Congressman Charles Boustany, running for the seat being vacated in the US Senate by David Vitter, is in a heated contest with, among others, State Treasurer John Kennedy. It seems that Boustany has set his sights on Kennedy with the latest piece being put out by the campaign, along with an accompanying video, highlighting what Boustany calls a "truth telling parody".
Below accompanied the video in an email released today:
The ad says: “He’s a career politician. He’s run for office ten different times.1 Backed a $1.1 billion tax increase.2
“John Kennedy led costly short-term budget gimmicks that cost taxpayers $200 million.3 Wasted taxpayer money renting office space from one of his campaign contributors.4
“Budget gimmicks. While the state’s credit rating is downgraded.5 John Kennedy: finally, someone is calling him out.”
1Career politician John Kennedy ran for office ten different times from 1991-2016.
1991 – Attorney General (D), lost
1995 – Attorney General (D), withdrew
1999 – Treasurer (D), won
2003 – Treasurer (D), won
2004 – Senate (D), lost
2007 – Treasurer (R), won
2008 – Senate (R), lost
2011 – Treasurer (R), won
2015 – Treasurer (R), won
2016 – Senate (R)
2John Kennedy backed a $1.1 billion tax increase on Louisiana oil & gas earlier this year as a way to make up the state’s budget shortfall. On WWL-Radio New Orleans, Kennedy claimed: “The total amount of waste and inefficiencies that the legislative auditor in these 36 reports identified just last year, in 2015, is $1.745 billion.” When challenged on his numbers, Treasurer Kennedy provided a report on government waste to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards identifying $1.7 billion in ‘waste’ – including $1.148 billion in uncollected revenue from the state’s temporary tax exemption on hydraulic fracturing from 2010-2014.
3A performance review of the Louisiana Bond Commission in February found that short-term budget gimmicks employed by Kennedy as Chairman of the Bond Commission dating back to the 2010-2011 budget year helped plug short-term budget gaps, but incurred long-term costs to the state of as much as $231 million.
4A report by The Advocate found that the Treasurer’s Office has leased office space since 2011 at One City Plaza in Baton Rouge at a cost of $369,597 per year to taxpayers. The Treasurer repeatedly ignored attempts from the Office of Facility Planning and Control to move to state-owned office space that would have saved the state $293,868 per year. Kennedy has received $21,600 in campaign contributions from the owner of the facility.
5Louisiana’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s in February 2016. According to the AP: “Treasurer John Kennedy said Moody’s decision surprised him."