Category Archives: The Jefferson Machine

DOLLAR BILL: AFRICAN ART DEALER

Wed, 07 Jun 2006 03:45:07

I can’t believe I missed this nugget in this morning’s Picayune:

“According to the affidavit used to search the vice president’s house the FBI expected to find a $100 000 cash bribe in a reddish-brown briefcase that Mody had given Jefferson. The cash was to guarantee Abubakar’s cooperation to ensure “the little hook is in there ” according to wiretap transcripts.

A day later the FBI intercepted Jefferson’s cell phone signal in the vicinity of Abubakar’s home. And later Jefferson assured Mody that he had given the money to Abubakar referring to it as “African art.

But $90 000 of the cash marked by investigators was found in a freezer at Jefferson’s Capitol Hill home during the August raid. A reddish-brown briefcase was found by the FBI during the search of Jefferson’s New Orleans home on Marengo Street the same day. “

I put my favorite bit in bold face. I’m not sure who Dollar Bill is channeling: Tony Soprano or George Smiley. But he’s very big on using movie gangster/spook euphemisms when he’s doing bidness with the wired-up Lori Mody.  Here’s another juicy bit wherein Dollar Bill distinguishes between national and international corruption:

“According to the transcripts Jefferson told Mody that Abubakar was demanding 50 percent of the profits earned by YahYah’s company. Jefferson said Abubakar had made the demand during a private one-hour meeting at the [Nigerian] vice president’s home.

“We have a deal with him ” he told Mody.

He also told her in a separate wiretapped call that YahYah was critical to the success of the venture in Nigeria.

“We need him ” Jefferson told her over dinner in Washington. “We got to motivate him real good. He’s got a lot of folks to pay off.”

Jefferson told Mody that it was best that the two of them didn’t know what YahYah was up to.

“If he’s gotta pay Minister X we don’t want to know ” Jefferson said. “It’s not our deal. We’re not paying Minister X a damn thing. That’s all you know international fraud crap. We’re not doing that. . . . Whatever they do locally that’s their business.”

Maybe Dollar Bill’s defense will be that he was conducting a seminar in international law for Ms. Mody. Of course this last passage sounds like a classic re-statement of the Louisiana Way. At least he skipped the obligatory backscratching or hand washing references…

Back to Dollar Bill’s use of gangster (not gangsta) euphemisms. I halfway expect him to say something like “Jack Abramhoff sleeps with the fishes.” Oops wrong metaphor wrong scandal. That’s the problem: as long as Dollar Bill stays in office the Repubs can keep saying “everybody does it” and NOLA will continue to get the shaft. Perhaps he should spread some African art around the House chamber: there are many collectors of Dollar Bill’s kind of African art in Congress after all.

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NOLA SCOUNDREL UPDATE: DOLLAR BILL & UNCLE GLENN

Wed, 24 May 2006 17:26:16

Item-1 Dollar Bill Under Pressure: It’s a *slightly* less bad day for Dollar Bill Jefferson: he’s under pressure but unindicted and someone else is in deeper shit than he is; for the moment. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has asked our klepto Congressman to step down from the Ways and Means committee. That’s of course the panel that decides who gets federal money and how much they get. Dollar Bill’s reply to his leader’s request: No Way. His reason is that he’s doing this for Debrisville; as if he gave a damn about anyone who’s not related to him. <cue string quartet playing “Hearts and Flowers”>

In an ironic development Speaker/Coach Denny (Fat Frick) Hastert has protested the search of Dollar Bill’s office to President Beavis. Something tells me this has more to do with Repub scoundrels like Bob Ney than with the Speaker’s devotion to separation of powers. It’s also a political loser for the Coach: he’s arguing that Congressmen be given special treatment. There’s a long line of Repubs who hope that the Coach gets his way.

Item-2  Marc Morial’s Uncle Glenn Cops A Plea Glenn Haydel pled guilty to looting the RTA (Regional Transit Authority) out of $550K during the Morial administration. Haydel is Sybil Morial’s brother and the Uncle of former Mayor Marc Haydel Morial. Uncle Glenn has agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in exchange for receiving a 2 year sentence. Haydel has also agreed to pay back the money. It’s unclear as to whether or not Uncle Glenn has info that could implicate his nephew in wrongdoing.

Stay tuned to the Adrastos Virtual Cafe for updates and analysis on both stories. Same Bat-time same Bat-url.

OUT & ABOUT ON ELECTION DAY

Sat, 20 May 2006 20:56:06

I’m home after checking out the election day street scene. I plugged  my iPod into the car and played Cowboy Mouth as I drove by the sign wavers.  A few random observations:

* I drove around Uptown Carrollton and Central City and saw more Landrieu activity than Nagin. Yeah there were plenty of Nagin sign wavers but Mitch’s people were going door to door checking to see if people had voted. And there were plenty of folks waving Landrieu signs as well.

* I got the impression that Dollar Bill’s District B peeps were working for *both* Mitch and C Ray. Dollar Bill has nominally endorsed Nagin but I saw some people with Gill-Pratfall t-shirts waving Landrieu signs and others waving Nagin signs. It’s just like Dollar Bill to play both ends against the middle.

* While I was cruising for a bruising I kept encountering C Ray’s campaign RV. First he was Uptown at St. Paul’s on Napoleon Avenue near Adrastos World HQ. Later   I saw the RV parked outside Tom Watson’s Church of the Rebuker/Unrebuker at the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles. That’s when I saw C Ray. I resisted the urge to give him the one finger salute but I made like Roger Ebert and gave him a thumbs down. It wiped the smirk right off his face for a nano-second. Bite me baldy…

* Speaking of tall men in large vehicles I saw Arnie (Mr. Rogers) Fielkow rolling up St. Charles in his fire truck. He waved at me. I waved back. There was neither a Dalmatian nor a Chalmatian in sight.

