Jefferson faces latina in run-off


Scandal plagued Congressman William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, 61, secured a spot yesterday in November’s Democratic Run Off  by besting five serious black contenders and a lone Latina,  Helena Moreno, 30, a political newcomer and former newscaster.

Ms. Moreno, a Texas transplant and the daughter of Oil and Gas entrepreneur Felix Moreno, has been identified in the mainstream media and seems to be campaigning as the only “white” contender in the race despite having been born in Mexico and not stepping foot in this country until after her seventh birthday.  Technically, Ms. Moreno’s mother, an academic at Baylor University, a native born American, is white.

Most Mexicans identify themselves racially as Mestizo–an Indian and Anglo combo analogous to being Mulatto in the United States.  But Latin America is famous for having a reverse one drop rule: one drop of white blood makes you white in some contexts and countries.

The subtext of all southern politics is race, and the politics of New Orleans, a uniquely French influenced region and culture, is no different.

Louisiana is famous for having jungle primaries in which candidates of all parties compete against each other and the top two candidates regardless of party advance for the general election.  That has been changed for Congressional races. However, the Democratic Primary and Run Off are not closed to independents.    Independents in the New Orleans Metro area are usually not of color and vote disproportionately Republican.

The question in this race is whether African Americans will coalesce around the federally indicted Jefferson and send him back to Congress for a term he will never finish.  Jefferson’s December trial will most assuredly result in his conviction for bribery, kickbacks, and a host of other crimes I’ve long since forgotten and don’t care to research.

Given the division between blacks and whites in Metro New Orleans over Hurricane Katrina related recovery projects and the universal hostility of the majority-white city council and their Negro ventriloquists to working class African Americans need for affordable housing and their undisputed right to return home and reclaim the property and lives destroyed by white hostility and indifference, it is unlikely that reform minded African Americans will coalesce behind Moreno and her Republican Real-Estate Developer benefactors.

The Congressional Black Caucus chose to back Jefferson rather than bow to reality and back an acceptable horse–an act of political malpractice I still struggle to understand.  New Orleanians are the most misrepresented blackfolks in the nation and are in need of a savior.  Before New Orleans drown in a sea of Army Corps of Engineers incompetence, Dollar Bill was too preoccupied securing the relief of the richest 1% from Estate Taxes and engineering foreign graft and kickbacks for himself and his children to bother with procuring appropriations for the upkeep of the levies that keep the city dry.  I’m too tired to adequately express the totality of my contempt for Dollar Bill.  I’ll get to it later.

This race will be an interesting one for sure.

9 thoughts on “Jefferson faces latina in run-off

  1. Karl

    Thank you for the excellent write-up on the Jefferson-Moreno race, particularly your discussion of Helena Moreno’s racial/ethnic background and observation of “one-drop” in the South and Latin America. I tire of reporters who are so blind to racial diversity and simply lump all of us “Latinos” into the white category. Race is so more complex, so more diverse, than simply Black and white.

  2. Karl

    Any word on whether Emily’s List is going to endorse Helena Moreno? I am assuming she is pro-choice but I can’t find any actual position statement one way or the other. Do you think Emily’s List will ignore Helena the way they did Donna Edwards in 2006?

  3. The other black candidates in that race were not impressive. At least not to me as a city resident. Bill has a whole heap of problems, but so did all of those other cats. And, like you said, Moreno is part of a much larger issue.

  4. Also, Jefferson’s charges are more nuanced than bribery and kickbacks. That’s why his case has proceeded so slowly and why he may have a chance to get off. If it was a straight bribery or kickback trial he would have pleaded out a long time ago. Now, the accusations against some of his siblings are more cut and dried, but Jefferson’s issue is somewhat different.

  5. Caged Lion

    Hey Skep, I think these MFs have finally lost their collective minds:

    At today’s Palin rally:
    “And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.
    “Boooo!” the crowd repeated.
    “Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.”

    At today’s McCain Rally:
    ….. and McCain asked the crowd “who is Barack Obama?” Immediately you hear someone yell “terrorist.” McCain pauses, the audience laughs, and McCain continues.

  6. GDAWG

    I think what is happening in NO has happened elsewhere after major storm that requires major rebuilding efforts. In Homestead, Florida after devastation by a hurricaine whose name I can’t recall now, most of the workers that helped rebuid the city were hispanic. And since, the city is largely hispanic now. So I suspect in NO hispanics will soon dominate the local political scene as they did in Homestead becuase man y will stay on. As such, the question becomes then; if Jefferson is re-elect,and subsequently convited, how will the appointment of his successor be handled in light of the most certain demographic changes that, seemingly, do not favor local Blacks?

  7. franko


    I think the demographic changes do still favor local Blacks. I can’t see any other reason why this jackass would be sent- once again- into the runoffs and probably back into the House after election day. The other issue is that Moreno is not identifying herself as a Latina, but as a “non-black candidate” and sitting silently while people refer to her as the only “white” candidate. The Hispanic population in New Orleans isn’t that large and powerful yet, and I doubt they will become heavy influencers to the area.

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