Kansas: Stung by Poll, Jenkins Pulls D.C. Card on Ryun

Posted May 19, 2008 at 6:23pm

State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, running against former Rep. Jim Ryun for the 2nd district GOP nomination, has responded to an internal Ryun poll that showed a big lead for the ex-Congressman with a news release that labels him a carpetbagger and a product of Washington, D.C.

“As former Congressman Jim Ryun wraps up a tour of the Second District to introduce himself to those he previously represented for 10 years, he still has a home in Washington, D.C., his campaign has a branch in the D.C. suburbs, his entire paid staff hails from east of the Mississippi, and most of his supporters are not from Kansas,” the news release read.

Last week, the Ryun campaign publicized a poll in which the former Congressman led Jenkins by 44 points, 65 percent to 21 percent. Ryun’s poll was conducted April 27 and 28 by Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP firm based in Washington, D.C.

“Time after time, we’re reminded just how deeply Washington changed Jim Ryun,” Jenkins campaign spokesman Pat Leopold said in a statement. “Jim spent 10 years in Washington talking a good game, but spent money on nearly everything except border enforcement.”

The Ryun campaign disputed several of the Jenkins campaign’s charges. The Ryun campaign emphasized that it doesn’t have a “branch” in Washington, D.C. — only that it uses a bookkeeping firm that has an office there — and noted that not all of its paid campaign staff “hails” from there, either.

“A day after finding themselves down 44 points, Lynn Jenkins confirms our polling numbers are correct by launching a desperate attack,” Ryun campaign spokesman Kyle Robertson said. “Hey Lynn, there are real issues in this campaign more important than where campaign staff grew up.”

Ryun’s poll surveyed 350 likely Republican voters and had an error margin of 5.66 points.

The 2nd district GOP primary is set for Aug. 5. The winner will face Rep. Nancy Boyda (D), who ousted Ryun in 2006.

Sebelius Vetoes Voter ID Bill as GOP Cries Foul

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) vetoed a bill on Monday that would have required voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The Kansas City Star reported that the bill was similar to a failed measure last year. According to the newspaper’s vote count, there are not enough supporters in the state House to override the governor’s veto when state lawmakers reconvene in Topeka on May 29.

“No elected official should support enacting new laws discouraging or disenfranchising any American who has been legally voting for years,” Sebelius wrote in her veto message, according to the Star.

She added that the legislation “seeks to solve a problem of voter fraud which does not exist in our state due to the tireless efforts of our local election officials.”

Sunflower State Republicans criticized Sebelius’ veto, arguing that a recent Supreme Court decision upholding a similar law in Indiana repudiates her claims that such a law would be discriminatory.

“The Governor has taken fear mongering to a whole new level with her latest veto,” said Christian Morgan, Kansas Republican Party’s executive director, in a statement. “Without facts to support her bogus claims of ‘disenfranchisement’ the Governor continues to mislead the people of Kansas about securing our election process.”

— David M. Drucker and Matthew Murray