Rep. "Dollar" Bill Jefferson, who was caught with $90,000 in cash in the cookie jar, I mean freezer, won't go quietly into the night. Min. Leader Pelosi took the timid first step of asking Jefferson to step down off his Ways and Means committee seat. Having no other option, it seems, Jefferson played the race card:
"I will not give up a committee assignment that is so vital to New Orleans at this crucial time for any uncertain, long-term political strategy."
He said a request to give up the Ways and Means post would be “discriminatory” because no other member under investigation has been required to give up a major committee assignment.
That's because all the other members under investigation are Republicans Jefferson, not because they are white or don't represent New Orleans. [West Virginia's Mollohan was asked to step down from his Ethics committee seat, but I guess no other biggies]
Democrats can play Sista Soldier here and tell him to resign and ask the Speaker to begin voting to unseat him from Congress. Be like Francine Busby and call on him to resign. I don't care what his race is, where he's from, his ideology, gender, sexual orientation you name it. The man was filmed on video tape taking $100k from a FBI informant. They have audio of him that is pretty unequivocal that he took the money as a bribe. Using the serial numbers, they know that the $90K they recovered in a Saturday night siezure of his office was from the original $100k. They have guilty pleas from several individuals implicating Jefferson. This is about as open and shut case as it can be.
And if Pelosi and the Democratic Caucus (minus the CBC probabbly) held a press conference calling on him to resign and asking the speaker to vote on removal, Jefferson ought to get the hint and resign. Plus, Democrats can regain the high ground by saying 'look, we kicked out our worst offender; why hasn't the GOP done so?' I met enough GOPers would vote him out to make the 2/3rds necessary to remove Jefferson. And then the watch on Ney and so many others in the GOP power structure would begin. It can only get uglier for the Republicans in the House.
It is smart politics and more importantly, it is the right thing to do. Soon enough Dollar Bill will be "movin' on up" to Federal prison anyway. The Democrats in the House can't let themselves be tarred with the Jefferson brush and become the Jeffersons themselves.