Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lynn Jenkins didn't vote to keep American jobs in America. H.R.5982, the Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2010 failed to get the 2/3 majority needed to pass, thanks to Lynn Jenkins and the Party of No. This was a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the expansion of certain information reporting requirements to corporations and to payments for property, to eliminate loopholes which encourage companies to move operations offshore, and for other purposes.

Maybe you, like me, think that eliminating these loopholes in the tax code is a good idea. C.P.A. Lynn Jenkins voted to let American corporations move jobs out of America, and keep the tax break too! That was roll call 514.

Kansas' schools are hiring teachers. That is not thanks to the State Legislature making more money available for our kids. Teachers are being hired because of Public Law 111- 226, H.R. 1586, now known as the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act.

The Senate returned H.R. 1586, the Education, Jobs, and Medicaid Assistance Act of 2010 to the House with Amendments. Two Rules were brought bringing the Senate's amendments to the House. Lynn Jenkins voted against those Rules, on roll call votes 516 and 517. The Education, Jobs, and Medicaid Assistance Act of 2010 passed the House by resolving the differences with the Senate on roll call vote 518. Lynn Jenkins voted no.

Now remember H.R. 5982? That bill was grafted into H.R. 1586 and these jobs that Lynn Jenkins voted against are largely paid for by closing the tax loopholes that let American businesses ship jobs overseas.


Unobligated funds, that's the money appropriated to Federal Departments and Agencies which has not been spent. Well, H.R. 1586 took back a whole slew of that money through a series of rescissions. This bill was paid for by using unspent money. $20 Million from the Department of Energy. $100 Million from the General Services Administration. $6.8 Million from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. $28.6 Million from the E.P.A. $11.2 Million from the National Parks. $157 Million from funds allocated to the Commissioner of Social Security, making other funds available through another section of preexisting law. $92.7 Million from the Department of Education. $506 Million from the Department of Defense (mostly construction). $6.1 Million from the Department of Veterans Affairs. $5 Million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. $120 Million from the Department of State. $7 Million from the Department of Transportation. $2.2 Billion from unobligated funds to the States from Federal Aid to Highways.

The Democrats looked at the unused money and put it to work making Air Travel safer, Social Security more dependable, and Teachers available to our children. Lynn Jenkins said no.

When H.R. 1586 first appeared it was a bill to tax the bonuses paid from TARP funds. Lynn Jenkins voted against that version of the bill. Lynn Jenkins was one of only 93 Members of the House who thought it was a bad idea to tax the big bonuses of bad bankers who got TARP funds. The original version of H.R. 1586 passed on roll call 143 by a margin of 328 to 93.

Now Lynn Jenkins is asking where the jobs are and calling the Sunset Provisions of the Republican Tax Breaks for the Richest of the Rich a Democratic tax hike. What a load of manure! Lynn Jenkins repeatedly voted against the Summer Jobs bill until the bill finally passed before Congress' summer recess. That was July 27th and the bill was H.R. 4899. We discussed that bill back on July 9th. Republicans held the Summer Jobs bill until the end of July so they could rant about a lack of jobs. Talk about brass.

Now those folks who got those huge bonuses paid for by the taxpayers courtesy the TARP funds are the same people Lynn Jenkins thinks should not have their tax breaks see a sunset.

Lynn Jenkins does not represent us.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


In the Kansas City television market two very similar ads have been running. These ads target Congressman Ike Skelton and Congressional candidate Stephene Moore. Skelton is the long standing Congressman from Missouri's Fourth Congressional District in West Central Missouri. Moore is running to replace her retiring husband, Dennis Moore, in Kansas' Third Congressional District representing Kansas City, Kansas (Wyandotte County) and parts of Johnson County.

The ads attempt to align Skelton and Moore with the Speaker of the House, the President, and some vague "liberal" agenda. In sum, the ad is a distortion short circuiting reality. This propaganda want to blame the Democratic Party for the economic shambles which President Obama inherited. The truth is that Republican economic policies, two wars waged off the books, and tax breaks for the richest of the rich brought our national economy to its knees. They Republicans in Congress have done naught to govern during the 111th Congress.

The obvious question screams at my mind. "Who is this group running these ads , who are the Americans for Prosperity?" Indeed, aren't all Americans for Prosperity? Americans are for healthy children, mom, apple pie, low blood pressure, a cure for cancer, and prosperity. There was the first clue.

