Joe Kennedy: Just Another Out Of Touch, Massachusetts Liberal

- January 30, 2018


A Former Student Of Elizabeth Warren, The Kennedy Selection Is A Perfect Fit For A Democrat Party More Interested In "Resistance" Than Bipartisanship

Democrats Tapped Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA) To Deliver The Official Democratic Response To President Trump's State Of The Union Address. "Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, one of the Democratic Party's rising political stars, has been tapped by top party leaders to deliver the official Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address next week. The choice thrusts the 37-year-old, three-term congressman from Brookline into the national spotlight more squarely than he has ever been before. The job will put him on national television as the face of the Democratic Party and the voice of chief Trump critic at an extraordinary moment in the country's politics. For many Americans, it will be their first introduction to the latest Kennedy on the political scene." (Victoria McGrane and Annie Linskey, "Joe Kennedy To Deliver Democratic Response To State Of The Union Address," The Boston Globe , 1/26/18)

"In Kennedy, Democrats Are Looking Toward A Telegenic Liberal From Bright-Blue Massachusetts - Not To Mention A Famous Political Dynasty - To Articulate The Deep And Increasingly-Bitter Objections Many Americans Have To The Current President." "The choice of Kennedy says something about the image that the national Democratic Party is trying to project. In Kennedy, Democrats are looking toward a telegenic liberal from bright-blue Massachusetts - not to mention a famous political dynasty - to articulate the deep and increasingly-bitter objections many Americans have to the current president." (Victoria McGrane and Annie Linskey, "Joe Kennedy To Deliver Democratic Response To State Of The Union Address," The Boston Globe , 1/26/18)

  • The Boston Globe 's Victoria McGrane And Annie Linskey Find That In Choosing Kennedy, "Democrats Are Less Interested In Bipartisan Appeals Than In Capitalizing On The Wave Of Resistance." "The swing to Kennedy signals that Democrats are less interested in bipartisan appeals than in capitalizing on the wave of resistance rising ever higher in their base against the president, as well as the dissatisfaction independents feel with Trump." (Victoria McGrane and Annie Linskey, "Joe Kennedy To Deliver Democratic Response To State Of The Union Address," The Boston Globe , 1/26/18)

Kennedy Was A Student Of Elizabeth Warren In Law School. "While at Harvard Law School Kennedy met his wife in a class taught by future Sen. Elizabeth Warren." (Eric Garcia, "Joe Kennedy III To Give State Of The Union Response," Roll Call , 1/26/18)

Kennedy Has Voted With Nancy Pelosi 95 To 97 Percent Of The Time

In The 115th Congress, Kennedy Has Voted With Nancy Pelosi 97 Percent Of The Time. (CQ Vote Comparison Report, Accessed 1/26/18)

In The 114th Congress, Kennedy Voted With Nancy Pelosi 96 Percent Of The Time. (CQ Vote Comparison Report, Accessed 1/26/18)

In The 113th Congress, Kennedy Voted With Nancy Pelosi 95 Percent Of The Time. (CQ Vote Comparison Report, Accessed 1/26/18)

Kennedy Stood With Far-Left Democrats To Shut The Government Down

Kennedy Voted Against Legislation That Would Have Kept Government Open. (H.R. 195, Roll Call Vote #33 : Passed 230-197; R 224- 11; D 6-186; 1/18/18, Kennedy Voted No)

Kennedy Voted Against Legislation To Reopen Government Following The Shutdown. (H.R. 195, Roll Call Vote #44 : Passed 266-150; R 221- 6; D 45-144; 1/22/18, Kennedy Voted No)

Kennedy Emphasized The Urgency Of Extending The Children's Health Insurance Program, But Then Voted Against The Resolutions In The House To Extend The Program. (Rep. Joe Kennedy, Twitter Feed , 11/3/17)

Kennedy Opposed Tax Cuts

Kennedy Voted Against The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act The First Time The House Voted On It. (H.R. 1, Roll Call Vote #637 : Passed 227-205; R 227- 13; D 0-192; 11/16/17, Kennedy Voted No)

Kennedy Did Not Vote On The Final Version Of The Tax Cut And Jobs Act. (H.R. 1, Roll Call Vote #699 : Passed 224-201; R 224- 12; D 0-189; 12/20/17, Kennedy Did Not Vote)

