Richmond set to face Cao for Big Easy Congressional seat


Hat Tip: New Orleans Times Picayune

State Rep. Cedric Richmond won two of every three votes cast in heavily African-American precincts and nearly half of all votes in heavily white precincts in Saturday’s Democratic primary to advance to the Nov. 2 general election for the 2nd Congressional District, an analysis of ballot results shows.

Cedric Richmond

Richmond, a three-term legislator from eastern New Orleans, will face incumbent Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao, also of New Orleans, and three little-known independent candidates to represent the district that covers most of the city and a swath of Jefferson Parish.

Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to the U.S. House, won the seat with strong Democratic support two years ago when he ousted nine-term incumbent William Jefferson, who campaigned under the specter of a federal corruption probe. After a trial last summer, Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison and remains free on appeal.

Joseph Cao

Richmond got 60 percent of the vote on Saturday, when a dismal 8 percent of the district’s voters turned out, a poor showing that was likely a result of rainy weather and the distraction of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

State Rep. Juan LaFonta came in second, with 21 percent, followed by former Jefferson chief of staff Eugene Green, with 10 percent, and newcomer Gary Johnson, who served a stint last year as research director for the House Rules Committee, with 8 percent.

In a district where six of 10 registrants are African-American, Richmond’s strong showing among black voters — especially in Jefferson Parish — helped secure his victory, according to an analysis by University of New Orleans political scientist Ed Chervenak.

I believe that it is a certainty that Cedric Richmond is the next Congressman for New Orleans.  His win will be the sole defeat of a Republican incumbent this cycle.


Congressman Jefferson’s kin Indicted


Hat Tip: By Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

A brother, sister and niece of indicted U.S. Rep. William Jefferson were charged Wednesday with pocketing more than $600,000 in state and federal grant money intended for charitable and educational projects.

A federal grand jury indicted New Orleans tax assessor Betty Jefferson, her brother, Mose Jefferson, and her daughter, Angela Coleman, on charges that include federal program fraud, identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the family members used several non-profit and for-profit companies to obtain grants designed to help pregnant teens, at-risk youths and others in need of assistance. They allegedly deposited some of the grant money into personal checking accounts and used it for personal expenses.

With Wednesday’s indictment, four members of the politically prominent Jefferson family now face federal criminal charges.

Rep. Jefferson, 61, a nine-term Louisiana Democrat, was indicted last year on bribery charges. He is awaiting a trial in Virginia and has denied wrongdoing. The congressman wasn’t named in Wednesday’s indictment, and faces a re-election campaign this fall.

Mose Jefferson, 66, pleaded not guilty in April to separate charges that he paid bribes to a former New Orleans school board president.

Wednesday’s indictment also charges Betty Jefferson, 70, with four counts of tax evasion. She faces up to 279 years in prison. The grand jury also charged Mose Jefferson with making false statements to federal investigators. He faces up to 250 years in prison, while Coleman faces a maximum of 257 years behind bars.



Dollar Bill loses change of venue motion in federal corruption trial



Surprise, y’all. Corrupt “Dollar” Bill Jefferson lost his change of venue motion to the District of Columbia in his federal corruption trial. Now, he’ll hafta face the white folk in Northern Virginia and explain how all dat payola ended up in his damn freezer. Give the Lord a hand clap, y’all.

According to the Associated Press, “Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., had argued that the government unfairly brought charges against him in suburban Alexandria rather than the District of Columbia because it wanted a venue where fewer blacks are in the jury pool. Jefferson, who represents much of New Orleans, is black.”

“Prosecutors contend that northern Virginia is an appropriate venue because that is where Jefferson was caught on videotape accepting bribes, and because the alleged victim in the bribery scheme ran a business based in the area.”

I cannot wait until the white jury foreman delivers the verdict and pronounces Jefferson guilty. That moment of ecstasy will be better than an orgasm.



