The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 June 2005

New Kennedy Developments Have Cape Buzzing

Teddy's Summer Rental

Senator Forces Family To Pay Up!

Eclipsing grumbling over the recent hot, muggy weather, Cape Cod is abuzz over two big developments on the Teddy Kennedy front. Together, they paint an unpleasant picture of just how poorly family members seem to treat each other, with Sen. Kennedy topping the list.

Can it really be that hard for the Mass. GOP to find a credible 2006 opponent? So far, nobody's willing to give it a shot.

Kennedy is charging family members rent on John F. Kennedy's clapboard cottage. (Boston Herald Library Picture)

Especially amusing: a Boston Herald report that Teddy's not only been charging family members for use of his Cape residence, formerly owned by JFK, but that it's become a significant source of income for the Bay State's senior US Senator.

Financial disclosure documents obtained by the Herald's Andrew Miga of the paper's Washington bureau show Ted earned between $50,000 and $100,000 renting the place out to Kennedy family members:

WASHINGTON - Kennedy relatives visiting the family's fabled Hyannisport compound for summer getaways had better bring along their checkbooks.

Sen.Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) bought his late brother John F. Kennedy's clapboard cottage on the six-acre oceanside grounds last June and is charging rent to family members, the senator's new financial disclosure filing shows.

The Bay State's senior senator in 2004 earned rental income of between $50,000 and $100,000, according to his annual personal financial report filed with the Senate clerk's office recently. Senators are only required to report broad ranges of income on their financial filings.

Since Ted bought the residence only a year ago, that means all of that income was most likely generated between June and September of 2004, the traditional Cape summer season.

Doing the math, that means the cottage is renting for between $4000 and $8000 a week, to Kennedy family members!

Typical Cape rentals, featuring quite a lot more than just a clapboard cottage, usually go for between $1000 and $2000 a week during the high season.

I suppose the big question is why anyone in the family would actually pay Ted this kind of money, perhaps it's all about access. If you're a second cousin, this might be your only way onto the compound, during the crowded summer months.

Or, could it be that some of the renters aren't relatives at all? Who would know, can we run DNA tests on them? Aren't there a lot of other people who wouldn't mind overpaying a US Senator for a summer rental?

Meanwhile, Ted's ex-wife Joan, whose drinking continues to be a "problem" for the family, has reached a settlement with her children, one of which happens to be a Rhode Island congressman.

The Boston press is, as usual, duly trained to make sure Joan appears to be 100% to blame in any squabble. Of course we're to believe that Joan is the only family member that drinks too much. That's a laugh!

It seems that Joan making the Kennedy family look bad in public, is more important than what's truly best for her, that's the crux of the controversy over the court battle. Discussion here.

The Boston Herald's Dave Wedge and Maggie Mulvihill covered these new developments:

Under an 11th-hour deal struck in Barnstable Probate & Family Court on Friday, Kennedy's $6 million Hyannisport home has been taken off the market. In addition, the court dissolved a trust established by her second cousin, Webster E. Janssen, who had put the house up for sale without the knowledge of her three children.

The house, along with Kennedy's Back Bay condo, is now controlled by two court-appointed trustees instead of by Janssen, according to two sources with knowledge of the settlement.

A source close to the Kennedy clan said yesterday that Joan's children have filed a complaint against Janssen with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission alleging ethics violations in his handling of Joan Kennedy's finances.

Under the settlement, Joan Kennedy will be required to follow strict rules and enter alcohol rehab.

Kennedy, who is the ex-wife of U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), will also be required to check in regularly with the courts.

Any slip-ups and she will be placed under permanent guardianship by the court and looked after by a professional caretaker unrelated to the family.

In recent months, she has fought efforts by her children, Edward M. Kennedy Jr., Kara Kennedy and U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.),to assume permanent guardianship of her affairs.

Nobody ever seems to get Joan's side of the story, if she's refusing to speak to the press, it hasn't been stated. We do know her attorney hasn't been returning phone calls from reporters recently.

Much more disturbing is Bay State media coverage of these stories. The best reporting is coming from the financially troubled Boston Herald, a newspaper that isn't expected to survive for long, via its soon-to-be-shuttered Washington bureau.

Closer to home, the area's largest daily, Ottaway's Cape Cod Times, missed these stories by a day, assuming they will have them at all in Monday's editions.

The hometown press still looks after the Kennedys after all these years, even if some others are tired of them.

Update: Monday's Cape Cod Times runs AP version of custody story, no sign of Teddy's rental news.


  • out of that entire commentary this statement is the only one that was of any interest;

    "Or, could it be that some of the renters aren't relatives at all? Who would know, can we run DNA tests on them? Aren't there a lot of other people who wouldn't mind overpaying a US Senator for a summer rental?"

    and only because Senator Kennedy is a sitting Senator.
    Does anyone really care about the inside workings of the Kennedy family?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 June, 2005 08:34  

  • I agree with anonymous. You've pointed out one of the best ways to launder money -- payments in excess of market value. For the average guy trying to make some money on a rental property, this is great! When its a US Senator, sorry, you have to ask who paid and what if any relatioship they have to the senator or legislation he controls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 June, 2005 11:47  

  • Just wanted to clarify that your data is a bit off concerning the typical weekly summer rental rates for Cape Cod. An exclusive "cottage" -- as you describe it -- in the Hyannisport area, close to and with views of the water, normally rents for between $4,500 to $10,000 per week.
    Yes, that's nearly $25,000 to $40,000 per month in July and August. I'm in the rental business so figures are accurate as of yesterday!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 June, 2005 07:44  

  • I own a rental house less than a quarter of a mile from Teds, Mine is not waterfront property as his is, but my house is larger (six bedroom).
    This year I'm getting $4800.00 per week.
    Ted could charge way more for that home, it's not just a little cottage, I've been in there.
    I'm no defender of Kennedy in any way and disagree with him on every issue, but 4000 a week for that house is a good deal.

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