Progressive Group Will Still Honor Patrick Kennedy
So what if he's in rehab? The 21st Century Democrats, a 527 special interest organization, is still honoring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) at its annual gala tomorrow night.
But don't expect to see Kennedy, who entered a medical treatment facility last week, at the dinner.
An email sent today from the group's president, Dan Lucas, reminded supporters that the gala is Wednesday evening in honor of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Congressman Kennedy, the son of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is battling brain cancer.
"In these difficult times, we need leaders with the integrity and vision to help President Obama move our country forward and address the big challenges facing all Americans," Lucas wrote. "Tomorrow we are proud to honor two such leaders."
Kennedy spokeswoman Kerrie Bennett tells us the congressman will not be attending tomorrow night's gala. But 21st Century Democrats spokesman Allen Combs tells the Sleuth the grassroots group will still honor Kennedy in his absence.
"21st Century Democrats is proud to honor Congressman Patrick Kennedy for his exceptional service on the behalf of the people of Rhode Island and our nation," Combs said via email. "We regret that he is unable to attend tomorrow evening, but wish him a speedy recovery."
Kennedy, 41, who has long battled alcohol and drug addiction, coupled with mental illness, checked himself into an undisclosed treatment center last week. His office said only that the facility is not the Mayo Clinic, where Kennedy sought treatment for addiction after his drug-induced car crash in May 2006.
Mary Ann Akers
June 16, 2009; 12:25 PM ET
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