I was surprised by Nancy Pelosi’s appointment of William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson (D-LA) to the Homeland Security Committee. James Collier over at Acting White and I agree: The thought that a criminal like him can represent the interests of New Orleans residents post-Katrina would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

Jefferson, 59, is the subject of a federal investigation into whether he accepted bribes related to a telecommunications deal in Africa. The FBI’s evidence against him includes $90,000 found in his freezer fodder for late-night talk show jokes but not funny to Pelosi, who had promised to run the most ethical Congress in history.

Pelosi stripped Jefferson of his seat on the Ways and Means Committee over objections from some members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

I was surprised, that is, until I took a look at who’s on the HS Committee. The chair, Bennie Thompson, is a Congressional Black Caucus member who has spent quite a bit of time in the House. Let’s take a look at the other Democratic members and see how many CBC members there are (I will bold them):

Majority Members

Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2)
Chairman of the full Committee on Homeland Security.

Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
Vice Chair of the full Committee and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism

Ed Markey (MA-7)

Norman D. Dicks (WA-6)

Jane Harman (CA-36)
Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment

Peter DeFazio (OR-4)

Nita Lowey (NY-18)

Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)

Zoe Lofgren (CA-16)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection

Donna Christensen (USVI)
Rep. Donna M. Christensen continues to distinguish herself as a leader in the United States Congress. As a Member serving her fifth term, she is the first female physician in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore Territory, and the first woman Delegate from the United States Virgin Islands…

Bob Etheridge (NC-2)

James R. Langevin (RI-2)
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response

Christopher P. Carney (PA-10)
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight

Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11)

Al Green (TX-9)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)

Interesting, isn’t it, that two non-voting reps, both CBC members, are also both on the HS Cmte. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as strange? Look, Homeland Security is no place for games and cronyism. It should not be a dumping ground for weakened reps, either, if Democrats want to be taken seriously on national security.

Bennie, I am certain that Dollar Bill plays a great game of golf and has a mean jambalaya recipe. But exposing the nation and the Democratic party to perceived risk and deserved censure just so you can stock the Committee with friends that you can easily persuade? Not cool. And Pelosi? Don’t you want to distinguish your term as Speaker from the protectionism of the previous Congress? Ugh.

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