Wednesday, 13 December 2017 23:17

Tis the Senator John Kennedy vs. Gov. John Bel Edwards slugfest, once again

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jbe kennedyGrab your popcorn and coke. The Senator John Kennedy vs. Governor John Bel Edwards fight is soon to begin as speculation mounts whether the freshman US Senator is running for the Governor’s spot, come 2019.

The latest spat involves the former State Police head, Superintendent Mike Edmonson. Kennedy, who had been State Treasurer and the Secretary of Revenues before that, believes that Edmonson should pay back taxes on certain income on services and accommodations provided to him over the past years as he headed the State Police.

 

According to the Advocate, Kennedy said it was "clear" those benefits "constituted taxable income" and that Edmonson "should have calculated their fair market value and reported them as taxable income."

"Col. Edmonson is not above the law," Kennedy wrote in a letter to Kimberly Robinson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue. "In fact, he took on an added responsibility as a public servant to conduct himself with honor and honesty."

In response, today, the Communications Director for Governor Edwards, Richard Carbo responded:

“Sen. Kennedy is not one to pass up an opportunity to get a headline. We welcome any interest in making government more transparent and strive to protect and honor the taxpayers. However, it is worth noting that Sen. Kennedy was treasurer under Gov. Jindal for 8 years when this agreement was put into place, but said absolutely nothing. This indicates that he’s not interested in protecting taxpayers, but rather playing politics as usual. With so much going on in Congress, like the reauthorization of CHIP that expired under his watch, you’d think he’d be focused on his own job. Our administration will follow the law, and we’ll await the final audit report.”

Kennedy has been a constant critic of Louisiana Governors from Kathleen Blanco to Bobby Jindal to Edwards. It is generally believed among local politicos, the now-Treasurer would have run for Governor in 2015 but opted not to do so in deference to then-Senator David Vitter.

Edwards beat Vitter in the runoff to be, at that time, the only statewide Democratic official in the South.

 

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