His joy is justified. Redmond's boss has recently enjoyed strong press coverage, including editorials. It was invaluable public relations, with political capital gained. It was the kind of coverage money can't buy. The kind that carries courthouse chatter for weeks. The kind that defines a political campaign before it even starts.
In short, it was Redmond's kind of coverage. He points to an open planner. "We didn't even have to put it on the calendar," he says. "It was completely unexpected."
The watershed moment came earlier this month when reporters asked Gov. Kathleen Blanco how much pork she was planning to cut from the state's $26.7 billion operating budget. Her overly simplistic answer was that Treasurer John Kennedy could drop the ax as well and shoulder some of the burden.
Kennedy didn't miss a beat. A few days before Blanco announced her limited cuts ' $3 million slashed from more than $31 million in pet legislative projects ' Kennedy issued to reporters a multi-million dollar laundry list of items he says he would have eliminated.
But he still doesn't understand why the governor pulled him into the fray, especially since he has no authority over the budget.
"This is a strange business sometimes," Kennedy says. "It was ironic, among other things. I understand the job of a legislator is to bring home the bacon, but that is not the job of a governor. In hindsight, [Blanco] probably regrets doing it."
Kennedy says his office could offer more in the way of fiscal oversight, but Blanco and her staff have chosen to treat him differently than other administrations.
"They could actually talk to me," he says. "They could at least answer my letters."
Indeed, Kennedy has become the critic-du-jour of the governor. He blames the Blanco administration for allowing debt to flourish in recent years, questions the office's recovery efforts and isn't shy about handicapping Blanco's upcoming re-election bid. (Hint: his forecast isn't exactly positive.)
But don't get the wrong idea. Kennedy says he is not interested in running for governor, and he makes the statement unequivocally, without using political jargon.
"I will not be a candidate for governor," Kennedy says.
That might be, but he isn't forsaking politics totally. Redmond tends to handle that side of the coin by filling the dual role of campaign manager. Redmond has held the job since Kennedy's first political contest in 1999 and throughout every other statewide and federal run.
Like it was his own address or phone number, Redmond can easily recite how much money his boss has in the campaign war chest. It's $1.3 million, with very little active fund raising at the moment.
When pressed on the approaching U.S. Senate race, Kennedy isn't as concrete as he was about governor: "I don't think that far out. I'm only focused on being re-elected treasurer right now."
One wrinkle to any upcoming election plans, a curious caveat, is Kennedy's constant criticism of his own Democratic Party. Rumors have run rampant in recent years that Kennedy is being courted by the GOP, and he's embracing more than he's shooing away.
"I'm very lonely," Kennedy says. "I have not been supported in any race I have run in by the Democratic Party in Louisiana. That disappoints me."
But Kennedy refuses to make a commitment on whether he will remain a Democrat for the rest of his life in public service. The likelihood of his switch is only bolstered by the close alliance he holds with U.S. Sen. David Vitter, whom he ran against in 2004.
Kennedy uses an interesting vernacular when describing his powerful Republican "friend" ' courage, brains, reformer. The two have issued joint press releases and even took strong stances together on the spending priorities of the administration.
"You run against someone and you get to know them and they get to know you," Kennedy says. Furthermore, it seems as if Kennedy is sometimes writing his own Republican talking points, which are increasingly pointed at the governor.
He links hurricane recovery efforts and state debt, accusing Blanco of allowing the matters to complicate each other. State debt per capita has grown to $822 for every man, woman and child in Louisiana ' a five-year high, he says.
"We're not prepared for the worst," Kennedy says. "We just keep spending every nickel we have."
As for Blanco's upcoming re-election bid, Kennedy isn't making any predictions.
"You just never know," he says. "A year and a half is a long time in political terms."
Calls to Blanco for comment on this story were not returned by press time.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
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High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
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