dems did not renew? That is huge to my family! Tax increase, failing to renew tax cuts, there really is no difference as far as my wallet is concerned. It's all spin.

Quigly 9 years, 9 months ago

hard to argue with some one that is yelling at you in tongues!

preebo 9 years, 9 months ago

Statistics show that incumbants win approximately 92% of the time in Congressional District races, so this is may be nothing more than an exercise in democracy. Not to say that neither of these candidates couldn't win come November, but the numbers and history are most certainly against them. Unless, in a situation like Mr. Ryun was in 2006 (unpopular war, out-of-control spending, and an even more unpopular President), or an extremely embarrassing scandal like Mr. Folley in Florida, the most likely scenario is Mrs. Boyda will win a second term.

allateup 9 years, 9 months ago you agree that argue is a lot more harsh than disagree?

dagopman 9 years, 9 months ago

Did this reporter actually review this debate? I highly doubt it because there were no arguments.

HMcMellon 9 years, 9 months ago

Spending cuts are next to impossible when 70% of the Federal Budget is military expense, but that would sure be a good place to start. Some say if we eliminated the waste, fraud and pork in military and defense expenditures, spending in the Federal budget could be cut by at least 30%. However, as long as candidates depend on contributions from the multi-millionaires and billionaires in those tax-sucking defense companies, cleaning up the system is next to impossible.Everything else of significance in the budget has already been pretty well cut to the bones except for subsidies to the energy, pharamaceutical and other tax-sucking monopolies that also keep putting do-nothing Neocons like Roberts and Ryun in office. The amount we spend propping up the broken pharmaceutical and insurance industries for a health care system that is one of the worst in the Western World is outrageous. Our screwed up system also costs more than any other. So far, my Party has done nothing to change this massive problem except figure out more ways to pay off the big shots for their financial support of the lies in the TV ad spam that Neocons like Roberts and Ryun use to fool us into voting for them.

HMcMellon 9 years, 9 months ago

blessed3X, I don't know if the Democrats will make good on their pledge to give tax cuts to the middle class, but it doesn't matter that much to me. All that is important to me is to have a balanced Federal Budget and paying down the National Debt. Unfortunately, since 1980, the Republicans always shown big deficits when they are in power Through bipartisan efforts, the budget was showing a surplus when Bush took office. The fiscal liberals of the GOP just couldn't stand seeing a balanced budget and gave away all the surpluses and more. More than 90% of the tax cuts are going to those who make $250,000 per year or more. The "trickle down theories" didn't work and have never worked. As always, our government ended up borrowing trillions from commies and totalitarians.Am I an exception in not liking to pay interest? I pay off my credit card bill each month. I save money until I have enough to buy a car. I have a mortgage on my home, but I made a big down payment and always pay more than the minimum payment.I hate paying interest. Paying interest is worse than paying taxes, and paying taxes so that fiscal liberals like Roberts and Ryun can pay interest to the commies and totalitarians on all the money they borrowed is even worse than taxes.Each time a fiscal liberal like Roberts borrows another dollar from his commie and totalitarian friends, it requires at least $2 in additional taxes over the next twenty years just to pay the interest (to say nothing for paying off the loan).As long as we have fiscal liberals like Roberts and Ryun in office, the National Debt will get bigger, and the amount we have to pay in interest to commies and totalitarians will also get bigger. I don't care if the Democrats give any tax cuts to anyone, but I sincerely hope they don't renew the Bush's fiscally foolish tax cuts. I want to see a balanced budget. I want to see the National Debt paid down. I'm much rather pay more in taxes to have a balanced budget and pay down the National Debt than to pay more taxes for interest on all the money that Senator Roberts borrowed in my name during his 40 years. Even worse, during his 40 years, he has also given most of my taxes away to big tax-sucking monopolies, most of whom could not exist without them. Everytime I see his and Ryun's spam ads on TV, I assume my tax dollars are essentially paying for those ads. Because of all the money they gave out to the oil companies and other big corporations, these two fiscally liberal Neocons have big donor lists made up of big shots in the oil industry and other tax-sucking monopolies who keep paying their campaign expenses.It's time for a change. If it appears that the Democrats will be better at following the traditional Republican values of fiscal responsibility, then I have no choice but to vote for them.

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