Archive for Sunday, July 11, 2010

Candidate takes issue with poll

July 11, 2010


— In the Kansas governor’s race, Democrat Tom Holland’s campaign is crying foul over a recent Rasmussen poll that showed Republican Sam Brownback way ahead.

“Nobody takes Rasmussen seriously. Nonpartisan polls clearly show that Kansans are fed up with Sam Brownback and his divisive Washington politics,” said Dana Houle, campaign manager for Holland.

Scott Rasmussen, founder and president of Rasmussen Reports, said in an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World that he sometimes gets that reaction from candidates on the short end of his polls.

“Every year, when candidates have bad poll numbers they complain about the pollsters,” Rasmussen said. He said Republicans were on his case in 2006 and 2008 when his polls showed Democrats were on the verge of making big gains.

But Rasmussen has been criticized by some on the left that his polling skews toward Republicans. Some media organizations will not cite his poll results. But Rasmussen defends his polling accuracy, noting that his were among the first surveys showing Republican Scott Brown clawing into contention in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race for Edward Kennedy’s seat, which Brown eventually won, and Joe Sestak defeating incumbent U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic Party primary.

Democrats in Kansas also criticized the Rasmussen poll because of a demographic detail of the survey that showed of voters 18-29 years old 100 percent strongly disapprove of President Barack Obama and 100 percent strongly favor repeal of the new health care bill. Democrats say that just isn’t likely, and wondered how many people 18-29 were actually polled.

When interviewed, Rasmussen said he didn’t have the details of the poll in front of him, but added that the number of 18-29 year olds surveyed in the Kansas poll could have been extremely low. As a general rule, he said, the number of likely young voters drops off from presidential election years.

In Kansas, Brownback, a U.S. senator who danced on the national stage during the last election cycle as a presidential hopeful, has a sizable advantage in name identification, money and party voter registration in the governor’s race.

The latest Rasmussen poll in the Kansas governor’s race showed Brownback with 59 percent and Holland 31 percent. The results were based on 500 likely voters, taken June 30, and with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

But Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City who has twice defeated incumbent Republicans, sees opportunity, and his campaign points toward Survey USA polling, which shows Brownback’s job approval ratings at 50 percent or below for the past four months.

Holland’s camp says he will be able to lure voters dissatisfied with Brownback once those voters know more about Holland.

Brownback’s campaign said whatever the polls say is irrelevant. “They don’t affect how the Brownback for governor campaign is working to share our message of growing the economy, improving education and protecting families,” the campaign said.

Rasmussen notes that between now and the Nov. 2 election is a long time in politics and a lot can change.

But he said one of the dominant features of the political landscape now is that this will be a a tough year for Democrats in state and congressional races.

On the national level, Rasmussen said that at this point the most likely outcome is that Republicans will gain a lot of seats in the House, but not enough to take it over.

In 1994, during former President Bill Clinton’s first midterm election, Republicans gained 54 seats and took control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

But Rasmussen said the political situation today is different from in 1994. Back then, many voters didn’t remember Republican control of the House and thought the GOP could do no worse than the Democrats, he said. But today, many voters remember the Republican-controlled House, and for many people, he said, “that’s not a pretty memory.”


Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 4 months ago

Kudos to the LJ World for following up on their earlier post about this poll.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

its the 'likely voters' polling that is the problem, that is a judgment call on their part. they should poll for all voters as well.

As to "improving education and protecting families". I think that means teaching creationism and revisionist history and assaulting the rights of anyone who does not fit the mold of 'family' as defined in 1954.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"The latest Rasmussen poll in the Kansas governor’s race showed Brownback with 59 percent and Holland 31 percent."

Given his advantage in name recognition, this isn't necessarily a good showing for Brownback.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

"likely voters" is a very well understood construct and quite meaningful. it is part of why Rasmussen has been so accurate before.

