Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Republicans Hope to Force Jefferson Vote

The fallout from Rep. William Jefferson's 16-count indictment on bribery, racketeering, money laundering and other charges is moving quickly across Capitol Hill and down into his New Orleans-based district.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) plans to immediately put Democrats on the spot by offering a privileged resolution giving the ethics committee 30 days to report back to the full chamber on whether Jefferson (D-La.) should be expelled from the chamber.

"If the charges against Congressman Jefferson are true, he should be expelled from the House of Representatives, or he should resign to spare his constituents and colleagues any further indignity," Boehner said in a statement.

When Boehner offers the resolution, it must be taken up immediately by the full chamber. First votes of this week are planned tomorrow evening on a series of non-controversial resolutions and naming federal buildings. That would be the most likely time to offer the resolution, according to leadership aides.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sidestepped any internal sanctions on Jefferson and instead highlighted the recent passage of lobbying reform provisions.

"While Mr. Jefferson, just as any other citizen, must be considered innocent until proven guilty, if these charges are proven true, they constitute an egregious and unacceptable abuse of public trust and power," Pelosi said. "As we have demonstrated in implementing tough ethics reforms and passing tough lobbying reforms already this year, Democrats are committed to upholding a high ethical standard and eliminating corruption and unethical behavior from the Congress."

Such a quick vote on potentially expelling a member of Congress under indictment - without having been proven guilty - would run against recent history. Last year, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) announced his intention to plead guilty to accepting illegal gifts in August, entered a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism, pleaded guilty in the early fall and didn't resign his seat until a few days before the November elections.

For almost a year Democrats have been reluctant to support Jefferson, whose home was raided almost two years ago when the FBI found $90,000 in his freezer. At that point Pelosi forced Jefferson off of the Ways and Means Committee, a prized assignment from which he allegedly used his perch on a trade subcommittee to orchestrate his criminal conspiracy.

Jefferson won re-election last fall despite the ongoing investigation. Faced with Jefferson's return and members of the Congressional Black Caucus voicing support for him, Pelosi made a political miscalculation earlier this year when she approved his appointment to Homeland Security Committee. Boehner protested and vowed to force a floor vote on Jefferson because that panel receives top-secret briefings.

Pelosi has sat on the assignment to Homeland Security rather than putting her vulnerable incumbents, particularly the 42 freshmen swept into office promising reform, in the position of voting for Jefferson. Boehner's resolution includes a provision barring him from taking that seat and strips him of his only other assignment, on the less glamorous Small Business Committee.

Democrats appear to hope that the matter will resolve itself in some quick fashion, either in the courtroom or through a resignation. "For the good of the people of Louisiana's 2nd District, who have been through so much, we hope this matter is quickly resolved," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

And in New Orleans, an old foe of Jefferson's was already pouncing on the opportunity.
State Rep. Karen Carter (D), who received 43 percent of the vote against Jefferson, lamented that the indictment comes as New Orleans still tries to recover from Hurricane Katrina.

"These questions about the Congressman linger as our city is asking members of Congress to hand over billions of dollars in relief money. Despite these latest headlines, we cannot lose focus on the needs of tens of thousands here in this city that are still working to repair their homes and lives. This is a sad day for New Orleans from any vantage point," Carter said in a statement.


By Paul Kane  |  June 4, 2007; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain vs. Shadegg: Divergent immigration views
Next: War Brings Down Democrats' Approval Ratings

Comments

The Republicans, no strangers to lawbreakers in their midst, are reacting like a dog with a bone on this one. At last a wrongdoer on the other side of the aisle! While Jefferson is apparently guilty (the evidence suggests it), the Republicans need to stop their slavering over this. Justice will be done and the Republicans with little to cheer about these days can light their victory bonfire and dance around it. They certainly ought to know a crook, if anybody does.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans, no strangers to lawbreakers in their midst, are reacting like a dog with a bone on this one. At last a wrongdoer on the other side of the aisle! While Jefferson is apparently guilty (the evidence suggests it), the Republicans need to stop their slavering over this. Justice will be done and the Republicans with little to cheer about these days can light their victory bonfire and dance around it. They certainly ought to know a crook, if anybody does.

Posted by: Patrick | June 4, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The American Change Party
If we get one person on every ballot in the country, we could have a very peaceful revolution.

