Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2012

In the battle over Big Bird, Schlingensiepen defends PBS; Jenkins says taxes shouldn’t be supporting it

October 4, 2012


In the battle over the Big Bird vote, Democratic congressional candidate Tobias Schlingensipen said Thursday he would protect federal funding of Sesame Street with his life, but U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, said she would pull the plug.

Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen, a minister from Topeka, and Republican Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, debate Thursday in a forum at the Dole Institute.

Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen, a minister from Topeka, and Republican Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, debate Thursday in a forum at the Dole Institute.

The two faced off during a debate at the Dole Institute of Politics and jousted over numerous issues, such as campaign finance and health care.

But the question of government funding for Public Broadcasting and Sesame Street — which came up during the presidential debate on Wednesday — was repeated.

Schlingensiepen said he grew up watching Channel 11 in Topeka and praised PBS for its news, educational and cultural programming.

He said Sesame Street had enriched his life. "I for one would defend it with my life," he said.

Jenkins disagreed. "I am not going to fire Big Bird," she said, but added PBS should not be funded by the government. "Nowhere in this document (the U.S. Constitution) do I see that that is a role of the federal government," she said.

Jenkins said the federal deficit is too high for taxes to be going to PBS. "We could pass the hat and probably keep them open here locally this month," she said.

In other areas, Schlingensiepen continued to hammer Jenkins for taking campaign donations from huge corporate interests, such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. He said Jenkins supported their positions to the detriment of every day Kansans.

"My opponent has turned against the people of the 2nd District," Schlingensiepen said.

Schlingensiepen noted her votes against the establishment of a consumer protection agency, disclosing Wall Street bonuses and reining in predatory lenders.

But Jenkins said she has voted with the constituents of the district. She voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, saying regulations in the law hurt local credit unions.

And she has voted to repeal Obamacare, which she said will lead to higher taxes and insurance premiums.

Schlingensiepen said he supported legislation that would require organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads to disclose their top donors and how much they spend. He also said he supports limits on how much candidates could spend in congressional races.

"It is extremely important that we make sure there is transparency," he said.

Jenkins said Schlingensiepen was implying Kansans aren't smart enough to figure out who is behind campaign ads. "We live in America. This is an issue of free speech," she said.

The debate was sponsored by the local Voter Education Coalition, a non-partisan organization founded to promote civil dialogue and voter participation.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

I like my tax dollars being spent on public education,higher education and on other education facilities such as PBS and NPR.

I don't like my tax dollars being spent to undermine public education and to cover the cost of tax cuts for the wealthy or to fund AMC with $47 million Kansas tax dollars to move from one side of the border to the other. Then being bought by a chinese conglomerate = double whammy.

I don't like using $200-$300 Kansas tax dollars for building a roadway known as the SLT for pork barrel projects known as the local real estate industry = corporate welfare. How many more hundreds of local roadways do gasoline powered vehicles need?


OonlyBonly 1 year, 6 months ago

Interesting comments in this thread - funny how Liberals can rant and rave over funding of a Public Broadcasting System which for all intents and purposes could, nay should, be self supporting but they don't give a durn about what's happening in the world around them. Somewhere along the line priorities have really become distorted.


Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"He said Sesame Street had enriched his life. "I for one would defend it with my life," he said."



JackMcKee 1 year, 6 months ago

Jenkins is a Tea Party wind up doll. That bimbo doesn't have a thought of her own in her pea brain.


tbaker 1 year, 6 months ago

Who gets their TV from an antenna these days? Thats the only way PBS is "free."


dreamsindigital76 1 year, 6 months ago

Back when I was watching PBS and Sesame Street the only cable we had was 1 channel of HBO. I was not allowed to watch much of any of the programming that was offered at that time on the only real cable channel HBO. Instead I watched Sesame Street, and several of the other popular PBS children's shows on PBS in the late 70's and early 80's and I am now thankful that my head as a child was filled with all that great re-enforcing educational material that I see much less of these days. I actually was given the entire Sesame Street book collection in hardback to feed my mind and fill my time instead of the latest toy on the market scheduled to break into bits within 5 minutes of leaving the store. My family was not loaded with money to just spend without thought, but rather they made their dollar go much farther by buying the entire Sesame Street book set that went hand in hand with the daily lesson or skill presented on the show and that helped Sesame Street and PBS have a much more substantial impact on my ability to learn once I was in preschool and on. i was not gifted or anything but I did seem to understand what I went on to be taught in grade school. So I got to say thank you PBS for the foundation of my education. I hope that somehow a way is found to address everyone's concerns and will hopefully allow PBS programming to live on. Call me a big dreamer.


Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 6 months ago

TLC (The Learning Channel) was founded in 1972 by NASA and the Health Dept. as an educational channel. It was privatized.

Now it shows Honey Boo Boo.


lunacydetector 1 year, 6 months ago

pbs is only good when they have the cool shows on during their fund drives.....and besides, the Koch foundation funds most of the shows on there anyway


Crazy_Larry 1 year, 6 months ago

Raising taxes on the top 1% isn't going to save the country but cutting Big Bird will!


grammaddy 1 year, 6 months ago

De-funding PBS (0.012% of the budget) to save the economy is like cutting your toenails to lose weight.This message is brought to you by the number 47 and the letters F and U.


tbaker 1 year, 6 months ago

Back in the day when we got our TV and radio from antennas, and the folks out in the sticks couldn’t get any commercial reception – save PBS & NPR – I can kinda-sorta understand the need for a publically funded broadcast. That’s obviously not the case now. Years ago they were called "non-commercial educational" stations, and one could argue but for public broadcasting, where would our children be getting this invaluable “education” from? Again – that’s not the case now. Today they run many of the same commercials as their openly-commercial competitors -- they just call the commercials "enhanced endorsements" or "enhanced underwriting messages". Yeah right…

The fact is no one at these organizations has provided a single compelling argument to support the idea tax payers should be picking up the bill for these media outlets. I have yet to hear an answer to the question; “Why would it be a bad idea to force NPR and PBS to compete in the marketplace like everyone else in the media business?” Crickets…

I think these media outlets will do just fine without any taxpayer money.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Other partisan entitlements I cannot afford.

Let's talk about entitlements that literally destroyed jobs,economies,retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable.

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

--- This ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

Is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007?

The fewer republicans the more our properties will become worth and the more likely USA jobs will be reinvigorated.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Want to get rid of an item that costs taxpayers smart legislation and tax dollars? Dump the insider trading privilege that members of congress enjoy. But against the law to normal citizens. Don't cha know how legislation can be affected over concern of dividends?


Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Neither WOMEN nor Republicans nor Democrats nor the Upper Middle Class/Middle class can afford the Republican/RINO Party!

Public Education is a strong player in new Economic Growth yet republicans starve the system of funding which starves our teachers of resources. Which starves the desired level of education = stealing from our children’s future.

Trying to kill an educational institution such as Sesame Street and PBS is reckless and irresponsible. Republicans are out of touch going on 32 years.

Is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007? Trillions of $$$$.

Let's talk about entitlements that have literally destroyed jobs,economies and retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable.

DC republicans have been successful at wrecking our economy big time twice in the past thirty years. Because of the pattern I am convinced it is their economic policy established under the direction of Reagan/Bush.

Bush/Cheney accomplished a remarkable achievement by destroying the world economy which of course makes it difficult for the USA to bounce back quickly. The question becomes how in the world did they sucker financial institutions worldwide into buying bundles upon bundles upon bundles of bad USA home loans worth trillions of dollars in bad debt?

What an incredible and criminally insane economic policy? I don't believe the entire world can afford the economically reckless republican party that was born in 1980.


Crazy_Larry 1 year, 6 months ago

For all you idiots out there who just can't seem to see the big Bird is bankrupting the USA! Wake up, sheeple!

Big Bird is bankrupting this country!

Big Bird is bankrupting this country! by Crazy_Larry


1 year, 6 months ago

Do or do not. There is no cry.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 6 months ago

Defense, Medicare, and social security. These represent over 60% of federal spending. Everything else, including PBS spending, is small potatoes and cutting it is more ideologically based than serious economic policy.


KSWingman 1 year, 6 months ago

"Schlingensiepen...said Sesame Street had enriched his life. "I for one would defend it with my life," he said."

Greater love has no man than this: to lay down his life for Mr. Snuffleupagus. -Schlingensiepen 3:16


wastewatcher 1 year, 6 months ago

Would the LIBERAL DEMOCRAT TOBIAS please explain his priorities? I believe Mr. Romney said he would not borrow money from China to fund Big Bird. Does Tobias believe the Government should pay for everything? I come down on JENKINS side on this one, she is a common sense conservative and should be re elected!!!!!!