Holland is [desperately] comparing apples to hard boiled eggs.

studying "all voters" is totally meaningless.

and yes the findings about the young demo might well be accurate! young people leaving the Obama zombies in droves. anger, disappointment, buyers' remorse, big time.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Except that the number of young people surveyed was quite low - probably not a large enough sample to be representative.

dinglesmith 7 years, 4 months ago

Rasmussen has a well established "house effect" that currently favors republicans. They are not a partisan polling group, but in other national polls they tend to lean republican more than other pollsters. That said, 59-31 seems to be what I would expect in this race. No one knows Holland west of Topeka and Brownback hs no record outside of social issues that are safe in Kansas. I can't see Holland pulling enough moderates away from Brownback in this climate.

WilburM 7 years, 4 months ago

Honestly, Rasmussen has not been that accurate. Check out Nate Silver's web site ( re ranking of polling accuracy. Moreover, Rassmussen has a systematic modest Republican bias. That said, Brownback is ahead, but not by an insurmountable margin.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 4 months ago

"and yes the findings about the young demo might well be accurate! young people leaving the Obama zombies in droves. anger, disappointment, buyers' remorse, big time. "

Best post ever.

Jimo 7 years, 4 months ago

'"likely voters" is a very well understood construct and quite meaningful. it is part of why Rasmussen has been so accurate before.'

Rasmussen corrupts the well understood construct of "likely voters" by purposely weighting their polls to include more Republicans under the theory that GOP voters are more likely to vote. Hence, the INACCURACY -- well documented -- of their polls.

Besides, the fact that 18-29 years old 100 percent strongly disapprove of the President is all anyone needs to judge the accuracy of this poll. The transparent lie by Rasmussen that he doesn't have the details in front of him to comment on this joke is insulting to everyone's intelligence. A real pollster would have junked the poll and started over with results like this.

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

I am a Republican and I will be voting for Tom Holland. Brownback will be surprised about how many other Republicans will do the same. Brownback has run his course and his game is over. Bye, bye Sam...........

Dan Thalmann 7 years, 4 months ago

He's lying and Holland's campaign manager's comments are LOL.

situveux1 7 years, 4 months ago

Scott's really going out of his way to try and help Holland. This is interesting that some consider this news at all.

Romans832 7 years, 4 months ago

I think I heard somewhere that the only "poll" that means anything is the one in November. The KU basketball team still has to play the games even if they're ranked #1, because there's always a "chance" that someone might beat them. Whoever is ahead in the polls now still has to compete up until the "championship game."

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Simply because Brownback has a ton of special interest money is no reason he should be elected. Voters are as much of the problem as corrupt money.

Take a look at our city commission. The biggest spenders are in charge and taxes have consistently increased with their presence. The big local special interest groups still dictate and our taxes,utility rates and swimming fees continue to increase.

That is the problem with todays voters and something that all of us should change. The biggest spenders have yet to establish themselves as people with ability to make the best decisions regarding our tax dollars. Sam Brownback like our city commission is no exception.

The other day as I was listening to KCUR 3 kansas political spokespeople talked more about how much money people have than about the substance of their campaigns or any party history. Straight talk gets left behind in favor of not offending anyone.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes - it would probably be better not to use polls at all, and simply wait until the election is over to determine who won.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

I never have and never will vote for Brownback. I flat out do not trust him, period. I place him in the same camp as Phil Klein; I feel that if I were to shake hands with him I would have to count my fingers afterwards.

That being said, I agree with Romans832 (at1247). The only poll that really matters is that which takes place on the first Tuesday in November.

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

In the Phew Poll, Brownback is definately in the lead.

Liberty275 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr Holland will have major issues with the poll in Nov ember.

jimmyjms 7 years, 4 months ago

"and yes the findings about the young demo might well be accurate! young people leaving the Obama zombies in droves. anger, disappointment, buyers' remorse, big time. "

Being that you are not young, and more than likely don't hang out with young dems, rappin' about life and politics, how did you arrive at your supposition?

