In every election cycle controversial candidate emerge in both parties. This year Republicans have to contend with Senate candidates who want to bring back prohibition and overturn the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Most observers were surprised these topics were being discussed because they certainly are not national campaign issues. Political reporters are now describing two additional GOP candidates as “cute and crazy.”
They are referring to Christine O’Donnell who is running for the Republican Senate nomination in Delaware and Kara Russo who is trying to replace retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). Once again, no one is quite sure why these topics are being discussed, but O’Donnell has let voters know she is against masturbation and pre-martial sex, and many voters believe she is a witch. Russo believes the 9/11 Twin Towers were brought down by a “controlled demolition.”
Russo, 39, is the former sales director for the Dunkin Donuts Center, and is on the ballot twice on September 14th. She is running for the GOP nomination to succeed Kennedy, and is also seeking the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor. At the same time she is campaign manager for her pony tailed boyfriend, Christopher Young, 41. He is a perennial candidate who is now running for Mayor of Providence as a Democrat. The couple conducts joint interviews and Young does most of the talking.
There is no Republican candidate in heavily Democratic Providence, and the post is open because two-term Mayor David Cicilline is the solid frontrunner for the Kennedy seat. Cicilline is leaving the city with a $52 million deficit and a pension liability shortfall of over $1 billion. The city is a labor union stronghold but is now virtually bankrupt. In a sharp break from the past, all of the Democratic candidates say it is necessary to cut the budget and renegotiate the far too generous public employee contracts. They want to begin by limiting pension payments to $120,000/year for each retiree.
Kara Russo and Christopher Young are very open about their relationship. They have been dating for 18 years but tell everyone they do not have sex because they are strict Catholics. The good news is that Chris Young has finally proposed to Kara Russo. He popped the question during a televised debate which stunned viewers because they thought he was was proposing to the moderator who has a similar name (Karen). The moderator was also shocked and the publicity stunt received national attention even though no one has made a financial contribution to Young’s mayoral campaign. The bad news is that Young says he will only marry Miss Russo if he is elected Mayor of Providence, which is definitely not going to happen.
When Young was interviewed on the program “Coffee With The Candidates,” he responded with a song rather than a traditional answer. His microphone was cut off. No matter what question is asked, Kara Russo almost always talks about her strong pro-life views. It does not matter if the question is about foreign policy or taxes. She is regarded as a single issue candidate and Rhode Island is the most Catholic state in the nation. Similar to her boyfriend, Miss Russo has also raised little money and is expected to be defeated by retired Army officer John J. Loughlin who has brought in over $430,000. If Kara Russo does make it to Congress, she could find Rhode Island voters to be amazingly tolerant.
The summary below of the controversial aspects of Congressman Kennedy’s career was compiled by the Daily Caller.
William Kennedy Smith rape trial, 1991.
A member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Kennedy was in Palm Beach, Fla., with his father and cousin William Kennedy Smith when Smith was accused of raping a woman. Smith was acquitted, but prosecutors accused Patrick Kennedy of attempting to cover up the incident.
Shoving an airport employee, 2000
An airport security guard claimed Kennedy shoved her after she told him one of his carry-on bags was too big. A soundless video shows Kennedy grabbing the guard’s shoulder and quickly shoving her. After a closed hearing, officials ultimately decided against bringing charges against Kennedy.
Boat related troubles on Martha’s Vineyard, 2000
While on a yacht off Martha’s Vineyard, Kennedy and his then-girlfriend wound up in an argument so intense the Coast Guard reportedly sent a rescue boat to take the woman back to shore. Later that year, Kennedy was accused of trashing another yacht, this one rented, causing $28,000 in damage.
Capitol Hill drug-induced crash and subsequent rehab, 2006
Having already spent time in rehab for alcohol and drug abuse in his youth, Kennedy, high on Ambien and Phenergan, crashed his convertible in the middle of the night into a Capitol Hill barricade. About a month earlier, he had been involved in a minor automobile accident pulling into a pharmacy parking lot in Rhode Island. A witness of that crash said Kennedy was “swaying, and his eyes were glazed.”
He was not arrested in either incident and in the Capitol Hill crash authorities took him home. He later pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of prescription drugs. “I know that I need help,” Kennedy, who had checked into the Mayo Clinic for treatment the year before, said then. “I struggle every day with this disease, as do millions of Americans.” He subsequently admitted himself into rehab again.
In 2009, he returned to rehab again saying he “decided to temporarily step away from my normal routine to ensure that I am being as vigilant as possible in my recovery.”