Term Limits For Congress
One-Term Presidency
FairTax
Campaign Reform
Repeal Minimum Sentencing
No Self-Administration
Referendum in Iraq and Afghanistan
States Rights To Pass Federal Laws

www.AmericanChangeParty.com

Term Limits For Congress
How
A law could be created that would limit any citizen of the United States to a total of ten cumulative years of elected public service during a lifetime. There could be allowances for creating and training an apprentice who believes in the same principles as the official and therefore the official could add an extra year on his term for training his apprentice. The apprentice would have to be publicly elected regardless of length of training. Additionally, those Congress people who voted for this law will have their ten cumulative years of elected civil service "grandfathered-in" and therefore they will have their full ten cumulative years of elected civil service available to them no matter how long they have actually served. Those who did not vote for it will not be "grandfathered-in".

One-Term Presidency
How
The presidency should be limited to only one term, perhaps six years instead of four, and impeachment proceedings could be altered to make it easier to sue the president, remove him from office or to fine him in extraordinary terms. For example, each impeachment proceeding could carry with it an automatic penalty, just for going to court, of decreasing the president's retirement income by one-half each time he's brought up on impeachment charges. The first time it will be reduced to one-half of its original amount; the next time it goes to one-fourth; the next time it goes to one-eighth; and so on.

FairTax
How
The FairTax should be made into law and followed almost exactly as the book suggests. There may be some adjustments to be made, but for the most part, the book has it right.
One possible adjustment could be a combination of a smaller sales tax and a smaller flat income tax. The FairTax could be set at 20%, instead of the intended 23%, and only applicable to purchases less than $10,000. The Million Dollar Federal Flat Income tax could be set at 1% of annual gross income over one million dollars. Both taxes used together would be very simple for people to figure out, economically beneficial for everyone and sufficient to fund the government.

Campaign Reform
How
A law could be created that states that any media broadcast of campaign advertisements has to be matched in length and duration of broadcast by the opposing candidate before the first candidate can broadcast.
This includes everything except the spoken word and the unpublished written word. That is to say that if Mr. Rich wants to pay for two minutes of campaign advertisements, but his opponent, Mr. Poor, can't afford it, then Mr. Rich will have to pay for Mr. Poor's ad time if Mr. Rich wants to advertise bad enough. If not, then neither gets ad time.
This law would be administered by a simple form that has to be completed and filed with the FCC, before the broadcast, that has both political opponents listed for equal time on the specific media station. Heavy fines could be levied for transgressions and the money put toward the victimized candidate's ad time.

Repeal Minimum Sentencing
How
Minimum sentencing needs to be repealed which would free our judges to make their own decisions. One option is to change minimum sentencing to minimum guidelines for judges who are appointed to their positions and keep it as minimum sentencing for judges who are elected to their postions; eventually eliminating all elected judges in the country for appointed positions processed properly through proper committees in legislative and executive branches.
Additionally as a check, impeachment proceedings and removal of a judge from the bench needs to be made easier and simpler. Currently, to have a judge removed from a case, there is a head judge who makes that decision, thus self-administering themselves. This is wrong and needs to be eradicated. (See No Self Administration)

No Self-Administration
How
Administration of the administration should be done by branches that do not administer themselves.
For example, the legislative and executive branches could administer the judicial branch; the judicial and legislative branches could administer the executive branch and the executive and judicial branches could administer the legislative.
Thusly, if Congress wants a pay-raise, they have to get it approved by unanimous vote between committees in the executive branch and the judicial branch; perhaps the majority of the White House office and majority of the Supreme Court.
Accordingly on a local level, if a judge needs to be changed from one case to another, the complainant needs to have a signed document from the local executive committee and one from the local legislative committee to have the judge changed.

Referendum in Iraq and Afghanistan
How
A referendum should be held throughout Iraq and Afghanistan with only one question on the ballot: Should the US stay or go? That's all. Then the US would follow-through.
A vote of stay would be followed with a continual graduation to finally eliminating US presence completely. This graduation would be marked explicitly with milestones and not with dates and times. These milestones would be events that take place as the gradual transfer of power and administration continues to the Iraqi people and away from the US.
A milestone, for example, would be something like a police station becoming approved to be built; another one would be the financing arriving for that police station; another milestone would be the police station becoming fully manned. This progressive scenario could be applied to virtually everything that goes into the Iraqi and Afghan efforts, eventually leading to the end of foreign presence.
A vote of go would require a quick pull-out. A pull-out would happen suddenly and without warning. No date would be given and most of the equipment would be removed prior to the pull-out.
Also before the pull-out, all the equipment, such as satellites and naval contingents, would be in place to carry out Project Remote Control. Project Remote Control would consist of everything except foot soldiers on the ground. That list includes, but is not limited to, satellites, armed drones, cruise missiles, airplanes and an entire naval contingent parked just off shore at the constant ready to deploy anything necessary to kill terrorist activity.

