William Jefferson and David Vitter
William Jefferson and David Vitter are examples of congressional representatives that are incapable of true leadership. Furthermore, they are an embarrassement to Louisiana's citizens. No matter your partisanship, or political views, one must recognize that William Jefferson and David Vitter are well educated, well travelled individuals that should be capable of honest and knowledgeable leadership and representation. Both Harvard educated and representing the New Orleans metro area, one would expect that they are intelligent and politically savy, and capable of helping New Orleans at its time of greatest need. Unfortunately they appear to be pandering patsies at best and perhaps no more than dishonest, disreputable bums.
Let us start with Senator Vitter. On CNN he told the world that on the issue of gay marriage: "I don't believe that there's an issue more important than this one. I think this debate is very healthy, and it's winning a lot of hearts and minds. I think we're going to show real progress." Wow, Mr. Vitter is obviously a fool. Maybe he needs to take a slow drive through Lakeview, Gentilly, MidCity, the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish again and rethink his priorities for his constituents. I guess all of the dead U.S. soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan are fairly inconsequential to Mr. Vitter. I suppose a spend-happy Congress that is going to put our children's children in a fiscal crisis from which they may never recover does not matter to him. Rising health care costs, and uninsured hard-working citizens are no big deal. Don't worry about corporate America continuing to illegally hire illegal immigrants and getting away with it because gay marriage is our real problem. Mr Vitter, if you have any sense of decency, apologize to the people of south Louisiana immediately for this thoughtless, pandering statement.
Now on to William Jefferson. Although he has not yet been charged with any crime, Mr. Jefferson's actions give him the appearance of someone who is quite guilty. He is in the middle of a corruption scheme that has found him with $90,000 of cash in his freezer of his Washington home, FBI raids of both his houses in New Orleans and Washington, the use of National Guard troops to help him get belongings from his New Orleans' home immediately after Katrina, and has been a part of an FBI probe, including recorded conversations of bribes. Most recently the Justice Department raided his congressional office creating more publicity as other congressmen question the separation of congressional and executive powers. None of this is good for New Orleans. As a poweful congressmen on the House Ways and Means Committee, Jefferson has a tremendous amount of influence in providing assistance to the rebuidling of New Orleans. Unfortunately, another corrupt Louisiana politician is exactly what everyone outside of Louisiana expects from us. Furthermore, the Federal government must be asking how they can trust Louisiana politicians with recovery money. Will it all end up in Mr. Jefferson's freezer? Although the FBI probe and William Jefferson scandal began before Katrina, it is now impacting the all important recovery efforts. The scandal overshadows what should be most important to William Jefferson: the welfare of his constituents. In order to avoid any further damage to New Orleans, William Jefferson MUST resign and allow this scandal to pass before even more New Orleans and Louisiana corruption bashing occurs in the National media. He owes it to the people that have trusted him as a leader for the past 15 years.
Actions are what define leaders. The actions of both William Jefferson and David Vitter show that they are not capable of leading the people of New Orleans and Louisiana at a time when leadership is most needed. Instead they are fools making all of us look like we don't know how to elect decent thoughtful citizens to represent us. Louisiana and New Orleans have a bad enough political reputation; we don't need William Jefferson and David Vitter to make it worse.
TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, David Vitter, William Jefferson, Louisiana