Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

Jefferson's Cold Cash

Last year, Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This year, a storm of a different kind of material was stirred up when Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat whose district includes much of New Orleans, became the focus of a federal corruption probe. In May, his Congressional offices and his Washington home were raided, resulting in federal agents discovering $90,000 in cash in his freezer — wrapped in stacks of $10,000 each and placed in frozen food containers. Then-House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi requested that Jefferson resign from the House Ways and Means Committee, to which he refused. He instead ran again for his Congressional seat, and won. But he is facing trouble first with his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and from Pelosi, who now calls the Democratic shots as Speaker of the House. What? Did he think she'd forget?