I spent several hours hanging out with the Z-Man and his charming family. We gossiped talked politics and watched Eli eat way too much ice cream. Justin is very optimistic about Mitch’s chances to win by 4 to 6 points. I hope he’s right but his notion is based on NOT underestimating the intelligence of the the voters. I’m a cynic and *always* underestimate the voter’s savvy. The smartest guy doesn’t always win; just ask Al Gore or John Kerry.

* The Z-Man has cast his lot with Stacy Head in District B. He took Stacy to Miss Mae’s bar at the corner of Magazine and Napoleon this week. Miss Mae is a *legendary* local barkeeper. She and Stacy hit it off: talk about an odd couple. Apparently several of the barflies made the some of off-color jokes about Stacy’s last name that I’ve managed to avoid. Mercifully this happened *after* Stacy left.

* The Z-Man also loaned Stacy his sound truck complete with bullhorn. I just missed the truck’s departure and I’m sorry that I did because Quentin Brown was on the truck with Stacy. That must have been interesting. I hope that Quentin didn’t pinch Stacy’s butt on the ride but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. A few weeks back he told me that he thought Stacy was “hot.” Watch out Stacy. I think that Ashley the headless Thompson gunner agrees: he’s convinced that Stacy is a doppleganger of SNL’s Tina Fey. I’m not sure I agree but they *are* both thin and wear smart girl glasses.

ALL DOLLAR BILL, ALL THE TIME

Thu, 18 May 2006 13:31:57

Another day another post about the decline and fall of Congressman Dollar Bill Jefferson. There were two pieces in the local rag this morning about our hopefully soon to be former Congressman. The first story about the House Ethics Committee opening an investigation into Dollar Bill was buried on page 18. I hate to be fair to the Picayune but this really was one of those “all in all it’s just another brick in the wall” stories.

The second Dollar Bill piece is by my homey ace Picayune political columnist Stephanie Grace. It’s written in the form of an epistolary reply to Dollar Bill’s statement the other day. I particularly enjoyed this “in yo’ face” passage:

You all but predicted that an indictment is looming yet you vowed to stay in office to fight the allegations for as long as it takes even if it takes years. You asked us your constituents for understanding and patience and you apologized for the “the predicament we are now enduring together.”

But I’m here to say that it’s not my predicament. I live in post-Katrina New Orleans which means that like the rest of your district I’ve got predicaments of my own.

So sorry Congressman but this one’s all on you.”

That’s tellin’ him Stephanie.  It’s a red letter day here at the Adrastos Virtual Cafe. <groaning at his own sight gag>

It’s a pity that Dollar Bill’s looming troubles won’t impact his machine’s GOTV (get out the vote) effort on behalf of his assessor sister Betty and his lackey Renee Gill-Pratfall. I had hoped that would happen in the primary but Dollar Bill’s paid poll workers were out in force. But Saturday may well be the last hurrah for the Jefferson machine as we know and loathe it.

Finally my NOLA blogging colleague dangerblond had an excellent post the other day about both the Sopranos and the Bill Jeffersons. The latter family is no longer movin’ on up because they got greedy and took too big a slice of the pie…

C Ray’s Car Contract Crashes/Dollar Bill Bribery Probe Update

Thu, 23 Mar 2006 06:00:00

Item-1 C Ray’s Car Contract Crashes: CH2M Hill the company that the Nagin administration planned to pay $23 million to remove dead cars from Debrisville has withdrawn its bid. The company which was not even close to being the lowest bidder   claimed that it was withdrawing because it wanted to serve the best interests of the city. Yeah right. It has nothing to do with the whole thing failing the smell test…

C Ray of course will continue to claim to be a reformer out to protect the city from the machinations of the Landrieus and other evil politicians. As local blogger Schroeder said last night on another subject in his blog People Get Ready: “Ray Ray’s hittin’ the crack pipe again.”

Item-2 Dollar Bill Bribery Probe Update: At the risk of sounding like a broken record 35 days after the WaPo’s front page Dollar Bill Jefferson story the local rag has finally noticed that our Congressman is in big trouble. Prosecutors have issued subpeonas to white shoe NOLA law firm Jones Walker requiring them to produce documents that probably have something to do with Jamila Jefferson who worked for the firm in 2004. That’s a key year in the Dollar Bill bribery inquiry. 2004 is when ex-Jefferson aide Brett Pfeffer has alleged that a thus far nameless Congressman asked him to solicit a bribe from a  telecommunications firm hoping to land a contract in Nigeria. Pfeffer who is Dollar Bill’s worst nightmare also told the feds: “…that the congressman wanted legal work for the African deal to be given to a family member and other work associated with the telecommunications deal be given to another family member for a monthly retainer of between $2 500 and $5 000.”

Jeez who could that be? Jamila Jefferson? Or maybe it’s SATAN he said in his best Church Lady impression. Btw Jamila Jefferson recently withdrew from the race to take Crazy Kim’s place as Clerk Of Criminal Court. The Jefferson machine seems to be on the run at long last…

Disclaimer: It is unclear as of this writing whether or not Jamila Jefferson is suspected of wrong-doing by the Feds.

The next shoe in the Dollar Bill bribery probe may well drop on May 26th which is the date of Brett Pfeffer’s sentencing. Pfeffer copped a plea in exchange for co-operating with the Feds. The Gumbo is getting thicker and thicker and I love to stir the pot…