The idea that "100%" of any group agrees on anything should be enough to let you know that these numbers are suspect.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 4 months ago

100% of that one guy they polled... A big factor in polling vs, reality: cell phones do not get polled and more and more young people do not have land lines. B_G's assumption about young people may be based on results of this.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't know why Holland is surprised. Kansans have been voting against their best interest for decades."What's the Matter With Kansas" should be required reading for voters in this state. Holland has my vote.

BigDog 7 years, 4 months ago

If you are down in the polls significantly ... you never like the polls. But sometimes the polls are quite accurate and you have to accept reallity.

If Democrats really thought they had a true chance to beat Brownback ... do you think that Tom Holland would have been their nominee ... and Kelly Kultula as the 2nd?

If Democratic insiders thought they could win .... you would have saw someone with more experience and political clout in both positions.

Much like when Jim Barnett was the Republican nominee when Sebelius was seeking re-election. Republican insiders knew she couldn't be beaten or you would have seen bigger names stepping forward (ie. Ron Thornburgh, Jerry Moran, etc.)

Centerville 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom Holland, a union shill, would not be able to analyse a poll if it analyzed itself for him.

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

What makes Tom Holland " a union shill" ? Please explain for us all.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom Holland is quite a smart conservative democrat. Tom Holland IS the best choice for Kansas.

Yes he has as good a chance as the beltway republican.

Brownback did little for the Kansas economy while in Washington D.C. Why put him on another tax dollar payroll? He hates government but loves taxpayers supporting him.

Tom Holland is the best choice for Kansas because he has spent the last 12 years in Kansas NOT Washington D.C.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Topeka — Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson tossed his political support Thursday behind the Democratic candidate to succeed him, calling Tom Holland a centrist who can keep the state moving forward.

Parkinson said Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, and his running mate, state Sen. Kelly Kultala of Kansas City, have the business experience and temperament to seek political compromise in the statehouse.

"We can't afford the partisan bickering or political rhetoric that we see in Washington," said Parkinson, who has chosen not to run for a full term as governor. "They worked with Republicans and Democrats to create jobs, support our schools and protect our communities."

Holland and Kultala are unopposed in the Democratic primary. They will face the winner of the Aug. 3 Republican primary between U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback and Joan Heffington of Derby.

Parkinson said Brownback is too far to the right ideologically and has been in Washington too long to effectively govern Kansas. By contrast, the governor touted Holland and Kultala as centrists who would continue the tradition of moderate Kansas governors.

Republicans responded to Parkinson's endorsement by saying the governor was wrong to echo President Barack Obama's call for more federal spending to revive the economy. Parkinson joined a group of governors in Washington on Wednesday calling on Congress to pass an extension of federal Medicaid benefits to shore up state budgets. Kansas is counting on $131 million in federal funds to make the 2011 budget balance.

"That won't work and it shows how out of touch Democrats are with the people of Kansas," said state GOP Chairwoman Amanda Adkins.

Parkinson himself is a former chairman of the state GOP. He said he had contributed to Brownback's Senate races, as he supported other Republicans he didn't agree with politically.

He switched parties to become Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' running mate in 2006, and became governor when she was appointed by Obama to head the federal health and human services agency.

Parkinson said he would spend the campaign season working for Holland and other Democrats. But he didn't plan on speaking out for moderate Republicans who face conservative challengers in August.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

Not whining rockchalk, not in the least, especially when compared with shrill squeeks from those who "know they're right." Simply stating how I feel about Brownback. BTW, I like KS, you can move if you wish though. You might like it, especially the back country in SE Missouri.

Kyle Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

Any of you that truely think it matters where he's been, what he's done, or what he says he will do are morons. He's a politician and if elected he'll be just another example of what's wrong with our political system. He doesn't care about you anymore than I do. Wake UP!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Republicans are completely out of touch with reality. Repubs have been responsible for bringing the economy down more than once. Brownback apparently condones this activity simply by remaining a republican.

Why would a country ever vote republican after these crimes against america?

Bush Reagan Iran – Contra Secret Weapons Affair

Nixon's Watergate

The Bush/Cheney money hole aka their multi-trillion dollar violent occupation of Iraq,Afghanistan,Pakistan

The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers

What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money?

