Will Louisiana voters do it again?
With just eight days to go in the Democratic Party runoff for the 2nd Congressional District and after his attorneys successfully postponed his trial on federal corruption charges until after the election, the embattled but increasingly confident incumbent, William Jefferson, seems committed to a stay-away strategy, limiting contact with the news media and largely ignoring his opponent, former television news anchor Helena Moreno.
As he awaits trial, Jefferson has only staged one campaign event since he finished first in the crowded Oct. 4 primary. And he has yet to share a podium with Moreno, now making her first bid for elected office, although it's possible both will appear today at a rally staged by the Jeremiah Group alliance. Jefferson's refusal to mix it up with Moreno appears to be founded on the belief he can do so with little risk.
"I don't have anything to prove in a debate," Jefferson said tersely during his lone news conference this month, an impromptu affair after an Oct. 13 endorsement from about two dozen local ministers.
Asked to distinguish himself from his challenger, Jefferson, who is seeking a 10th term, was dismissive.
"Well, it's quite obvious," he said with a laugh. "I've been a legislator for a good long time in the state Senate and the Congress. And she has not, and that's what the job is about. ... I don't have anything to say about Helena Moreno. I think that that speaks for itself, the difference between us -- me and her -- in legislative experience."
"He's been in office 18 years, we all know that," Moreno said. "But unfortunately, despite his 18 years in office, he is completely ineffective. There are 435 members of Congress. He ranks 434th when it comes to effectiveness."
In the wake of the federal probe that has produced a 16-count indictment, Jefferson has lost his committee assignments and is shunned by many of his fellow Democrats. To date, the only announced support for Jefferson has come from members of the clergy and the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee, whose membership was sharply divided between backing the incumbent and staying neutral. In the primary, the committee backed James Carter.
The Alliance for Good Government, which endorsed state Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, in the primary, is supporting political newcomer Anh "Joseph" Cao, a Republican who will meet the Democratic Party nominee in the Dec. 6 general election.
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#1 Oct 26, 2008
SHAME on any voter who votes to re-elect Dollar Bill Jefferson.
Stop and think about this. It doesn't matter what your preacher tells you to do... this man, his brothers, his sister, his wife AND his daughters and their husbands have been charged with wrong-doing.
Shoot, his name even came up in the trial last week where Gwendolyn Moyo was convicted on 41 counts of fraud (stealing money from a church!). Turns out Dollar Bill was the one who introduced Moyo to Derrick Shepherd (you know him... the State Senator who pled guilty week before last to conspiracy). Shephered laundered the checks for Moyo, he kept about half, sent her the rest and then she sent Dollar Bill's "share" to him.
Doesn't this mean anything to you? Do you honestly believe that your district is being fairly and honestly served by this man?
SHAME on you if you vote to continue the personal enrichment of these scumbags on the backs of the poor people.
Since: Nov 07
The Islands, Cow.Forked
#2 Oct 28, 2008
They will re-elect him. They kept Nagin. Bring back Katrina, NOLA needs a courtesy flush.
#3 Oct 28, 2008
I'm from Northern Louisiana, so I don't know as much about Bill Jefferson -- I do know that he is innocent until proven guilty and that's all I can say on the matter.
#4 Oct 29, 2008
Not exactly... he is "presumed" innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
#5 Oct 29, 2008
Exactly, I was presuming that he was innocent.
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