Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., talks with reporters during a Capital Hill news conference in this May 22, 2006 file photo. Facing a showdown next week that he is likely to lose, Jefferson has signaled anew he will not step aside from his committee assignment voluntarily, and some fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus spoke out on his behalf.
ASSociated Press: Pelosi effort to take away post divisive
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi juggled competing political goals on Friday, seeking to drain racial tension from her attempt to strip embattled Rep. William Jefferson of his committee seat.
Facing a showdown next week that he is likely to lose, Jefferson, D-La., signaled anew he will not step aside voluntarily, and some fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus spoke out on his behalf.
Face it Dims, Jefferson is not voluntarily leaving.
He is definitely an obstinate no class act. But, typical.
“The Black Caucus takes exception when we become the exception to the rule. We want the same standards,” said Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J. He noted that the Louisianan has denied wrongdoing in a federal bribery probe and has not been indicted.
Not the race card again?
They found $90,000 cash in his freezer and the FBI has him on tape accepting a BRIBE.
At the same time, several officials said that Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who is black, was the lawmaker who formally proposed at a closed-door meeting Thursday night that Jefferson be stripped of his committee assignment. Lewis, who first gained fame as a civil rights pioneer in the 1960s, declined to comment.
While Jefferson maintains his innocence, two men have been convicted in the investigation and the
FBI claims it has videotaped evidence of him accepting bribe money. The two include a former aide to the congressman as well as a businessman who pleaded guilty May 3 to paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the lawmaker.
The controversy has left some Democrats in an awkward position. Eager to emphasize their election-year theme of ridding the House of an alleged “culture of corruption,” they also appeared reluctant to risk offending blacks who are among the party’s most loyal supporters.
And you do not want to offend the Black Caucus who vote in Lock-Step with the Democrat Party leadership or offend black voters who are expected to vote 97 per cent for the Dims in the Fall. God forbid.
Fresh details emerged about the Thursday night meeting in which senior Democrats took the first step to remove Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee, with jurisdiction over trade, taxes, Medicare and Social Security.
Several officials said the vote was 33-7, and came after a relatively brief debate largely devoid of passion.
A meeting of the same group one night earlier was livelier, these officials said. They said Rep. Maxine Waters of California, in particular, had forcefully spoken out against the plan to discipline Jefferson. She declined to comment.
The officials who described the events did so on condition of anonymity, saying the meetings were private.
The Wednesday night session resulted in a decision to send a small delegation to Jefferson in one final attempt to persuade him to step aside on his own. Lewis as well as Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and John Tanner of Tennessee were appointed, since they are on the Ways and Means Committee. They got the same response Pelosi and others had received earlier.
The Fat Lady has sung for Jefferson and he might as well resign from the Ways and Means Committee. The Democrats will not be able to mention the “CULTURE OF CORRUPTION” one more time with Jefferson hanging around.
But, we know THAT is a DEAD ISSUE anyway, don’t we?
Stay tuned for more whining and bleating from the Congressional Black Caucus…….
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