They don't get it
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Black Caucus opposes Jefferson treatment
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 43 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - A drive by the Democratic leadership to strip embattled Rep. William Jefferson (news, bio, voting record) of his committee post triggered a backlash Thursday as the Congressional Black Caucus opposed the move and said the Louisiana lawmaker deserves a "presumption of innocence."
The caucus chairman, Rep. Melvin Watt (news, bio, voting record) of North Carolina, told reporters that some black voters might ask why action was sought against "a black member of Congress" when there was neither precedent nor rule for it.
Jefferson has not been indicted and has denied all wrongdoing in connection with a federal bribery investigation that has netted two convictions. He has rebuffed repeated calls from Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and others to step aside until any involvement is clarified.
Watt spoke after a Democratic leadership group voted to strip Jefferson of his committee post, at least temporarily. The entire rank and file was then summoned to debate the issue but postponed a vote until next week.
A vote by the full House would be required to force Jefferson to step aside.
"I can guarantee" he will not voluntarily step aside, said Melanie Roussell, Jefferson's spokeswoman.
The maneuvering came as part of a determined attempt by Pelosi, D-Calif., to ease Jefferson from his position. "I feel he should step aside," the minority leader told reporters. She declined further comment, but spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said any charge that race was involved was "absolutely untrue. This is about upholding the highest ethical standard for every member of the Democratic caucus."
No shit. The CBC needs to buy a clue. Jefferson may be a buddy, but he's a walking distraction to GOP scandal. They will turn him into the next Willie Horton when they get around to it.
Let him defend himself in court, not on the House floor.
posted by Steve @ 12:07:00 AM