Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

U.S. House candidate criticized over comment made at forum

July 18, 2012


Robert Eye, who is running for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District race, on Wednesday criticized his primary opponent Tobias Schlingensiepen for a comment made in a candidate forum.

During the forum on Monday in Lawrence, Schlingensiepen explained why he was running for office.

“I’d like to be a better kind of representative. I’d like to be one that is responsive to the people of the 2nd District, and one who has some good humor and some tenacity, and frankly some balls to just stand up to some of the terrible things that are happening in the Congress today. We need people with spine,” he said.

Eye, a Lawrence attorney, said Schlingensiepen’s statement implied that one of the qualifications for leadership is to have male anatomy.

“If you believe in bringing people together and being an effective leader for our district and state, how can you marginalize more than 50 percent of the population by inferring that you need to be a male to be an effective leader?” Eye said.

“As someone who has worked as an advocate for women’s rights for the past 30 years, I find such comments troubling and deserving of clarification,” he added.

Schlingensiepen, a Topeka minister on leave from his church, said that he made an “unfortunate choice of words” and that he has always been a strong advocate for women.

He said he should have said that Congress needs more representatives who have the “spine” to reach across the aisle and work on solutions to the country’s problems. Of Eye’s comments, Schlingensiepen said, “Nice political posturing, Bob.”

Scott Barnhart, a farmer from Ottawa, is also vying for the Democratic nod in the Aug. 7 primary. U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, is seeking a third two-year term.


Eybea Opiner 1 year, 9 months ago

Two more idiotic Democrats focusing on what's not important.


zombielover74 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm not really sure what Bob was hoping for here but, as a woman, I would rather have someone with balls in Congress then someone who tries to make an "innocent" statement into a mud slinging contest. Any fool knows that Bob is trying to turn the spotlight onto himself and obviously has the mentality that any publicity is good publicity. His campaign manager is obviously not doing his job and needs to return to running his own office.


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 9 months ago

For a minister to talk about "balls". Takes some balls. Vote the guy in and even Margaret thatcher had "iron lady balls". Btw. Bob eye is not relayed to one. "eye". Everyone is so politically correct. How did eye bob ever get thru puberty?


classclown 1 year, 9 months ago


Mr. Eye is at least aware a representative should no longer be assumed to be the white male.

July 19, 2012 at 4:34 p.m


The irony here is that as far as the Democrats are concerned, it's only white males running to be a representative. With the added bonus of Eye himself being the dreaded "old white man"


Dan Eyler 1 year, 9 months ago

Now that Bob can't make any more money on the Wetlands court battles and legal fee's he needs to drum up new business as another Lawyer in the Ks Legislature. This guy is simply pissed because he finally lost the court battle over the K10 extension. He has cost the Kansas tax payer millions in delaying the process and he will take that right on to Topeka if elected. I like the preacher and I like his plain spoken english. Democrats need a whole lot more Truman back in their platform!


cowboy 1 year, 9 months ago

Eye is a weasel , anyone else wonder whether his run is related to the SLT approval ?

I like a democrat with balls !


Cindy Yulich 1 year, 9 months ago

Schliengenseipen just got my vote. Or maybe Eye lost my vote is more accurate. Tobias is right.....and it speaks volumes to me that Eye would choose to comment on this vs something of substance.


cheeseburger 1 year, 9 months ago

I bet the impetus behind this article was for Rothschild to give a boost to Eye's campaign.

Judging from these comments, it appears it might have had the opposite effect.


adraburks 1 year, 9 months ago

Although the language may be accepted in some circles, our Congressional representative represents the entire district. For some, that slang is not acceptable. For others, obviously, it is normal language.

Mr. Eye is at least aware a representative should no longer be assumed to be the white male. The context in which the statement was made by Rev. Schliengenseipen would suggest that limitation as one interpretation.

However, this really is not a campaign issue.


JustNoticed 1 year, 9 months ago

Politics as usual, nothing but BS.


JustNoticed 1 year, 9 months ago

Come on, Bob. This just makes you look stupid, like you're grasping for some meaningless mud to sling. And nearly all of the posts above agree with the obvious. IT'S FIGURATIVE SPEECH. So get a pair yourself and campaign on something real.

