DECEMBER 11, 2006
The Louisiana lawmaker involved in a huge bribery scandal and caught with $90,000 cash in his freezer has been elected to a ninth term in the United States Congress.
A landslide victory indicates that voters disregarded the severity of the fact that Representative William Jefferson remains at the center of a federal bribery investigation in which many key players have already pleaded guilty. Jefferson himself has said that he expects to be indicted very soon.
The veteran legislator has been accused of taking major bribes from a company seeking contracts in the Nigerian telecommunications market and the man who bribed him has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with federal investigators. Earlier this year the FBI found $90,000 in marked bills in Jefferson’s freezer during a raid on his home.
Even Jefferson’s longtime Democratic supporters in the House have turned on him, with new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi removing him earlier this year from a coveted committee assignment on the House Ways and Means Committee. Now the question is what will she do about the so-called “culture of corruption” when it comes to her own party?
Word of Jefferson’s landslide victory hit cyberspace like a mobile virus, with Bloggersnews writing that it is disappointing but not surprising in an area that put Mayor Ray Nagin back in office. Think Progress posted comments from several outraged citizens who called Jefferson’s reelection shameful. One said: “…guess some people in Louisiana do not care about corruption. Boggles the mind, really.” Another said: “I don’t care if a person is “Repug” or Democrat; if they are corrupt they should be booted out.” Another said that the citizens of Louisiana deserve punishment.
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