Kennedy Criticized Passage Of The Tax Bill, Bizarrely Claiming It Would Raise Taxes On Working Americans. "Congressman Joe Kennedy III today released the following statement following the passage of the GOP tax bill. 'The strength and success of our nation should be judged by the strength and success of all Americans, not just the privileged few. Investing in the working Americans who build our economy should have been the absolute priority of any true tax reform. Instead, the GOP tax bill systemically raises their taxes, attacks their health care, and erodes their economic dignity. Then it turns around and asks them to bear the burden of this unfunded corporate tax cut by sacrificing their hard-earned Medicare and Social Security.'" (Rep. Joe Kennedy III, "Kennedy Statement On GOP Tax Bill," Press Release , 12/19/17)

Massachusetts Workers And Consumers Are Benefitting From Tax Reform

The Average Massachusetts Family Saves About $1,100 Under The Bill That Kennedy Did Not Vote For. "The average middle class tax cut is closer to $1,100, and struggling families would see cuts amounting to a few hundred dollars." (Evan Horowitz, "Under House Plan, Many In Massachusetts Would See Tax Increase," The Boston Globe , 11/7/17)

Massachusetts' 1 Auto Inc., Will Give Out Bonuses For All Full-Time Employees Because Of Tax Cuts. "Massachusetts based online auto parts retailer 1A Auto announced across the board cash bonuses for all full-time employees. CEO Rick Green says that the decision was based on recent changes to tax policy." (Press Release, "1A Auto To Give Company Wide Bonus," 1 Auto Inc ., 1/25/17)

Berkshire Hills Bancorp Of Pittsfield, Massachusetts Will Increase Their Base Wage To $15 Per Hour, Extend $1,000 Bonuses To Over 1,000 Employees, Invest In Employee Development And Training, And Commit $2 Million In Additional Charitable Giving Because Of Tax Cuts. "These investments include: Raising Berkshire's minimum wage to $15 per hour. Providing a special, one-time bonus of $1000 to over 1000 employees. This grant benefits all full-time employees below a certain compensation threshold, covering over 70% of the Bank's workforce, and augments the special $500 holiday bonus these colleagues received in the fourth quarter. Enhancing Berkshire's investment in employee development and training programs to benefit our employees and bolster our current offering at AMEBU - American's Most Exciting Bank University. Contributing $2 million to the Berkshire Bank Charitable Foundation which supports charitable organizations, scholarships, and volunteerism across Berkshire's local communities. This will bolster the foundation's endowment and allow for increased local giving. Last year we provided over $2 million to our local communities, complementing our employee volunteer program which helps our employees contribute over 40,000 hours of volunteer service each year." (Press Release, "Berkshire Hills Announces Employee and Community Investments," Berkshire Hills Bancorp , 1/4/17)

Because Of Tax Cuts, Blue Hills Bancorp Gave $70,000 In Bonuses Of $1,000 To Employees With Functional Titles Below The Assistant Vice President Level, And Raised Hourly Pay Rates To $15 For Employees Not Already At That Level. "In addition, and as a result of the Tax Act, the Company recorded an expense of $70,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to awarding a $1,000 bonus to each employee with a functional title below the Assistant Vice President level. The Company also took action to raise the hourly pay rate to $15 for a small number of hourly employees not already at that pay level." (Press Release, "Blue Hills Bancorp, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter And Annual Earnings," Blue Hills Bancorp , 1/29/18)

Dyer Capital Management Of Marion, Massachusetts Raised Employee Base Wage To $22 Per Hour And Provided A Special One-Time Bonus To Employees Because Of Tax Cuts. "Dyer Capital Management, Inc. (Marion, Massachusetts) - Base wage raised 3.5% to $22 per hour; hourly employees also received a special one-time bonus: In keeping with the economic prospects of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, Dyer Capital Management Inc. (DCM) has announced a special one-time bonus payable this month to each of its hourly employees. Also, the company is increasing the minimum hourly rate 3.5% to $22 an hour. President Timothy H. Dyer said: 'In the spirit of shared success, we are pleased to reward our hourly workers with this good news now, as we anticipate brighter, future conditions for our economy and our country.'" (John Kartch, "List Of Tax Reform Good News," Americans For Tax Reform, 1/30/18)

