Change Has Come!

Published: January 9, 2009

By Jim Lichtman
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No, not that change.  We already know that in 11 days, former Illinois Senator Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States.

I’m talking about a few other changes taking place in Washington.

Former Idaho Senator Larry Craig has (finally!) given up efforts “to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from his 2007 arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom,” the Washington Postreported, (Jan. 8).

Since his arrest, Craig has repeatedly stood by the fact that “…he was pressured into the plea by police and that his conduct was not illegal.”  But apparently, all that changed when “…a Minnesota appeals court rejected his motion to overturn a lower court’s ruling.”

So, now that Craig (and the rest of the country) can move on to more important ethics scandals, what’s the former Senator going to do now?  “Craig is reportedly forming a consulting company,” and considering writing “…a book about his career, downfall and ‘the state of politics in Washington today.’”

But there’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that the book will be titled:  Larry Craig, My Life as a Toe-Tapping Senator.

Remember former DC administrative law judge Roy L. Pearson Jr.?  He’s the guy who sued his dry cleaner for (are you sitting down?) $54 million over a lost pair of pants?  Well, according to an Associated Press story, a three-judge panel of “The District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected the request from the former judge… to overturn a 2007 ruling that denied him damages.”

But wait, that’s not the end!

Pearson has filed yet another petition, this time requesting “that the case be reheard by a nine-judge panel.”

Maybe his tell-all should be titled, Dry-Cleaning for Dummies!

Then there’s former Louisiana Representative William Jefferson.  Back in 2007, Jefferson was indicted by a federal grand jury on 16 counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice.  He’s the elected official “…accused of hiding $90,000 in bribe money in his freezer and of using her former position on the Ways and Means Committee…” to influence business ventures in which he profited.  Jefferson’s trial is due soon.

Coming to a Wal-Mart near you, his confessional entitled simply, Frozen Assets.

One piece of good news –

Jefferson lost his bid to return to the House in November when he lost to Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao, the first Vietnamese-born American elected to Congress.

“Mr. Cao, 41,” the New York Times wrote, “fled Vietnam at age 8 after the fall of Saigon. His father was an army officer who was later imprisoned for seven years by the Communist government. Mr. Cao, who has never held elective office, has been an advocate for the small but prominent Vietnamese community here and has a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.”

Let’s hope this is just the beginning of the kind of change we can all believe in!


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