Friday, May 12, 2006

Hopefully, he’ll be out of rehab in time for the election.
R.I. Dems standing behind Kennedy

As he sat 1,300 miles away in a Minnesota drug rehab clinic, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy was unanimously endorsed last night for re-election by the Rhode Island Democratic Party.

Bill Lynch, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said he did not think Kennedy’s disclosure that he was addicted to prescription drugs, and is seeking help, would affect Kennedy’s chances of winning a seventh two-year term.

“People have gotten to know him here personally in Rhode Island,” Lynch said. “People here respect the fact that he’s courageous enough to deal with this in the public eye, which is very difficult.”…

Kennedy spokeswoman Robin Costello said there was no word on when Kennedy might be released from the Mayo Clinic rehab facility.

But Kennedy has vowed not to step down despite his apparently prescription drug-fueled car crackup in the wee hours Thursday morning. The congressman said he had taken a sleep medication and anti-nausea drug and couldn’t remember anything about the accident.

Matt Wylie, executive director of the Massachusetts GOP, said backing a candidate before the investigations into the car accident are complete is premature.

“I would hope the Democratic Party would try to find out the truth and not just give him preferential treatment because he is a Kennedy,” Wylie said.

Paraphrasing Jay Leno - If God had wanted Rhode Island’s 1st District to vote, he would have given them candidates.


Oh, and speaking of the investigation…
Cops told Pat K was at watering hole before crash

Capitol police in Washington, D.C., investigating U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s early-morning car wreck have been told by witnesses that the Rhode Island congressman was at a Capitol Hill bar before the crash, the Herald has learned.

A source close to the probe said witnesses have told detectives that Kennedy was at the Hawk & Dove before he slammed his Ford Mustang into a security barrier near the U.S. Capitol. The source added that cops are continuing to seek evidence to confirm that Kennedy was at the watering hole.

The Herald reported last week that a Hawk & Dove hostess said the 38-year-old pol is a frequent customer and was drinking in the bar before the May 4 crash. Kennedy has denied he was drinking, blaming the accident on a cocktail of prescription painkillers and sleeping pills. He has since checked into a Minnesota rehab…

A Kennedy spokeswoman declined comment. A Capitol police spokeswoman also refused comment, citing the ongoing probe.

The crash sparked a furor within the Capitol Police Department after angry patrol officers said higher-ranking cops blocked them from giving Kennedy a sobriety test. Police union head Lou Cannon said two watch commanders on duty the night of the crash have been transferred.

A police report on the 2:45 a.m. crash cited alcohol as a factor, describing Kennedy as slurring his speech, being “unsure” on his feet and having red and watery eyes.

Kennedy told cops he was on his way to a House vote, even though Congress had adjourned three hours earlier...

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