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Opinion: Busy week for Rep. William Jefferson: Bribery trial and runoff election

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Good to know that despite the long and numerous distractions of a historic presidential race, politics are continuing normally in important places such as Louisiana.

Remember that congressman who kept $90,000 in cash in the freezer at his home because, well, because? And the FBI found it and the representative for the bayou state’s Second Congressional District was indicted on charges of racketeering, bribery and money freezing, no, money laundering?

Well, Rep. William Jefferson goes on trial the first week of December.

That, coincidentally, is the same week of his meaningless election runoff back home against a sacrificial Republican lawyer named Anh Cao.

Now, in some places, being under federal indictment could theoretically hinder your re-election chances. But not in Jefferson’s heavily Democratic Louisiana district. Up in Alaska, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has shown that even a federal conviction doesn’t necessarily disqualify you in the eyes of local voters.

NBC’s Doug Adams reminds us that House Democrats did knock Jefferson off the all-important Ways and Means Committee. But they did place him on the Homeland Security Committee, apparently thinking that anyone smart enough to stash his cash in a freezer could be helpful in keeping the country well-protected from outside threats.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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