States Rights To Pass Federal Laws
How
There have been many times in the history of this nation where Congress passed federal laws that were wrong. They have virtually no retribution.
The Constitution can be altered to include the ability for states' congresses to pass federal legislation. That is, it would take three-quarters (75%) of all the states' congresses to create federal laws or over ride federal vetoes. Additionally, it may be best to mandate that such state-generated federal legislation has to have three-quarters of each state's congress vote for it to pass the bill, along with three-quarters of all the states' congresses, before it becomes law; this should be discussed and researched before inclusion on the bill.
Federal legislation passed by the states' congresses would have precedence over the President and Congress in Washington, D.C

We don't have allot of money, but we do have the internet. Never has the internet ever been so easily accessible by so many people in this country. These days a campaign for any office could theoretically be accomplished over the internet. Crazy? Maybe not.

Combine the pervasive internet accessibility with this growing dissatisfaction of the same-old politicians and the growing desire for some change in politics and the result could be someone from the back row. Maybe we need a regular businessman as president. Maybe, by starting an entirely new party, we could put people in offices much broader than just the presidency; maybe in offices all over this country.

According to Richard Winger, publisher of the nonpartisan Ballot Access News, such third-party candidates would have to gather many signatures to get on ballots in all 50 states. They're all different. So, let's get offices started in every state; in basements and garages, but mostly on computers. The basement office of yesteryear is now a hard drive. It can be done. Have a Petition Party to get signatures and give out blank petitions for other Petition Parties.

Why not? I was driving down the road when it came to me. I keep on hearing how everybody wants something other than the same old politics-as-usual, yet they continue to vote for the same old politicians-as-usual; mainly because there is no other choice.

Sure, there are a few independent candidates, but they're either too under funded to be able to compete with the same old politicians or they have views that would scare any voter back to the same old politicians.

Sure, a candidate can be voted out of office, but it's so rare it makes the news when it happens. There is so much government money available to incumbents that they have to either die, retire or resign under the scrutiny of some scandal to leave office.

Then there are the voters who are looking for a superhero or a paragon of virtue to fill any political office. Those people will die very old and very disappointed. There has never been, and never will be, a superhero or a paragon of virtue in any office on this planet. If you're looking for a superhero or a paragon of virtue to vote for, don't vote.

Campaign reform by The American Change Party would include a law that states that any media broadcast of campaign advertisements has to be matched in length and duration of broadcast by the opposing candidate before the first candidate can broadcast.

Immigration reform by The American Change Party would include passing The FairTax (www.fairtax.org), a national sales tax instead of federal income tax. Everybody would pay taxes starting with illegal aliens to tourists in our country to corporate executives who snake out of paying their fair share due to the largest tax code in the world.

We need people on ballots. Go to the state's ballots page and see what it takes to get on a ballot in your state. Then, have a petition party.

Let's pass this on and see what happens.

JP
jpgrund@bellsouth.net

Posted by: www.AmericanChangeParty.com | June 4, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

While all abuses of power and embezzling of public funds ought to be scrutinized, there are many other more pressing issues that should not be forgotten in the midst of this investigation. We must remember that, to date, the war has cost over $340 billion dollars--money which could have been spent much more wisely and with better end results. It is estimated, for example, that the expenditure of a mere $19 billion would eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide. In a time when the current defense budget is $522 billion, the goal of eradicating world hunger is clearly well within reach. Thus, it is clear that the occupation of Iraq needs to end as it is doomed to failure, and it needs to end now without regard to what this will do to United States interest in Iraq's oil. There are simply much more important issues that need to be addressed for Congress to focus completely on the investigation of scandals.

Posted by: Jessica | June 4, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

If this were a conservative Republican under indictment, Patrick and Jessica would be screaming for the House to take action. But since this is a very liberal Democrat, one who has voted with the Pelosi position 98.7 percent of the time so far in the 110th Congress, they are trying to turn a blind eye to the corruption.

Jefferson has been corrupt ever since his days as a Louisiana state senator. the problem is now he got caught. It's time for him to pay the price. If Speaker Pelosi is serious about running an ethical Congress, she should support Mr. Boehner's resolution to call for a vote on Dollar Bill's expulsion. Oh, wait a minute, Pelosi has already forgotten about that, instructing David Obey to slip in earmarks so they can't be voted down by the GOP.

Speaker Pelosi talks a good game, but she plays a far more devious one.

