“Dollar Bill” Jefferson (D-LA) finally defeated – by first Viet Congressman!

And good riddance too, the Democratic Party didn’t need its own Ted Stevens or Duke Cunningham.  And he was not a good Democrat either, often voting with the Bush Republicans in favor of more War and more economic policies to soak-the-poor-and-enrich-the-wealthy.  In short, “Dollar Bill” Jefferson has been an embarrassment to the party since mid-2005 when the FBI videotaped him receiving a $100,000 bribe in return for promising to help a tech company obtain contracts in various African countries. [Yes, Gov. Palin, African countries.]

The most memorable incident in his 3-year ongoing downfall – which earned him a second nickname of “Cold Cash” Jefferson – was the finding of $90,000 of unexplained money in his freezer in August ’05.  One of KTLK’s best moments was when the late lamented late-night host “Harrison on the Edge” phoned up Jefferson and started chit-chatting about the bad weather and electrical outages in LA and Louisiana.  Jefferson sounded happy to be contacted by a liberal outlet that he assumed would be friendly, until Harrison mentioned how his own freezer had broken down and “I hear you’ve been having some freezer problems yourself!”  Jefferson’s stammering in response to that comment received much repeated airplay on KTLK, AM 1150.

In May ’06, as a result of the ongoing scandals, Pelosi and the House Dems removed him from the Ways and Means Committee; meanwhile at the insistence of Congressmen John Lewis and Charlie Rangel (a pretty good Congressman but not without his own ethical lapses) he resigned from the Congressional Black Caucus.  Despite all this he sailed to re-election that November, against Democrat Karen Carter (whom I sent money to), with only 16% of the Katrina-decimated area bothering or able to vote.  Finally, after his indictment last year on 16 charges of corruption, the overwhelmingly black and Democratic district has had enough of him, and replaced him with a Vietnamese-American Republican!

Congratulations to the Viet community for Anh “Joseph” Cao’s becoming their first Congressman;  as Art says, he seems like a pretty nice and reasonable guy for a Republican, and in any case there was no seat this Democrat preferred to lose (apart from maybe Pelosi’s.)  [Cautionary note to bloggers:  I had started this post yesterday – and was going to write more about Anh Cao – but since I wasted the morning sparring with Jubal, I was scooped by both Prevatt and Pedroza, although of course Bolsavik had it first.  Don’t let this happen to you!]

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.