I agree too that Schlingensiepen has nothing to apologize for and he's a moron for having done so. He should have just pointed out the obvious as everyone here has done.


LarryTownVoter 1 year, 9 months ago

Mr. Eye's campaign manager is also a member of the Topeka city council. You might remember that just a few months ago, Topeka again brought Kansas into the national spotlight when the city government started playing political games with the victims of domestic violence. My point is, coming from these guys, this feminist outrage seems a little suspect...


Toni Shelton 1 year, 9 months ago

To criticize such a commonly used phrase shows how childish some people can be......


autie 1 year, 9 months ago

Sometimes I'm a little slow to realize....but I'm now in the 2nd district. I'm voting for this Schlingensiepen fellow. I hear he has got some balls to tackle the tough issues.


Kate001222 1 year, 9 months ago

I didn't necessarily read that as an apology.


Tristan Moody 1 year, 9 months ago

Anyone else think that by giving that apology he undercut the very point he was trying to make?

The response I would have preferred: eyeroll "Oh please."


ioconnell 1 year, 9 months ago

Eye needs to keep his eye on the ball(!) -- which is to beat Jenkins. Tobias may just be the one to do it!


logicisking 1 year, 9 months ago

i heard that balls remark during the political forum and thought it was funny, and after reading this article, now we know the difference between a topeka liberal and a lawrence liberal: topeka liberals will have the balls to use the word "balls" !!

i also like tobias' response to Eye's complaint: "Nice political posturing, Bob.”

i'm liking what i see so far of tobias!


Mike George 1 year, 9 months ago

I knew that I couldn't vote for Bob Eye before, but this really seals the deal. Ridiculous.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

I'd like to know the context in which Eye made these criticisms. Seems like that should have been included in this story-- was it a press conference, a press release, or was it during an interview with the reporter?


Kate001222 1 year, 9 months ago

Too bad Mr. Eye feels the need to give a twist to something that was most likey said in innocence. This is a pathetic attack. Tobias for Congress!


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Either of these two would be a welcome and able replacement to Jenkins. That's all that matters.


classclown 1 year, 9 months ago

Bob Eye has used this incident to amply demonstrate what an idiot he is. I suppose if Schlingensiepen used the term "guts" the Eye would complain that people that had an intestinal bypass were being marginalized.

+1 to Schlingensiepen for having the balls to speak frankly and directly to those he wishes to represent.

Eye 0 Schlingensiepen 1


purplesage 1 year, 9 months ago

Schliengenseipen is a liberal Congregational clergyman. I thought, after reading the comment that Mr. Eye,, a good guy by his own testimony, might have found issue with the crudeness of the comment. But, I'm disappointed in both of them. But not for Eye's stated reasons. It is just a little too vernacular.


Budgets_Smudgets 1 year, 9 months ago

Kind of a reach, Bob. You are better than that.


jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

Now if he were the first to use such vernacular, I might raise an eyebrow. But seeing as it's a common enough expression, so common in fact that we all have heard it, we all know what it means, I have no problem with it's use.


texburgh 1 year, 9 months ago

It was indeed "an unfortunate choice of words." the truth is that it has become a common expression for taking a strong stand. "That was ballsy," "You've got balls," "Grow a pair," and other such expressions have become part of the vernacular. You may wish they hadn't and you may not like it. You may think its tacky. You may prefer that prominent individuals don't use those expressions. But sexist? Showing disrespect for women? I think that's stretching it.

And frankly, we don't have enough Democrats in Kansas to have them going about like Republicans and trashing each other. Stick to your positions and in November back whichever one of you wins the primary.


werekoala 1 year, 9 months ago

Wasn't it Betty White who pointed out how strange it its that we use "balls" as a metaphor for toughness, considering how sensitive they are? She suggested referring to female anatomy instead since they "can really take a pounding"


Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

Eye is a jackass. Any intelligent person knows that Schlingensiepen probably meant "balls" in an androgynous manner. I am pretty sure he was speaking figuratively and not literally. Woman can have "balls" too, i.e., the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what is right.

Eye's comments were cheap; and gratuitous. We have bigger fish to fry.

Eye has lost my vote.


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