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I live in disgraced U.S. Representative William Jefferson’s district. We are used to such shenanigins with a former Governor in federal prison and most recent insurance commissioners (3 out of 4 I think) having serving time too. We have the taped image of a state representative stuffing stacks of money into his coat pockets during the Edwin Edwards trial but he was never prosecuted. He promised to "explain" but never did. He didn't have to.

I have never voted for Jefferson because his shady dealings have been well documented, I know his past, and I just always had a bad feeling about him. The majority of his constituency has supported him blindly for years no matter what charges have followed him however. I have no doubt that the current charges, which are apparently documented by video, wiretaps, marked “bribe” money transferred by an informant, most of which that was found wrapped in foil and hidden in food containers in his home freezer, the testimony of officials that have already pleaded guilty to related charges, etc. will be fought tooth and nail.

I will watch the case unfold with skepticism and awareness of how these things are handled in the media and in the political arena. I can pretty much predict what will happen. There will be charges of conspiracy and accusing fingers pointed at the current administration. It’s all a smoke screen, they will say, to change the subject and turn the media’s attention away from the firings of the eight U.S. Attorneys.

Rep. Jefferson’s humble past as the son of a sharecropper and the hard road he’s traveled to reach his current status of wealth, power, and prestige will be covered. We ALL have our faults, they will say, and who needs a pass more than someone who had to raise himself and his family by the bootstraps. He had a religious “renewal” before the last election following revelations of the bribery and related charges and claims he is a new man (even though he does not admit to doing anything “wrong”). It is all so very tiring.

Already the Democrats are struggling with how to address the fallout, are probably figuring out now what the polls say about the situation and how to address the problem, and the media will do all they can to help them … that is a given. Had this been a Republican, video of him or her receiving $100,000 in cash and transferring it to the trunk of his car ad infinitum. Calls for him/her to resign would be demanded if only for the “seriousness” of the charges (a la Tom Delay and others) … but this is different of course. The agenda is different when one of the media’s own is involved and this has never been more clear.

“Scooter” Libby was just sentenced to 3 months for “lying” about a “crime” that was never committed. The person who “outed covert CIA agent” Valerie Plame Wilson (Bob Novak) and the one who revealed who she was to him (Robert Armitage) were not prosecuted. Why? Because there was nothing with which to charge them. What they did was not a crime. How far people will go, how many lives they will destroy to achieve their political ambitions.

William Jefferson will have his day in court. Hopefully. I wouldn’t count on him to resign though. After all, it’s not really about what’s good for the people, for this country anymore, is it? Where are the leaders of today, and tomorrow? New polls show the population is more down on the current Congress than ever, despite the media's attempt to show it in a better light. People are pretty knowledgable when there are issues that affect them personally. As the Congress continues to act recklessly and in its own interests, people who care do notice. Maybe there is hope.


I'm sitting on my front porch ... Mmmm sweet nothin's

Well, do I love ya, of course ... Mmmm sweet nothin's

Mama turned off the front porch light ... sayin'...

"Come in, Darling, that's enough for tonight"

Sweet nothin's ... Mmmm sweet nothin's

Sweet nothin's ... Mmmm sweet nothin's



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
I know it was a Louisiana politician, and it might have been Huey Long, who summed up politics in yer particular jurisdiction quite succinctly: "The only way you can get impeached down 'ere is to get caught in a bed with a dead girl or a live boy."
Jun. 5th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
It may be a variation of an old quote but former governor Edwin Edwards once said, "The only way I could lose this election is to be caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy."

Although he'd had his phones tapped and there were cameras and tape recorders recording many of his nefarious deals, it took the Feds three times to convict Edwards, and they almost missed the last time. Edwards insisted he never took a dime from the citizens of Louisiana, as if our reputation for political corruption and shaking down businessmen didn't have an adverse effect on our state.

I shudder to think where the bilions in money that have been flowing into the state have been going.
Jun. 5th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
I shudder to think where the bilions in money that have been flowing into the state have been going.

Oh lord, I hadn't thought of that. *headdesk* I can only imagine, although I don't want to. Do you think we can steer the victims down there to break into politicians houses and get their money back from their freezers? ;) Oh, but wait, no taxpayer money was stolen...how about those on welfare, or disability? Hmmmm?
Jun. 6th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
I doubt if many of them actually have money in their freezers. It's much easier to have ownership of companies that can do Katrina-related work and overcharge the government or bill for work that wasn't done. Of course I don't know of this first hand. There were promises that the system would be squeaky-clean but you know how that goes. While the rest of the Gulf Coast seems to have been recovering nicely, the New Orleans still looks like a third world country despite the tens of billions of dollars sent here. Part of that is there are too many people sitting on their hands waiting for someone to help them, but, IMHO, a big problem is the greed and ineptitude of people in positions of power. JUST GIVE US THE MONEY! they keep saying. If I were the Federal Government, I'd want some oversight and guarantee it was being used properly too. I continue my own repairs and try to avoid listening about it too much, to be honest. It makes me ill.
Jun. 6th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
Eddie Edwards, ah that's the guy! I have a dear friend and colleague here who grew up in NO, and she ran that quote by me during the aftermath of Katrina.
Jun. 6th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
There is no question that Edwards was a talented, shrewd politician and a clever engaging and witty speaker. It's a shame he didn't use his many gifts in a positive manner, but I suppose he'd have never gotten to where he was without playing the "good ol' boy" system for all it was worth.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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