HarborOne Bank Of Brockton, Massachusetts Paid Employees A $500 Bonus And Raised It's Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour Because Of The Tax Cuts. "Brockton-based HarborOne Bank said it's giving hundreds of employees a $500 bonus and is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by February in the wake of the federal tax bill, following similar moves made by other national companies and banks. The bank said the decision is a direct result of the corporate tax cuts banks and other industries will enjoy under the bill President Trump signed last week that reshapes the country's tax code." (Matt Stout, "HarborOne Credits Tax Law With Wage Hike," Boston Herald , 12/28/17)

Meridian Bancorp Raised Minimum Wage For All Employees To $15 Per Hour, Provided An Additional 20 Percent To 2017 Employee Bonuses, Increased Capital Spending Budget, And Increased Charitable Giving By $1 Million. "Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" or "Meridian") (NASDAQ:EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the "Bank"), following the new tax law being passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 22, 2017, announced the following enhanced commitments to the Bank's employees, infrastructure investment and charitable giving which will benefit its customers and the communities it serves: The minimum wage for all employees will increase to $15 per hour; An additional 20% will be added to the 2017 bonus as part of the Bank's Incentive Compensation Plan that will be paid to the Bank's 500+ employees in January 2018; An increase to the Capital Spending Budget as a result of plans to build six new branch locations in 2018; An increase in charitable giving by targeting $1 million in donations to community and non-profit organizations in 2018. Richard J. Gavegnano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "While our wage policy has consistently been higher than the state mandate of $11.00, the passing of the new tax law has provided the Bank the opportunity to boost its planned minimum wage hike and share those benefits with many of the employees our customers see every day. As a result, our Board of Directors voted to increase the Bank's minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as increase the 2017 bonus that all employees are eligible to receive by 20%." (Press Release, "Meridian Bancorp, Inc. And East Boston Savings Bank Announce Their 2018 Commitment To Their Employees, Infrastructure And Charitable Giving," Meridian Bancorp , 1/3/18)

Eversource, A New England Energy Provider, Said That Because Of The Reduction In The Corporate Tax Rate, They Would Reduce Energy Costs For Customers. "The newly passed federal tax law reduces the amount of taxes Eversource will be paying by millions of dollars and today the energy company has informed the Department of Public Utilities of its decision to voluntarily pass those savings along to customers. 'We believe it's important that our customers reap the benefit of a lower tax rate,' said Eversource Massachusetts Electric Operations President Craig Hallstrom. 'As a regulated power company our rates are based on our costs, including federal taxes, so if taxes are reduced ultimately costs are reduced and that benefits our customers.' For example, customers in the company's Eastern Massachusetts service territory will see a reduction in taxes of $47.6 million. This will cause a rate reduction of approximately $35.4 million, rather than the approved increase of $12.2 million (per the rate case decision Nov 30th). For Western Massachusetts, customers will benefit from a reduction in taxes of $8.3 million, reducing the approved increase of approximately $24.8 million to $16.5 million. Given the complexity of the newly enacted law, over the next several months the company will be conducting a full evaluation by its tax department to calculate the exact amount that will be returned to customers and to see if there are further forthcoming reductions. If so, those changes would be reflected in rates effective January 1, 2019." (Press Release, "Eversource Will Use Tax Savings To Lower Rates For Customers," Eversource , 1/4/18)

Kennedy Has Joined The Far-Left Of His Party In Taking Extreme Pro-Illegal Immigration Positions

Kennedy Voted Against Kate's Law, A Bill That Increased Criminal Penalties For Individuals In The Country Illegally Who Are Convicted Of Certain Crimes, Deported, And Then Re-Enter The U.S. Illegally. (H.R. 3004, Roll Call Vote #344 : Passed 257-167; R 233- 1; D 24-166; 6/29/17, Kennedy Voted No)

Kennedy Voted Against A Bill That Discouraged Sanctuary Cities And States. (H.R. 3003, Roll Call Vote #342 : Passed 228-195; R 225- 7; D 3-188; 6/29/17, Kennedy Voted No)

Kate's Law Raised Penalties On "Undocumented Immigrants Who Re-Enter The United States After Being Deported" And The No Sanctuary For Criminals Act Revoked "Federal Grants From Cities That Do Not Comply With Federal Immigration Enforcement." "The bills - Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act - raise the penalties for undocumented immigrants who re-enter the United States after being deported and revoke federal grants from cities that do not comply with federal immigration enforcement." (Abigail Abrams, "House Passes 'Kate's Law' And Bill Cracking Down on Sanctuary Cities," Time , 6/29/17)

