Cut and run with Ryun

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Had enough?

It’s something a football player might hear from his opponent after three quarters of brutal punishment. After 10 or 12 sacks, a quarterback might be asked if he’s had enough.

But for the last few months, “Had enough?” has explained a different kind of brutality: the road to nowhere down which Rep. Jim Ryun has led us.

While campaigning, Ryun, R-Kan., has said something has to be done about illegal immigration. I agree with him, but why does he wait until 12 years after being elected to Congress to decide to do something about it?

I can’t imagine he just took a Republican talking point and copy and pasted it into his speeches.

Making sure to stay in line with Republicans, Ryun picked up another strategy: changing his story when caught in a lie.

Last month, Ryun said he had no knowledge that former Rep. Mark Foley lived across the street from him in Washington, D.C. But according to the Topeka Capital-Journal, Ryun changed his story when questions arose about the validity of his statement. According to the Capital-Journal, Ryun, along with Foley and a handful of other Republican representatives, were host to a Republican fundraiser in May. Ryun later admitted he knew Foley was a neighbor.

Ryun’s campaign manager, Jeffrey Black, said this week it wasn’t entirely true that Ryun was unaware that Foley lived close to him. Actually, it was an all-out lie.

Why did Ryun lie about this? Why didn’t he just tell the truth? And why would he allow our borders to be broken for so long?

One would expect his Democratic challenger, Nancy Boyda of Topeka, to ask these tough questions. Unfortunately, this won’t happen.

It isn’t that Boyda doesn’t have the guts to ask, it’s that Ryun doesn’t have to guts to publicly debate Boyda more than a few times. He continually says his work in Washington is too time-consuming, so he can’t schedule any more debates, except Congress has been out of session for a couple of weeks now. It sounds like Ryun is cutting and running from tough questions.

Boyda has made “Had enough?” her campaign slogan. She says if you’ve had enough of corruption or enough of politicians’ refusal to give answers or take responsibility, then it’s time for change.

According to the Public Campaign Action Fund, Ryun has one of the closest ties to former Republican Rep. Tom Delay. This is based on money given and received between Delay and Ryun and the similarity of their voting records.

It’d be great if Ryun would answer questions on such issues, but he would rather run smear ads about Boyda. He claims she wants a clear path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already here, something she has in common with Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and President Bush. Ryun would rather take the easy road of deporting every single illegal in the United States.

I respect Ryun’s qualifications to be a Congressman, though: he ran track awhile ago, and umm, he ran track awhile ago. But I’ve had enough of Ryun and Congress refusing to answer our questions. I’ve had enough of our country being stomped into the ground by politicians pushing a personal agenda

It’s the fourth quarter now, and we can make a comeback from this punishment Ryun has allowed to continue. We need a representative in Congress who will get us back on the right track. It’s time for a new coach, not a track coach.

My recommendation: Coach Nancy. Because I’ve had enough.

Owen Kennedy is a junior in management. Please send comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.

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