Is another person’s Congressman.
William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson won the run-off election in Louisiana to go back to Congress. In May, the FBI found $90,000 in $10,000 increments, wrapped in aluminum foil, hidden in Jefferson’s freezer, days after he was videotaped taking a briefcase full of cash as a bribe. And some people still think he’s great.
Interestingly, I googled his name, and got the picture above…
With 44 percent of the precincts reporting, Jefferson, Louisiana’s first black congressman since Reconstruction, led with 61 percent of the vote over state Rep. Karen Carter, who had 39 percent.
[Jefferson] described his win as “a great moment and I thank almighty God for making it possible.” He called for regional unity to focus on the hurricane recovery and in bringing back evacuees who are still scattered across the country.
Jefferson, 59, was accused of taking bribes from a company seeking lucrative contracts in the Nigerian telecommunications market. He has not been charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing.
The scandal turned the race into a debate largely divided along racial lines, an age-old dynamic in this city that has intensified since Hurricane Katrina displaced large numbers of blacks and upended their demographic and political dominance.
Whites, who overwhelmingly voted for Carter in the primary and have been her most enthusiastic financial backers, believed a Jefferson win would confirm this city’s image as corrupt and untrustworthy as it asks the nation to fund its recovery from Katrina.
You think? That suspicion is confirmed by, if nothing else, bloggers like me who are not making posts about Jefferson that imply his constituents made a poor choice, blinded by his charisma.
City Councilman Oliver Thomas said Jefferson’s victory would make the recovery more difficult.
“People are watching this election all around the country and I can only imagine what they are thinking,” Thomas said. “It will be very difficult to go back to them and ask them to trust us with the money we need here.”
Well, we just shouldn’t send the aid money in $10,000 increments in leather briefcases.
One white voter, George Christen, a registered independent, cast his ballot in a predominantly white precinct in the Algiers neighborhood, just across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter.
“I just didn’t want Jefferson in. Period,” said Christen, 42. “Jefferson is an embarrassment. He needs to be out.”
Jefferson did get a vote from Jene Allen, who is black.
“He started the job. Let him finish it,” said Allen, who wouldn’t give her age. “I know Karen Carter would be the first black woman, but I think she played it dirty, too dirty.”
Wait, Carter played her campaign too dirty? So now making ads accusing your (corrupt) opponent of being corrupt is playing dirty, but taking massive bribes isn’t?
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.