Kennedy Represents A Democratic Party That Has Grown Increasingly Out-Of-Touch To Regular Americans

In Announcing Kennedy As The State Of The Union Response Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Said "Congressman Kennedy Profoundly Understands The Challenges Facing Hard-Working Men And Women." "'While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in announcing Kennedy's selection." (Eric Garcia, "Joe Kennedy III To Give State Of The Union Response", Roll Call , 1/26/18)

According To Roll Call 's Wealth Of Congress Index, Kennedy Is The 22nd Richest Member Of Congress, With An Estimated Net Worth Of $18.64 Million. ("Wealth of Congress Index," Roll Call, 1/11/18)

In 2015, Representative Joe Kennedy III's Assets Were Valued Between $19,165,039 And $65,700,000. (Joe Kennedy III, United States House Of Representatives, Financial Disclosure Report , 5/13/16)

Kennedy Is The Heir To One Of The Greatest Political Dynasties In American History, As Grandson Of Senator Robert F. Kennedy And Great Nephew Of President John F. Kennedy And Senator Edward M. Kennedy. "Kennedy is the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and the grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was killed in 1968 during his campaign for president. His great uncles were President John F. Kennedy and the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy." (Eric Garcia, "Joe Kennedy III To Give State Of The Union Response," Roll Call , 1/26/18)

Kennedy Has Pushed Progressive Ideas On Health Care, While Benefiting Financially On The Health Care Industry

Rep. Kennedy Has Called Repealing Obamacare "An Act Of Malice." REP. KENNEDY (D-MA): "With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different scripture. The one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful but by how we care for the least among us, mercy. Defined in purely secular terms, its compassionate treatment for those in distress. It is kindness. It is grace. There is no mercy in a system that makes healthcare a luxury. There is no mercy in a country that turns their back on those most in need of protection. The elderly, the poor, the sick, and the suffering. There is no mercy in a cold shoulder to the mentally ill. There is no mercy in a policy that takes for granted the sweat, tears, and the sacrifice of working Americans that they shed everyday so that they might care for their family's basic needs; food, shelter, health, and hope for tomorrow. There is no mercy for the 2.6 million people who will lose their job if Obamacare is repealed. This is not an act of mercy it is an act of malice." (Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, 3/8/17)

Rep. Kennedy Supports The Idea Of Single-Payer Healthcare. "Rep. Joe Kennedy III is hesitant to join the over 100 Democrats throwing their support behind two single-payer healthcare bills picking up momentum in Washington, though he agrees with the single-payer model. 'We've seen, over the course of the past several months, that details on policy actually matter,' Kennedy said during an interview with Boston Public Radio Thursday. 'Universal healthcare is the critical component … I think single-payer is a way that we can get there, and … that's great, but I think that the critical piece of this is ensuring that everybody gets access to quality, affordable, accessible healthcare.' … Kennedy said he agrees with the fundamental concept of single-payer, though details of the Coyners bill give him pause. 'I think they are 100 percent right on the value that they are trying to enshrine in the federal law, that health care is a right in this country, not a privilege to be enjoyed by few,' Kennedy said." (Tori Bedford, "Joe Kennedy Supports Single-Payer, But Only In Theory," WGBH , 9/14/17)

Kennedy Is Personally Benefiting From The Continued Price Hikes Of Cancer Drugs And Other Drugs

In 2015, Kennedy Owned Shares Of Celgene Corporation Stock Valued Between $130,000 And $350,000. (Representative Joe Kennedy III, U.S. House of Representatives, Financial Disclosure Report , 5/13/16)

In 2016, Kennedy Owned Shares Of Celgene Corporation Stock Valued Between $130,000 And $350,000 . (Representative Joe Kennedy III, U.S. House of Representatives, Financial Disclosure Report , 5/15/17)

Celgene Produces Cancer Drugs, The Prices Of Which Have Risen Continuously. "The prices of two of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG)'s cancer drugs have been increased by close to 20% this year. Celgene's price hikes became effective last week and were made on Pomalyst and Revlimid, two of the pharmaceutical company's blockbuster drugs. The two drugs are used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. Revlimid has also been granted approval for the treatment of other kinds of cancers including mantle cell lymphoma, a rare blood cancer." (Adam Russell, "Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) Hikes Prices Of Cancer Drugs," , 10/24/17)

