I'm betting that "Dollar Bill" Jefferson will lose his seat in Congress--not on November 7th but in the run-off that he is almost certain to find himself in. He's got 12 challengers running against him for his congressional seat in Louisiana. If no one gets a majority, under state law, there is a run-off on Dec. 9th.
As readers know, we've been following "Dollar Bill" for a long time, even since he became one of the CAFTA 15. Unfortunately, it's probably not going to be his CAFTA vote that sends him into retirement but the $90,000 he had stashed in his freezer as part of an alleged corruption scheme involving some pretty unsavory business deals.
As The Los Angeles Times reports today, "Dollar Bill" is in trouble. He's more than likely to be forced into a run-off against Karen Carter, a state representative, and that's a race he seems likely to lose:
The eight-term congressman's campaign outings are punctuated with expressions like these, which he calls "uplift" after a year that found him surrounded by scandal and ousted from the Ways and Means Committee. The FBI raided his home and office, and said it had a videotape of him taking a $100,000 bribe and that it had found $90,000 wrapped in foil in the freezer of his Washington home.
Jefferson has been implicated in a developing federal probe — the FBI has accused him of offering to bribe a Nigerian official and of accepting kickbacks to help a U.S. telecommunications company land deals in Africa.
There's no question that Jefferson still has supporters. But, the fact that he has to broadcast a t.v. ad claiming that he has never been charged with a crime does not bode well for him:
Although many of Jefferson's supporters say he has never let them down, others say they won't vote for him this time around.
"I think this is yet another example of a politician betraying the trust," said photographer David G. Spielman, 56, who lives in the Uptown neighborhood where Jefferson also has a home. He has voted for the congressman but said he would "absolutely not" cast a ballot for him Nov. 7. "We need new blood, Spielman said. "We need somebody with a clean set of hands."
I'm not sold on Carter, frankly. But, it's pretty clear that she has tapped into a strong sentiment that, while Jefferson is innocent until proven guilty, too many people will find the unexplained 90 grand in a freezer a bit much to forget.