Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Political newcomer takes on familiar face in 2nd Congressional District race

October 20, 2010


2010 Kansas Elections: U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District

Lynn Jenkins, Robert Garrard and Cheryl Hudspeth are running for U.S. House of Representatives in the 2nd Congressional District.

Election 2010

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— Cheryl Hudspeth arrived in Topeka for a campaign visit alone, no entourage or staff. Just Hudspeth in the family van after the long drive from southeast Kansas.

The Girard resident admits the size of the 2nd Congressional District makes it tough for a candidate to reach from the Oklahoma border in the south to the northern tier of counties bordering Nebraska. Voters may not know her well, Hudspeth said, but they know Republican Lynn Jenkins.

“Most people are confused what district they’re in, but as soon as I tell them who I am running against they know precisely who their representative is and how unhappy they are,” Hudspeth said. “People are feeling they aren’t getting good representation.”

Jenkins is seeking her second term in Washington. Also on the ballot is Libertarian Robert Garrard of Edgerton.

Jenkins is a political veteran, having served one term each in the Kansas House and Senate before a stint as state treasurer. In 2008, she defeated incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda.

Jenkins was once largely identified with Republican moderates. She then received a 92 percent rating from the American Conservative Union for 2009, her first year in Congress.

She’s become a reliable vote in the House against President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda, most notably the $862 billion economic stimulus package in 2009. Jenkins said cutting taxes would do more to stimulate the economy, and she’s outraged at the size of the federal debt.

“Washington can spend all it wants, but is not going to grow us out of this slump,” Jenkins said.

The threat of expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and government regulation are keeping companies and small businesses who otherwise might be looking to invest in the economy from investing, she said.

Hudspeth disagrees that the cuts should be extended for all. She said the government made the mistake of making the cuts shortly after President George W. Bush took office, then launched two wars without the means to pay for them.

“The issue is not to provide more stimulus, but how do you put $2 trillion worth of wealth back to work here,” she said. “People are investing in jobs overseas.”

She said that may require the easing of regulations and creating more public-private projects to get people working, not just more tax cuts.

Jenkins has been critical of the 2010 health care reform bill championed by Obama and the Democrats. She, like a majority of conservatives in Congress, want to see the act de-funded, repealed and replaced with alternatives. Among the biggest complaints is that the act is too onerous for small businesses and will stymie growth as the nation’s economic recovery limps along.

“The majority of Kansans would like to see it repealed and replaced with something dealing with the issue at hand,” Jenkins said. “The Obama bill did nothing to deal with the rising costs.”

She said there were a host of small steps that Congress could take instead of the massive reform, including allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines and expanding the use of health savings accounts.

“My hope is the president can come to the table and be willing to compromise,” Jenkins said. “If not, we will send a bill over once a week until he comes around.”

Hudspeth isn’t a cheerleader for the health care act either, but says it needs time to be implemented and the bugs worked out, much as it took a decade or more to refine Social Security and Medicare.

One of the criticisms of the health care act is the government entering the market to compete against private insurers. But Hudspeth said there are situations where families have pre-existing conditions or are in high-risk pools and they can’t find affordable policies in the private sector.

“The idea that the government shouldn’t be in market is fine, but when the market fails to provide a product that’s needed, then the government steps in,” Hudspeth said.

Hudspeth’s personal experience drives her view on health care. Her husband suffered severe injuries in a car accident in 2006 and uses a wheelchair, and she became his full-time caretaker after the wreck. That has forced her to wrangle with insurance companies over benefits.

She suggests the government sell policies so high-risk Americans lacking health insurance can buy into Medicare.

“The private sector doesn’t want a public option because they are afraid they will lose business,” Hudspeth said.

Jenkins anticipates many changes in Washington come January. She hopes the new faces come ready to stand up for the issues.

“This new group of Republicans in Washington is attempting to restore some trust in Congress. That’s not going to happen overnight,” she said. “We have to earn back people’s trust. We’re attempting to do that right now.


Catalano 7 years, 5 months ago

Please. How can you trust someone involved with Jere McElheney?

Ms. Jenkins would do much better if she did toothpaste commercials.

meggers 7 years, 5 months ago

Nah, she's much more of an infomercial kind of gal. You know, the kind that sell worthless products to gullible consumers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

"You know, the kind that sell worthless products to gullible consumers."

You mean like the Republican Party?

JustNoticed 7 years, 5 months ago

And she's just another Dividificator, no good at mending fences. And we know Jere has nothing to share about mending fences.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Good a reason as any to choose, I guess. That is, if you can pull the voting lever with your TinkyWinky. ;-)

olddognewtrix 7 years, 5 months ago

Anyone interested in the huge economic benefit from the building of the NBAF facility at KSU shiould not vote for Jenkins. she is a just say "NO" Republican on funding of major positive economic items. Remember she became the most costly of all members of Congress to use the Franking privilege to send out monthly slick political propaganda to the district constituents. She is so phony it is pitiful!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Have voters forgotten who and what put them out of work twice in the last 30 years?

The Global Economy and Reagnomics are absolute failures for the USA!!!

This is what I mean:

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist( millions out of work) "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 were part of the Bush Jr. administration.

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 was about one quarter of our national debt").

The Reagan/Bush savings and loan heist was considered the largest theft in history at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush then took $1.4 trillion of taxpayers money to cover the theft.

  1. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers(millions out of work) 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."

  2. Only 3 major Financial Institutions were at risk in spite of what we’re told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America and Citigroup, Those three were clearly in very weakened form. Many of the other big banks simply were not.

  3. Privatizing Social Security Would Place the Nations Economy at Risk "Social Security privatization will raise the size of the government's deficit to nearly $700 billion per year for the next 20 years, almost tripling the size of the national debt.

Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk--it would likely put the entire economy at risk."

  1. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - (DO NOT create Jobs)

The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = tax increases for the middleclass.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

*During the 20th century, there were several periods lasting more than 10 years where the return on stocks was negative. After the Dow Jones stock index went down by over 75% between 1929 and 1933, the Dow did not return to its 1929 level until 1953. In claiming that the rate of return on a stock investment is guaranteed to be greater than the return on any other asset would be a lie.

*Until 1984, the trust fund was "pay-as-you-go," meaning current benefits were paid using current tax revenues. In 1984, Congress raised payroll taxes to prepare for the retirement of the baby boom generation. As a result, the Social Security trust fund, which holds government bonds as assets, has been growing. When the baby boomers retire, these bonds will be sold to help pay their retirement benefits.

*If the trust fund went to zero, Social Security would simply revert to pay-as-you-go. It would continue to pay benefits using (then-current) tax revenues, and in doing so, it would be able to cover about 70% of promised benefit levels. According to analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a 70% benefit level then would actually be higher than 2005 benefit levels in constant dollars (because of wage adjustments). In other words, retirees would be taking home more in real terms than today's retirees do. The system won't be bankrupt in any sense.

*What impact would a Wall Street plan have on the national debt?

Unless taxes are raised, the government(taxpayers) would have to borrow up to $4 trillion over the next 20 years to make up the money that is drained out of the system by private accounts. Social Security privatization will raise the size of the government's deficit to nearly $700 billion per year for the next 20 years, almost tripling the size of the national debt.

*How will the rest of the U.S. economy be affected if the president's plan is enacted?

Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk--it would likely put the entire economy at risk.

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