Posted by: David | June 4, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

David, Rep. Jefferson is hardly a "liberal" congressman-- he's merely a CORRUPT one. As a liberal Democrat myself, I'm embarrassed to have him in the party. I was deeply disappointed when the people of his district voted to renominate and then reelect him last year. And I would like to respectfully point out that Pelosi did take some steps to keep him out of power, such as booting him off the Ways and Means Committee; the man is effectively marginalized politically. And I would also point out that for the past 12 years, Republican misdeeds were quietly (and extremely effectively) swept under the rug. That does NOT make it acceptable, in my opinion, for Jefferson to be anything less than honest, but neither does it behoove anyone to treat this as a partisan matter.

Posted by: Dee | June 5, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Dee, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, and I agree that the Republicans did have their ethical lapses, like Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham, and Bob Ney.

But look at what Pelosi has done so far as Speaker. She has played underhanded to deny the GOP a voice at the table, and she now is instructing Obey, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, to slip earmarks for pork barrel spending in at the last minute so the funds won't be rejected. What happend to fiscal responsibility?

And as for Jefferson not being a liberal, come on. He's in lock step with the Black Caucus. He's a corrupt SOB who needs to be expelled NOW!

Posted by: David | June 5, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Republican, Democrat, sharks, or jets,...who cares. Scum is scum. The Dems may be obliged to publicly await Jefferson's conviction, but behind the scenes they ought to be doing everything possible to make this creep resign immediately.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | June 5, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

David, I would take exception with several of the points that you have made. First, as towards Pelosi not allowing Republicans a seat at the table, look at war funding. That bill passed with a majority of Democrats voting against it. We didn't use the same "majority of the majority" tactics that the GOP did. And as for Jefferson, I fully believe that he should be suspended, and indeed expelled, but it is unreasonable for him to be expelled now because he is guarenteed due process under the Constitution. Although I think he should step down, Dem and GOP leaders both need to respect the Bill of Rights. After all, we did for Ney, Cunningham, and Foley.

Posted by: Henry | June 5, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

David, I would take exception with several of the points that you have made. First, as towards Pelosi not allowing Republicans a seat at the table, look at war funding. That bill passed with a majority of Democrats voting against it. We didn't use the same "majority of the majority" tactics that the GOP did. And as for Jefferson, I fully believe that he should be suspended, and indeed expelled, but it is unreasonable for him to be expelled now because he is guarenteed due process under the Constitution. Although I think he should step down, Dem and GOP leaders both need to respect the Bill of Rights. After all, we did for Ney, Cunningham, and Foley.

Posted by: Henry | June 5, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't the CONs read? I thought it was innocent until proven guilty. Does being charged make one guilty?

Posted by: SpotlessCrab | June 5, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't the CONs read? I thought it was innocent until proven guilty. Does being charged make one guilty?

Posted by: SpotlessCrab | June 5, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't the CONs read? I thought it was innocent until proven guilty. Does being charged make one guilty?

Posted by: SpotlessCrab | June 5, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Dear Crab: at least Mr. Foley had the good sense to resign his post. Rep. Jefferson should resign or have you forgotten his taped acceptance of $100,000.00 of which $90,000.00 was found as frozen assets! It would also seem that the Democrats haven't forgotten how to blow funds out their ole wazoo as reguards to ear marks while putting Congressional Bonds into the S.S.I. (?) trust funds,remember the Republican's learned from good teachers children. There are enough graft grabbing people in both parties to go around, don't you think? Have a nice day kids!

Posted by: h1m912009 | June 5, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Who uses the word "behoove?"

Posted by: Lee Wifflestin | June 5, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Being a progressive Democrat,I find Jefferson an embarrassment and he SHOULD RESIGN NOW! I have called his DC and district offices to demand it and also emailed the Black Caucus to beg them to stop defending him. The republiCONS like always are showing their hypocrisy on this issue as they do on most issues.Let's not get in the gutter with them. We ARE the better party --I urge all to call his offices and demand he resign.His DC office # is 202-225-6636.Nola office # 504-589-2274 and his Jefferson Parish office# 504-368-7019.

Thank you!

Posted by: Cindy | June 6, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The man is, of course, innocent until proved guilty. However, two of his cohorts are in prison and will swear to the fact(s) the Senator from Louisiana, Jefferson, is part and partial to the crimes he has been indicted to challenge. Photos, tapes, witnesses and $90,000 in a deep freeze, wrapped in tinfoil to preserve it, rather than draw interest or invest the $90,000...give us break!

Posted by: FromTheTop | June 7, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company