Representative Lynn Jenkins had, for lack of a better term, a rough August. She finally came back to Kansas to hold town hall meetings (which she failed to personally appear at months earlier). Lynn Jenkins, based on her robo calls, was expecting a largely supportive crowd for her stance as being a member of the party of “no.” What Rep. Jenkins discovered was that she could not get away with failures in judgment back home, such as her “Great White Hope” comment. Even more telling of Lynn Jenkins’ failure in representing the Second District was her incident in Ottawa where she laughed at an uninsured mother and her son. With such an atrocious trip back home in August, you would expect Rep. Jenkins to be ready to get back to work and actually serve her constituents in some attempt to save face. Unfortunately, this week Representative Jenkins continued her pattern of failure. This Wednesday Rep. Lynn Jenkins released this Tweet:
Meeting with Kansas Bankers this morning and speaking on the floor this afternoon.
10:37 AM Sep 15th from Facebook
Obviously meeting with Kansas bankers is serious business for Lynn Jenkins; serious enough to Tweet about it. Where was the seriousness and concern Elizabeth Smith and her son when asked why they couldn’t have access to an affordable, more comprehensive public health insurance option? Representative Jenkins just laughed it off and told her to go be a grown up. It is growing more apparent Lynn Jenkins fails to listen to her constituents, unless they are bankers. Why shouldn’t she? After all, the entire financial sector is responsible for more of Jenkins’ campaign donations than any other business sector. Therefore it’s fairly apparent Lynn Jenkins holds in higher esteem the concerns of the unscrupulous profiteers of the American financial system than her average constituents. She’s even so blazon to try to tie the financial sector’s best interests to the best interests of the ordinary Second District citizen. However, the financial sector’s true political interests lie in keeping the status quo of a vast unregulated financial system where large inflated profits are reaped at the expense of the American people.
The gall Representative Jenkins must have to insult the uninsured, and then flaunt the very people who line her campaign coffers. Representative Jenkins was supposed to be different than Jim Ryun, her 2008 Republican primary opponent and former Congressman. Lynn Jenkins campaigned on being a Washington outsider and being free of special interests. However, as this session of Congress carries on, the more she becomes, as some people in the Second District have nicknamed her (with no offense to her gender), “Jim Ryun in lipstick” or “Jim Ryun in a skirt.” While Lynn Jenkins’ portion of campaign cash from the financial sector is concerning, even more appalling is from she rakes in the most in campaign cash: QC Holdings.
QC Holdings is a Johnson County, KS based company that provides payday advance loans. We know how payday loans, title loans, and other highly usurious predatory lenders operate. What is so troubling is that QC spreads their money thickly throughout the Kansas Republican Party's candidates' coffers. Rep. Lynn Jenkins seems to have no issues with their practices as she accepts more campaign cash than any other organizations. Jenkins also takes campaign donations from Geneva Roth Company, a company that specializes in payday loans that have been known to carry large hidden fees. Their practices have led to many consumer complaints. So it’s only reasonable to presume that Lynn Jenkins shares the concerns and interests of QC Holdings and Geneva Roth. So, when Lynn Jenkins touts her status as a “proud member of the party of no” it’s not because she’s looking out for her constituents as being a fiscally responsible conservative, she’s looking out for her base of political support. Unfortunately, these two firms are only two questionable organizations among a laundry list of Jenkins’ major donors from the financial sector
The list of donors also includes firms and organizations on the national and local level: the American Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, Kansas State Bank, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Federal Home Loan Bank, KPMG International, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers is the auditing firm implicated in the Tyco books-cooking scandal in the early part of this decade. They are apart of the “Big 4” of accounting/auditng firms along with fellow Jenkins’ donors KPMG and Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu. These firms should have done their jobs and ethically and accurately audited their clients, instead of contributing to their inflated profits. Their accounting practices seem to be in line with Lynn Jenkins’ debacles as Kansas’ State Treasurer when she missed numerous KPERS meetings while the fund lost over a $1 billion and shorted several Kansas counties to the tune of $15 million.
Maybe now it is a little clearer why Rep. Lynn Jenkins enjoys being a part of the party of no. It’s directly beneficial for her political career. However, I think it goes deeper than that. Her flippant response to a constituent in Ottawa shows a pervasive attitude of indifference to the slings and arrows of ordinary Americans on the part of the Republicans and the financial sector. Until we begin by truly holding our elected officials accountable for the company they keep and especially hold accountable the financial sector of this country to the American people with the regulations the kept financial crises at bay, we will continue this boom or bust economy that has left millions jobless, penniless and destitute for the elite few's riches. Even worse though, we risk losing the American Dream for an entire generation.