Target of F.B.I. Raid Had a Hard Path to Capitol Hill – New York Times
[E]ven as Mr. Jefferson built a reputation as one of Louisiana’s brightest, most effective leaders, a less flattering view began to emerge, one signified by his nickname in political circles, “Dollar Bill.”
Early in his career, as a state legislator, he was criticized for enriching his law firm with contracts from state and local agencies. He also ran stores that rented appliances by the month to poor residents, owned dilapidated apartment buildings and was sued by federal regulators over a defaulted loan.
Just as with Randy Cunningham, Jefferson made no bones about how things worked. Pay the money and take what you want. He did all the usual things like arranging for jobs for his cronies and relatives.
Mr. Jefferson, a taciturn man who began his career as a favorite of good-government groups, has built a political empire in New Orleans, winning re-election by wide margins and helping his sister, one of his five daughters and many allies win public offices.
Good Government? Is that what they call it in New Orleans? As for his family, it is almost automatic that relatives of politicians get good jobs. Some even show up and do what they get paid for. I wonder if anyone ever looked at their attendance records?
But once he buddies up to the biggest grifter to ever be elected to political office, he was gold.
[O]nce Mr. Jefferson became a close ally of President Bill Clinton, and then won a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he was able to provide “absolute A+” support for city projects, said Marc H. Morial, one of Ernest Morial’s sons and the mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002.
Yes, sir. Once he hooked up with our “first black President” he was right at home. He excelled at carving off huge pieces of pork and directing a stream of dollars to his supporters back in the “Big Easy”. He didn’t make a secret of anything; he was right out front with it, hence the “Dollar Bill”. But nobody looked, or wanted to.
You have to wonder how many more Cunninghams and Jeffersons there are in Congress? When someone is elected to national political office they pretty much disappear off the radar. No one knows what they’re doing, who they’re talking to or even what they’re saying. The only time you find out is when they tell you the parts they want you to know, or they’re put in the spotlight for some reason. Then, depending on the news media, you find out what scumbags they are, or like Jefferson, that he was poor and struggled. The struggle, you see, excuses everything.
Nor am I real impressed with the rest of Congress in this case. I thought at first that it was just another case of the Democrats rallying around one of their cronies. But it seems that I underestimated the cronieness of Congress. They seem to think that there is some special Constitutional right that they and only they possess that keeps them from being investigated for crimes. There seems to be a belief that there is some mysterious power that gives them immunity from the laws that govern the rest of us.