William Jefferson’s Departure Appears Long Overdue
Nine-term Louisiana Democratic Representative William Jefferson, who has been fighting charges and federal indictments from a bribery scandal for the past three years, lost his bid for reelection on Saturday. Republican challenger Anh Joseph Cao, an attorney and community organizer, defeated Mr. Jefferson in the 2nd Congressional district race centered in New Orleans, a mostly African American area and predominantly Democratic. Mr. Jefferson appeared to be the favored to win re-election going into the election. But with one hundred percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Cao had almost fifty percent of the vote to Mr. Jefferson’s forty seven percent. Mr. Cao will become the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress. It appears that even the black community, who many people believe is greatly monolithic when it comes to political issues and will dumbly support the black candidate even against its best interest, has had enough of this high profile loser.
Jefferson has pleaded not guilty to sixteen criminal counts of racketeering, bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice. In an amazing impersonation of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, denies any wrongdoing even though he is on tape accepting a bribe from FBI informants. In 2005, Mr. Jefferson’s private homes in Washington and New Orleans were by authorities raided and agents claim they found somewhere in the neighborhood of ninety thousand dollars in cash stashed in one of his freezers. Some of the serial numbers of that cold cash money found was part of the marked bills from the FBI informant in the transaction captured on videotape. And let’s not forget the fact that a few days after hurricane Katrina hit, Mr. Jefferson utilized a National Guard detachment to recover personal effects and belongings from his home while people in the rest of the city struggled just to get out of water. I’m happy to see the people in New Orleans wake up from their slumber.
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