Kansans in the 2nd U.S. House District who want to see significant changes in Washington have a logical choice: Nancy Boyda, an outspoken advocate for reform at home and wiser policies abroad.
In view of Washington’s poor record over the last two years, the case for a determined reformer like Boyda is even stronger than when she first sought the seat in 2004.
The Topeka Democrat speaks forcefully against wasteful federal spending and supports tighter rules to ensure greater scrutiny of proposals that will cost tax dollars.
Boyda also understands that much of the excessive spending and other misguided government policies are driven by the campaign-finance system. She wants to reform that, too.
Boyda is sharply critical of changes in tax laws in recent years that have unfairly favored wealthy individuals.
Differences are significant between her and Jim Ryun, the Republican incumbent from Lawrence. He has opposed campaign-finance reforms, supported regressive tax bills and now calls for still more misguided legislation on the estate tax.
Ryun accuses Boyda of advocating a cut-and-run policy on Iraq. Yet her statements actually represent the middle ground where many people in both parties are now found.
She says the United States “must help Iraq restore its essential government functions” but also calls on the Bush administration to “establish a responsible, realistic plan for dealing with the insurgency.” U.S. assistance, she argues, “cannot be a blank check extending indefinitely.”
With experience in pharmaceutical research and development, Boyda wants to attack high costs and gross inefficiencies in the health-care system. Reforming the system, she points out, is critical to keeping American companies competitive.
Ryun deserves credit for opposing the costly, overly complex drug benefit program for Medicare — and for supporting efforts to improve it. But in general, he appears too forgiving of White House mistakes and too content with Washington’s current direction.
This fight is winnable, and that fact wont cease to amaze me for a good long while.