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Kennedy Caught in Natl Dem Crossfire (posted August 1, 2002)

Congressman Patrick Kennedy has become enmeshed in a Democratic party controversy between candidates for the chairmanship of the Democratic Caucus. According to Roll Call newspaper, supporters of Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro were very upset at Kennedy after he sent a letter to all House Democrats encouraging them to support New Jersey Congressman Bob Menendez for the leadership position.

In Kennedy's letter, he wrote that "there is only one candidate in this race who delivers the kind of stellar fundraising results for our party that we need." He cited DCCC fundraising figures which claimed to demonstrate that Menendez was a far superior fundraiser to DeLauro.

DeLauro has criticized Kennedy's numbers claiming her own figures show her having raised much more money than Kennedy's letter gave her credit for. To buttress this argument, Representative David Obey of Wisconsin sent a "scathing letter" to all Democrats in the House complaining about Kennedy's letter. Kennedy's note, Obey wrote, "had the effect of disparaging" DeLauro and according to Roll Call, "was damaging to party efforts to reclaim control of the House." Obey went on to say "We all know that Rosa in running her campaign would never ask a supporter so sign a letter that would have the effect of debating family Caucus matters in the newspapers by running down another Democrat. We are not so overwhelmingly strong that we can afford to tear each other down three months before the election."
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services