Only In Louisiana: Congressman Jefferson Reelected By Landslide, Despite 90K Found In His Freezer by the FBI.

I’m going to disagree with WeSawThat on this. It doesn’t matter whether or not this guy voted for or against the Patriot Act (or whether or not he’s been indicted YET), he shouldn’t have been reelected. WeSawThat, what about the fact that Jefferson wasted precious time and resources during Hurricane Katrina when he directed rescue workers to his Uptown mansion so he could spend 45 minutes collecting his things? Here, take a look.

Carter couldn’t win– despite the fact that she outspent him five to one and had a significant netroots movement– Jefferson had the machine and got the big endorsements, like Mayor Nagin and Sheriff Harry Lee, who probably broke campaign finance laws when he spent out a mailer to chronic Jefferson Parish voters concerning Karen Carter’s statement in Spike Lee’s documentary about Katrina.

10 thoughts

  1. no one is denying that you have made good points. however, as far as that “he shouldnt have been reelected” well 35,121 voters disagree with you. next we have to consider his opposition: state rep karen carter: a big fat nothing. all rep carter would have done would have went to dc and been mean ol nancy pelosi’s handmaiden and we dont want that now do we? reelecting jefferson made the most sense because if he does have to resign his office and a special election is called new candidates will have a chance and if you look oyster and the gang from down there are already posturing candidates for just such a contingency.

  2. Please explain how Harry Lee has broken the law. He paid for the flyer out of his money. He was interviewed by the ABC affiliated and the video was posted on earlier this week. He point blank said he was not endorsing Jefferson, he was encouraging the voters of Jefferson not to vote for Carter. He felt Carter didn’t represent Jefferson Parish. She was on the wrong side of the pro-life debate. She went on the record in her stance that Jefferson Parish officials should be prosecuted for not allowing people to cross the bridge after Katrina. That’s crap. I’m sorry I have to agree with Harry Lee on this one – I’d rather have him protected my home than listen to Karen Carter rant.

    In fact, if we had Harry Lee or someone like him up here we might get a few thugs off the street in Alexandria. I can almost guaranteed you there aren’t hookers hanging out on the street corner near Harry Lee’s office.

  3. Tim Targaris of broke the story of Lee’s potential FEC problems. Here’s what he says, “Unfortunately, it appears that Lee, a lawman, might find himself running afoul of FEC regulations in his zeal for revenge. He admitted during the q&a that the mailing cost $14,000 — paid for by his Sheriff’s campaign committee fund. Big problem, that’s illegal under FEC rules. What’s more, the disclaimer on the mailing says, “Paid for by Harry Lee,” which is not the name of his campaign committee. Finally, when quizzed on the subject by reporters (and me) he said that if he ran afoul of the rules he would pay for it out of his own pocket … also illegal. I stuck around after the press conference to ask some more questions (camera turned off — I’m no Connecticut Bob) and it became clear to me that whoever was advising Lee believed that if it wasn’t an actual endorsement of Jefferson, Lee wasn’t bound by spending limits and the money (if over a certain amount) didn’t need to come from a political action committee. Lee also really believes that worst case scenario he can pay for it out of his own pocket. He abruptly ended our back and forth by saying his lawyer had it all figured out. I wish Adam B. was with me, but we’ll see how it turns out … No word on if anyone is going to step up and file the FEC complaint.”

    And WeSawThat, yes, I think it will be good to get a fresh set of candidates, but let’s not kid ourselves: That was the contingency plan. No one is jumping for joy that Louisiana is represented by a man who could be indicted soon.

    Good analysis, though.

  4. And if the complaint isn’t filed and Harry Lee doesn’t run, guess what???? All the money in his campaign finance fund is his. Just like William Earl – they all walk away with whatever money they have raised every year to continue to run for office, whether they actually do or not.

    The only person who may file the complaint would be Karen Carter. If she does it would be seen as sour grapes and ruin any chance of a political career.

  5. Yes, I suppose you’re right. If no one files a complaint against Sheriff Lee, then he won’t have a problem with the FEC. If someone does file a complaint, however, well, that could pose a problem for him. Seems like he still has something to worry about it… and there’s a tacit admission of that in your response.

    On another note, I still don’t understand how anyone could be satisfied with these results. It’s an embarrassment at a time when Louisiana needs to enjoy the confidence and respect of Congress and the rest of the nation.