The Jefferson empire is crumbling right on schedule. His baby girl and political protege, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, a lawyer and state representative, lost her bid for a promotion to the State Senate to the candidate I endorsed, Cheryl Gray, a few weeks ago. Gray beat her like she stole somethin’ 71% to 29%. Give the Lord another hand clap, y’all.

When they finally convict this Negro, sometime next year, I anticipate that my girl, Karen Carter, will be ready to step up and take her place in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To the Jena 6: Just hold on, change is coming



Norman Hutchin’s song, “A move of God,” has been in my head all day.

To Mychal Bell,  Robert Bailey, Jr, Theo Shaw, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, and the other unnamed young brotha, just hold on, change is coming.

“I feel a breakthrough coming your way, it’s a mighty move of God, it’s gonna change your day. With signs and wonders, miracles to perform, God is gonna bless you for just holding on.”

“Just hold on, a change is coming, feel it in the air, it’s in the atmosphere. Just hold on, a change is coming, a move of God is on the way.”

“You’ve been expecting a change in your life, looking for your midnight to turn to sunshine. It’s gonna happen, you wait and see, all things are possible to them that believe.”

“Just hold on, a change is coming, feel it in the air, it’s in the atmosphere. Just hold on, a change is coming…A move of God is on the way.”

Thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of this little Louisiana town Thursday. It's not about black and white. It's about right and wrong. I would like to see these young men set free,

We should have progressed past this kind of unequal treatment based on race; however, we clearly are not. The outpouring of community support in the black community and the dearth of support from others is quite telling.   Katrina became an enduring symbol of neglect and racial indifference and Jena, Louisiana has provided the nation with another.  

There is nothing particularly unique about the disproportionate felony charges meted out to these six teenage boys, this happens everyday to black children somewhere in America, as Al Sharpton has pointed out.  What is unique is the black reaction the racially discriminatory actions of the LaSalle Parish School Board and LaSalle Parish District Attorney provoked.    

Today’s rally was amazing in its genesis and scale, as the song above says, “It’s a mighty move of God, it’s gonna change your day.” I feel confident in predicting that the charges against all six young men will be dropped.  

Praise God for Michael Baisden, Tom Joyner, Howard Witt, Amy Goodman, Roland Martin, Rev.Al, Rev. Jackson, Color of Change, the black blogosphere, and for the many black college students and other concerned persons who raised the alarm to inform the community when it was needed.  

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, on hand for the day’s events, told CNN’s Kyra Phillips that the House Judiciary Committee is preparing to subpoena the LaSalle Parish District Attorney to Washington to explain his conduct and the President himself said that the Justice Department is monitoring this case.  Despite protestations to the contrary, there is a valid reason why Tina Jones, mother of Purvis Bryant, believes that the D.A. is “so adamant about destroying these kids lives.”  I would love to hear his explanation of how a tennis shoe becomes a deadly weapon.   

The idea of a 21st century civil rights movement which focuses on the disproportionate punishment of people of color in the criminal justice system warms my heart.  That’s something that this skeptical brotha can get with enthusiastically.  Much remains to be done and it is not simply a local issue.   I hope that that Congresswoman Waters and Congressman Conyers grasp that a comprehensive solution which addresses the lack of resources for indigent defense is at the root of the harsh and disproportionate treatment that our children and adults face nationwide. 


Nawlins update


Louisiana has a Gubernatorial election this year and the massively incompetent Governor, Kathleen Blanco-D Louisiana, will not be running.    Speculation centered on chocolate city Mayor Ray Nagin to run in her stead, but, he recently announced, after flirting with a run on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” that he would not be a candidate after all. 

This means that the right-wing Indian American Congressman, Bobby Jindal R-Louisiana, is the presumptive Governor in waiting.  Tragic. 

 Jalila Jefferson-Bullock

On top of that impending disaster is the announced candidacy of State Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock for a New Orleans State Senate Seat.   Jefferson-Bullock, the daughter of indicted Congressman “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, is following  Daddy’s example and getting her ducks in a row to succeed him if he is sent to the slammer where his black A belongs.

