I usually don't comment on what commenter's say, but someone posted a comment that suggested Lynn Jenkins and her campaign didn't claim Jim Ryun coordinated with Club for Growth on the ads that ran. For those of you who haven't seen the press release, my opinion is that only a Jenkins staff member or one of her strongest supporters could make such a claim.
The headline of Jenkins' press release reads, "TELEVISION STATIONS PULL THE PLUG ON JIM RYUN'S FALSE NEGATIVE ADS"
To me, Jenkins is accusing Ryun of telling Club for Growth what to run. Can anyone disagree with a straight face based on that headline?
One of the problems the Jenkins campaign had with the ad is that Club for Growth mis-attributed a vote to taxes that was really against cockfighting. Jenkins' campaign manager said, "But if Jim Ryun wants to run a negative attack ad against Treasurer Jenkins' opposition to cockfighting, he is welcome to do so. At least that would be true."
Can anyone look me in the eye and lie to me and tell me that quote does not accuse Jim Ryun of running the ad instead of Club for Growth?
The press release also says, "In an era in which Kansas voters are looking for real solutions, Jim Ryun decided that instead of working for solutions, his solution would be to launch more of the same untrue negative attacks."
Would the supporter of the Jenkins campaign who posted here please explain how that quote doesn't suggest Jim Ryun coordinated this attack with Club for Growth?
But, the Jenkins campaign wasn't done tanking on Jim Ryun, her campaign manager's final quote was, "Treasurer Jenkins was hopeful that Jim Ryun would agree and find at least one thing in his decade in Congress he was willing to run on instead of turning to the same attacks that got him fired in the first place."
I'm sorry, but again this is a direct accusation that Jim Ryun was behind these ads.
The fact of the matter is, this press release is a hatchet job on Jim Ryun. You cannot read it with any sort of objective eye and say it isn't. I hope Jim Ryun doesn't respond in kind, but he certainly would be justified in doing so.
I really like Lynn Jenkins personally. It is disappointing to me to know these are the types of people Lynn Jenkins has working for her on her campaign, and that Lynn would approve the attacks against Jim Ryun in this press release. In an attempt to "play the victim," Lynn crossed the line.
Another commenter suggested Lynn Jenkins proved by this press release that she is a fighter. Yes, she is fighting, but so far she's the one fighting dirty.
[Update, 6/15/07, 9:23 am] Since I posted this, I've been going through my e-mails for this site, and I wanted to share more on the accuracy of the Club for Growth ad.
After reviewing the material provided to me, it is clear Lynn Jenkins voted against SB 69 on February 7, 2001 in the Senate, which means she voted against cutting property taxes. Lynn Jenkins and her campaign claimed that because the property tax language was later stripped out of SB 69 in 2001, that the ad is inaccurate.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the FCC and the FEC rules about these ads, basically, if a candidate, say Jim Ryun was running the attacks, the local TV stations could not pull them because it is viewed as protected political free speech. However, when a third party runs them, the offended party (i.e. Jenkins) can get a lawyer to threaten to report the TV stations to the FCC which could result in fines if the ads are proven to be inaccurate. What usually happens is that TV stations will err on the side of caution and pull the ads until both sides provide mountains of paper to substantiate their claims. So, the fact that the final version of SB 69 did not contain the property tax language was enough for the TV stations to pull the ads until Club for Growth could substantiate the claim. It did not mean, however, the ad was inaccurate. It did give the Jenkins campaign the time to send out the press release and take a cheap shot at Ryun.]
[Update #2, 6/15/07, 4:55pm - While I generally appreciate Stay Red Kansas, their post today defending the Jenkins campaign for not accusing the Ryun campaign of producing the ad is wrong. While the Jenkins campaign did not explicitly say the word produced, it is implied at every turn. Unfortunately, we believe the Kansas media is talking about a bloody primary because the Jenkins campaign is making it look like that's how they intend to conduct it. Granted, Club for Growth through the first punch, but instead of hitting back at them, Jenkins threw a low blow at Ryun. Stay Red is right about a bloody primary not being good for the electoral process, but they need to stay on course with their original take that the Jenkins camp is to blame for the tone.]
Dedicated to the proposition that Nancy Boyda is a one termer.