    Jefferson was ousted from the Ways and Means Committee by Pelosi, after the FBI found the cold, hard cash. (The video tape surveillance corroborating this event doesn’t help his case either). His political power has already been diminished, and it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to exert any type of influence in the future.

    So here we are talking about what’s going to happen once he is indicted, instead of what this reflects about how complacent and short-sighted voters were (and no thanks to Mayor Nagin or Harry Lee, who put personal loyalties over the need for change).

    Lee steered white voters away from Carter by inserting himself in a race he couldn’t even vote in. Why? Because she criticized his decision to block of the bridges to Gretna by sending “dogs and shotguns” during Katrina.

    Hundreds of people, including the disabled, the sick, and the elderly, were told to turn around and go back the way they came. Carter wasn’t the only person who criticized Lee on this issue. Indeed, he was criticized by thousands of people throughout the nation– which, in part, explains his totally ineloquent “fat mouth” comments made about Carter. See here:

    Lee would rather have a man who is about to be indicted from bribery charges representing our state, because of a personal vendetta.

    He asks of Carter, “Where were these people going?” That’s his rationale. He didn’t want “those people” to walk through their neighborhoods.

    I just don’t know. It’s a complicated issue, but I can certainly understand where Carter was coming from. She says he is entitled to his own opinion; he is.

    I personally believe that the decision to send in dogs and armed police units to block off entrance into an American city was a low point, and I don’t see the harm in questioning such a decision.

    Again, we are not talking about a group of looters taking aim at Gretna; we’re talking about people seeking higher ground, people who believed that had nowhere else to turn.

  6. First, I believe Harry Lee should have come out with his opinion during the primary, not the runoff. This would at least have given an alternative to Jefferson. As he said, he didn’t care who was elected, he just didn’t want Karen Carter. There was more than the bridge issue he was upset about.

    Now for the bridge issue. Harry Lee was doing what he is paid to do – protect the homes and property, as well as the citizen of Jefferson parish. Yes, that is a hard cold statement. And yes, he was right to tell them to stay put and not walk 20 miles to I-10 and Causeway.

    What happened in New Orleans post Katrina in that first week, is not Harry Lee’s fault. It is a total complete failure on all parts of government – from the local level with Nagin and his piss poor emergency planning all the way to Brownie and his lack of action at FEMA. And let’s not forget the total near mental collapse of our Governor who is now trying to redeem herself with this special session bringing “goodies” to the people who have suffered and she can’t even get the Road Home program off the damn ground.

    New Orleans has had no leadership for decades. They actually fought over a federal grant with a university that would have provided them with communication capabilities after the storm hit. Because of that the Feds yanked the money and their emergency services were left with no means to communicate. They brought alot of the post storm problems on themselves by not properly preparing for the disaster – by taking the laissez faire attitude they always do. Maybe now, and only now, will they realize what does and can happen. Unfortunately its way to late for many people and many businesses.

  7. Can I also suggest you take a moment and go to – check out Jeff Crouere’s column entitled: Bill Jefferson Louisiana Election: Voted for the Crook. It gives an excellent insight look at to many reasons people in New Orleans may have felt compelled to re-elect Jefferson, just as they did when they elected Nagin for four more years. Given that I myself have heard from many wealthy people in the City the exact reasoning Crouere puts forth for Nagin’s return to the Mayor’s office, I have a tendency to believe many voters considered at least one of the reasons he gives for Jefferson’s return to D.C.

    We don’t always understand what goes on in another political district. You should have learned that from our Mayor’s race – just as Alexandria is a strange place for politics and what works here doesn’t work any place else, the same applies to the rest of the state.

    While it is now glory day for the state with Jefferson returning to DC, the people of New Orleans have spoken and yes, ultimately it may impact us. We have to work around that.

  8. If you want to find reasons to bag on Louisiana for the stupid things we do – why not talk about the fact that every year there is a prison Christmas parade in St. Gabriel. Yes, you read that correctly. The two facilities near St. Gabriel actually raise money through charity events to create floats and buy candy to throw at the parade. Some of the “lessor offenders” march in the parade, along with the prison band. Only in Louisiana would a maximum security facility be allowed to put on a Christmas parade!

  9. Anon 8:35: is a prison Christmas parade any worse than a prison rodeo? But….back to the original point. Electing someone like Jefferson after the evidence that’s been gathered on him can do nothing—-I repeat, NOTHING—-good for Louisiana’s image as a bunch of ignorant jerks.

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