Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy issued what has to be one of the most amazing statements of any election in response to stories that he was behind salacious rumors about Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. as the two Republican candidates do battle for the U.S. Senate nomination.
"Congressman Boustany's sexual relationships with prostitutes that were later murdered" is not something you read in politics every day.
So let's take Kennedy's statement line by line to explain what exactly is going on here.
"Earlier today, the Boustany campaign sent out an email alleging that my campaign and other candidates' campaigns for the U.S. Senate played a role in the shocking story alleging illegal behavior from Congressman Boustany and his staff."
On Tuesday, journalist Ethan Brown published a book "Murder in the Bayou" detailing the killing of eight prostitutes from 2005 to 2009 in Jefferson Davis Parish. In one of the chapters, Brown alleges that Boustany was involved with the prostitutes (though not the killings).
In a statement, Boustany's campaign spokesperson, Jack Pandol, flatly denied the allegations: "These allegations are completely false and don't even deserve a response. Dr. Boustany has a professional and personal reputation of honor and integrity. We are confident the people of Louisiana will see these lies for the political tabloid fodder they are."
Okay. Now back to Kennedy's statement.
"... I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in creating this story alleging Congressman Boustany's sexual relationships with prostitutes that were later murdered …"
Also on Tuesday, Boustany's wife, Bridget Boustany, sent an email to supporters calling the allegations "lies" and "false attacks." She defended her husband as "a good man, a loving husband and an incredible father to our two children," according to the Associated Press.
Then, she accused Boustany's opponents of spreading the information. This accusation seems to be the entire reason Kennedy sent this statement reiterating the allegations while denying any involvement in spreading them.
Back to Kennedy:
" ... his staff's alleged involvement in running the bar and hotel where this illicit behavior took place ..."
The book also alleges that a former Boustany aide helped run a hotel frequented by the prostitutes. Boustany's campaign said they didn't know the employee was working at the hotel, and they fired him last week. (Some local journalists got a copy of the book last week and reported these allegations.)
And now, Kennedy's big finish.
"With just a few weeks left before Election Day, my campaign is focused exclusively on talking about real solutions to address our country's problems. My wife, Becky, and I are keeping the Congressman, Mrs. Boustany and their children in our prayers as they deal with this as a family."
Standard election-speak for: I won't get distracted by this salacious prostitution scandal, no matter how tempting it is to, you know, send a statement about it that gets the national media's attention. To be clear: John Kennedy wants nothing to do with these allegations that his main Republican opponent was involved in anything having to do with the death of prostitutes. Nothing. Also, murder and prostitutes.