Who is it that hides behind the divisive illusion that those who disagree with this group must be Americans for Privation! What gobbledygook! Who are the Americans for Prosperity? Here's a hint, one lump or two?

That's right, there is a great big connection between the rich rabid right wing Republican s who pretended the nation into believing there was actually a grass roots movement called the Tea Party and the alleged Americans for Prosperity. And that connection is money.

Americans for Prosperity is the ultra conservative Republican pressure group from whence the Tea Party emanated. The Kansas connection is the kooky filthy rich David H. Koch of Wichita's Koch Industries. He earlier founded a group called Citizens for a Sound Economy. Americans for Prosperity left the Citizens for a Sound Economy. The jilted group renamed themselves Freedom Works. It must have been an amicable divorce. Freedom Works is Dick Armey's little lobbying/propaganda enterprise heavily involved in the Tea Party.

David Koch and his brother Charles Koch own Koch Industries. Koch Industries is Big Oil and Gas in America's heartland. Koch Industries is America's second largest privately held company. Aqui es mucho dinero. David Koch is the second richest man in America. He is number 19 worldwide. I can only guess that he'd be number one except for the millions he has squandered on politics. But then maybe he paid for the government [deregulation] he wanted.

Don't get all confused thinking David Koch is just like you or me, that dog don't hunt. Koch is the son of petroleum industry innovator Fred Koch. He didn't go to a Kansas public school or any of our higher institutions of advanced learning. No David Koch went to the elite Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from M.I.T. The only good thing I can say is that he was a better than average basketball player setting a single game scoring record of 41 points in 1962/ That record was broken in 2009 by Jimmy Bartolotta. Say, my high school girlfriend married a guy named Bartolotta. Maybe she's related. But that's a different story.

Here's the skinny. David Koch gave $1,000,000 to the Tea Party. What? That's crazy, that's not a tax deductible gift. MIT's high scoring David Koch should know better. You better believe he does. The gift came from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. That's a 501 (c) (3) bona fide tax deductible organization started by David's brother Charles Koch to further the Science of Liberty. Well, maybe the liberty of rich people to amass obscene wealth at the expense of regular folk. So yes, David Koch just had his cake and ate it also.

Open Secrets says Koch Industries is a heavy hitter. in 2008 they gave Republicans $1.7 Million. For the 2010 cycle the figure is up to $700,000. Now that doesn't count the Americans for Prosperity.

Frankly I don't give a rat's behind if David Koch wants to throw his money around. I do care that he does it behind the scenes. When you give this kind of cash to influence politics you ought to be required to sign your name so folks can make an honest assessment of your arguments.

Believe me, the only prosperity David Koch cares about is his own, not ours!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Lynn Jenkins likes to say that the GOP never has a say on legislation. That just isn't so. Take the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010 as an example. The House took roll call votes on  five amendments to that bill, H.R. 3534.  We first took a look at this bill on the August 3rd posting of this blog.

The first amendment, by Democratic Representative Nick Rahall of West Virginia , Lynn Jenkins voted no. That amendment clarified liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. It limited release of liability, requires redundancy in response plans, requires response plans for permit or license authorizing oil or gas drilling. Big Oil doesn't like this amendment. Lynn Jenkins voted no on roll call 507, the amendment was agreed to.

The second amendment by Wisconsin's Democratic Representative Ron Kind required that no less than 1.5 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund each year go toward securing recreational public access to Federal Lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation. Lynn Jenkins, and all but one Member voted for Kind's amendment. The lone holdout was Wyoming Republican Cynthia Lummis. That was roll call 508.

The third amendment was offered by Democratic Representative Harry Teague of New Mexico. This change allows a group of companies to cooperate to meet financial responsibility requirements by pooling of resources or joint insurance coverage. This passed on roll call 509 by a margin of 399 - 8. Lynn Jenkins voted for the amendment.

The fourth amendment's sponsor was Minnesota's Democratic-Farm-Labor Party Representative Jim Oberstar. This amendment requires, following initial clean-up of a spill, that the National Resources Damages Act trustee give equal and full consideration to all statutorily prescribed natural resource damage remedies to ensure that acquisition of non-impacted land is considered an equal remedy and not given lower priority as is currently provided in statute. The vote on roll call 510 was 258 to 149. Lynn Jenkins voted no.