The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist

Bush family of politicians "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination. Many PNAC members held highest-level positions in the George W. Bush administration.

The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers

What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money?

Why did Repubs allow GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion,place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy)

Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom Holland is quite a smart conservative democrat. Tom Holland IS the best choice for Kansas.

Tom Holland is the best choice for Kansas because he has spent the last 12 years in Kansas NOT Washington D.C.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 4 months ago

Merrill - Didn't YOUR PLC spend more than they took in taxes??? So if you think Holland is the person to vote for, I will vote for anyone besides the one you like.

Godot 7 years, 4 months ago

And Holland's most significant qualification for being governor is that he once played a governor in a local theatrical production.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 4 months ago

He spent the last 12 years doing what??? I only hear about Holland during election time. I never hear about what accomplishes when the legislature is in session. So Merrill, what has he done??? Serious question, maybe Merrill you should wait to answer.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Let's educate ourselves and in the process we will discover that Bush and Paulson lied again in that there were only 3 financial institutions in serious jeopardy...

What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money?

This whole matter of blaming others for what the Bush family of politicians do is old style Reagan/Bush days. Then again so is taking down financial institutions. The repub party is unethical through and through. The party is seriously contaminated.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Unlike in Washington DC, where they leave problems for others to fix, in Kansas we take responsibility and find solutions. Last week in the Senate I joined together with Republicans and Democrats to balance our state budget.

These bills have now all been approved, and our work in Topeka for this session is done.

I could have taken an easy way out, and maybe scored some cheap political points. But Kansans needed leaders, people unafraid to do what's hard, and elected officials who could set aside partisan fighting for the good of all Kansans.

As a result of our work, we've avoided further cuts to schools, we can afford to keep criminals in prison, and we'll be able to keep the doors open for essential public services. We also invested in our state's transportation system, which will create jobs for many years to come.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Will Sam Brownback Continue to Protect Wall Street Bankers and Their Washington Lobbyists? May 3, 2010

Last week Sam Brownback voted three times to keep the Senate from moving forward on a bill to crack down on the worst problems on Wall Street. For years Washington didn't pay attention while the Wall Street banks gambled on risky investment gimmicks.

Those schemes eventually fell apart, and the taxpayers got stuck bailing out the banks that helped cause the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now the executives of those same banks are paying themselves record bonuses.

It's obvious that we need to deal with the problems on Wall Street. But Sam Brownback and others used some gimmicks of their own to deny a majority in the Senate from even having a vote on the bill to reform Wall Street.

After blocking it three times, they finally stopped obstructing the vote. But now that the Senate is dealing with this bill, which side will Sam Brownback take? Will he continue to protect Wall Street executives and their Washington lobbyists, or will he look out for the interests of Kansans?

Steve Jacob 7 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is going to win, and while I commend Holland for running, it's a done deal.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Brownback Whiffs on Wall Street Crackdown

Takes Third Strike on Financial Regulation Bill

TOPEKA: For the third straight day, Republican Senator Sam Brownback helped block an up-or-down vote on a sweeping reform of Wall Street that would prohibit the risky practices that led to the taxpayer bailout of the banking industry and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The Senate voted 57 to 41 to end debate and begin voting on the financial regulation bill, with Brownback voting in the minority. However, under Senate rules, a minority of 40 votes can sustain a filibuster, thus preventing further action on the bill.

“Instead of working to reign in the greed and recklessness on Wall Street, Sam Brownback is once again playing political games in Washington DC,” said State Senator Tom Holland, Brownback’s Democratic opponent for governor.

“Games like this may be normal in Washington, but we don’t need Sam Brownback bringing Washington DC politics back with him to Kansas.”

S. 3217 would prevent future taxpayer bailouts of failed financial firms, crack down on risky investments like the ones that toppled Lehman Brothers and AIG, require lenders to explain in clear English the terms for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other financial products, and strengthen laws to protect consumers and individual investors.

