Friday, August 24, 2007

William "Cold Hard Cash" Jefferson

On Fridays, this space is reserved for one decent Republican.
But I can't find one!

My pay-respect-to-a-Republican-at-least-one-day-a-week pledge has been cancelled. It didn't pass the Karl Rove Test: to find a single GOP office holder who will vote to cite Turdblossum in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoenas from either House or Senate Judiciary Committees. Not one Republican is willing to dissociate himself from Karl Rove. Not one.

So, instead, of paying respect to a Republican, I'll just pay some disrespect to a Democrat - Democrat William Jefferson.

This guy is a standout. He graduated from Harvard Law School and was elected Louisiana's first black congressman since Reconstruction.

But he also is the dirtiest Washington elected office holder who is not a Republican. In fact he should be a Republican. Last year, Rolling Stone featured a list of The 10 Worst Congressmen (and women), and Jefferson was the only-man-jack who was not a GOP-er. Which is amazing, since there is - in this young century - such a long, long list of corrupted Republicans in and out of office and in and out of jail.

But Jefferson has to be included: anyone who gets caught with $90,000 cash in his freezer should be considered out in the cold. Rolling Stone says:
While his constituents back home were still reeling from the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, Jefferson was lining his own pockets in Washington. In May, the FBI raided his office after the Louisiana Democrat was caught accepting $100,000 in bribes -- most of which was later discovered in Jefferson's freezer. Vernon Jackson, the CEO of iGate, was sentenced to seven years for bribing Jefferson to push the tech company's products on the U.S. Army.

Democrats didn't fully abandon their most self-serving member. The party hosted a fund-raiser for Jefferson in March, long after it was clear he was under investigation. When he was busted, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did force Jefferson to give up his seat on the Ways and Means Committee -- but then joined House Speaker Dennis Hastert in denouncing the FBI's raid on Jefferson's office as "unconstitutional."

Equally shameful were Jefferson's antics after Katrina struck: He commandeered a Coast Guard helicopter to gather personal effects from his home in New Orleans -- at a time when his constituents were literally drowning in their attics. . . .
In fairness to Jefferson, he has been indicted – not convicted. That may or may not come in the not too distant future. Either way – the guy doesn’t deserve to remain in office.
Either resign or switch parties.