Both candidates were strong supporters of David Vitter whose seat they now covet after the current US Senator lost his gubernatorial race against John Bel Edwards.
What makes this campaign, now, a war is the issue of prostitution, a book, and an email.
A book being released claims that Boustany used the services of a prostitute who was later killed in a hotel. There are absolutely no allegations that Boustany had anything to do with the murder, nor facts supporting such a claim.
The reason for the war, however, is John Kennedy, sent out an email early this week, stating he had nothing to do with the publication and promotion of the rumor and that he and the other US Senate candidates were accused by Boustany for the political chicanery.
Below is an excerpt from an article by Greg Hilburn of Gannett, focusing upon this heated battle:
U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Charles Boustany adamantly denied anonymous allegations he was involved with prostitutes and blasted fellow candidate state Treasurer John Kennedy and his campaign for spreading the rumors, calling Kennedy a "political predator with no regard for the truth."
Boustany, R-Lafayette, addressed the allegations published in the new book "Murder in the Bayou" by Ethan Brown on a conference call press conference. The book examines the murders of eight prostitutes in Jefferson Davis Parish in the mid-2000s.
On Tuesday, Kennedy, also a Republican, said in a statement: "I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in creating this story.''
Kennedy campaign spokesman Lionel Rainey issued another statement Wednesday: "The Kennedy campaign did not write the book and did not publish the book. The book speaks for itself. The only reason the Kennedy campaign commented was because the Boustany campaign blamed the book on us and the other Senate opponents."
But Boustany would have none of it, saying Kennedy or his "operatives" peddled the story to media throughout the state "to try to save the twilight of his own political career."
"John Kennedy has proven Louisiana can't trust him," Boustany said. "I'm very confident Louisiana will not reward a sleazy politician."
Nevertheless, Boustany admitted the accusations had shaken him and his family.
Without discussing the issue of the truth of the allegations raised in the book, the question is whether Boustany might be right in directing his anger towards Kennedy.
Here is the letter Kennedy sent out last week.
Treasurer John Kennedy, who is running for US Senate, sent out a very strange email on Monday. It said that the Congressman Charles Boustany campaign has accused the Kennedy campaign and other candidates a prostitute who had been murdered years ago.
In the email, Kennedy wanted everybody to know that he had zero to do with the rumor.
He also shared his concern for Boustany and his family by stating, “campaign had anything to do with these news stories or the book published by Simon and Schuster.
My wife, Becky, and I are keeping the Congressman, Mrs. Boustany and their children in our prayers as they deal with this very difficult time as a family.”
Here is the Kennedy email:
Earlier today, Congressman Boustany's campaign sent out an email blaming my campaign and other candidates’ campaigns for the U.S. Senate for the media stories about allegations that Congressman Boustany and members of his staff were involved in illegal behavior in southwestern Louisiana during the early 2000s. You can read one of these news stories for yourself on the link below.
I personally had no idea that the allegations existed, that the book was being published. Certainly, it would follow that I had no clue that charges were being made against Kennedy and others for spreading the prostitution story—not until Kennedy’s letter.
I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in advancing this story or the others like it.
With just a few weeks left before Election Day, my campaign is focused exclusively on talking about real solutions to address our country’s problems. I wanted for you to hear directly from me that neither I nor my campaign had anything to do with these news stories or the book published by Simon and Schuster.
My wife, Becky, and I are keeping the Congressman, Mrs. Boustany and their children in our prayers as they deal with this very difficult time as a family.
Unquestionably, it appears that the story likely would have come out regardless since the book is being published.
However, a few questions should be raised as far as Kennedy’s own involvement in the spreading of the news.
Here are some of my inquiries:
Why did Kennedy take it upon himself to write the letter claiming he had nothing to do with the spreading of the rumor? Did anybody else do so or was it just Kennedy? Why did Kennedy include very obvious promotion to the story and links to the articles that discussed the underlying prostitution story and Boustany’s accusations towards his opponents?
Did Boustany do anything to suggest that Kennedy was the main or only person spreading the rumor?
After Kennedy published the links to the story and then said he and his wife had the Boustany’s in their prayers, wouldn’t that appear to be perceived as inconsistent and false sympathy?
So far, other than David Duke entering the race which made international news, this is the only bit of excitement we’ve had in an election that has been overwhelmed, so far, by the big game, the US Presidential election.
Not that there aren’t really important issues to be discussed among the 24 candidates running. Obviously, there are many.
But, so far, the election has been a snoozer, especially considering the heated US Senate race of two years ago involving Senator Mary Landrieu and last year’s gubernatorial humdinger.
But, it’s only September and sometimes the most contentious of all political skirmishes has started with a yawn.