“American taxpayers bailed out the institutions that created the financial crisis, and now those institutions are paying their executives record bonuses,” said Holland. "Sam Brownback had teamed up with Wall Street executives and their Washington lobbyists to play political games in Congress. As governor, I won't play games, I'll just work hard for the people of Kansas."

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 4 months ago

Never under estimate that Merrill has no original thought and must cut and paste. Plus Bush only does wrong while ALL Democrats do no wrong!!!!!!! Merrill lay off the pipe!!!!!!!!!!

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 4 months ago

Instead of attacking Merrill, why don't you post a link proving him wrong. Don't worry I'll wait.

pace 7 years, 4 months ago

I take issue with some of the polls, those that say people don't want health care insurance seem to be precious.

Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

commuter, cutting and pasting isn't that hard to do when the dumblicans have a history of being money grubbing, special interest shilling, religious and abortion shilling vote prostitutes who do nothing except try and bring the country to a halt as they did under Gingrich and his contract with america farce. Deregulate and get theirs at the expense of all of us from tea pot dome to laissez faire to military industrial complex to junk bonds to savings and loans to market derivatives to equity schemes. Not to mention cutting taxes and wondering how programs are going to be paid for while passing unfunded mandates. These people are the wrecking crew as that particular book stated and the people that H. L Mencken referred to with the American People stupidity comment that keep living up to that moniker to the detriment of the rest of us.

thatonedude 7 years, 4 months ago

On the one hand, Rasmussen's system is arbitrary and flawed, on the other, even I, a supporter of Sen. Holland, know that he's got to be behind right now.

BigPrune 7 years, 4 months ago

"But he said one of the dominant features of the political landscape now is that this will be a a tough year for Democrats in state and congressional races" -Rasmussen

That is because the Democrats are not representing their constituents at all and instead are taking their cues from their messiah and Fuhrer Obama.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

"Sam Brownback is part of the problem in Washington DC. I'm proud to have been a part of the solution in Kansas." Sen Tom Holland

By the way it is better to cut and paste the facts and be able to provide a link than it is to offer up statements that cannot be substantiated and in fact sometimes are lies.

One thing that is important to Kansas is public schools. I know Tom Holland understands that a good public school system is important to economic growth. Tom Has been involved in supporting public education since his first days as a Kansas legislator and it was part of his campaign since day one back in 2003. Tom Holland can easily document such a position.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

1989--President George HW Bush unveils Savings & Loan bailout plan in February. In August, Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).

What is important to note about the S&L scandal is that it was the largest theft in the history of the world and US tax payers are who was robbed.

The problems occurred in the Savings and Loan industry as they relate to theft because the industry was deregulated under the Reagan/Bush administration and restrictions were eased on the industry so much that abuse and misuse of funds became easy, rampant, and went unchecked.

There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and still part of the Bush Jr. administration today.

Jeb Bush defaulted on a $4.56 million loan from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida. After federal regulators closed the S&L, the office building that Jeb used the $4.56 million to finance was reappraised by the regulators at $500,000, which Bush and his partners paid. The taxpayers had to pay back the remaining 4 million plus dollars.

Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this is about one quarter of our national debt).

independant1 7 years, 4 months ago

Rassmussen poll is bad news for Holland democrats in Kansas. As usual, slay the messenger.

By the way ain't that a fine set of clothes the emperor is wearing! Absolutely beautiful!

Some people spend a lifetime juggling with words, with not an idea in a carload. (Will Rogers a methodist and a 3rd cherokee)

lounger 7 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is the devil. Dont vote for the devil.

rtwngr 7 years, 4 months ago

Holland will carry Douglas and Wyandotte counties. All the rest will go Brownback. Yay.

