Archive for Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jenkins staffer says Congresswoman didn’t read resolution she supported, which referenced ‘great white hope’

September 1, 2009, 11:21 a.m. Updated September 1, 2009, 1:37 p.m.


— A spokeswoman for Rep. Lynn Jenkins said the freshman congresswoman didn’t read a resolution she supported urging a pardon for boxer Jack Johnson that contain the phrase “great white hope,” a term she recently was criticized for using at a forum in northeast Kansas.

The resolution urged President Barack Obama to pardon Johnson posthumously for a prison term.

Jenkins, a Republican, caused a stir when she used the phrase on Aug. 19 during a town hall meeting in Hiawatha. She apologized for the remark, but said it was in reference to the GOP’s need for bright, young leadership. Someone in the crowd recorded it and gave the video to the Kansas Democratic Party.

A staffer told the Topeka Capital-Journal on Monday that Jenkins didn’t review the Johnson resolution before it came up for House vote.

“No, she did not read the specific resolution,” said Mary Geiger, Jenkins’ press secretary.

Geiger said that the resolution was passed on an unanimous consent vote rather than a roll-call vote. The resolution came to the House floor late in the day and a vote was taken quickly.

The resolution was sponsored by Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and co-sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican. The House version was co-sponsored by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., an Illinois Democrat.

Kansas Democrats issued a statement Tuesday taking Jenkins to task for not reading the resolution.

“Kansans should be able to trust that their elected officials are taking an interest in the legislation that will affect their everyday lives,” said Executive Director Kenny Johnston.

Geiger said it would have been “nearly impossible” for anyone to read the resolution before it was approved on July 29.

The phrase “great white hope” often is associated with pre-civil rights-era racism and is widely believed to have entered usage in the U.S. when boxer Jack Johnson, who was black, captured the heavyweight title in the early 20th century. Many whites reacted to Johnson’s achievement by trying to find white fighters — or a “great white hope” — who could beat him. The boxer’s story inspired a play, then a movie, with that title, both starring James Earl Jones.

The resolution describes Johnson’s career and how he won the title by defeating Tommy Jones, who was white. It notes that after Johnson’s victory there was “a recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the ’great white hope”’ to find someone to beat Johnson and reclaim the title for whites.

One of those hopefuls was Jess Willard, from St. Clere, Kan., about 25 miles from Jenkins’ hometown of Holton. Nicknamed “The Pottawatomie Giant,” the towering Willard beat Johnson with a knockout punch in the 26th round in 1915. Willard later lost the title to Jack Dempsey.

Johnson was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman. He tried to renew his boxing career after leaving prison, but failed to regain his title. He died in a car crash in 1946 at age 68.

Jenkins, 46, won the 2nd Congressional District seat last year by ousting Democratic incumbent Nancy Boyda. She previously served two terms as state treasurer and four years in the Kansas Legislature.

Staff reporter George Diepenbrock contributed to this story


somedude20 8 years, 5 months ago

"A spokeswoman for Kansas’ 2nd District Rep. Lynn Jenkins says the congresswoman didn’t read a resolution she supported"

She should have just stuck with being seen as a racist because now she is shown for being an ignorant racist! At least she has her slogan for the next election... as bigoted as you think or Lynn Jenkins the other white dope

jimmyjms 8 years, 5 months ago

Man, how poorly can you handle this issue, Lynn?

If I were on her communications team, I'd be getting that resume together.

KansasVoter 8 years, 5 months ago

Reading crap like this should make all residents of the 2nd District ashamed. We had a perfectly competent, right of center representative in Nancy Boyda, but now we're stuck with the proud-to-be-ignorant Lynn Jenkins. If she's not even reading what she's voting on, what is she doing to earn her paycheck?

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

Jeezus, dig that hole a little deeper, Mrs. Jenkins.

meggers 8 years, 5 months ago

How bizzare. It's like Jenkins is actually trying to keep this story in the news. Any potential candidates to challenge her next time around?

puddleglum 8 years, 5 months ago

(shaking head) how did Nancy Boyda lose this seat?

oh yeah, the gerrymandering of lawrence, splitting it into two different districts, attempting to oust Moore. All it did was lump my western half of lawrence in with topeka's vote. This district's zoning must be changed back.....course, it won't.,

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 5 months ago

Denying racism is not going to make it go away. The woman should take responsibility for what she endorses and what comes out of her mouth. She used the word white, I assume she wasn't talking about the sheets?

