Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Embattled Jefferson Defies Pelosi

Louisiana Democrat Rep. William Jefferson refused to step down from the powerful Ways and Means Commisttee at the request of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In a tersely worded letter, Pelosi wrote, "In the interest of upholding the high ethical standard of the House Democratic Caucus, I am writing to request your immediate resignation from the Ways and Means Committee." Jefferson retorted, "With respect, I decline to do so. 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." Pelosi has been trying to tar Republicans with governing in a "culture of corruption": Jefferson's troubles are vitiating the resonance of her rhetoric and enforcing what many believe already, i.e., venality knows no political affiliation.


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