Jefferson-Bullock is a key lieutenent in her Daddy’s political empire, which also includes his wife, and his brother and sister.  Their corruption as a family is legendary.

Jefferson ‘s re-election campaign last year was a classic in southern political demagoguery and dirty campaigning.   He called his black opponent everything but a child of God, even as he defended himself for pocketing bribes obtained in an FBI sting.  He dipped liberally from the well of homophobia and racial antagonism as he accused Karen Carter of being an agent of the white establishment, which is precisely what he had been, when he voted to repeal the estate tax for the wealthiest 1% while black New Orleanianas were washed away by a flood of white establishment indifference.

Nevertheless, God is good and he always has a ram in the bush.  Her name is State Representative Cheryl Gray, a good friend and colleague of Karen Carter, the candidate I backed to run against Dollar Bill last year. 

Campaign News

Sistah Gray is a progressive who has focused on health care and housing issues in the legislature.  She has also opposed shredding a woman’s right to choose and has voted against banning same-sex marriage.   

A lawyer and state representative, she is a scion of the distinguished Gray family and is the daughter of Attorney James Gray and Judge Ernestine Gray.   Cheryl Gray has Skeptical Brotha’s enthusiastic endorsement for State Senate. I’ll take a Gray over a Jefferson any day because our people in the Big Easy need a champion, not more corruption. Its high time for our people to rise up in righteous indignation and throw the Jeffersons out of the temples of power.

Bill Jefferson wants change of venue in corruption trial to D.C.


Hat Tip: by Allen Lengel, Washington Post

Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), indicted on federal bribery charges, said yesterday in court papers that he did nothing illegal and accused prosecutors of bringing the case against him in Virginia because there would be fewer black jurors.

The motions filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria provided the first look at Jefferson’s defense strategy as he fights a 16-count indictment and asks a judge to dismiss 14 of the charges or move the case to the District.

A federal grand jury indicted Jefferson, the former co-chairman of the congressional caucus on Nigeria and African trade, in June. The congressman faces charges that he used his official position to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for himself and his family, falsely reported trips to Africa as official business, sought to bribe the former Nigerian vice president, and promoted U.S. financing for a sugar factory in Nigeria whose owner paid fees to a Jefferson family company in Louisiana.

In more than 100 pages of motions, Jefferson’s attorney said the congressman did not bribe the Nigerian vice president, did nothing illegal by getting involved in private business ventures, and declared that the government concocted a flimsy conspiracy charge because the statute of limitations was set to expire on several charges.

The lawyer, Robert P. Trout, noted that the government charged that Jefferson wrote letters, made introductions, and went to meetings and foreign trips to assist businesses to land contracts in Africa.

“In essence, the indictment alleges that Mr. Jefferson was employed to help these businesses and received compensation in return. . . .,” the motion said. “In this regard, it is important to note that it is not illegal — or even a violation of House Rules — for a member to have outside employment.”

Those private business transactions were unrelated to Jefferson’s duties as a member of Congress, the motion said. “Since the bribery case the government has outlined in the indictment does not fall within the four corners of the bribery laws, the bribery related counts indictment should be dismissed.”

The papers also say that the FBI used a cooperating witness to steer the case to Virginia. Blacks account for a smaller proportion of the potential jurors there than in the District, where they make up the majority of the population.

“That venue was selected in the Eastern District of Virginia in order to obtain a jury pool with fewer African Americans,” the motion said, adding: “The court has an obligation to ensure that the forum selection in this case was not tainted by racially discriminatory motive.”

The motion prompted prosecutors to issue a statement yesterday saying that race had nothing to do with their charging decisions.

“The indictment unsealed in June alleges facts supporting jurisdiction and venue in the Eastern District of Virginia. This venue is appropriate as we have indicated in public court filings and as represented by the guilty pleas of two alleged co-conspirators in the Eastern District of Virginia,” said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd.

