Archive for Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jenkins defeats Schlingensiepen in U.S. House race

November 6, 2012, 10:56 p.m. Updated November 7, 2012, 12:09 a.m.


Enjoying large advantages in money and voter registration, U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, on Tuesday was winning a third term in Congress over political newcomer Tobias Schlingensiepen.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., watches results with Kansas house candidate Shanti Gandhi , left, at the Republican election watch party in Topeka, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., watches results with Kansas house candidate Shanti Gandhi , left, at the Republican election watch party in Topeka, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Jenkins held a 55 percent to 39 percent lead over Schlingensiepen, a Topeka minister, with almost all precincts counted. Libertarian Dennis Hawver, an attorney from Ozawkie, had 6 percent.

The new wrinkle thrown into the race was the order by three federal judges in June that placed all of Lawrence and Douglas County into the 2nd District. For the previous 10 years, Lawrence had been divided between the 2nd and Johnson County-based 3rd districts.

But even with Democratic-leaning Douglas County wholly in the 2nd, Jenkins enjoyed a nearly 10 percentage-point advantage in Republican registered voters in the district that includes most of eastern Kansas, stretching from the state's borders with Nebraska to Oklahoma.

In campaign finance, Jenkins reported having $1.4 million in cash on hand in the final month of the campaign, while Schlingensiepen's warchest was at $50,420.

During the race, Schlingensiepen said lobbyist wining and dining and special interest campaign contributions were corrupting Congress, and he said Jenkins was part of that problem.

He noted that she took hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from banks, insurance and financial companies while voting against regulations of those interests that he said were aimed at safeguarding consumers.

But Jenkins, a former state legislator and state treasurer, said she voted against regulations that hurt small banks in the district.

She touted her record of voting against President Barack Obama's proposals, including a vote to repeal Obamacare.

“They believe government can solve our problems, while I believe that in many cases, government is the problem,” she said of Democrats.

On the issue of Medicare, Schlingensiepen said the proposed overhaul that Jenkins voted for would have increased the cost of health care by more than $6,000 per senior citizen, but Jenkins said the plan was necessary to keep Medicare from going bankrupt.

The two also disagreed on funding to Public Broadcasting. Schlingensiepen defended the relatively small amount of government dollars, while Jenkins said she would pull the plug.

Jenkins said after the election she believed Congress would work on an overhaul of the tax system in a way to lower rates and eliminate loopholes.

Schlingensiepen had survived a three-candidate primary, defeating runner-up Bob Eye, an attorney from Lawrence.

Last year, Schlingensiepen, a minister at First Congregational Church, helped form a coalition to fight Brownback when the Republican governor proposed shutting down the Kansas Neurological Institute, which is a state hospital that serves those with profound disabilities. KNI remains open.

Jenkins, a certified public accountant, defeated former GOP Rep. Jim Ryun in the 2008 primary and then Democratic incumbent Nancy Boyda, who had unseated Ryun two years earlier.


Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Jenkins where did you get your money?

What are the people's names behind the money? How many names are ashamed to be seen with the money?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"Ads and name recognition."

That pretty well sums it up.

I hope Schlingensiepen doesn't end his political career with this election. We deserve someone of integrity and capable of independent thought, not a corrupt, bought-and-paid-for apparatchik.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

"Ads and name recognition."

And more people voting for one candidate than the other. From Obama to Jenkins to the local dog catcher, the person with the most votes won.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

The fact is that if you believe that ads and name recognition equals votes, then you don't think too highly of the electorate. And if you do have such distain for the wisdom of the voters, why celebrate the victories of some while bemoaning the losses of others?

According to your logic, we'd do as well with a monkey and a dartboard. Me, I celebrate Obama's victory and wish him well. Same with Jenkins. Same the dog catcher.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

Republicans certainly have an edge in Kansas because of the large number of voters who vote on party affiliation alone, but if Schlingensiepen can keep himself in the public eye over the next two years, and has a million bucks to even the playing field in terms of name recognition, the outcome could be very different.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

Wait, I'm confused. While the final numbers are not in yet, it appears likely that Romney/Republican PACs outspent Obama/Democratic PACs, yet the voters saw through that and elected Obama anyway. Of course, Obama outspent McCain and won. So he wins when he outspends and he wins when he is outspent. But you're suggesting money determines the outcome of elections. Hmmm.

