Archive for Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Democrats criticize Bush fundraiser for Jenkins as wasteful

September 10, 2008


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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.

— Next week's scheduled visit by President Bush for a private fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Lynn Jenkins has set off political fireworks.

Jenkins is challenging U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Topeka, in the Nov. 4 election for the 2nd Congressional District, which includes west Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeast Kansas.

In 2006, Boyda defeated five-term incumbent Republican Jim Ryun and since then the national Republican Party has targeted Boyda for defeat. Ryun lost a comeback bid in the August primary against Jenkins, who is currently the state treasurer.

Last week, it was announced that Bush will be the featured guest Sept. 16 at an invitation only fundraiser for Jenkins at the Topeka home of attorney Tony and Jana Barry.

The luncheon will cost $5,000 per person and $7,500 per couple for preferred viewing during Bush's remarks and a photo with the president. To simply attend will cost $500 per person.

The Kansas Democratic Party said Kansas taxpayers will bear most of the cost of Bush's visit and the associated travel expenses of Air Force One and Secret Service protection.

"You don't have to be a CPA to know that it's wrong to bill Kansas taxpayers for your private parties," said state Democratic Party executive director Mike Gaughan.

"In these tough economic times, the last thing Kansas families can afford is Jenkins' lavish party with the very person whose failed policies she claims to reject: George W. Bush," he said.

According to a 2006 U.S. House report, political campaigns reimburse the government for only a small fraction of the cost of campaign-related trips by Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The report said the cost to operate Air Force One is about $56,518 per hour. Campaigns pay roughly the amount it would have cost to fly participants in the event on commercial airfare.

Meanwhile, the Jenkins' camp responded to the criticisms by turning its fire on Boyda, accusing her of supporting the largest tax increase in U.S. history. Boyda's campaign has denied the charge.

Republicans have argued that the Democrats' budget resolution will lead to a tax increase, but Democrats, such as Boyda, have said the resolution is aimed at eliminating the budget deficit, funding critical needs and preserving middle class tax cuts.

Allan Cigler, a political science professor at Kansas University, said having Bush come in for a private fundraiser was probably politically smart for Jenkins.

The visit helps her solidify support among social conservatives who had backed Ryun in the GOP primary. And, he said, by keeping the president out of a public forum, it also allows Jenkins to distance herself from his unpopular standing. Bush's job approval rating was at 34 percent in recent polls.

Meanwhile, Cigler said, Jenkins will probably raise several hundred thousand dollars in the event.

"At this stage of the game, money is probably more important than a little negative publicity. People who would be upset that Bush was coming in to raise money for her probably weren't going to vote for her anyway," he said.

In 2006, Bush stumped for Ryun two days before the election with a rally at the Kansas Expocentre. He gave about a 40-minute speech to a crowd of approximately 7,000 people. In October, Vice President Dick Cheney stopped in Topeka to help raise $209,000 for Ryun.

But Cigler said Bush's visit for Ryun probably had little to do with the outcome of the race, which Boyda won.

"He (Ryun) was in trouble before that happened," he said.


KS 9 years, 6 months ago

Sarah has her act together. Queen Kathy doesn't. That's why Mrs. Sarah Palin is the most popular women in the US right now. Go girl. It's about time we get a tough boot into Washington. Don't need another pansy.

situveux1 9 years, 6 months ago

I'd love to know how much Sebelius has wasted trotting around behind Obama, but none of those numbers are released to the public. I'd like to see a story done about that Rothschild.

justthefacts 9 years, 6 months ago

Huh? I wonder if there would be a similar complaint had the President come into town to raise that much money for their side? This complaint is pretty lame and transparent in my humble opinion. It shows nothing but how short sighted some people can be when expressing their opinions on political matters. Presidents have always done such things. If you want to ban it, do so, but make sure it applies to all Presidents. Until/unless they are ALL not permitted to do fund raisers for candidates of their party - any party - it goes with the territory.

SandyMorgan 9 years, 6 months ago

10 September 2008 at 12:31 p.m.Suggest removalPermalinkjackbinkelman (Anonymous) says:Exactly how many billions have and will Bush/Chaney & Co. squandered? And you are bitc@#*g about a haircut? What will the final Iraq bill be? Trillions?/That's nothing. You should see what freddie is going to cost us.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 6 months ago

Come on, this has been going on probably since they invented the airplane by both parties. Chill.

S0uPnAzi 9 years, 6 months ago

Demorats whine, whine, whine and whine some more. They do the same thing (except they have a hard time getting one elected Presdent any more), but somehow it's okay when they do it. Grow up, demorats!

BigDog 9 years, 6 months ago

This is all politics, trying to make an issue of something both sides have done for years. This is what sitting Presidents seems to do any more. Doesn't mean I believe it should be their focus but Bush is doing nothing different than what Bill Clinton did as far as fundraising.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

"Who's being paid to do Kathleen Sebelius' job as she travels around the country campaigning"Who's doing Sarah Palin's job?

Godot 9 years, 6 months ago

Obama has set a record for opportunism. He ran for senate in order to run for president. In fact, his presidential campaign preceded his senatorial campaign. He used his position in the senate for the perks, the open checkbook senators get to run for higher office.

james bush 9 years, 6 months ago

A vote for Boyda is voting support for Reid/ McCain/Palin to stop Reid/Pelosi!

Godot 9 years, 6 months ago

Who has been doing Obama's job since her first took office? He sure hasn't.

SandyMorgan 9 years, 6 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says:"Who's being paid to do Kathleen Sebelius' job as she travels around the country campaigning"Who's doing Sarah Palin's job?Trig. Checkout downspalin dot blogspot.

lee66049 9 years, 6 months ago

Obama wants to give millions in tax dollars to people that don't pay taxes and democrats in Lawrence are concerned about a presidential visit. Hellllloooo!!!!Boyda replaced Ryun because he was ineffective. Boyda is ineffective. She is a proud member of a do nothing congress with the lowest approval ratings ever. She took a five week break while the nation was in an energy crisis. The budgets from the democratic congress have record pork barrel spending, record deficits, and wrecked the economy. So long Nancy Boyda.

zzgoeb 9 years, 6 months ago

What a bunch of ninnies!!! Campaigning by ANY elected official should be outlawed outright!!! This is NOT a party issue, it is a budget and responsibility issue. As for name-calling the Neo-cons are way out front here...face it, between Rush and Bill-O, liberals have no chance to win that playground bruhaha!!!We are ALL tired of partisan, winner-take-all politics, and it is crippling our country's ability to fix problems and move forward. So all you yahoos out there in the peanut gallery, either make an observation fairly, suggest a solution or go help someone less fortunate, and leave the forum for a place of debate and discussion, not hate and vitriol!!!

UFC_FAN 9 years, 6 months ago

it is a stroke of genius. the GOP has the mojo right now. bush can deliver the goods (donations). bush can dominate the local news cycle with this event and push boyda to the back pages. in case you missed it, bush is not too bad when it comes to winning elections. love him or hate him, he is good at it... and i know some will say he stole the election from gore. well, let's just say he did. the mere fact that the election was that close, running against clinton's vp, when everything was so good and dreamy, says alot about how good he is on the campaign stump. facts are facts, opinions are opinions. know the difference before you resond.

sdinges 9 years, 6 months ago

Wow. This is a great idea. Maybe Nancy Boyda can get behind some campaign reform that requires fundraisers to reimburse the full cost of having the president visit. That's the kind of responsible government I'm looking for!Oh wait... that would mean our elected officials would be actually doing something that would be in the interest of all tax payers. It might take important time out of their busy schedules.

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