The fifth amendment to H.R. 3534 came from Louisiana's Democratic Representative Charlie Melancon and it seeks to end the federal moratorium on deepwater drilling. The moratorium would be prohibited from enforcement on those rigs that meet safety requirements set forth in NTL 05 and NTL 06. Oddly enough, Lynn Jenkins voted against ending the moratorium. The amendment was agreed to on roll call 511 by a vote of 216 to 195, Lynn Jenkins voted with the Republican leadership by voting no. Republicans are currently campaigning against President Obama on the issue the Administration's moratorium on Gulf drilling.  Here they voted against their campaign philosophy. Note: an "NTL" refers to Notice to Lessees and Operators of safety measures recommended by the Department of the Interior.

There were other amendments. Delaware's Republican Representative Michael Castle proposed an amendment to ensure there is no delay in the development of ocean renewable energy resources, including offshore wind, in the establishment of the new Bureau of Energy and Resource Management. This amendment was agreed to by a voice vote.

New Hampshire's Democratic Representative Carol Shea-Porter's amendment ensures that ethics guidelines required for certain Department of Interior employees are updated at least every three years. The amendment also ensures the best available technology for oil spill response and mitigation, and the availability and accessibility of that technology is part of the Offshore Technology Research and Risk Assessment Program. Finally, the amendment requires that operators annually certify that their response and exploration plans include the best available technology and its availability. This amendment was agreed to by a voice vote.

Virginia's Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly's amendment passed on a voice vote. That amendment is designed to prevent oil companies from shifting oil spill cleanup costs onto taxpayers by ensuring that Oil Pollution Act liabilities of an oil subsidiary will be inherited by the parent oil company in the event the subsidiary goes bankrupt and does not sell its assets. The amendment does not alter underlying liability provisions of OPA, and includes technical corrections from the Department of Justice.

Three amendments agreed to by voice vote. Five amendments agreed to by roll call. Lynn Jenkins voted for two of those and against the other three. By all accounts she's got to be happy with at least half of the amendments. So what came next?

Of course it was the Motion to Recommit with Instructions. That is the last dying gasp of hot air from the Republicans before the bill comes up for passage. This time it was roll call 512. Lynn Jenkins and the Party of No lost by a margin of 166 to 239.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Democratic Standard-Bearer Cheryl Hudspeth

Cheryl Hudspeth is the Democratic nominee for Congress from Kansas' Second Congressional District. She defeated Sean Tevis and Tom Koch. Koch and Hudspeth were keeping it close until Tevis made a last minute surge to secure second place. Hudspeth received 9,945 votes, to Tevis' 8,022 votes, and Koch ended up with 4.536 votes with 98% of the precincts reporting.

Lynn Jenkins has a war chest full of corporate cash with which to wage the general election campaign. Cheryl Hudspeth has a hope chest full of the things from which dreams are made. The Democrats move into this campaign badly underfunded.

In a general election campaign that can best be described as David v. Goliath, Cheryl Hudspeth is showing savvy by transforming a conventional negative into an unconventional positive. At the bottom of her candidacy's home page,, she runs the following tag setting the money difference between she and Lynn Jenkins: "The Hudspeth 2010 Campaign is proud to be 100% corporate sponsor free."

Lynn Jenkins has done an incredibly poor job representing real people in Kansas' Second Congressional District. She voted against equal pay for women. She's voted numerous times against any control or restraint on Golden Parachutes. She voted against SCHIP, the children's health insurance program. She was one of only 19 shills for the Insurance Industry to vote against stripping the antitrust exemption from Health Insurance Companies. She claims to be for all of the above on an energy plan and consistently votes against green measures. She takes money from and supports Predatory Lenders. Lynn Jenkins' campaign has lined her pockets with special interest money.

Cheryl Hudspeth can win, dreams can come true. If Sean Tevis and Tom Koch remain committed to seeing Corporate Representative to Congress Lynn Jenkins replaced by a Compassionate Caring Democrat they will continue to fight with Cheryl Hudspeth.

Sean Tevis offers technical wizardry, panache, and youthful enthusiasm which will invigorate Hudspeth's candidacy. Tom Koch provides well reasoned ideas, and the willingness to travel those concepts, which speak to the interests of regular people in Kansas' Second Congressional District. The simple fact is that Democrats need all three of these former rivals to become a team.

For her part Cheryl Hudspeth needs to hit the campaign trail early and often. Her campaign must provide regular and frequent press releases highlighting her daily message, rebutting Lynn Jenkins, and persuading voters why she is the better choice. Lynn Jenkins' record is clear. I say carry Lynn Jenkins' record to the people and make her defend her representation of corporate wealth.