Russell Fryberger 1 year, 6 months ago

This just enforces my voting decision for 2012. I will have no part in the politics that keep destroying this country. Who on this thread wasn't raised getting some good information from PBS that you never would have gotten otherwise? Such a big loss for such a small amount. Jenkins and Romney, I hope a Big Bird craps on your political aspirations.


Soapbox 1 year, 6 months ago

The future is here and brought to you by "The Obama Administration"

The future is here and brought to you by "The Obama Administration" by Soapbox


Chris Golledge 1 year, 6 months ago

So, it's OK to borrow money to increase our military budget, but it is not OK to borrow from China to, in some small way, educate our children.

Thanks, that's clear enough for me.


jonas_opines 1 year, 6 months ago

"NPR does serve as a shelter for the sanctimonious."

Yes, if only they'd learn to be humble and aware of their fallibility, like MSN Liberals and Fox Conservatives.


Centerville 1 year, 6 months ago

NPR does serve as a shelter for the sanctimonious. That's why no one else pays any attention to it (but have to pay for it anyway).


bd 1 year, 6 months ago

PBS & NPR need to stay out of politics! I can't stand NPR news!


Windemere 1 year, 6 months ago

Right - better to shift to big issues. Size and intrusiveness of Fed govt, debt, deficit. Amazing (actually scary) that the electorate is still up in arms whenever there's talk of cutting just about anything. What's really frightening is what happens if politicians continue bribing people and corporations with goodies and pork instead of doing the hard work of getting the fiscal house in order. The big line items are SS, Medicare and Defense. All 3 must be tackled to make a real dent. But Big Bird should also not be immune.


Matthew Herbert 1 year, 6 months ago

poor journalism. I was at this debate. The topic of PBS took up no more than 2 minutes of a 65 minute debate. There is NO WORLD in which this was even close to the main issue of the two candidates.


Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 6 months ago

On PBS, skills like home renovation, artistic expression, farming, gardening, small-scale self-sufficiency like energy conservation, owning chickens, and countless other activities are featured. Our nation's history, government and natural resources are also featured, to the benefit of viewers without the filter and blinders a purely-commercial network would apply. Free thought is encouraged on PBS ~ and that may be the most dangerous element of the network.

No wonder Mitt wants to stifle PBS as it detracts from the message the entitled few want to convey to us underlings.


Larry Sturm 1 year, 6 months ago

Republicans are against anything that gives a fair public view on anything..


gravitykills 1 year, 6 months ago

I recently watched a Sesame St. episode with my kids. The glaring highlights of the show.... everybody won, nobody loses, and cookie monster was deprived of cookies.

$450 million government dollars to aid the new eutopia.


Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 6 months ago

How much do we "borrow each year from China" to prop up foreign governments with our aid ~ often to help those who resent the US no matter what we do? How about industry-specific subsidies, by the dozens, from farm aid to every sort of commodity you can think of, that often goes to line the pockets of the wealthy? At least there is an actual benefit to the nation from PBS funding. It may benefit folks who aren't high on Mittens' priority list, though, as youngsters seldom contribute to campaign coffers, and so must not be that important to the nation. And we need to show those Muppets who is boss in this country, especially since they've run afowl of the Chik-fil-a guy with their immorality.


beatrice 1 year, 6 months ago

Parents everywhere are catching on that when it comes to which government funding needs to be cut, the only one Mitt Romney can be specific about is PBS. Of all the government waste, Romney picks Big Bird as public enemy number one. That is where he begins.

I suspect more than 47% will object to his stance.

Obama got Bin Laden, but Romney will get Big Bird!


OhnaLeeWhonVought 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah and like giving billions to Big Oil IS in the constitution! Give me a break Mizz Jenkins, I'm not buyin' your snakeoil.


Trumbull 1 year, 6 months ago

Advertising is to television what junk food is to nutrition. I have recently gone back to watching more PBS because I am growing tired of watching reality TV and commercials. It is sad that the History channel is no longer about history.

Sports is still good.....but even advertising and market audience can influence (ie New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox is guaranteed).

It will be sad if PBS and NPR go unfunded.