The federal indictment is the first in which a U.S. official is charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribery of foreign officials.

Jefferson, 60, a Harvard Law School graduate, was reelected last year while under investigation. He was the first black congressman elected in Louisiana since Reconstruction.

The indictment charges that Jefferson used his official position to help iGate, a Kentucky-based high-tech business, sell its technology to provide Internet and cable television in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. Jefferson, according to the indictment, took kickbacks from the company’s owner for his family and had stock in the company.

During a meeting with an informant wearing a recording device, Jefferson said he would need $500,000 to give to Nigeria’s then-vice president, Atiku Abubakar, to make sure the high-tech venture went through. A short time later, the informant handed Jefferson $100,000 in FBI money that had been photocopied. FBI agents found $90,000 found in a freezer at his Capitol Hill home a few days later.

Jefferson’s attorney argued in the motions that because the money never reached the vice president, no bribe of a foreign official took place.

He also wrote that the bribery statute requires that a politician take something of value in exchange for an official act such as voting or authorizing appropriations:

“There is no allegation in this indictment that Mr. Jefferson solicited anything of value in return for being influenced in any decision in a matter that was or could be pending before him in his capacity as a Member of the United States House of Representatives.”

New Orleans Cop acquitted of police brutality in beating of black senior citizen


Hat Tip: Associated Press, NPR’s News andViews blog. 

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) — A former police officer accused in the videotaped beating of a man in the French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina was acquitted Tuesday by a judge who heard the case without a jury.

“I didn’t even find this a close call,” said District Judge Frank Marullo.

Robert Evangelist, 37, had been charged with beating Robert Davis, 66, during an arrest videotaped by an Associated Press Television News crew the night of October 8, 2005, about six weeks after Katrina.

Evangelist, who elected to have his case heard by Marullo without a jury, pleaded not guilty to second-degree battery and false imprisonment. Marullo acquitted him of both counts.

Marullo watched videotapes of the beating and its aftermath and he noted that Davis could be seen struggling on the tape for several minutes.

“This event could have ended at any time if the man had put his hands behind his back,” the judge said.

Evangelist and Lance Schilling were fired after being accused of the beating. Schilling killed himself June 10.

A third officer, Stuart Smith, was accused of a misdemeanor charge of simple battery against Associated Press producer Richard Matthews. Marullo threw out that charge because prosecutors improperly used a statement he made to police, said Smith’s attorney, Eric Hessler.

Smith served a 120-day suspension and remains on the force.

The officers said Davis, who had returned to New Orleans to check his property, started a confrontation after they stopped him on suspicion of being drunk. Davis, who was booked with public intoxication but never charged, said he hadn’t been drinking.

Davis testified Tuesday that he was headed to buy cigarettes in the French Quarter when he asked a police officer what time a curfew took effect that night. Before the officer could answer, a different officer cut him off, Davis said.

“Those were ignorant, unprofessional and rude officers,” Davis recalled saying as he walked away from the policemen.

Moments later, an officer grabbed him from behind, threw him against a wall and punched his face, Davis testified. His assailant uttered a racial epithet during the attack, he said.

“I don’t remember very much after that point,” Davis said.

Franz Zibilich, one of Evangelist’s attorneys, said his client “acted appropriately and well within police standards.”

Dr. Frances Smith, who treated Davis at an emergency room, testified that he suffered facial fractures. Davis said he still feels lingering physical effects from the attack.

I suppose Lance Shilling killed himself because he knew that some Klansman on the bench would acquit him.

Louisiana Senator caught up in D.C. madam scandal addresses the media


David Vitter: Good afternoon. Last week, Wendy and I thought it was very important to have some time in seclusion until the firestorm that erupted over the blatant hypocrisy of preaching family values while simultaneously bedding hookers died, so that’s what we did for a few days. We want to thank the countless friends and fellow citizens who have offered their encouragement and prayers. Those have meant the world to us.

