Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Cold Cash" Jefferson Loses and NYT Cries 'Foul'

This is written by Tim Graham

Controversial Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-Louisiana), the congressman who notoriously hid tens of thousands of dollars of federal sting money in his freezer, lost his House seat in a shocker Saturday in an election delayed by Hurricane Gustav. Anh "Joseph" Cao, a 41-year-old Republican, will be the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. Obviously, this happened with next to zero national media attention, just as Rep. Jefferson was re-elected in 2006 after the freezer revelations without much national media attention. Will they report this ethnic first now?

Reporter Adam Nossiter in the New York Times suggested that the system failed, that a black-majority district failed to work as it was designed. Nossiter found that the problem was a surge of white voters angered by corruption charges:

The upset victory by the lawyer, Anh Cao, was thought by analysts to be the result of a strong turnout by white voters angered over federal corruption charges against Mr. Jefferson, a black Democrat who was counting on a loyal [read: black] base to return him to Congress for a 10th term....

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