Congressman Bill Jefferson cautions us that there are two sides to every story, and he is right. While some of the facts about the ongoing federal investigation into his business dealings admittedly look suspicious, we have been looking for that other side. Through gut hunch and intuition I think I found the real story and though Jefferson might be embarrassed for this to go public, here is what I think happened:
Several years ago Jefferson secretly began siphoning a portion of his pay checks toward making a large contribution to the late Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity based in Calcutta, India. (That there is a religious side to the Jefferson family is already evident in that his brother is named Mose.)
Jefferson could have deposited the purloined funds into a special bank savings account but that would have caused two problems. One was that establishing the account might have made it tempting to take a tax deduction on the charitable contribution. Jefferson, however, wanted to pay his full income tax without taking the tax break. And the other concern was that by placing the money in the bank some nosey clerk might have leaked news of Jefferson’s benevolence to the press creating more unwanted headlines.
Without being able to use the bank, Jefferson converted his checks into cash and decided to stash the money in his New Orleans home. Since he is in Washington much of the time, he wanted to put the money where no burglar would find it. That’s why the congressman placed the cash in his freezer. He reasoned that no burglar would think to look for treasures alonside the frozen pizza Next Jefferson faced the problem of getting the money to Calcutta without arousing public admiration. Fearing leaks, he avoided the mail and private delivery services, and instead set up an African telecommunications business as a front for funneling the contributions into Asia.
He might have gotten away with his scheme except that someone tipped of the Feds. Anyone who would do so, would likely be connected to an institution threatened by Jefferson’s generosity- perhaps another charity. My guess is that it was Jerry’s Kids. As comedian Jerry Lewis prepared for his annual Labor Day weekend telethon he probably feared the dangerous precedent of charitable donations being sent out of the country.
One day this story will be made public and Jefferson will be vindicated. Instead of going up the river he will cross the Atlantic to Stockholm for a Nobel Prize; instead of leaving the House he will head home to receive the Times-Picayune Loving Cup.
In the end he will celebrate by treating his friends and family to a steak dinner with the finest champagnes– and he will pay for it with cold cash.
Just thinking about New Orleans
Errol Laborde
(504) 828-1380 ext 208elaborde@renaissancepublishingllc.com