Archive for Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Boyda-Jenkins debate lively

Mike Kautsch, moderator of the forum, introduces the candidates.

October 7, 2008


U.S. rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., left, and State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins went head to head before a full house Monday at the Dole Institute of Politics. KU law professor Mike Kautsch moderated the debate.

U.S. rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., left, and State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins went head to head before a full house Monday at the Dole Institute of Politics. KU law professor Mike Kautsch moderated the debate.

Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

Republican Lynn Jenkins and Democratic U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda on Monday traded charges over taxes and their official duties in a spirited debate at Kansas University's Dole Institute of Politics.

The two are vying to represent Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, which includes west Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeast Kansas.

Jenkins, the state treasurer, accused Boyda of "voting for the largest tax increase that the nation has ever seen." Jenkins added that she has signed a pledge to never vote for a tax increase.

But Boyda, in her first term of office, said Jenkins' statement was a "gross misrepresentation." And she noted that Jenkins, when she served in the state Legislature, voted for a huge tax increase.

Jenkins' allegation stems from a vote Boyda made with other Democrats for a nonbinding budget resolution to balance the budget by 2012 while still funding critical needs.

The resolution assumed that President Bush's tax cuts would expire as scheduled at the end of 2010, which was how the tax cuts were structured under the Republican-controlled Congress in 2001 and 2003.

But Boyda has said Democrats want to extend those tax cuts for the middle class. And even the tax cuts for the wealthy could be extended, she said, if Congress would end big subsidies to oil companies and major health insurers.

Boyda said that Jenkins was the only one in the race that has voted for a tax increase, and that Jenkins did so after first saying she wouldn't.

In 2002, when Jenkins was a state senator, she said she would oppose a state sales tax increase but then voted for a $294 million tax increase, which included raising sales, inheritance, cigarette and liquor taxes. Jenkins has said the tax increase was needed to balance the state's budget.

Boyda also asked Jenkins whether she would vote to end subsidies to oil and pharmaceutical companies, but Jenkins declined, saying she would not support any kind of tax increase. Boyda said the anti-tax pledge Jenkins has taken would prevent Jenkins from even trying to close a tax loophole being abused by businesses trying to evade taxes.

Jenkins took Boyda to task for momentarily leaving a congressional hearing in 2007 on the war in Iraq. Jenkins said Boyda's behavior was disrespectful and an affront. "You are supposed to listen," Jenkins told Boyda.

Boyda said she went into a side room for no longer than 10 minutes after retired Army Gen. Jack Keane told members of Congress to back off a bill dealing with the war.

In her closing remarks, Boyda fired back that Jenkins had missed four consecutive meetings of the board of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System during a period when the pension system lost $1 billion in investment income.

"You need to look at yourself," Boyda said to Jenkins, who as the state treasurer is a member of the KPERS board.

After the debate, when asked about missing the KPERS meetings, Jenkins said, "I've been a little busy. I have lots of balls in the air right now." Jenkins said that although she didn't attend the meetings, she is in weekly contact with the KPERS staff. "I'm fully engaged," she said.

The two candidates also disagreed about a recent proposal to increase funding to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which would have increased the number of low-income children getting health care. Boyda voted for the measure, saying it was paid for by ending some subsidies to large health insurance companies. But Jenkins said she opposed the bill, which was eventually vetoed by President Bush.

The televised debate was sponsored by the Voter Education Coalition and The World Company. It was moderated by KU law professor Mike Kautsch.


texburgh 9 years, 7 months ago

Lynn justifies a vote to increase taxes when it "was needed to balance the state's budget." Lynn attacks Nancy for voting "to balance the [federal] budget by 2012 while still funding critical needs." Lynn promises to vote against any tax increase any time for whatever reason. Lynn said that before - here in Kansas. But Lynn abandoned that promise when she felt it was expedient. So...either Lynn makes promises just to get votes and will turn on us if elected or Lynn will abdicate her responsibility as a representative of all the people when the tough decisions have to be made.Lynn attacks Nancy for leaving a hearing for 10 minutes because "Boyda's behavior was disrespectful and an affront. 'You are supposed to listen,' Jenkins told Boyda." But her absence from the KPERS Board meetings - where she holds a permanent seat - is not disrespectful and an affront to the thousands of KPERS retirees and active employees watching the system bleed? Is Jenkins not supposed to listen? Or does Jenkins believe one General speaking in a hearing is more important than thousands of Kansans wondering if they will even have a retirement system?Jenkins - more Republican hypocrisy.Thank you, Nancy Boyda, for being there for us.

