While there’s something to be said for standing by a friend, politics is rather different from a playground snub over Red Rover (from NOLA.com):
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who rarely misses an opportunity to tout his efforts to rid City Hall of corruption, said Thursday that he will enthusiastically urge voters to re-elect U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, the target of a sprawling federal bribery probe that has cost the veteran congressman his seat on an influential House committee.
The current political climate would seem a very strange time to step into the limelight in support of someone who is suspected of stashing bribery funds in his freezer, but:
On Thursday, Nagin said he is not the least concerned about how his endorsement of Jefferson might play on the national stage.
“Unless he is indicted prior to the election date, I do not believe my reciprocated support will generate a story with any type of legs,” Nagin said. “His experience and relationships in Washington — even in its current subdued form — should be helpful for our city and state going forward.”
Clearly Nagin has no plans for anything other than this last term as Mayor of New Orleans. Probably just as well…
And as a side-note: the Nola.com article says that Jefferson has been removed from the Ways and Means Committee, but his house.gov biography apparently hasn’t caught up with events:
Jefferson has also worked extensively on tax issues, providing innovative ideas for tax reform that benefits working, middle-class families and is the only member of the Ways and Means Committee to hold a Master of Laws Degree in Taxation.
Shouldn’t that read “was”? Or is that because it’s only temporary?
In a contentious closed-door meeting, Democrats debated Jefferson’s fate and ultimately voted 99-58 to temporarily remove him, while preserving his seniority, until he is no longer the target of a government probe.
“There are a lot of Democrats who feel fairness is a higher standard than political expediency,” said Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), who sided with Jefferson. “We need to win the House back, but not at any cost.”
Pelosi had argued that Democrats needed to set the bar higher on ethics. She made the case that Democrats must show that they are more serious than Republicans when it came to disciplining wayward members.
Hmmm…. Does that debate look strange to anybody but me, in light of a certain recent scandal?