Marginal Footnotes

Pelosi v. Jefferson
May 24, 2006, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized

As you know, Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) is soon to be indicted for accepting something like $400K in bribes from lobbyists, $90,000 of which he apparently kept in a freezer.  A freezer.  So now Roll Call is reporting (subs required) that Nancy Pelosi has 'demanded' that William Jefferson immediately step down from his post on the Ways and Means Committee.  He has so far refused.

I'm interested to see how this turns out.  Pelosi could of course just kick him off the committee.  But she'd probably get into some trouble with the CBC if she did. But, if he isn't somehow pressured to back down, and since Pelosi has gone ahead and made his removal pre-indictment something of a goal, it's going to seem like Pelosi has little control over rogue elements within her own caucus. Also, spineless.  It's not like the GOP and conservative commentators need any additional material here: the Jefferson scandal has already diluted focus on the more pervasive ethical misconduct on the republican side of the aisle (and in the White House).  But they'll have some anyway.

Anyway Jefferson is under seige generally but his refusal to play ball with Pelosi may have something to do with their long-standing enmity for one another, which dates back to Pelosi's refusal to support Jefferson for the DCCC chairman post in 2002.  Apparently, Jefferson took this very personally.  From another article in Roll Call:

'He refused to contribute dues to the very committee he had sought to chair — a move that to date has cost the DCCC upwards of $500,000 — and, Democrats say, began making harshly critical comments about Pelosi to his colleagues.

“He was clearly very pissed off,” a former senior Democratic aide said, adding that it’s not unusual for Members who have been denied plum assignments to lash out in such a manner.

But Jefferson’s fury wasn’t temporary, and the DCCC affair turned he and Pelosi into enemies'.

I wonder if any of this has something to do with this.


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