I want to, again, offer my deeply insincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past. I am completely responsible. And I am so very, very sorry I got caught. No matter how long ago it was, I know this has hurt the relationship of trust I’ve enjoyed, and never deserved, with so many of you, and that I have a lot of work to do to rebuild that. I will work every day to pander to the lowest common denominator to rebuild it.

Wendy and I dealt with this personally several years ago when she threatened to castrate me like John Bobbitt. I confronted it in “confession” and “marriage counseling,” while Wendy held a sharp instrument to my crotch.  I believe I received forgiveness from God. I know I did from Wendy because she didn’t castrate me, and we put it behind us-at least I thought we did until my nightmares and night sweats began.

Since then, I’ve gotten up every morning, checking my crotch and the bed only to be relieved that neither is saturated in a pool of blood.  Everything I really believe in kinda centers in my crotch region and if continuing to believe in and acknowledge those values causes some to attack me because of my past failings, well, so be it.

Unfortunately, my admission has encouraged some long-time political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods too, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting. Those stories are not true-at least that’s what I’ve said in the past and I need to stick to that to cloud the issue.

Now, having said all of this, I’m not going to answer endless questions about it all over again and again and again and again-because then I would inevitably be caught in a tangle of lies. That might sell newspapers, but it wouldn’t serve my family or my political aspirations well at all because I have a lot of important work to do for Louisiana that I didn’t do while indulging my S&M fantasies with hookers on the side and missing Senate votes.

For my part, I’ll be helping finalize a crucial water resources bill to provide much better hurricane and flood protection-what I shoulda been doing instead of calling escort services. I’ll be following up on our demagogic and racist defeat of an immigration bill by working for draconian and unworkable border and workplace security. I’ll be fighting for my political life, undermining liberals and much more.

From here, I’ll go directly to the airport and to Washington for votes, because I’m desperate for this face saving press conference to end. Thank you.

Wendy Vitter: To those of you who know me, are you surprised that I didn’t castrate the bastard? You know, in most any other marriage, this would have been a private issue between a husband and a wife — very private—until he bled to death. Obviously, it is not here.

Like all marriages, ours is not perfect. None of us are. But I have him where I want him now and my lawyer is on speed dial. When I dealt with this privately years ago, and damn near castrated David, I made the decision to turn the tables and assume the power in the marriage. To spare a prick was not the easy choice, but it was and is the right choice for me. David and I are now the best of friends and he better pray it stays that way.

Last week, some people very sympathetically said to me, “I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes right now.” I told the bitches off.  This is the part where I’m supposed to say some politically soothing crap about being proud to be Wendy Vitter and then attempt to invoke sympathy for the ordeal my children have gone through.  I’m just gonna skip it though in the interest of time. 

And now I’m going to attempt to invoke your sympathy for me as a wife and I hope you will understand. It’s been terribly hard to have the media parked on our front lawn and following us every day. And yesterday, the media was camped at our church — at our home, and at our church every day.  So even if I wanted to castrate and kill him for this latest outrage, I would have been caught.

As David returns to his right-wing pursuits and self-promotion in Washington, we’re going to return to our life here. I would ask you very respectfully to let us continue our summer and give us a pass on our obvious hypocrisy, just as we and our media advisors had planned.

Thank you very much

Delusional Negroes rally for “Dollar Bill”


Hat Tip: By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press 

NEW ORLEANS – Supporters of a Democratic congressman charged with bribery and money laundering harkened to their civil rights days on Wednesday as they denounced the allegations against U.S. Rep. William Jefferson.

The group, including ministers and the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, alleged the 16-count corruption indictment was the work of a Republican White House and Justice Department scheming to target black Democratic leaders and shift attention from legal troubles of Republican congressmen.

“When it’s all over, Bill Jefferson will stand up like Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. He will stand up in the South and he will be victorious,” said the Rev. Samson “Skip” Alexander.

