LA-2: Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson From Ways and Means

I don't know how to tag this post other than LA-2, so there it is.  One of the big questions surrounding the re-election of Congressman Jefferson was would he, and the CBC, be able to claim some type of mandate to re-sit him on the poweful Ways and Means Committee?  Apparently, the answer is "no".

Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Birmingham has won a coveted seat on the House Ways and Means Committee, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California announced Tuesday. [...]

Davis, who is entering his third term, benefited from a decision by party leaders not to return Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson to the committee. Jefferson, who won a runoff election in his New Orleans district last week, is the subject of an FBI investigation in which agents say they found $90,000 in bribe money in a freezer at his Washington home.

I hadn't heard the decision not to return Jefferson to his previous post was official, but I guess this move all but makes it so.  While in NOLA, I heard some scuttlebut about a compromise that would have sat another Louisiana Congressman, Charles Melancon, in Jefferson's place.  Obviously that did not happen today.  This was one of the big problems with re-electing Jefferson, and one that may have been a bit too in the weeds for the average NOLA voter last Saturday.  A quick search of Davis's website for post-k leadership yielded little evidence of leadership on the issue, so I hope there is an understanding that the circumstances of his appointment bring with it new and unique responsibilities.  But again, post-k leadership has always been bigger than any individual representative -- it's going to have to be a priority set by the incoming Speaker, Majority Leader and presidential candidates pressing the issue.

Tags: Hurricane Katrina, karen carter, LA-2, William Jefferson (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

CBC solidarity not quite 'for ever'?

Quite often the simplest plays are the best ones.

Moving in a CBC-er into Jefferson's W&M slot was simple, but not worry-free: for the CBC to continue to act as Jefferson's union, clearly, they would need to stop Davis from scabbing for Pelosi (to develop the metaphor).

But, for a pretty junior rep like Davis, W&M is like all his birthdays come at once, present-wise.

So - Pelosi banks on one of two things happening: either the CBC honchos ask Davis to pass on W&M, and he tells them to go Cheney themselves; or they're too scared even to put it to him.

Either way, Pelosi scores.

Daddy would be proud of her. I'm warming to her style - just a little!

What does she do with Jefferson? Foment a spontaneous movement in the Caucus to expel him? Offer him no committee assignments at all? Strip his seniority? Give him the chair of the Paper-clips Committee?

She doesn't want to overplay her hand - the last thing she wants is to grant Jefferson martyr status. And there's really no need for a ceremonial breaking of the sword.

Just stymieing a challenge to her leadership over Jefferson will be mission accomplished. (If we can still use that phrase without irony.)

by skeptic06 2006-12-12 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: LA-2: Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson From

Davis is a good choice.

He's smart, he's young(ish), and he came into Congress four years ago by defeating an entrenched incumbent.  Artur Davis will have less loyalty to old bull institutionalists who tried to block him in 2002 so he'll take the spot and thank Pelosi for the chance.

Pelosi is doing exactly the right thing here.

by Brian Watkins 2006-12-12 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: LA-2: Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson

"Pelosi banks on one of two things happening: either the CBC honchos ask Davis to pass on W&M, and he tells them to go Cheney themselves; or they're too scared even to put it to him."

You seem to be determined to frame this as a political thrashing for the CBC.  Allow me humbly to suggest that would be a bad thing--a very bad thing--for the Democratic Party and for liberal politics in this country.  Happily, there is no evidence that Rep. Pelosi is taking such an approach to this unfortunate situation.

by JTL 2006-12-12 02:02PM | 0 recs
Pelosi is playing good defense here

Pelosi has no interest in picking fights with any section of her party.

Davis looks like a useful guy to have on W&M, is a like-for-like switch racially, is perhaps the sort of rep that a forward-looking Dem leadership would want to advance in the hierarchy.

So, on the merits, it looks like a good pick.

The attitude of the CBC to Jefferson's ousting from W&M was unhelpful to the leadership.

The story in The Hill yesterday was that the CBC were planning to lobby for Jefferson to get his W&M spot back in the 110th.

Today, we get the word that Davis is in and Jefferson stays out.

Somehow, that has been dealt with within the CBC: I doubt it would have been a decision welcomed by CBC honchos.

Pelosi, by her decision, put the ball back in their court. If they want to make a Federal case of it, they have to fight for their own guy - an up-and-coming guy - to be kicked off before he sits a day in the committee in favor of - a guy who's not exactly up-and-coming.

Seems to me that Pelosi, if challenged, will be playing defense from a solid position.

by skeptic06 2006-12-12 02:57PM | 0 recs
Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson From

Davis a "New Democrat" wants the WM appointment. He will need work from the progressive community to help to Rebuild Louisiana

by nolarussell 2006-12-12 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: LA-2: Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson

"He will need work from the progressive community"

Tactfully put. Good luck with that.  

by JTL 2006-12-12 02:56PM | 0 recs
Pelosi and Davis

Terrible decision.  Jefferson was just re-elected--this move is a slap in the face to LA-2 voters.  If someone is suddenly under investigation mid-term, it makes sense to suspend them from one of the two exclusive committees--but not when an election intervenes without dramatic change in the status of the investigation.

Artur Davis ran FROM THE RIGHT against a Democratic incumbent four years ago as a strong ally of Israel and U.S. foreign policy.  He is not someone to be excited about--and since when is it always a good thing to throw out old bulls (an unfortunate remark) when they have fought for years to advance a liberal agenda?

I think CBC members now have two reasons to be pissed at Pelosi (Hastings and Jefferson).  It SEEMS as if corruption charges against black reps are more serious than those against white reps.  

by Thaddeus 2006-12-13 05:15AM | 0 recs
Pelosi and Davis

by Thaddeus 2006-12-13 05:15AM | 0 recs
Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson

Pelosi is screwing New Orleans.  She should have put Melancon there, but she'd rather screw us.

Damn...

by DrAsh 2006-12-13 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: LA-2: Pelosi Moves To Re-Block Jefferson From

He's smart, he's young(ish), and he came into Congress four years ago by defeating an entrenched incumbent.  Artur Davis will have less loyalty to old bull institutionalists who tried to block him in 2002 so he'll take the spot and thank Pelosi for the chance.

Pelosi is doing exactly the right thing here.

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by bombi 2007-01-05 02:00AM | 0 recs

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