08/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lynn Jenkins = #CPAfail

Yesterday, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins gave voters another reason to question her judgment.

It isn't the first time she's cast the seeds of doubt -- like when Rep. Jenkins told a crowd of GOP activists she was proud to be a member of the "party of no," or when she shocked us by voting against military funding for our brave men and woman in Iraq and Afghanistan. She even abandoned her constituents when she scheduled town hall meetings she never attended.

Now, there is Jenkins' all-too-late realization that government needs to be held accountable. As our friends over at Media Matters pointed out yesterday, it's not her strong suit...

It all started when Rep. Jenkins introduced a bill she claimed would increase accountability in Congress. It all sounds well intentioned until you learn the former CPA is really bad with money. (In twitter speak, this would be a #CPAfail.) Hat tip to Media Matters for doing a lot of the ground work:


Rep. Jenkins "Wants Her Colleagues To Be More Accountable When It Comes To Spending Taxpayers' Dollars." As reported by the Kansas City Star, "Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas is an accountant, so it's no surprise that she wants her colleagues to be more accountable when it comes to spending taxpayers' dollars. The Second District Republican offered legislation today that would require lawmakers to acknowledge when they're taking a vote that would impact the deficit or national debt." [Kansas City Star, 7/30/09]

In case your wondering, that's a little like taking financial advice from someone who mishandled $15 million in Kansas taxpayer dollars. Actually it's exactly like that...


Misallocation Of $15 Million Went Undetected By Jenkins For Six Years: The Topeka Capital-Journal reported: "State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins made no effort to inform Kansas counties upon the initial discovery of a state computer blunder that led to misallocation of an undetermined portion of $22.5 million in fuel tax revenue and vehicle registration fees shared with county governments, officials said Wednesday...During Jenkins' years as treasurer, $15 million in county payments were authorized by her office with calculations derived from the imprecise software." [Topeka Capital-Journal, 10/16/08]

Lynn Jenkins Misappropriated Millions In Taxpayer Funds. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the Kansas legislature was forced to fix "an accounting error by then-state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins resulting in 19 counties being shorted $6.6 million in fuel tax revenue over the past three years." [Topeka Capital-Journal, 1/17/09]

After Discovering The Mistake, Jenkins Waited Two Months To Tell Legislators. According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, "Jenkins said her staff uncovered the problem in April 2008. She sent a letter to Sebelius and contacted some legislative leaders. She waited two months to send notice to county officials. Hensley said he confirmed a letter went to the governor and assumes Jenkins notified only Republican legislators. He never heard from her. 'There wasn't one sentence or one word in any subcommittee or committee report that made reference to this issue,' he said." [Topeka Capital-Journal, 1/17/09]

But that's just one mistake, right? It's not like it happened aga...oh wait:


Jenkins Was A No-Show As Trustee Of Retirement Fund For State Workers, Said She Was "Busy." According to the Lawrence Journal-World, "Lynn Jenkins has declined to give a specific reason why she didn't attend the last three meetings of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System board of trustees... Jenkins is a member of the board that oversees the nearly $12 billion fund for government retirees. Jenkins has missed 12 of 46 meetings, or 26 percent, since she has been on the board." [Lawrence Journal-World, 10/8/08; emphasis added]

While She Was "Busy," The Retirement Fund Lost $1.1 Billion Of Kansas Workers' Money. According to the Associated Press: "She missed meetings in July, August and September. During that time, financial turmoil caused the value of KPERS assets to drop by nearly $1.1 billion." [Associated Press, 10/16/08]

This can be best categorized as a #JenkinsFail.

P.S. Current Kansas Treasurer, Democrat Dennis McKinney, has taken this responsibility seriously and made a point not only to attend the KPERS meetings, but to tweet about it.