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September 13, 2005
LA Congressman Hires Starving Guardsman Movers

While thouands of New Orleans residents waited for rescue from Hurricane Katrina's devastation and the rising flood waters from the levee breaks, a Louisiana Congressman tied up National Guard resources for over an hour so he could retrieve his belongings from his house in the beleaguered city. ABC News reports tonight that Guardsman tell them of the use of their time and resources on September 2nd to work as personal movers for Rep. William Jefferson (via The Anchoress and CQ reader Alicia G):

Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A 5-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched.

Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request. ...

The water reached to the third step of Jefferson's house, a military source familiar with the incident told ABC News, and the vehicle pulled up onto Jefferson's front lawn so he wouldn't have to walk in the water. Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour.

Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck.

Two weeks later, the vehicle's tire tracks were still visible on the lawn.

If that seems unbelievable, the story gets better. The truck that the Guard used to give Jefferson a "tour" of his own house got stuck in the mud because of the long time Jefferson took getting his belongings out. It required the dispatch of a helicopter, which twice attempted to rescue Jefferson, who refused to get on board. After wasting 45 minutes, it went on to rescue other people, but had to cut its mission short thanks to the time spent on the Congressman.

Coincidentally, Jefferson found himself the host of federal authorities earlier this summer, investigating financial shenanigans at a high-tech firm. After his use of the state National Guard to put his computer above the desperate victims of the flood, perhaps he can expect another visit to the old mansion after the restoration.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 13, 2005 10:31 PM

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» National Guard Van Lines from Hard Starboard
From the "Well, OF COURSE he did!" Department, the Anchoress and Cap'n Ed bring us this remarkably expected post-script to the Katrina aftermath in the Big, Soggy Easy: Military sources tells ABC News that William Jefferson, an eight-term Democrat... [Read More]

Tracked on September 14, 2005 12:45 AM

» Rep. Jefferson Abused Power? from The English Guy
It is rumoured that Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., used state National Guard to rescue suitcases and his personal computer from his home in New Orleans. Although that is an abuse of power, he did this when the flood was at its height, and the National... [Read More]

Tracked on September 14, 2005 7:41 AM

» Congressman Used National Guard to Visit Home from Opinion Times
In a supreme example of tone deafness to propriety, a Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson used the resources of the National Guard to make an unscheduled visit his home. Nothing compares with the arrogance of those who taste power and influence... [Read More]

Tracked on September 14, 2005 8:55 AM

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