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 5 months ago

The numbnuts who voted for this twit should be ashamed. What they saw in her, other than those big front teeth is beyond me.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 5 months ago

My jaw dropped and hit my keyboard when I read this. This woman is voting on legislation she doesn't even READ? This is her JOB for gawds sake. It's the highest level of job fraud I have ever seen! WTH was she doing? Running around to cocktail parties with DC power brokers trying to make inroads for the next election? OK folks this is what voting a straight party ticket gets ya. The above poster was right when he/she said Jenkins got in solely because she's ND.

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

"My jaw dropped and hit my keyboard when I read this. This woman is voting on legislation she doesn't even READ?"

Remember the Wagle crusade against Dennis Dailey's sex-ed class? She hadn't read, viewed or reviewed any of the class contents, just went on the word of her crazy aide.

(that aide came on the forums and ranted for a day, so I can be justified in calling her crazy, as she was, at least in regards to sex and sex-ed)

wisenup21 8 years, 5 months ago

while i don't condone what jenkins did, voting upon something not read, why don't all of the armchair quarterbacks posting here get the big picture...... almost all of our elected officials DO NOT READ WHAT THEY VOTE ON.... most have no idea what they are voting on, don't know who really authored the legislation that they are supporting and are only vaquely representing the people who voted them into office in the first place. This should be the focus of discussion in this country, not the petty greivences between parties and who voted for who. All of us need to examine closely the persons running for office, not take them at face value, vote for the ones who actually represent our own minds, and foremostly HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. and it doesn't matter which party they belong to, they are where they are to represent US.

Sean Livingstone 8 years, 5 months ago

Bill Maher may just be right about Americans.... we keep blaming Lynn, Bush, Obama etc... but we voted them into offices.... so who's more "stupid" and "ignorant"?

NoSpin 8 years, 5 months ago

Wisenup21- could not have said it better. Congress does not write nor read the bills. We probably don't want to know who wrote them. Keep voting for your congressmen/women if you think bankrupting our country is in our best interest.

GardenMomma 8 years, 5 months ago

So, let's see...

1 - she doesn't read a resolution to pardon someone (posthumously or not). 2 - ironically it's the very person and situation to whom the quote she references is referring. 3 - "Mary Geiger, Jenkins’ press secretary [says] it would have been “nearly impossible” for anyone to read the resolution before it was approved on July 29." So, things are being passed without anyone able to take the time to read them? That's very scary!

Wow. Just wow.

feeble 8 years, 5 months ago

One and done, I think. Lynn might not survive her next primary if she keeps this up.

KansasVoter 8 years, 5 months ago

Just in case anyone is curious, here's the text of the resolution:

If Lynn Jenkins can't bother to read something that short, I'll bet that she hasn't read ANYTHING that she's voted on since she's been in Congress.

tollef 8 years, 5 months ago

Thank you KansasVoter. Now I am really miffed. I started to read the resolution at 6:46 and finished it at 6:48. I am sure it would be "nearly impossible" for anyone to read this before they actually voted on it. Six figure salary of wasted taxpayer money. Kudos to the people we pay to represent us. It took an aid longer to come up with an explanation than to read the bill.

tomatogrower 8 years, 5 months ago

cait48 (Anonymous) says…

My jaw dropped and hit my keyboard when I read this. This woman is voting on legislation she doesn't even READ?

She doesn't have to read it. She just votes the way the Republican guys tell her. Remember, good little Christian conservative women are suppose to demur to the man, because they know what's best for women.

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't know Marion, but maybe because it's a largely symbolic but utterly pointless piece of legislation and maybe he's had other things to do?

portstorm 8 years, 5 months ago

The only thing worse than a racist is an ignorant one. The only thing worse than that is someone that makes all Kansans seem like ignorant racists.

I didn't care too much for her before but she has just proven that she is at best a talking point puppet who probably lacks either the brains or the willingness to work that Boyda (take or leave her point if view) had.

