A Democrat named Ray Torres Sanchez is running for Congress in Florida's 23rd District. The incumbent, Alcee Hastings, is also a Democrat and was impeached in 1988 for bribery and perjury. He subsequently made his way back into power after his conviction was overturned on a technicality.
Sanchez has made some outlandish claims on his website. Among them, that incumbent Hastings is controlled by a political operative named Art Kennedy. During a debate, a GOP candidate for the office (Marion Thorpe) debated Kennedy rather than Hastings. Kennedy claimed he was serving as a "representative of Hastings".
When someone complained that beating a non-candidate (Kennedy) in the debate wasn't nearly as compelling as beating Hastings himself, the GOP candidate offered an extremely bizarre response.
"Mr. Kennedy is the puppet-master who controls Hastings' strings. In many ways, winning a debate against Mr. Kennedy is more politically significant than winning a debate against Hastings."
"If you will allow me to describe their working relationship in medical terms, my opponent is the mouth and Mr. Kennedy is the brain."
Are you aware of Mr. Kennedy's political affiliation? "Though he calls the shots for...Democrat...Hastings, Kennedy is a long-time Republican... the plot thickens."
Take care, my friend.
Marion D. Thorpe, Jr., MD MPH
U.S. Congressional Candidate
Sanchez' view is obvious: Hastings can't speak for himself and, as an added bonus, is actually controlled by a puppet-master who happens to be Republican!
Let's do a little homework on this, shall we?
Using an incredible new tool called an Internet Search Engine, we first find a list of campaign donations made by one Art Kennedy of Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Art Kennedy's occuption? Alcee Hastings' Congressional Staff Member. As was also the case in 2000. Interesting. In 2000, Kennedy donated only to Republicans including George W. Bush.
The Broward Times (September 2002) adds an interesting tidbit:
...The first thing blacks have got to ask themselves is how our democrat congressman Alcee Hastings allowed his Republican Chief of Staff, Art Kennedy to become a part of the plot to undermine Broward's first black Elections Supervisor, Miriam Oliphant -- by concocting along with the white boys a bull -- community task force and setting-up Oliphant to strip her of her elected office...
So Kennedy really is a Republican? The Broward-Palm Beach New Times says so.
Hastings' chief of staff... is a GOP operative named Art Kennedy. As the Sun-Sentinel put it in an October 24 story about leading black Republicans, Kennedy has "direct connections to the governor's mansion and the White House."
In 2005 Onyx Magazine featured a profile of Kennedy.
In 1992, former Judge Alcee Hastings (then attorney) ran for congress with redistricting. In November 1992 I resigned from the school system to become a part of his staff. In doing that, the last staff for a Democrat. That goes back to when he was on trial for allegedly lying under oath in a trial where he was found "not guilty". In Miami, the House of Representatives found him guilty. The Senate conducted a trial. Each of one hundred senators had to vote as to whether to impeach him or not.
Senator Specter of Pennsylvania suggested very strongly to us one evening that some member of our team should become Republican.
The reason? Kennedy explains:
Most people don't understand the significance of the congressman and I being able to have some lines of communication open with regardless of who is in the White House or in the Governor's Mansion––whether that person is Democrat or Republican, one of us has the opportunity to try to get the ear of that person... Now that Jeb's governor, I am the point of contact.
So, has Democrat candidate Ray Torrez Sanchez discovered some insidious scheme in which the secret hands of Rove and the Republicans control Alcee Hastings?
Apparently not. Using this amazing new "SEARCH" "ENGINE" technology, I discovered the real reason behind Kennedy's ostensible affiliation with the GOP. Elapsed time: four minutes and eight seconds.
If Sanchez is the best the Democratic Party can muster against a disgraced laughingstock like Hastings, I don't think the GOP has much to worry about in any battle of wits.
Hat tip: Vin.