Friday, July 25, 2008

William Jefferson Seeks OPDEC Endorsement AND FAILS TO GET IT

Dear OPDEC Members:

The Congress is in session and I am in Washington attending to my responsibilities here. Therefore, I cannot attend the endorsement meeting the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee (OPDEC) has scheduled for Thursday, July 24, 2008.

I have enjoyed the support of OPDEC since my first election as a congressional incumbent. I have always been an unwavering Democrat. I have always delivered for my district, and I still am. I have the support of my congressional colleagues for our recovery, as evidenced strongly by the recent Congressional Delegation trip to New Orleans I spearheaded, again bringing our Speaker, Majority Leader, Whip and 30 members of Congress to report on commitments made and honored by Congress since the Hurricane of 2005. My recommendations to my colleagues have resulted in bringing billions home to recover levees, homes, schools, businesses, affordable housing, health care and other vital services to our city and region. On this most recent trip, the Majority Whip of Congress, James Clyburn, announced that because of my insistence and advocacy, $834 million for our sewerage and water board rebuild will be added to the large infrastructure legislation that is being written in Congress, along with $405 million that will be included for hospital recovery. The claim that somehow I am distracted and cannot do my job is a hollow poli tical claim by those who oppose me. It is not reality. The reality is that I have the confidence of my colleagues and the leaders of the House, who continue, through me, to listen to the people of the 2nd Congressional District.

OPDEC has always supported me without fail because the people of the 2nd Congressional District have. Of the Democrats in the district, 75% are African American, 21% white and 4% other races. In my last election, I received 85% of the African American vote in Orleans Parish; 87% of the African American vote in Jefferson Parish; 55% of the white vote in Jefferson Parish; and around 20% of the white voters in Orleans.
Additionally, I have consistently received the endorsement and support of another major constituency of OPDEC and of Democrats, generally, organized labor, and was again endorsed by the AFL-CIO last week for this current election.

As always, I would appreciate the support of OPDEC for my re-election. Thank you and the very best of luck to each of you who has taken the responsibility to lead and to follow the desires, needs and aspirations of the Democrats of our parish.

William J. Jefferson


I wasn't there, but I BELIEVE that William J. Jefferson DID NOT receive the endorsement of OPDEC. One reason that he did not retain the loyalties of that organization was the success of an emerging local progressive reform movement. Earlier this year, progressive democrats successfully fought to get new blood onto the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee.

The nod went to Councilman James Carter, who can also pick up WCBF's strong endorsement by boldly leading the investigation into NOAH. If Carter shows an aggressive streak on the NOAH scandal, he is uniquely positioned to make a big impact. I've already emailed him to tell him just that and I hope you do the same.


jeffrey said...

AFL-CIO went with Jefferson again. When will they learn it's about a few important votes that really matter instead of the percentage that their stupid scoring system is based on?

Adrastos said...

It would be a good move for Carter to jump on NOAH but he's so cautious that I doubt that he will. He'll be afraid of being called an Uncle Tom, which is where that debate his heading. I'll support him if he has the guts to ignore the insults.

E said...

How many people will call him that?

Seems to me that African Americans are just as fed up with this rudderless recovery as anybody else.

The only name callers are the employees of the contractors benefiting from sham programs.

Alan Gutierrez said...

I didn't understand why Shelly railed against the peanut gallery at City Council. They were obviously their as beneficiaries of the contracts and not citizens.

bayoustjohndavid said...

I haven't heard James Carter called a Tom, but I've heard it said that white people are trying to get him elected so that they can get a 5-2 council. That was, however, said by the host on "Between the Lines" whose seriousness can be difficult to gauge.

Carter has a questionable record as a reformer where patronage issues are concerned, so I wouldn't expect him to get behind a NOAH investigation unless he thought it was inevitable. I will admit that he has as impressive record as a reformer when it comes to cleaning other people's houses.

I'll also acknowledge that my perception of him has always been influenced by a failure to answer an email early in this council. I know. it's a minor thing to judge a councilman on. I'd consider it too much to expect of a busy councilman, except for the fact that Stacy Head, who doesn't represent me, answered my email on the same subject. I actually don't think that I'm still subconsciously holding that against him, just acknowledging the possibility.

E said...

I BELIEVE him to be, ideologically, the most progressive on Council but my big knock on him is that he so routinely fails to stand up to the mayor or his colleagues on major decisions (Like public housing for instance) because he's been trying to cover his political backside.

I think that if he does the right thing on NOAH, he'll give himself a MAJOR boost and be able to fashion himself as a pragmatic candidate with an Obamaesque biracial coalition. He may be the only candidate in the LA 02 that can reasonably make that claim as it is.