Whether you are democrat or republican, this is good news for the state of Louisiana. Willliam Jefferson’s patronage was powerful, and carried him through a difficult and challenging primary. The Democratic party tried hard to unseat him in the primary with 6 challengers, but brand identification is a powerful tool, and one that those challengers could not shake. Jefferson’s plight and his loss is similar to that of Ted Stevens, an embarrassment for the GOP ever since he threw a tantrum on the Senate floor demanding 200 million dollars in pork barrel spending. Like Mark Begich in Alaska, Ahn Cao is a fish swimming upstream. Nassim Taleb may call him a “Yellow Swan”, a GOP representative from the 2nd district is certainly a rare occurence, and it was a perfect storm that sent him to the House of Representatives.
An interesting blurb:
Jefferson’s defeat also marks the latest and most severe blow to the Progressive Democrats, the Central City-based political organization that he founded.
Among Jefferson allies who have been forced from public office since news of the FBI probe into Jefferson’s dealings broke are: Renee Gill Pratt, the congressman’s former legislative aide who lost her seat on the City Council; close ally Eddie Jordan, who was forced to resign as Orleans Parish district attorney; and Jefferson’s daughter, then-state Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, who lost a bid last year for the state Senate.
Good riddance. Cao was supported by the democrats that ran against Jefferson, and he will likely be challenged hard in 2010. If he loses in 2010, it will not be to William Jefferson, and Jefferson’s politics of patronage seem to have finally ceased their stranglehold on New Orleans.
The GOP will be taking notice to the Louisiana trend of putting yellow and brown faces in high places. The parallels of Ahn “Joseph” Cao and Piyush “Bobby” Jindal are pretty amazing. If Cao were white he would not have won the second district, I fear. While I do not like multiculturalism for multiculturalisms sake or massive immigration, the Vietnamese community in New Orleans and Louisiana has been a boon to the community and have done the work “Americans aren’t willing to do” for a generation, including working in a pogy plant in my old stomping grounds. Some of my family, encouraged by the government after the Vietnam war, sponsored the immigration of Vietnamese refugees into Louisiana. I heard several stories about how several families lived in a trailer and would buy 30 lbs of rice and a small hen to eat for an entire week. In one generation they have gone from living 20 to a house to graduating with MDs or running successful businesses. And by business I don’t just mean restaurants, we’re talking real estate and finance. So, good for them for having elected their first representative for the US government,and may Joseph Cao be a voice in Louisiana politics in one form or another. Provided, of course, he doesn’t get corrupted.