'Cold Cash' Jefferson Gets a Seat on Homeland Security Committee

Posted: Feb 16, 2007 2:23 PM

Sometimes the headline just really says it all, doesn't it?

The Democrats' "most ethical Congress in history" is a self-parody:

Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who's facing an ongoing federal corruption probe, is being granted a spot on the Homeland Security Committee, according to Democratic aides.

The appointment will be announced Friday, according to one aide who requested anonymity because the decision isn't yet official.

Jefferson was removed from his seat on the Ways and Means Committee, one of the most important panels in Congress, by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) last summer in an attempt to show how seriously Democrats viewed the allegations of corruption.

But the move by Pelosi, who was still minority leader at the time, infuriated members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said Jefferson shouldn't be punished unless he is indicted; federal prosecutors have yet to bring an indictment, despite an FBI raid 18 months ago on his home that yielded $90,000 in cash in his freezer.

Dear Congressional Black Caucus,

Sometimes when your colleague is caught with $90,000 in his freezer, it's best to go ahead and distance yourselves. Sheesh.

Well, at least those looking to exploit a member of the Homeland Security Committee know an exact price of one of its members' favors. It's like the Carmax of Congressional bribes. No haggling!