Windemere 1 year, 6 months ago

To paraphrase Romney from the debate, is it worth borrowing money from China for expenditures like PBS subsidies? He was correct in that Americans ought to view the deficit & debt as moral issues. We've lived beyond our means. People have become dependent on a lot of programs we can't afford (or which will be insolvent soon), and have come to love things like PBS and Big Bird. People who over-borrowed also came to love the McMansions they bought and their vacations to Aruba, but when people or entities spend beyond their means, uncomfortable cuts ought to be made. It's the right thing to do for future generations. Sure, it was politicians on both sides of the aisle who over-spent and over-promised -- But we or our predecessors elected them. The problems won't go away magically. Either we pay big now, or our kids and grandkids pay much, much more down the road.


Frightwig 1 year, 6 months ago

Sesame Street makes millions and millions of dollars every year on merchandising, royalties and licensing. Big Bird is part of the 1%. He will be fine regardless of whether or not PBS loses funding.

The other PBS shows, however, will rely more heavily "on viewers like you". It's a shame most people are interested in things like "Honey Boo Boo" and "Pawn Stars" than worthwhile tv programs.


optimist 1 year, 6 months ago

Death by a thousand cuts. PBS may be a small part of the budget but there are probably tens of thousands of programs that the same can be said of. They were all begun by well meaning politicians, often at the urging of well meaning citizens. If we all take the stance that it’s okay to cut the programs important to others but “don’t cut mine” then we continue to invite the status quo. This budget issue isn’t going to fix itself and every year that goes by the future citizens of this country will pay a higher price for.

The debt was run up under the watch of previous generations’ as much as current generations. It is our duty to resolve it. We have an obligation to pay the price in this moment to correct what has been done. We can’t just continue to blame the past. We must act now to preserve the future.

If that means Big Bird goes private sector so be it, but it can’t be the only one to go.


Ronnie24 1 year, 6 months ago

I watch PBS a lot.. I also support them at their funding drive. My children loved the programs that were on when they were growing up. My Grandchildren watch the same programs, and learn from them. I watch PBS every day and would hate to lose the great programs they offer. I used to watch the History Channel, and TLC but cannot stand all the reality junk they have on now. I feel that without government help , PBS would fall the way of the other channels. What a shame! Right on autie.


autie 1 year, 6 months ago

If one takes Ms. Jenkins logic that the federal government has no business funding public television and there is nothing in the constitution about funding public television, doesn't it follow that the federal government has no business regulating abortion, marriage, whiskey, cigarettes, gasoline, drugs, highways, airplanes, and a host of other things?

O'bob, I'm not far behind you. If Honey flippin boo boo and toddlers in tiaras is the measure of our cultural achievement I throw in the towel...


sci4all 1 year, 6 months ago

Sure, eliminate PBS, because that 0.012% of the federal budget gets in the way of more corporate welfare for Jenkins and Romney and their big-donor buddies.

By Jenkins' logic, we should privatize roads, public libraries, national parks, tornado sirens, streetlights, and sewage treatment plants. The U.S. Constitution doesn't make provision for those either.

When the government provides those services, at least the consumers - us - have some say in how they're run. When those services are privatized they tend to be monopolies (Westar Energy? Cox? remember AT&T?) and we the people have little to no input.

But Jenkins' corporate buddies would make out like bandits.


Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 6 months ago

For profit stations live solely on ad dollars. Ad dollars come in based on ratings.

Take for example the History Channel. When it was first on air it had some great programs on actual history! Now what do we see on it? Pawnstars, Cajun Pawnstars, American Pickers, American Restoration, Ax men, Hairy Bikers, Full Metal Jousting...

What's the common denominator? These are all reality TV shows. Not documentaries or retelling of historical events.

This is what you can expect if public funding of PBS goes away and the station is turned into one that must survive off of ad dollars- more reality TV.


buffalo63 1 year, 6 months ago

The sad fact is, Sesame Street is the only preschooling that some children get.


livefoniks 1 year, 6 months ago

Give me Honey Boo Boo or give me death.


The_Original_Bob 1 year, 6 months ago

It is sad that this issue has to be dumbed down to, "Big Bird, he's on PBS." PBS is a relic. The days of three networks channels and PBS are long gone. Why, there is a channel now that is called The Learning Channel. It teaches things much in the way PBS did.

/I wrote that in 2003.


/Turns on something called TLC. //Toddlers and Tiaras. ///Puts gun in mouth and pulls trigger.


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