Or is your claim that when your guy wins, it was because voters were more enlightened and chose the better candidate but when your guy loses, the voters had the wool pulled over their eyes by "ads and name recognition"?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

OK, I admit it. You're 100% right-- money makes absolutely no difference in politics. You're a genius for divining that eternal truth,

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

Something we can finally agree on. :-)

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

Vertigo, please, and I mean with with all respect, think about some of the implications of what you just said.

You're advocating that people who have little or no interest in politics should get their information from ads and yards signs, and then vote based on that.

The fact is there is a huge amount of information out there for people to read and make informed choices. If they aren't interested in politics, urge them to get their information from those sources. Unfortunately, your suggestion is no better than urging people to vote Democrat because your favorite color is blue or Republican if your favorite color is red. Yard signs are great, if you're running for third grade president, not so much for actual positions of responsibility.

BTW - I go through East Lawrence every day and have seen many, many Tobias signs. I voted for Tobias. Yard signs and ads aren't why he lost. He lost because we have a long history of returning incumbents to office unless they have royally screwed up. Jenkins is a prime example of that. As is Obama.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

If what you suggest is true, then we've reached a very sad state of affairs. Unfortunately, I think your suggestion is correct.

Catalano 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty sure Tobias is in this for the long haul. This wasn't a one-shot deal for him. He'll be back.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 3 months ago

Wait, who won Dog Catcher? I can't find it in the results.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 3 months ago

jhawkinsf, Are you saying that the more ads candidates distribute, the more illogical they are? Interesting...

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 3 months ago

Quite different where I live as I saw overwhelming number of Tobias signs and very, very few Jenkins. Sadly, it is the rural votes who go GOP. She is a do nothing knee knocker of a legislator.

appleaday 5 years, 3 months ago

You apparently have been driving around the wrong parts of town.

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

He looked like a roly-poly loser anyway.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 3 months ago

Excellent comment, pithy and full of political savvy. Rather complements the rest of your posts.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 3 months ago

You posted on a public forum, so, yes, you invited my opinion. And it stands.

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

From now on if I want your opinion, I'll rattle your chain.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to our Lawrence delegation of democrats who stepped up in order to maintain a bit of sanity in a sea of insanity.

On the national scene Republicans have never been about smaller government nor have ever reduced the size of government nor reduced the size of spending ever. In fact it has been quite the opposite. Republicans are not paying attention. Republicans are getting used every day.

Considering the party of NO is still running the house I will encourage President Obama to step up and make use of his executive privilege throughout the next 4 years.

The republicans of which they are NOT do not wish to build bridges. Tearing down bridges has been their claim to fame since Reagan/Bush. Don't waste time on matters that cannot succeed.

The nation cannot afford another 4 years of NO.

landon_alger 5 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps you missed the news this morning about the presidential election results.

I think Merill meant what he said.

Beth Bird 5 years, 3 months ago

That is really a shame. I had hoped Jenkins might finally be unseated. She is just terrible. Given the difference in monetary funding, it isn't surprising...

Gerald Kendrick 5 years, 3 months ago

I know Rev. Schlingensiepen, he is a person of high integrity, great intelligence and a wonderful sense of humor. Those who don't know him would have seen all that in the televised debate. With more funds and name recognition he would definitely have won this election. I sincerely hope he wins the next one.

bevy 5 years, 3 months ago

It's simple - Lynn had more and bigger yard signs, more ads, and more name recognition, because the corporations and special interests who bought and paid for her representation made sure that was the case. I hope Tobias will give it another run next time around.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't think the amount of money spent by Tobias would have changed the outcome. Unfortunately, Lynn represents the kind of -- dare I say -- tea party thinking that exists in the majority of voting Kansans' mind. Until the people of Kansas wake up to what the new Republican party means, few of Tobias's kind will be welcome at the polls. Money is important, yes, but inertia seems, at least in Kansas, to be more important.

I think that's what jhawkinsf was trying to say before being railroaded onto another topid altogether.

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