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  La. Democrats complain about "crack" comment
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ContributorBrandonius Maximus 
Last EditedBrandonius Maximus  Oct 30, 2008 01:25pm
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CategoryNews
MediaNewspaper - New Orleans Times-Picayune
News DateThursday, October 30, 2008 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A flippant remark about a poll in the U.S. Senate race has raised complaints — and calls for apologies — by the Louisiana Democratic Party.

The party's chairman wants the Republican candidate, State Treasurer John Kennedy, to apologize for his campaign spokesman's statement that those who did a new poll showing Kennedy 19 points behind Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu must be "smoking crack."

The Kennedy spokesman, Lenny Alcivar, said the poll numbers weren't realistic and that the campaign's internal polling showed a much smaller gap between the two candidates.

But Chris Whittington, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the remark was insulting to the students and faculty of Southeastern Louisiana University who conducted the poll.

"John Kennedy's D.C. handlers have once again proven to be an embarrassment," Whittington said in a statement Wednesday. "Defaming the students and faculty of one of our state's proud public universities shows a total disrespect for the people of Louisiana. John Kennedy should know better. It appears he has lost control of his campaign."

Asked to respond, Alcivar didn't suggest an apology would be forthcoming. He called Whittington's demand "desperate, last minute attempts by a campaign in freefall like Mary Landrieu's. To take false umbrage is the oldest trick in the liberal play book."

In the university's poll of 503 registered voters, conducted from Oct. 20-23, more than 53 percent favored a third term for Landrieu, compared to 34 percent backing Kennedy. Nearly 12 percent either refused to say who they supported in the Senate race or were undecided.
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