Topeka Mayor Calls Hallmark Card ‘Offensive’

Topeka, Kansas’ mayor is not amused by a Hallmark birthday card poking fun at his town.

Kan. Mayor Calls Birthday Card ‘Offensive’ (AP)

Don’t send Mayor Bill Bunten this birthday card. He won’t be amused.

The birthday card produced by Hallmark bears the title “CSI: Topeka” and features a cartoon of two people standing over a corpse, with one saying, “Looks like he was bored to death.” Inside the card is the message, “Hope your birthday is anything but dull.”

Though a company spokeswoman says Hallmark didn’t intend to offend anyone, the mayor wasn’t laughing when he learned about it. “I find it offensive,” Bunten told The Topeka Capital-Journal. “It’s probably drawn up by somebody from West Virginia who hasn’t been here.”

Having spent several months in Kansas (although not Topeka), I find the card quite amusing. Not as amusing, though, as a mayor who gets “offended” by someone poking fun at his town but sees no irony in the fact that he does so by casting aspersions on an entire state.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bill says:

    The problem is still there. I sent a trackback and nothing happened.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I haven’t heard back from the site host yet.

  3. Herb says:

    AHHHHH Poor Mayor Bunten,,,, He’s been offended.

    No doubt, he’s a Democrat.

    Don’t you really feel sorry for him..

    Wahhhh Wahhhh Wahhh, here’s your ninny bottle.

  4. McGehee says:

    Methinks the card should be revised, to show a Bunten for Mayor campaign poster in the victim’s hand, and the diagnosis being “embarrassed to death.”

  5. Ralph Thayer says:

    If this mayor has time on his hands to react to greeting cards, then things must be very VERY dull in Topeka indeed.

    The sentiment may be false, perhaps, but the mayor just proved it accurate.

  6. Jim Henley says:

    Bunten is a lifelong Republican.

  7. Mark Boord says:

    How can a person be offended by something that was obviously intended for humor and then turn around and denigrate something that had nothing to do with it. Surely he’s a liberal democrat

  8. Lane says:

    I lived in Topeka for three years (so glad to be out of the dump) and I would agree with the card. The city it lame and as dull and dull can be. Only a city whose national claim to fame is Fred Phelps would be insulted. I think it fits to devil city of 666 zip codes perfectly!

  9. Ted says:

    Let’s see…we can’t tether dogs, we can’t park our cars in our yards(even though it’s our own property that we pay taxes on), the city spends millions hiring one consulting firm after another to help revive downtown, the mess with the P Cards, (that should not even exist), unlawful police officers, crappy roads that need repaired but never get repaired because apparently only the WEST SIDE counts! One abandoned house after another(one of the many eyes sores in Topeka)! Apparently this so called “Mayor” only knows how to sit behind OUR DESK (seeing as we all pay his salary) wasting our money and reading cards! And did I forget to mention the Meals on Wheels program (ya know, the one that helps feed the disabled and poor elderly (RESPECTFULLY)! Boy, what a guy! This town has gone from Topeka to Topuka! Drop dead!

    One more point… how about raising the fees on speeding tickets and running stop signs and lights, (which seems to be the favorite past time for many who live in Topeka)! There are other ways this town can get money. If I had to pay $200’s for running a stop sign, I would not be inclinded to do it again. I live on a 4 way stop intersection and witnessed 44 cars running through stop signs in 1 hour, yet no cops in sight What a chunk of money to be made! For God’s sake, WAKE UP IDIOTS!!!

  10. shelley garlitz says:

    What a shame. I’m a middle school teacher in the great, beautiful, humble state of West Virginia. I ask you, “Have you ever been to West Virginia”? I doubt it. We have the kindest, nicest people anywhere, as all states do and the most impressive scenery in any season of the year. I have been to Kansas, as for my daughter and her brave soldier husband from Preston County, WV are stationed at Fort Riley. My daughter lived in Manhattan for a short while also. I have nothing but good things to say about both areas. The only thing I have to say to you is what I told my daughter from a very early age. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.