Skip to comments.William Jefferson's D-La. problems not slowing him (Billy Jeff grateful 'with the chance to work')
Posted on 01/18/2007 5:57:02 PM PST by Libloather
Jefferson's problems not slowing him
By GERARD SHIELDS
Advocate Washington bureau
Published: Jan 17, 2007
(AP) file photo
Rep. William Jefferson, D-La.
WASHINGTON He received a standing ovation from the Congressional Black Caucus. He participated in the ceremonial swearing-in led by his perceived arch-nemesis, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
And in his first week, he became entangled in temporary House ethics rules dust-up after his staff said they mistakenly sent out campaign contribution solicitations on congressional stationery.
U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, is back in town.
Im just very, very grateful to the folks back home and that the Lord has entrusted me with the chance to work, Jefferson said about his recently hard-fought election to a ninth two-year term.
Despite FBI allegations that he took bribes in return for pushing telecommunications deals in Africa he denies any wrongdoing and has not been charged Jefferson is not letting moss grow under his legislative agenda for the new Congress.
Pelosi rallied Democratic Party colleagues last year to suspend Jefferson from his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee that writes the nations tax laws until the FBI bribery matter is resolved. But she placed Jefferson on the House Small Business Committee.
One of Jeffersons legislative targets this session is to extend a program that gives disadvantaged businesses run by minorities and women more time to get contracts beyond the eight-year limit.
The companies should be given credit for the time they were closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Jefferson said. With many of the nations grant programs running through the U.S. Small Business Administration, Jefferson said he may be well-placed in his new committee assignment.
At this point in our recovery, it may be a blessing in disguise, Jefferson said. We want to make sure the companies have the full enjoyment of their time in the program. We want to make sure they get a chance to take advantage of the recovery.
Jefferson has also set his sights on getting the federal government to forgive Community Disaster Loans. The government has extended $700 million in loans to Louisiana communities devastated by the 2005 hurricanes.
Historically, the president forgives loans given to local governments following devastating events but Louisiana hasnt been granted that status.
Communities in Jeffersons district owe $240 million, including New Orleans, which received $120 million to pay to continue basic city services, he said.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has introduced a similar measure in the Senate to forgive the debt and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., plans to do the same.
Its unfair because every other disaster has not had this requirement, Jefferson said.
Whether the allegations confronting Jefferson will damage his ability in Congress to help rebuild a community ravaged by Katrina depends on whom you ask.
Ed Renwick, a Loyola University political scientist, said Jeffersons legal troubles could hamper his legislative task. It certainly wont be a help to him, Renwick said. It makes it somewhat difficult because he is under a cloud.
Susan Howell, a University of New Orleans political scientist, said Jefferson could find it hard to get support for his measures.
Despite his reception by the Black Caucus, I dont think the Democratic Party wants to invest much in him, Howell said. One of the worst things a legislator wants is to be isolated from his colleagues.
Silas Lee, an Xavier University political scientist, doesnt view it that way. He points to Jeffersons successful guidance of legislation creating $20 million in Gulf Opportunity Zone tax credits after the hurricane as an indication that Jefferson can distance himself from his legal woes.
His legislative agenda is separate and apart in trying to rebuild a community, Lee said. Since the hurricane, he hasnt shied away from doing his duty as an elected official.
Jefferson raised eyebrows within four days of returning to Washington when a letter went out to Democratic Party colleagues on congressional stationery asking them to help him pay a $200,000 campaign debt.
Jefferson staffers took the blame for the incident, saying the congressman did not know that the letter went out. The matter has been resolved with the House Franking Commission with Jeffersons office paying for the postage, said Melanie Roussell, a spokeswoman for Jefferson.
And Jefferson surprised many when he participated in the traditional swearing-in ceremony with Pelosi, who has not been shy about her disappointment in Jeffersons legal troubles.
Jefferson said he wanted to be part of history. She is the first woman speaker and I thought it was important to be part of that, he said.
And as for the bribery case in which two people have pleaded guilty, Jeffersons attorneys and the U.S. Justice Department are still haggling over material seized in the historic May 2005 raid of Jeffersons Capitol Hill office. Briefs on the matter are due April 13.
In addition to his welcome from the Black Caucus, Jefferson said he has received warm greetings from many of his colleagues.
Nobody was giving me anything but a warm reception, Jefferson said. Everybody was saying glad to see you back.
"And in his first week, he became entangled in temporary House ethics rules dust-up after his staff said they mistakenly sent out campaign contribution solicitations on congressional stationery."
Looks like the Dims have started with their own versions of the "culture of corruption" within their "first 100 hours." Good job, Nancy. Keep it up.
I believe it was the Feds who raided his office and home and found the $90,000 dollars.
The facts are that this actually helped him get re-elected as his criminal constituents found it that much easier to identify with him. The same goes for the standing ovation from the Congressional Black Caucus. Birds of a feather and all that.
The only way this man will ever be sanctioned is if and when the Feds work up enough courage to actually charge him and have him arrested and tried. Until then he will go on as before.
If I were a betting man and I could bet here on Free Republic, I would lay ten to one that this investigation and the arrest, that should have already been made, has gone as far as it will ever go.
Silly rabbit corruption is for republicans...Democrats just make misjudgments.
FBI raids House of Representatives office
>>>FBI officers raided a House of Representatives office building on Saturday night, and NBC television said it had searched the offices of Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson.<<<<
>>>According to court records filed in the plea deal, Jefferson helped secure a deal with a Nigerian company called Netlink Digital Television and in return demanded payments to a company maintained in the name of his wife and children.<<<
http://www.dubainetlink.com << NETLINK
>>>e-mail : email@example.com<<<< Netlink
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There was a rumor he'd be given a pass if he joined with the Republicans in approving the Bankruptcy - Make - Lawyers - Rich legislation, that came out of the last Congress.
This case is over a year old and is still at the motions stage?
Uh, you're confusing the Lord with the idiots in Lousiana. That's blasphemy. Big time.
I am no cynic, but I think you're right. Democrats, unlike Republicans, do not resign in shame, even when caught having sex with pages, because they seem to possess little sense of shame.
I can't help but wonder that if he was a Republican he would already be in jail!!
Does anyone know what his status is?
ethics as defined by congress
We have already seen several times in the last few weeks that The ethics Committee is probably the biggest joke on the Hill.
Neither the Senate Ethics Committee nor the House Ethics Committee has any idea what Ethics are. Neither knows right from wrong. They are both Tom Sawyer Committees. Whitewashing is their job.
This POS should be in jail and would be if it wasn't for lame brain RINO Hastert.