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Annals Of Democratic Bad Apples

Louisiana Representative Bill Jefferson, a study in arrogance:

With just eight days to go in the Democratic Party runoff for the 2nd Congressional District, the embattled but increasingly confident incumbent, William Jefferson, seems committed to a stay-away strategy, limiting contact with the news media and largely ignoring his opponent, former television news anchor Helena Moreno. ...

Asked to distinguish himself from his challenger, Jefferson, who is seeking a 10th term, was dismissive.

"Well, it's quite obvious," he said with a laugh. "I've been a legislator for a good long time in the state Senate and the Congress. And she has not, and that's what the job is about. ... I don't have anything to say about Helena Moreno. I think that that speaks for itself, the difference between us -- me and her -- in legislative experience."

If voters want him, they want him. But it's amazing Jefferson can't be replaced with a different Democrat, even after being indicted. It's not as though, in ousting him, Democrats would risk the Louisiana's second district, which voted 75% for Kerry.

--Eve Fairbanks