The news conference attended by about 50 people was a sign Jefferson hasn’t lost friends in New Orleans, which re-elected him to a ninth term from Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in December 2006 despite an FBI probe of his African business dealings.

Prosecutors say Jefferson used his influence as co-chairman of the congressional Africa Investment and Trade Caucus to broker deals in numerous African nations, and that he demanded kickbacks for himself and for family members. He is also charged with bribing a Nigerian official.

He allegedly received more than $500,000 in bribes and demanded millions more between 2000 and 2005. He has pleaded not guilty.

The group said they would raise money for his legal defense and offer public relations help through the Justice for Jefferson Committee.

Tracie Washington, a civil rights lawyer, asked the audience to give Jefferson the benefit of the doubt.

Danatus King, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said, “it’s important that all of us keep our eyes on the prize and that prize is one word, and that one word is justice.”

Asked to comment on allegations aired at the news conference, Bryan Sierra, a Justice Department spokesman, said “I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.” White House spokesman Blair Jones also declined to comment.

Not everyone in attendance at Wednesday’s news conference expressed undivided loyalty to Jefferson.

Sitawi Jahi, a 54-year-old youth development program director, said he came “to gather facts.” But he said his confidence in Jefferson was strained by some of the evidence, in particular an allegation the FBI found $90,000 in bribe money in the congressman’s freezer.

“That’s hard to explain,” he said.

Jefferson’s legal defense fund, set up about 18 months ago, has about $140,000, according to Walter Wilkerson, the lawyer handling the fund.

I wish these Negroes would stop drinking from the bitter chalice of Dollar Bill’s B.S.  Ain’t a damn thing in the Ninth Ward been re-built and they are defending this Nigra? 

Dollar Bill’s Assets frozen


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal judge Thursday froze the assets of Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who was indicted this week on charges of soliciting bribes.

A forfeiture charge is among the 16 criminal counts Jefferson is facing. Prosecutors have already said they will seek to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars from Jefferson that they believe he obtained illicitly by peddling his influence to help broker business deals in Africa.

Jefferson is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court.

The restraining order issued Thursday by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III lists two savings accounts with Dryades Savings Bank and Chevy Chase Bank with a combined value of more than $470,000, plus certain stock holdings that Jefferson is barred from liquidating.

Thank God for Maxine Waters


Halelujuah! Thank You, Jesus, for Maxine Waters.   While too many in the Congressional Black Caucus were getting cozy with their new lobbyist friends, Sistah Maxine introduced a Katrina Housing Bill on the last day of February and got it to the floor in less than a month.  Damn. You Go, Girl.  It just goes to show that some talk the talk, but it takes a real sistah to walk the walk.   Once again, I am impressed by somebody in the Congressional Black Caucus.    Any reservations I may have had on previous issues with her is gone.   Maxine is still my girl.   Her bill, H.R. 1227 is impressively comprehensive and hopefully, will do something for our people left out and left behind in the gulf coast. 

A fellow blogger, YoungBlackMan, and his law student chums just got back from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and told me that the outreach programs, workshops and seminars designed to “help” black folk connect to section 8 and other assistance that they need is just another hustle for some do gooder Negroes that ain’t gettin the job done.   Ain’t nobody without a cell phone, telephone, or cable access going nowhere to find a damn website out in cyberspace to obtain assistance.  

He spent extensive time talking to folks (mostly seniors) and learned that in Gulfport, Miss, the city fathers are planning a wholesale Negro removal program that involves giving public housing residents a voucher of $200.00 bucks to move somewhere else with a “right” to be first in line for “affordable housing” that will be built in place of public housing. 

