Home>Articles>Harrison, Kennedy continue to spar over Wellpath contributions

Congressional candidate Amy Kennedy. (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe)

Harrison, Kennedy continue to spar over Wellpath contributions

Kennedy links to embattled private correctional health care company emerges as an issue in NJ-2

By David Wildstein, May 27 2020 1:52 pm

For more than a month, Brigid Callahan Harrison has been pushing Amy Kennedy to return campaign contributions linked to a shadowy private correctional health care services business facing over hundreds of lawsuits.

Kennedy’s husband, former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), serves on the board of Wellpath.  Wellpath executives have contributed $11,400 to Amy Kennedy’s campaign.

Litigation filed against the company, including 70 wrongful death suits, came before Patrick Kennedy joined the Wellpath board earlier this year.

“For months now, we have all heard Amy Kennedy say one thing and do another,” Harrison said.  “Now the self-proclaimed mental health advocate continues to reap the financial benefits from her association with Wellpath, even as some incredibly disturbing testimony has been shared regarding the company’s mental care practices.”

Kennedy has avoided discussions of the Wellpath contributions directly and has refused to say if she would return contributions from their executives.

“No amount of personal and negative attacks from Brigid’s campaign will keep Amy from fighting for people who suffer from mental illness, and their families,” said Josh Roesch, Kennedy’s campaign manager.  “Amy took the No Corporate PAC money pledge back in February and has not taken any corporate PAC money.  We have been waiting for Brigid to take the pledge and still nothing.  The people of South Jersey deserve better than another Republican in Democrats clothing.”

Harrison hammered Kennedy’s connection to Wellpath, calling the association “corrupt, plain and simple.”

“The company has a clear history of bribing elected officials – and the facts speak for themselves,” Harrison alleged. “In the first quarter of her political campaign, Kennedy has taken thousands in bundled Wellpath dollars, and her husband was appointed to the company’s Board. There is no place for Wellpath’s influence in South Jersey. It is time for Amy to come clean, tell the truth, and return her Wellpath money.”

Wellpath contracts include correctional facilities in New Jersey and across the country.

The company has been blamed for a lack of COVID-19 testing and treatment at a jail in South Florida.

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