The Cost Of A Single Dose Of These Drugs Is Between $15,000 And $18,000. "This is the third time this year that the price of Revlimid is being hiked bringing the price of the drug to $18,546 a bottle. Pomalyst has also had a price hike this year and the cost of a bottle is now $15,833, according to Yatin Suneja, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. In a statement Celgene said the price was dependent on the value of the therapy." (Adam Russell, "Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) Hikes Prices Of Cancer Drugs," , 10/24/17)

1 Out Of Every 4 Cancer Patients Does Not Fill Their Prescription Due To High Costs. "One-quarter of all cancer patients chose not to fill a prescription due to cost, according to a 2013 study in The Oncologist. And about 20 percent filled only part of a prescription or took less than the prescribed amount. Given that more than 1.6 million Americans are likely to be diagnosed with cancer this year, that suggests 168,000 to 405,000 ration their own prescription use." (Liz Szabo, "As Drug Costs Soar, People Delay Or Skip Cancer Treatments," NPR , 3/15/17)

In May 2016, The Boston Globe Reported That U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III Had Earned Up To $434,999 In Stock From Investments In Gilead Sciences Inc., The Manufacturer Of The Controversially Priced Hepatitis C Drug. "US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III has earned stock value of up to $434,999 from investments in Gilead Sciences Inc., the manufacturer of a controversially priced hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, that many of his constituents are struggling to afford, according to public financial disclosures and campaign finance records." (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)

In 2012, Kennedy Invested In Gilead Sciences Inc. As Hepatitis C Was Spreading In Massachusetts. "Kennedy, who is the lone high-level Massachusetts politician who has invested in Gilead, earned between $15,001 and $50,000 in capital gains after selling part of his stock in 2014, according to a transaction report he filed. He purchased the stock in 2012, in the midst of hepatitis C's overwhelming spread through Massachusetts. After the state reported just 10 cases in 2011, the number skyrocketed to 174 in 2013, according to the CDC." (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)

In 2016, Kennedy Said That The Stock Had "No Impact Or Influence On His Congressional Responsibilities," And That His Investments Were Handled By An Independent Financial Adviser. "His holdings in Gilead, as of the end of 2015, totaled between $180,004 and $450,000, according to financial disclosures. (Lawmakers are not required to report the exact value of their assets, but in ranges instead). Of 23 congressmen with shares in Gilead, Kennedy currently holds the most. Kennedy's office pointed out that his investments are handled by an independent financial adviser, and that his shares have 'no impact or influence on his congressional responsibilities.'" (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)

In 2015, The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission Said The Hepatitis C Epidemic, Combined With The Price Of Sovaldi, Was Becoming A Strain On The State's Budget. "In a 2015 cost trends report from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, researchers revealed that high hepatitis C rates, combined with Sovaldi's pricing, was becoming a strain on the state's budget." (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)

The U.S. Senate Committee On Finance Found That State Medicaid Programs Across The Country Spent $1.36 Billion On Sovaldi In 2014, Before Rebates, To Reach Just 2.4 Percent Of Patients. "Last December, the US Senate Committee on Finance found in its investigation of Gilead that the company had a 'revenue-driven' pricing strategy. According to the committee's report, state Medicaid programs across the country spent $1.36 billion on Sovaldi in 2014, before rebates, to reach just 2.4 percent of patients." (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)

The Boston Globe Said Because Hepatitis C Is Heavily Linked To Opioid Abuse, "This Raises The Specter That Kennedy, Through His Investment, Could Be Indirectly Benefiting From The Opioid Crisis." "Hepatitis C is heavily linked to opioid abuse. According to a CDC survey, between 40 and 50 percent of those with the disease who responded in 2012 said opioid use contributed to their contracting it. This raises the specter that Kennedy, through his investment, could be indirectly benefiting from the opioid crisis." (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)

  • Between 2012 And 2014, The Number Of Opioid-Related Deaths Increased 29 Percent In Kennedy's District. "In Kennedy's district overall, the number of opioid-related deaths increased 29 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Department of Public Health. Kennedy has been outspoken about the opioid crisis since joining Congress in 2012." (Alex Rozier, "Hepatitis Drug Earns Profits For Kennedy," The Boston Globe , 5/6/16)




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