"Conservative" does not have to equal backwards ignorant fool (although she appears to be proving the theory held by some).

jaywalker 8 years, 5 months ago

"This woman is voting on legislation she doesn't even READ?"

Seriously, cait? Where ya been? There was a gigantic piece of legislation passed lo not so long ago NObody read. Now what was that about again.....?

But it doesn't fly in this instance either. The 'freshman' (how has that term survived our national obsession with "pc-iness"?) has made another rookie blunder. She'd have negotiated this better if she had.. A) just been brutally honest from the start and admitted she didn't have a clue what that phrase meant and was too dense to see any issues it might bring up, or.... B) just been brutally honest and admit she didn't even read the prepared speech before taking the podium (or wherever she was) and was too dense to sense the impact of the words once she'd babbled them.

There was never a gracious, non-humiliating back door out of this. Only recourse in this situation is a sincerely penitent mea culpa. Anything else is just the same ol' song and dance.

truman1902 8 years, 5 months ago

My dad was a contributing correspondent for the Ring Magazine Boxing Publication in the 1930's..He witnessed Jack Johnson in his prime when he attended the Johnson/Flynn title fight in New Mexico as a 10 year old along with his dad. ..Even HE believed at the time, that although most in the crowds came to see Johnson's title taken from him by a white man---ANY white MAN, these pretenders had little chance against Jack Johnson's defense...Even Jess Willard, though a white hope with the heavyweight title, was little more than a circus giant whose reign lasted only a few months. I'm making this comparison to White Hopes as those Republicans who long for the Reagan ship to pull back into port and do battle with Barack Obama..

Jack Johnson now has his pardon, and has had the last laugh, with Lynn Jenkins now responsible for more of us learning the legend of this forgotten, and maligned GIANT of a boxer..Rest in Peace Jack. Your story is new again!!

mickeyrat 8 years, 5 months ago

Having already reached a conclusion about Jenkins' fitness to serve, I'm a bit more interested in this Associated Press report. From the story above:

"The phrase... is associated with pre-civil rights-era racism..."

Seriously, AP? Is it not associated with "post-1964" racism? ...or is the implication that racism no longer exists?

Sheesh. Talk about your "liberal bias..." :D

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

I love all the outrage that Jenkins didn't read the resolution presented by Jesse Jackson jr.

let's see, and the Kansas democrat party too?

Mr. Obama admitted in his own words that he hadn't read all of HR3200 the monster health insurance scandal he's foisting, pushing like heck, on all of us?

many of the democrat senators and house members admitted in their own words they hadn't read it either, or the companion legislation.

the nonstimulus "stimulus" package, lots of them admitted they hadn't read it either!

gee, those are far more serious in their impact on our country than the resolution to pardon the boxer!

hypocrites [see above].

TopJayhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Nobody read any of the stimulus stufff we passed either. That was because Dems were pushing stuff through before you had a chance. None of you Liberal eggheads in Lawrence had a bit of a problem with that. What a bunch of intellectually dishonest haters.

Mixolydian 8 years, 5 months ago

I saw another article that mentioned the resolution was on the house floor all of 3 minutes before the vote was taken. It's one of those feel good resolutions that everyone votes for. I doubt few actually read it before voting.

Simma down now everyone. Rubes.

I don't know which offends me the least

Sotomayor's 'Wise latina" remark. or Jenkins "Great white hope" remark.

Only one way to choose..

Eenie meenie miney moe, catch a tiger by the.....


jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

"None of you Liberal eggheads in Lawrence had a bit of a problem with that."

I think, if you look, that you'll find plenty of evidence to the contrary.

"What a bunch of intellectually dishonest haters."

Intellectually dishonest? What did they do, project feelings that they made up themselves onto a large and varied population to prove some sort of totally illusory point, only justified by generalized assumptions rather than any specific, real response? Man, what nerve!

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

"The pardon bill for Jack Johnson represents a way to right a nearly one-hundred-year-old wrong."

Okay, we'll all feel real good. Can you tell me what Real purpose it serves?

"Like kill Americans in Afghanistan for opium poppies?"

Oh good, you've gone with the moronic approach, so I can cut you loose without regret.


Mel Briscoe 8 years, 5 months ago

looks like politicians don't have access to spin doctors until they reach the federal level. she sure could've used one.

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