Scott Jordan

Bush raises funds for Kennedy as old GOP attack dossier surfaces

After his scheduled New Orleans meetings and events at the North American Leaders’ Summit, President George Bush will be in Baton Rouge tonight hosting a fundraiser for Democrat-turned-Republican Treasurer John Kennedy. In his effort to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, Kennedy bested Landrieu in first-quarter 2008 fund raising, collection $1.4 million to Landrieu’s $1 million haul. But Kennedy faces an uphill fundraising battle, as Landrieu has more than $4.5 million cash-in-hand, while Kennedy has approximately $1.6 million on that front.

The timing of Bush’s pitch for Kennedy is a bit awkward, as yesterday the Huffington Post obtained the attack dossier that the GOP put together on then-Democrat Kennedy for his 2004 Senate Race, where he finished a distant third to fellow Democrat Chris John and Republican winner David Vitter. It’s a pretty scathing assessment, and blasts Kennedy as a “lawyer-lobbyist” who’s “ineffective,” “not ready for prime time” and “supports John Kerry over President Bush.” It also claims that Kennedy furthered his career through state funds, and his inefficiency at the Department of Revenue cost Louisiana 1.4 million.

Asked for comment on the 2004 GOP document, Kennedy's Communications Director Lenny Alcivar told The Independent Weekly, “There have been times in John Kennedy’s career when he’s made both political parties mad at him and that will certainly happen again. He’s a reformer and independent-minded. Washington is broken and Louisianans are fed up with the status quo — we need leaders like John Kennedy to bring change to how we do business in Washington.”