by Kevin Allman
I'm hoping Clancy will post today to offer some perspective on all the races last night (including the Orleans School Board). Meanwhile, a sampling of opinions nationally and locally on the prospect of Bill Jefferson vs. Helena Moreno...which can be summed up as "keeping the brand out there":
Representative William J. Jefferson overcame the stigma of a federal bribery indictment in Louisianas Democratic primary on Saturday, garnering enough votes in his Congressional district to secure a spot in a Nov. 4 runoff.
Mr. Jefferson, seeking his 10th term in Congress, faces a trial in December on charges that he took bribes, laundered money and misused his Congressional office for business dealings in Africa. He has denied wrongdoing and refused to discuss details of the accusations against him.
With about 72 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Jefferson was leading with 25 percent and appeared headed toward a runoff, most likely with a former broadcaster, Helena Moreno.
Mr. Jefferson sounded confident as he addressed a few dozen family members and supporters at a restaurant in eastern New Orleans. We look forward to a rigorous campaign but a successful outcome, he said.
As he had throughout the campaign, Mr. Jefferson insisted that he remained an effective member of Congress, and he called questions on whether the indictment had damaged that effectiveness pointless.
Despite facing a 16-count indictment on racketeering and soliciting bribes, Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) still has another political lifeline.
The scandal-plagued congressman finished in first place in a seven-candidate primary field, and will be facing television reporter Helena Moreno in the November runoff. Jefferson finished with 25 percent of the vote, while Moreno tallied 20 percent. The next-closest candidate, state Rep. Cedric Richmond, won 17 percent.
Race will likely play a prominent role in the runoff. Moreno, who is white, will have to win over a substantial number of African-American voters in the New Orleans-based district to prevail in November. About 64 percent of the districts voters are African-American.
Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson of Louisianas 2nd District, who is awaiting trial on federal bribery and corruption charges, received just more than a quarter of the vote in Saturdays Democratic primary election but that was enough to place him first in the seven-candidate field and qualify him for a primary runoff that will be held Nov. 4.
And some homegrown reaction...
Cliff's Crib (read it in its entirety, please!)
How in the hell is William Jefferson in a run-off for his congressional seat? He will be on the ballot against Helena Moreno on the day when there will be the biggest black voter turnout of all time. Unless a miracle happens hes going to win and I cant be more pissed off.
I remember back in 1994 when Marion Barry became mayor of Washington D.C. after he was arrested for and caught on videotape smoking crack. All I could think of was with all the families that have been affected by the selling and smoking of crack, how could they possibly elect a guy that endorses it through his actions. When crack was out of control in D.C. how could you take any cries for help seriously when the mayor was a known user and still got elected? One could assume rightfully or wrongfully that crack was a pretty cool thing in D.C.
Here we are down here in New Orleans bitching and moaning about everything other people have that we dont. We want better schools. We need some hospitals. We need drug treatment facilities. We need new infrastructure and to fix this blight problem. We need to make the streets safer for our citizens. We need some economic development and more jobs. I could go on. It is obvious even to the most ignorant person that all these issues affect the black community more than anyone else in this city. I know it appears that more white people make their concerns public but the reality of it is that there are no white ghettos and hoods in the city limits. If there is a school with subpar conditions and limited resources I can assure you that ninety nine percent of those kids in there are black. Thats not a racist statement. Thats just the truth and you are in denial if you dont agree.
And Big Red Cotton:
THESE ARE THE CHOICES!?!
Central City's own 'American Gangster' or The Poor Bayou Man's Sarah Palin
OUR VOTERS ARE A SMOKIN' HOT AZZ MESS!!
I thought we were talking about trying to upgrade here? You know - the city's been wiped out... We've got a chance to rebuild it the right way, get rid of what's been slowly killing us: corruption, cronyism, crime...
Is it really possible, given the level of on-your-face-in-the-mud suffering going on here, that the ones doing the worst would vote for the one doing the worst to us?!?
And the best thing you can say for the chosen alternative is that she's a fresh face that hasn't been caught in a lie yet?
Ugh! This city needs an intervention!