Topeka Republican candidates in the 2nd U.S. House District race traded accusations on Wednesday about wasting taxpayers’ money.
Dennis Pyle demanded that U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, pay back $420,000 of taxpayer funds that she spent for what Pyle called “taxpayer-funded junk mail.”
Jenkins’ campaign struck back, accusing Pyle of wasting taxpayer dollars on “junkets” as a state legislator.
This included more than $1,300 spent last summer attending a conference in Overland Park “while the state budget tanked,” said Hogan Miller, a spokesman for the Jenkins campaign.
Pyle, a state senator from Hiawatha, faces Jenkins in the Aug. 3 Republican Party primary. The 2nd district includes much of eastern Kansas, including western Douglas County.
At a news conference, Pyle stood before a banner that included some of the mailings that Jenkins sent by using her franking privilege as a member of Congress.
Some of the glossy, full-color pieces had phrases such as: “Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, CPA: Fighting wasteful spending and restoring fiscal responsibility,” and “Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, CPA is working to end deficit spending and looking out for taxpayers.”
Pyle said she should use her campaign war chest to pay back the treasury what was spent on the mailings.
Jenkins has defended her use of franking, saying it is necessary to communicate with people in the district. She has also said she reduced expenses in other areas of her office.
Her campaign said Pyle was irresponsible when it came to fiscal issues because of his taxpayer-funded trips.