Jason Fizell 9 years, 7 months ago

Not only that, but Lynn Jenkins has FINALLY stated her position on more low-income KIDS getting health care through the SCHIP program. More surprisingly, she has actually COME OUT AGAINST IT!This is an issue support by Senator Pat Roberts and even the Kansas Legislature (they predicated one of the few health reforms they were able to pass this session on its passage).Seriously, Lynn, taking a position against low-income kids in an economic down turn is not MAVRICKY, it's cold-hearted and out-of-touch.The fact is, Jenkins deserves some credit for being consistent. The only reason she's against this is the fact that the increased funding was to be paid for by ending the Medicare Advantage subsidies to, as the article points out, the "large health insurance companies."Health insurance companies > low-income kidsin Lynn Jenkin's bookYou don't need to be a CPA to weigh those facts.Let's tip the balance in that equation -- Vote Boyda!

BigDog 9 years, 7 months ago

Lynn attacks Nancy for voting "to balance the [federal] budget by 2012 while still funding critical needs."-------------------------------------------------------------------There is no way to balance the federal budget by 2012 without major tax increases or major spending cuts.People serving in Congress can tell you this story but no economist will buy into it. Unless they have some accounting tricks like the state has used to balance its budget for the last 4-5 years. They lower the amount needed to be kept on hand ..... ohhh and then they take out bonds (loan) on tens of millions of dollars each year. Problem is eventually the state has to start making payment on those loans ..... which creates an even bigger hole in a tight budget.Right now without any additional spending ..... just carrying forward with current promises .... the State of Kansas' budget shortfall for next fiscal year is over $300 million.

cowboy 9 years, 7 months ago

Is there a box for none of the above on the ballot ?

JohnBrown 9 years, 7 months ago

I may sit this race out. Pot meet kettle.

Jason Fizell 9 years, 7 months ago

Spot the inconsistency in this quote from Lynn Jenkins at 1:50 in the Health Care clip:"Not just all this TALK. I am tired of TALK. I was tired of it when the Republicans did it, and I am even more tired of it now that Democrats have had their chance. I think it's time to send new folks to Washington who are going to start TALKing about things..." (emphasis mine)Besides that, Congresswoman prefaces her answer on SCHIP expansion with the fact that it is "paid for" via Pay-Go rules which prohibit adding to the National Debt.Then, what excuse does Jenkins have for opposing expansion of health care offerings to low-income children? She says it's not paid for an will add to the national debt. Really?!Straight. Up. Lies. Jenky-style.

KU_cynic 9 years, 7 months ago

I am an independent-minded Republican who voted for Nancy Boyda and against Jim Ryan in 2006 because I was convinced that Ryan was a religious zealot who did not represesent the increasingly diverse district appropriately.To her credit, Boyda has been a very moderate Democrat -- smart enough to know that to keep her seat in a nominally Republican district she has to maintain her distance from her own party's liberal leadership while developing a reputation for taking care of important issues to the district, especially supporting the troops, military bases, veterans, and military families.When the "right" kind of Republican comes along I'd be happy to see this Congressional seat go GOP. Unfortunately, in both the primary and general campaigns Lynn Jenkins has repeatedly revealed that she is not the "right" kind of Republican. I don't know her "true self", but she has allowed herself to become a slick, packaged, say-anything (usually not too thought-provoking), negative campaigning, throwback-to-the-1980s ditto-head candidate.I'll be voting for Boyda again this year. Maybe in 2010 the right kind of Republican will challenge her, but this year there is no choice for me.

staff04 9 years, 7 months ago

jason, the Republicans in the House called for more motions to adjourn and other dilatory motions (including walking off the floor) because they didn't like what they heard than the Democratic minority did in the 10 years prior.If you want to talk about babies taking their ball and going home, there's your example.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

I know I'm talking to a room full of "yep, yep, gotta do those Obama programs...gotta take money from those evil successful folks and give it to the poor" but Boyda is down the line Democrat. The fact that she walked out of the Retired General's statement tells me this is a woman who has been "properly indoctrinated" by her Washington pals: Be rude, think of yourself as better than anyone else, and don't do the job the people elected you to do. If I was in a meeting at work and didn't agree with the statements someone was making the last thing I would think to do is leave in protest. Talk about a little whiny baby. That'll show 'em! Get up and leave and take your ball home with you, Boyda.This is one of the most significant problems with Washington. Everybody's ideology and elitism is in the way of doing what is right for the country. There used to be a time when being a Senator or Representative meant you compromised to get things done. Now the mantra is "My way or the highway".I'm no Jenkins fan but I cannot stomach Baby Boyda.

Cait McKnelly 9 years, 7 months ago

The woman had to go to the bathroom!!! She left the room for 10 minutes, took a whiz and came back. What's the big deal? (Not sure that was really the reason but my god, ten minutes????)

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