State Treasurer John Kennedy admits he’s gotten a reputation for being outspoken.
“Some of my colleagues have called me crazy. They’ve called me a troublemaker, a misfit, rebel,” Kennedy said after qualifying for re-election.
But his opponent in the Treasurer’s race uses other words to describe him.
“Divisive,” Republican Jennifer Treadway calls him. The Baton Rouge attorney also accuses Kennedy of “fiscal irresponsibility and tyrannical leadership.”
Treadway also equates him with Governor Bobby Jindal.
“The failures of Bobby Jindal and John Kennedy have kept us at the bottom long enough,” Treadway said after she qualified for the Treasurer’s race.
But Kennedy says blaming him for Jindal’s fiscal policies is misguided.
“I don’t think it’s any secret: Governor Jindal didn’t want my help,” Kennedy said, in response to Treadway’s statement. “That’s okay.”
But Treadway insists it wouldn’t be okay in the business world.
“If I’m a shareholder in a company and the company’s going broke, I want not only the CEO gone. I want the CFO gone,” she said.
Kennedy says he has tried to tell the governor and lawmakers the proper ways to manage the state’s money, but they haven’t listened to him as much as he’d like.
“I always hear, ‘Look, Kennedy, it’s just not done that way.’ And my response to that is, well, the way we’ve done things around here for the last ten years sucks.”
Treadway says she doesn’t buy it, and the four terms Kennedy has served is enough.
“We are tired of the good ol’ boys’ club,” she stated.
Treadway’s biggest complaint about Kennedy is that he has run for U.S. senate seats twice while serving as Treasurer, and plans to run again next year.
“Louisiana needs a Treasurer who will focus on being the Treasurer, not on seeking higher office,” Treadway said.
Kennedy has endorsed David Vitter for governor, and it’s generally presumed he’ll seek vitter’s senate seat next fall, if Vitter wins the mansion. When asked about next year’s senate race, Kennedy would only say: “John Kennedy’s running for re-election for state Treasurer, and he’d be honored to have your vote.”