I was certainly relieved when the conviction came down but make no mistake about it, this is a sad thing for our city.
A sad day would have been him being reelected, acquitted, or acquitted then elected again in the next congressional race.The sad day was when this man ascended into power. It's a good day when one of the many corrupt families in this city fall.Hopefully this will be a trend.
Someday someone is going to write a book about Jefferson's career and it is going to be THE book of our generation on New Orleans politics.
I agree - this is cause for celebration. It's truly the death blow for the Jefferson machine, which for too long has controlled this city. And I hope this verdict is giving Ray Ray some *serious* heartburn.
Could be the best book about New Orleans, period, if done right.Somebody get on this. I want to pre-order this thing tomorrow.
I have to agree with E. It's not like the charges are that Jefferson was stealing milk from babies. Do you think Vitter or Landrieu will retire from the Senate anything other than millionaires? I do think that his crimes have to be weighed against what he did to bring back displaced Blacks and the poor after Katrina. Imagine if Cao had been in Congress when Katrina hit. Had it not been for Jefferson's influence with the Black Caucus, there would have been very little, if any, Road Home money, nor the $863 million for affordable rentals. Don't forget that the "good government" white folks did not allocate a penny for rebuilding rentals in the first draft of the LRA and BNOBC plans and that, along with the plan to demolish most of the black neighborhoods,does rank up there with the moral crime of "stealing milk from babies." My response to his conviction is "what a waste of intelligence and talent."
Translation: It's OK to enrich yourself via nearly obviously illegal means in a way you could not have if someone other than a member of Congress (or other high-level federal official), if you otherwise seem sufficiently concerned with lower-income citizens, even after the shit has hit the fan re your political career. -- Ray M
The Bring New Orleans Back Commission never allocated any money to anyone, to my understanding. It was a failure.
Jefferson did steal milk from babies. His entire machine stole funds meant for those babies and their families. He started here, recruited family members and stole and stole from public funds. He was not convicted of that but thank goodness he was brought down so he can't continue with the non profits in NO.And I too am angry about the visit to his house with National Guard to see his stuff right after Katrina. People were still on rooftops. That is more shameful than RICO or the non profits. He's reaped what he sowed.
And I meant "even *if* after the shit has hit the fan re your political career." I mean, like that just makes it OK. Good lord.-- Ray M.
Please explain to me how someone who was for years a part owner of a rent-to-own chain in New Orleans has the ethics to be a member of Congress or can be said to be looking out for the "little" guy.
Yes, it's difficult to reconcile the good that Jefferson did with the bad, though it seems that the readers of this blog don't have much trouble doing that for white politicians like Stacy Head.You overlook that Jefferson was one of the leaders to stop the BNOBC plan to demolish the black community and was the only member of our congressional delegation to fight for affordable housing. He assigned his chief of staff to the Black Caucus New Orleans project and secured the missing $3 billion for Road Home when everyone was saying there was no money left. He brought Maxine Waters, Barnie Frank and a host of other Congressional leaders to New Orleans that resulted in $250 million for the colleges--far more success than the Women of the Storm. Let's put "moral crimes" in perspective and I would say that a plan to prevent the black majority from returning is a far greater crime than renting a t.v. for $50 a month. Note today that in the Times-Picayune history of Jefferson they omit his crucial role in the city's recovery.
The only "Post Katrina recovery" that Jefferson was interested in was recovering that cash from his home before it got looted.Next you'll be explaining to us about Jefferson's valiant but ultimately futile stand on the levees of the Ninth Ward during Katrina as he single-handedly attempted to fight off the evil white devils who dynamited the floodwalls....
I'm sure the typical Northshore/Fox News Watching/Honkey response to this thread would be, "Even Hitler did good things!"Jefferson could be saving baby whales while donating his kidney to a 9 year old cancer patient while building a homeless shelter for battered women, it still doesn't magically make him not guilty on the bribery and racketeering charges.That's the problem with this city, we're too forgiving. If a leader does something remotely positive we'll automatically forgive his or her's inept leadership and outright thievery. "Well, it's not their fault, they're doing a good job!"Even if we have corrupt white politicians robbing us blind and getting away with it, it still does not make Jefferson not guilty of his own corruption. Sure, Jefferson did some good things, most politicians do, but every right does fix a wrong. Justice is blind for a reason.
My final comment on grave dancing, and then I will let you all return to the celebration. If you don't know Jefferson's key role in the federal recovery legislation, then you have been reading the wrong blogs--or maybe that's all you have been reading. To appreciate the good as well as the bad in a public official is not to excuse the crime. It is to explain why there is an element of the tragic when we lose someone who brought tens of thousands of people home--despite the wishes of the majority fo local white people.
I just think it's sad to see such wasted potential. And sad for our city that yet another local politician has used their office to conduct criminal operations. I do celebrate the exercise of justice and believe he's getting what he deserves.I don't think New Orleans deserves any of this though.
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