Originally created 12/18/06

'Dollar Bill' Jefferson

Louisianans didn't ask for Hurricane Katrina.

They didn't suggest that FEMA take its sweet little time helping out.

But the disaster known as William Jefferson? They've brought it on themselves.

This is a U.S. congressman who, in the immediate aftermath of the flooding of New Orleans, commandeered several National Guard vehicles, troops - and even a rescue helicopter when the others got stuck in mud - all to check on his house and remove some of his belongings.

The man should have been shown the door to the House for that alone.

But as part of a federal bribery investigation involving Nigerian telecommunications firms, officials discovered $90,000 in cash in Jefferson's freezer - and a man suspected of bribing Jefferson has pleaded guilty.

And that was all before voters in Louisiana resoundingly re-elected him with 57 percent of the vote in a runoff Dec. 10.

Not even his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill want to be associated with this guy anymore: He's been removed from the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

So, besides rewarding a congressman who callously looked after his own personal interests with the National Guard - while others were still waiting to be rescued from their rooftops - and re-electing a man under a continent-sized cloud of suspicion, Louisianans also have cut their clout in Congress.

Talk about leaning into a hurricane!


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