Merrill, this blog was about state politics. On a national level, you can cut and paste yourself into oblivion but the simple fact is that your man, Obama, could not be more unqualified to lead a nation. (Not that McCain would have been better, probably.) We all heard about how intelligent and well spoken he was. The facts that escaped everyone's attention was that he had never managed anything at all. Not a business, a municipality, or even a classroom where he had to prepare a curriculum. His administration has stood by and allowed voter intimidation to go unpunished. His administration has stood by and allowed the economy to continue to wallow in lethargy. His administration has tried to sell us on the idea that 9.7% unemployment is ok as long as it isn't 15% or 20%. (That takes nerve to sell that one.) All the while proclaiming to the world that the U.S. can no longer be expected to lead the world economically. My 5th grade teacher had a reply for that: "Can't never did anything!"

BigDog 7 years, 4 months ago


Tom Holland is a nice guy but please tell me what he has been a leader on during his years at the Capitol. Voting for something doesn't make you a leader ...... I want to know what legislation or issue he has been a leader on. There are only 9 Democratic State Senators, I wouldn't put him in the top 5 as a leader.

I have been around the Capitol for over 13 years observing the legislative process and cannot recall a time he has stepped forward. Over the last couple of years; with the state in a mess .... on the major issues .... he never stood up and spoke or presented a plan. This was his opportunity to show leadership. Leadership is a demonstrated characteristic not one you give yourself in a campaign speech.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

What makes Sam Brownback qualified to be governor? What steps did Sam Brownback take to stop the fraudulent banking activity that obviously had been going on for a few years?

How could a true conservative support the "boom town economics" that was being fueled by the federal reserve and the home loan fiasco? How could a true conservative stand by an inflation driven economy? It was after all the republican party running the reckless economic fiasco.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

1989--President George HW Bush unveils Savings & Loan bailout plan in February.

What is important to note about the S&L scandal is that it was the largest theft in the history of the world costing American tax payers over $1.4 trillion dollars.

14 Oct 2008 - President George W. Bush unveiled the largest taxpayer funded bail out of American banks since the great depression yesterday, sparking claims that America is now a socialist state like Cuba and North Korea. ( Father Bush did it and Son Bush follows father)

August, 1981--Tax Reform Act of 1981 enacted. Provides powerful tax incentives for real-estate investment by individuals. This legislation helps create a "boom" in real estate and contributes to over-building. ((((( Sounds quite familiar to the latest failures of financial institutions))) (((Sounds a whole lot like the economy in Lawrence,Kansas)))

Why do republican administrations follow this pattern? Coincidental? Like Father Like Son?

"Often, government plays a role in bubbles. The housing bubble was in part generated by the Federal Reserve maintaining low interest rates. Easy money meant readily obtainable loans and, at least in the short run, low monthly payments.

Also, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan denied the housing bubble’s existence—not fraud exactly, but deception that kept the bubble going. (Greenspan, whose view was ideologically driven, got support in his bubble denial from the academic work of the man who was to be his successor, Ben Bernanke.)

In addition, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to the highly risky practices of financial firms, practices that both encouraged the development of the bubble and made the impact all the worse when it burst. Moreover, the private rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s) were complicit. Dependent on the financial institutions for their fees, they gave excessively good ratings to these risky investments. Perhaps not fraud in the legal sense, but certainly misleading.

And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities.

So, no, a bubble and a Ponzi scheme are not the same. But they have elements in common. Usually, however, the losers in a Ponzi scheme are simply the direct investors, the schemer’s marks. A bubble like the housing bubble can wreak havoc on all of us."

Arthur MacEwan is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Dollars & Sense Associate.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 4 months ago

If there are face-to-face debates they might be interesting. Holland might actually have some ideas, who knows? The Senator seems to have only three to save Kansas: 1. Cut corporate income taxes; 2. Outlaw abortion; and 3. Continue schools on their new financial diet and help them become more 'efficient.'

anitliars 7 years, 4 months ago

Of course Sam will win. Kansas is SUCH a Republican state. But there have been exceptions....

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

"Paulson actually called that meeting. He called the heads of those banks the night before and said, “I want you here tomorrow in Washington.” He was very vague as to what the purpose of the meeting was.

But once they got there, he told them, “You are taking money. We are going to buy stock in your banks. And we need to get this economy going again.” Some bankers objected, saying by accepting this money it would look like they were weak. Others simply said they didn’t need it.