He ended up in some B.S. workshop and gettin into it with the city fathers and the “Director of Negro Removal.”  Later, walking on the beachfront and looking at all of the devastated housing, he and his friends were racially profiled by “Gulfport’s finest.”  The bastard threatened to arrest all of them if they didn’t get on down the road.   YoungBlackMan, broke him off something proper and said something to the effect of , “Please, Mr. Poeleese Man, take me to jail so I can sue yo azz and pay off my damn Law School loans.”  “Take us all, we could all use the money.” 

Blanco bows out


Kathleen Blanco, Ray Nagin and President Bush are in the same gumbo on the burner; will someone rise from the stew to save New Orleans? Governor Kathleen Blanco has scheduled a major gubernatorial address for Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. and sources tell Eyewitness News that she will announce her decision not to seek re-election.Blanco requested television time from stations around the state to make an announcement and no official details were released.Blanco had shown up poorly in several preliminary polls but had recently said she planned on seeking re-election.Several challengers had emerged to take on Blanco. Officially announced candidates include U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal, who was defeated by Blanco in 2004; State Senator Walter Boasso of Arabi, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell; the Reverend Raymond Brown, a Democrat and long-time New Orleans activist, New Orleans businessman John Georges and Libertarian T- Lee Horne III of Franklin.

Democrats are  poised to loose another southern Governor’s mansion unless somebody steps up.  Loosing Mrs. Blanco will affect the shape of the recovery of the New Orleans metropolitan area and African American Democrats should be concerned.

UPDATE: Mrs. Blanco has indeed bowed out and I expect the Lt. Governor, Mitch Landrieu, the brother of Senator Mary Landrieu, to run or Former U.S. Senator John Breaux to announce his candidacy.  

Obama rips U.S. effort after Katrina


By Mike Dorning
Chicago Tribune national correspondent

January 30, 2007

NEW ORLEANS — Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama blasted the Bush administration Monday for the slow pace of Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, saying reconstruction no longer seems to be a White House priority.

“There is not a sense of urgency in this administration to get this done,” said the senator from Illinois. “You get a sense that will has been lacking in the last several months.”

Obama, the Senate’s only African-American member, was in New Orleans for a field hearing on Gulf Coast rebuilding conducted by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In the days after Katrina hit, the devastation of New Orleans and the botched federal response turned into a dramatic international emblem for charges of incompetence in the administration and of indifference to the plight of poor people, particularly blacks and other minorities. The flooding and tardy rescue efforts had the greatest impact on low-income black residents, many of whom did not have personal transportation or financial resources to evacuate easily on their own.

The broken homes and vacant streets of the city’s flood-damaged neighborhoods remain a potent political symbol. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards kicked off his campaign in December outside a damaged home in one hard-hit neighborhood.

After Monday’s field hearing, the Senate committee took a bus tour of the city’s Lower 9th Ward, a low-income black neighborhood where many ruined homes sit empty and bear the painted X-marks used in the chaotic weeks after the hurricane to show they had been searched for survivors.

Mayor compares city, Iraq

Testifying to the committee, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said he still doesn’t see “the will to really fix” his city and suggested that race was a factor.

“I think it’s more class than anything, but there’s racial issues associated with it also,” said Nagin, who is black.

Nagin complained that disputes with federal officials over the value of damaged buildings and cumbersome paperwork have slowed the money flow.

“And then I look at what we’re doing in Iraq and how we spend money at an unprecedented level there, how we can set up temporary hospitals and designate money to rebuild their economy, and we have this dance going on in New Orleans,” he said.

The hearing is one of the first that the Homeland Security Committee has scheduled since the Senate passed to Democratic control. No Republican members attended.

The session follows criticism of Bush for not including any mention of the New Orleans recovery effort in last week’s State of the Union address. Obama echoed that criticism, noting that Bush had traveled to the city shortly after the disaster and promised to do “what it takes . . . as long as it takes” to rebuild New Orleans.

But “17 months later, we heard not a single word, not one word in President Bush’s State of the Union address,” Obama said. “Those of us who are concerned all across the country wonder if we’re in danger of forgetting about New Orleans, and that’s shameful.”

