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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Congressman Jefferson's Problems Just Got a Little Worse

Willim Jefferson, Representative from Louisiana, is already in hot enough water. He is under investigation by the FBI on bribery charges. Today, the New York Times paints a new scene in the unfolding drama, and things are not looking good for the Louisiana Democrat:

In July 2005, Vernon L. Jackson returned home to Louisville from Washington, where he had just met with Representative William J. Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who had been helping promote his fledgling digital-technology company. David Harper, a lawyer for the company, said he had never seen Mr. Jackson so demoralized.

For nearly five years, the inventor and the congressman had carried the message that Mr. Jackson’s company, iGate, could help close the “digital divide” by delivering high-speed Internet access to poor blacks around the world.

They had flown to Africa to seek business opportunities, and they had talked up iGate to potential partners at the Kentucky Derby and the United States Open tennis tournament in New York.

But now, with iGate starved for cash, Mr. Jackson was convinced that Mr. Jefferson, his “friend on the Hill,” was about to betray him, Mr. Harper recalled.

Over breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the congressman had made a proposal that, in Mr. Jackson’s view, was tantamount to theft: in return for a quick infusion of cash, Mr. Harper said, Mr. Jefferson and his investors would take control of iGate and its promising broadband patents while easing Mr. Jackson aside and cutting off most of the company’s creditors.

Unbeknownst to the two men, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been monitoring their dealings. Less than three weeks later, agents raided Mr. Jefferson’s homes, in Washington and in New Orleans, and found stacks of cash stuffed in a freezer.

Mr. Jackson, 54, has pleaded guilty to paying more than $400,000 in bribes for Mr. Jefferson’s help; on Sept. 8, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. An F.B.I. search of the congressman’s office last May set off a showdown between Congress and the Justice Department. Mr. Jefferson has denied any wrongdoing and remains under investigation.

In recent months, the outlines of the case have emerged in court filings and news reports. But an examination of court records and dozens of internal iGate documents, as well as interviews with a number of Mr. Jackson’s associates, offers a far clearer picture of the relationship between the two men, and of how Mr. Jefferson went from helping a small company to trying to take it over for his family’s benefit.

This, of course, comes on the day that Ohio Representative Bob Ney pled guilty to corruption charges. There is a lot of hay being made regarding Ney, including an extremely dishonest report from the AP regarding Representative Ney. (Dishonest in the fact that the only people listed in the piece are Republicans connected to Jack Abramoff, and no Democrats. Harry Reid is among those who has some explaining to do about his Abramoff money.)

And by comparison what all of those men did was nothing compared to what Representative Jefferson attempted to pull off. It also makes perfect sense why the FBI executed search warrants for his office. There was likely evidence in his office concerning this matter. And while Minority Leader Pelosi's initial calls fro Jefferson to step down were commendable, it was nothing more than lip service at the time. If the Democrats want to show America that they have a tough stance on corruption, then Representative Jefferson should be stripped of his positions on any committees, including the House Ways and Means Committee, and censured from the House until the FBI is done with its investigation.

While we are all "innocent until proven guilty," Representative Jefferson's home was searched and large amounts of cash were found. The FBI has stated that they have him on tape accepting a bribe. It is time to remove this man from his position while this investigation continues. This is unacceptable from EITHER side of the aisle. We on the Right--the GOP--are making strides in assuring the public that this cannot happen again with various reforms, and they have distanced themselves from people like Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, and Tom DeLay. It is time for the Democrats to take a page out of the reform book, and deal with Representative Jefferson.



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