TOPEKA— In March 2011, while President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress were locked in a bitter budget fight, U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, held a number of fundraisers in Washington, D.C., according to a website that compiles information on fundraisers. The Jenkins’ campaign disputes the number of events.
The website www.politicalpartytime.org lists invitations to 11 fundraisers, including 10 in Washington, for Jenkins during March 2011. Nine of the Washington events were at the members-only National Republican Club of Capitol Hill, according to the website.
To get in to the fundraisers, mostly billed as breakfasts or lunch with Jenkins, cost $2,500 for a host, $1,000 for a political action committee and $500 per person, and the events were limited to six people per event, according to the invitations.
But the Jenkins campaign said some of those events didn’t occur.
Bill Roe, Jenkins’ campaign manager, said in a statement: “In March 2011, Congresswoman Jenkins attended two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners, and still managed to: Make every vote including one to prevent a government shutdown; attend every committee meeting; introduce the Kelsey Smith Act; meet with her military advisory board; host a Topeka veterans’ fair, open office hours and several town halls; and the following month voted to pass a budget, something the Democrat-led Senate has failed to do for 1,252 days.”
Jenkins’ Democratic opponent, Tobias Schlingensiepen, a minister from Topeka, has criticized the coziness in Washington between lobbyists and elected officials. He has criticized Jenkins for taking money from big-money interests, such as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America, and then voting in their favor.
“ … the voters of the 2nd District deserve to know that Congresswoman Jenkins is a career politician who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the banking, finance and insurance industries while voting again and again to support their interests and the same reckless policies that put our nation on the brink of financial collapse,” Schlingensiepen said.
Jenkins has said she is protecting the interests of banks and businesses in the 2nd District by opposing more government regulation.
As of July 18, Jenkins had $1.4 million in campaign cash on hand, while Schlingensiepen had $24,835, according to campaign finance reports.
More on Jenkins’ fundraisers can be found at http://bit.ly/T793xr.