Federal officials involved with rebuilding efforts defended their work in testimony before the committee. Donald Powell, federal coordinator for Gulf Coast reconstruction for the Department of Homeland Security, said that when the history of the recovery effort is written “it will also be a story of modern renaissance.”

“President Bush is committed to rebuilding the Gulf Coast and rebuilding it better and stronger,” Powell said.

John Edwards announces for President


John Edwards announced his presidential campaign bid from the Ninth Ward of New Orleans today emphasizing the theme of poverty and the lack of resources we devote to it. The backdrop of devastation and a small group of kids were all that were there to herald the announcement.  It has become increasingly clear that this poverty platform is not a phase for Edwards and that he is serious.  He seems to be channeling Jimmy Carter more and more while taking positions calculated to keep his political viability like opposition to same-sex marriage. 

He has more going for him this time than last and an updated and more compelling message than two years ago.  As a North Carolinian, I felt that he should have run for re-election to his Senate Seat concurrently with running for Vice President.  State law was re-written to allow it.  I’m kind selfish that way. I felt he needed the seasoning and still do.  However, I will be looking at Edwards harder this time round. 

“Dollar Bill” Jefferson’s favorite things, a christmas carol


 [photo of Rep. Jefferson standing on capitol steps]

Sung to the tune of My Favorite Things

Redmeat to the right-wing,
And no whiskers on my women,
Not to bright colored voters,
And warm woolen mittens (full of cash),
Brown paper packages,
filled up with bribes,
These are a few of my favorite things . . .

Cream colored hookers,
An’ crisp apple strudels,
Kickbacks an’ sleigh bells,
An’ no bid contracts with oodles,
Glasses of Wild Turkey that fly with the moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favorite things . . .

Men in white dresses,
With blue satin sashes,
FBI Agents all up in my nose and eyelashes,
Meddling white liberals,
that help Karen Carter
These are not a few of my favorite things . . .

When Nancy Pelosi bites,
When the FBI stings,
When I’m feelin’ sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad . . .

Right-Wing Redmeat….hmmm Bribes…
La dee da, la dee da,
La dee da, da,
These are a few of my favorite things . . .

When Nancy Pelosi bites,
When the FBI stings,
When I’m feelin’ sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And little by little my heavy heart sings . . .

And then I don’t feel so bad . . .

Give “Dollar Bill” Nothing


Nancy Pelosi is duty bound to deny “Dollar Bill” Jefferson a committee assignment in the Democratic controlled Congress.   CNN is reporting that he is trying to reclaim his seat on Ways and Means. The consitituents and victims of his chicanery need a congressman, not a crook.  They will not receive the help they need and deserve until he is convicted and dethroned for his crimes.  They have chosen a different path and as a result, she has no choice but to deny the tainted SOB an assignment.  If the democratic house is to “drain the swamp” of influence peddling and corruption from the marbled halls of power, they must stand firm and deny this two-bit hoodlum a toe-hold on power.   Dry up his money and his power.  Lay down the law and cut  off anybody or lobbyist that contributes to him.

Let him figure out how to bring home the bacon with no committee assignments.   Deny him the opportunity to amend legislation on the floor and completely cut him off at the knees.  Allow him to do nothing except mediate people’s social security and medicare benefit problems.  Let him cool his heels waiting for indictment.  If the Congressional Black Caucus wants to champion his cause and become bigger jokes than they already are, fine.  It won’t be the first or last time those Negroes got laughed at for their hypocrisy and corruption.

I trust that Mistress Nancy, the incoming Speaker of the House will see the wisdom of what I, and others are saying , and give him nothing.  While I would stop short of Impeachment, I am really not all that opposed to the idea. I just think that it will hamper their progressive agenda and put the focus in the wrong place.

UPDATE:  Miss JUDYB of THANKS, KATRINA has the scoopHouse Democrats denied Jefferson’s request for a Ways and Means Committee assignment this afternoon.