College Democrats and Kansas' Young Democrats can make the difference in Cheryl Hudspeth's candidacy. Although the Republican opponent can outspend Hudspeth in radio and television, College Democrats and Kansas' Young Democrats can provide the needed muscle to register voters, go door to door, and, as Sarah Silverman hs taught us, schlep their grandparents to the polls. College Democrats and Kansas' Young Democratsare vital to defeating Lynn Jenkins.

Sarah Silverman


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Have you seen enough of the Gulf Oil catastrophe? Does it irk you that the safety control on British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon rig had been intentionally disabled? Shouldn't oil rig workers be encouraged to blow the whistle on patently unsafe actions on oil rigs? Well, I thought so too. You know who didn't think that was a good idea? That's right, Lynn Jenkins the darling of Big Business.

H.R. 5851, the Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2010, passed the House of Representatives on roll call 506 by a margin of 315 to 93.

This is what H.R. 5851 does:

Prohibits an employer from discharging, discriminating, or engaging in retaliatory actions against specified employees who report to a government official any violation or unsafe condition under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Sets forth complaint filing procedures with the Secretary of Labor regarding such retaliation.

Requires employers to: (1) post a notice approved by the Secretary of Labor explaining employee rights and remedies under this Act in a conspicuous location in the place of employment where employees frequent; (2) provide training to employees about their rights under this Act within 30 days of employment, and at least once every 12 months thereafter; and (3) provide employees with a card containing a toll free telephone number at the Department of Labor to get information or file a complaint under this Act.

Directs the Secretary of Labor, within 30 days after enactment of this Act, to designate agency officials to receive, investigate, and adjudicate complaints concerning violations under this Act.

Obviously the greedy pursuit of profit trumped safe operations on the Deepwater Horizon. If oil rig workers already had whistle blower protection then the ecology, economy, and future of the Gulf States would not be in jeopardy today.

Most Americans recognize that another problem with safety on the Deepwater Horizon had to do with the cozy relationship between the Oil Industry and the Federal Agency responsible for the safety of offshore rigs, the Materials Management Service.

Interior Department Secretary Salazar is taking steps to keep the foxes out of the henhouse. H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009 addresses the problem. This bill passed the House on roll call 513 by a margin of 209 to 193/ Thirty Members of Congress did not vote. How much money is Big Oil spreading these days?

Key provisions of H.R. 3534 include:

Establishes in the Department of the Interior the Office of Federal Energy and Minerals Leasing.

Transfers to such Office certain functions of: (1) the Minerals Management Service; and (2) the Oil and Gas Management program of the Bureau of Land Management.

Amends the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 to revise miscellaneous specified administrative requirements.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to take specified actions regarding oil and gas royalties, including: (1) a pilot project assessing costs and benefits of automatic transmission of certain data produced under federal leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS); (2) determination and reporting of BTU values of natural gas from federal leases; and (3) final regulations concerning required recordkeeping of natural gas measurement data.

Modifies oil and gas leasing requirements under the Mineral Leasing Act, adding requirements for coal mine methane recovery.

Amends the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act to: (1) extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund through FY2040; (2) make $900 million available from the Fund each fiscal year without further appropriation; and (3) revise requirements for allocation of funds for federal purposes and financial assistance to states.

Sets forth a public land leasing program for commercial wind or solar energy development.

Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to set forth a uranium leasing program on specified public lands.

Designates specified OCS Regions for federal renewable and nonrenewable energy resources development. Directs the Secretaries of the Interior and of Commerce to establish Regional Outer Continental Shelf Councils to: (1) coordinate siting and development of energy resources; and (2) prepare OCS Strategic Plans.

Establishes in the Treasury the Ocean Resources Conservation and Assistance Fund (ORCA), from which grants shall be made to: (1) coastal states and affected Indian tribes; (2) the Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes Grants Program (to be established under this Act); and (3) Regional Ocean Partnerships.

Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to repeal: (1) royalty incentives for natural gas production from deep wells in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico; and (2) royalty relief for deep water production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish an annual production incentive fee for specified leases of federal onshore and offshore lands for production of oil or natural gas under which production is not occurring in commercial quantities.

Prohibits the following authorities from developing or approving a fishery management plan to permit or regulate offshore aquaculture: (1) the Secretary of Commerce; (2) the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; or (3) the Regional Fishery Management Councils. Declares invalid any permit issued for the conduct of offshore aquaculture.