The fact of the matter is, one of the things we concluded very early on in this whole process is that while Treasury was trying to create the image that there was widespread weakness in these banks—and then there was a credit freeze, there’s no doubt about that—the way they went about this,

just throwing the money out there in hopes that that would get the economy going, is not really what this was all about.

There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America, Citigroup, those three were clearly in very weakened form. So, many of the other big banks were not. And the best example that they didn’t need this money in the beginning was that many of them, within just a very few months, paid everything back."

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Sam Brownback will try to set womens rights back a few decades.

Sam Brownback will want bring on:

Beware: TABOR Is Coming. After devastating government services in Colorado, the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" threatens to spread.

Death Tax Deception

Sam will also bring on his idea of limited Government and no tax hikes which in essence = more of YOUR local and state big government tax dollars going to corporate welfare supported by laissez faire government which is one player in the recent killing of the USA economy.

Public Education dollars will be in further jeopardy.

Tax breaks have never prevented a recession AND there is no substantial evidence that tax breaks promote new employment of any significance.

Tax cuts/breaks mean someone else such as you and me make up the losses. Tax breaks obviously do not keep USA jobs in the USA. USA tax breaks have supported USA corporations operations in China and abroad generally. U.S. government policies have encouraged globalization, which translates into shipping jobs overseas. There is indeed a tax break for US-based multinational corporations to locate operations overseas.

Programs such as NAFTA have lowered the cost of shipping jobs south of the border, and there's no economic penalty facing U.S. companies that decide to ship jobs overseas.

The State of Kansas needs none of the above that is the bottom line.

independant1 7 years, 4 months ago

Remember? All spending bills begin in the House.

Since 1945

The Democrats have had the majority in 26 sessions Republicans 7 sessions in the House of Representatives.

In Senate it's Dems 23, Rep. 10 sessions.

15 Dems presidents, 18 Rep presidents.

God bless the loyal opposition!

independant1 7 years, 4 months ago

In 23 congressional sessions the dems controlled both house and senate, republicans 7 sessions.

ralphralph 7 years, 4 months ago


I'm not losing 90-to-10, it's only 85-to-15!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom Holland for Governor!

The house on C Street By Patrick Kelley Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SEN. SAM BROWNBACK will be leaving Washington next year to come back to Kansas to run for governor. He’s picked a good time to get out of town.

Scandals have drawn unwelcome attention to the senator’s home in the nation’s capital — the house at 133 C St. SE. Brownback lives there with five other members of Congress, including Sen. John Ensign of Nevada. Ensign has admitted an affair with a member of his staff and news reports have alleged questionable payments made to that staff member.

Other residents of the house apparently counseled Ensign about the affair and at one point supervised his writing of a letter breaking off the relationship. Ensign apparently called his lover soon after the letter was sent and told her to ignore it.

Ensign is not the only politician who has sought advice at C Street. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a former member of Congress, recently told a reporter that he went to the house for advice about his affair with a woman in Argentina.

So the house on C Street and its residents, like it or not, are now in the spotlight — connected, at least peripherally, with two current sex scandals in U.S. politics.

The resulting scrutiny has extended to the house itself and its role in politics.

U.S. News & World Report reported that the house is owned by a “secretive religious organization” alternately known as the “Fellowship” or the “Foundation.” The bottom two floors of the building are registered in tax records as a church. The members of Congress live on the third floor. Each pays $600 a month rent, an extremely low rate for housing within walking distance of the Capitol.

Commentators have begun to ask what role the group that owns the house plays in the careers of its tenants and what influence it may wield in matters of government.

Brownback has not been connected to the Ensign or Sanford scandals beyond mention that he is a resident of the house. But the scandals have directed attention to the house, its owners and the people who live there.

That is the sort of attention that a candidate for Kansas governor can do without. Perhaps it is time for the senator to find more expensive quarters for the rest of his time in Washington.

Patrick S. Kelley

Editorial Page Editor Emporia Gazette

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