A Demographic Shift for NOLA : William Jefferson's Defeat

Indicted longterm LA Congressman William Jefferson has been defeated. The winner of the House seat for the district which includes New Orleans is Republican lawyer Anh Cao.

Cao emigrated from Vietnam when he was 8, after the fall of Saigon. This is his first elected office and he will be the first Vietnamese-American in Congress.

Turnout in Saturday's election, which was postponed due to Hurricane Gustav, was not high. While Jefferson's corruption charges are thought to have increased turnout in the white community and largely contributed to his defeat, and turnout among blacks was lower than usual, this is also interesting: [More...]

In heavily white precincts, turnout was about 26 percent, while it was only about 12 percent in the heavily black precincts....The exact percentage of blacks here, like the population itself, is unknown after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but is thought to be 55 percent to 60 percent, down from around 70 percent before the storm. The City Council has turned majority-white after years of being led by blacks. “It’s clearly shifted,” [analyst] Mr. Rigamer said of the population. “You have fewer African-Americans in the city than previously.”

....Mr. Cao, who has never held elective office, has been an advocate for the small but prominent Vietnamese community here ....“These elections continue to show us that there is a smaller, different and more progressive New Orleans that is emerging.”

More on the thriving Vietnamese population of New Orleans here and here.

Here's a Dateline segment from 2007 on the Vietnamese community's early return to New Orleans after Katrina and their rebuilding the coummunity without much government help.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The Census estimates (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 11:09:24 AM EST
    that this district is still, post Katrina, 56% black. On election day in November, Obama drew about 75% of the vote.

    Any unindexed Democrat would have won here, and this was 100% about Bill Jefferson.

    Cao will be defeated in 2010, but I'm not sorry that we're rid of Jefferson.

    *unindicted, rather (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 11:26:39 AM EST
    I was wondering what an unindexed Dem was (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 11:30:31 AM EST
    I thought it was like Emily's list!

    I'm surprised he is the Vietnamese-American (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 11:29:47 AM EST
    in Congress.  I would have thought some California district would have claimed that distinction a long time ago.

    Pleasantly surprised, I might add. That is a long time coming.

    My turn (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 11:32:52 AM EST
    *the first, rather

    California (none / 0) (#10)
    by bluegal on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:31:51 PM EST
    Actually the Vietnamese population in California isn't really that significant and it is unfortunately a very poor and newly immigrant population without any political influence compared to other Asian groups.

    I've heard that the Vietnamese population and a more successful one is emerging also in Georgia.


    Houston (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:49:07 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#16)
    by bluegal on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:09:44 PM EST
    Houston too. Interesting thing happening in the south.

    According to the last census (2000) (none / 0) (#23)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:26:14 PM EST
    California still has the largest Viet pop. in the US by far.

    According to the 2000 Census, there are 1,122,528 people who identify themselves as Vietnamese alone or 1,223,736 in combination with other ethnicities, ranking fourth among the Asian American groups. Of those, 447,032 (39.8%) live in California and 134,961 (12.0%) in Texas. The largest number of Vietnamese found outside of Vietnam is found in Orange County, California--totalling 135,548. ... States such as New York, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, Florida, Virginia and to some extent, Rhode Island have fast growing Vietnamese populations. The San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle metropolitan area, Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, Washington D.C. area, Los Angeles metropolitan area and the Houston metropolitan area have sizable Vietnamese communities. Recently, the Vietnamese immigration pattern has shifted to other states like Oklahoma (Oklahoma City in particular) and Oregon (Portland in particular).



    Thanks for the stats (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:52:59 PM EST
    I lived in Orange County in the 80's when the Vietnamese population was starting to grow by leaps and bounds there. Westminster was what I had in mind when I made my comment about being surprised there was not a Vietnamese member in Congress yet.  I'll have to look at the way that district is drawn.

    William Jefferson has been defeated. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 11:41:45 AM EST

    Good riddance.  Its too bad that the Dem party could not bring itself to flush this t*rd in the primary.

    Before Katrina (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Fabian on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:22:51 PM EST
    I didn't know much about Louisiana and I thought it was messed up.

    Now I know a little bit more about Louisiana and I think it is still messed up.  Every time I learn more about LA, I just get more confused because I simply don't understand the culture.  Corruption seems to be the status quo, not a cause for outrage.

    jefferson should (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:40:07 PM EST
    have been booted out by the democrats in congress a long time ago. he exemplifies the corruption endemic in LA as a whole, and new orleans in particular.

    i suspect he was counting on the "he may be a crook, but he's our crook!" mentality to win this election. thankfully, he was wrong.

    Don't let the door hit you...... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by DaveOinSF on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:42:26 PM EST
    This is excellent news on so many different levels.  I think I will head off to find a nice banh mi for lunch to celebrate.

    So republicans achieved their objective (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by pluege on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:49:05 PM EST
    with their anti-NOLA non-recovery to disperse Blacks from the NOLA area to regain control. They are using the same strategy in the Midwest. By fighting to make GM/Chrysler/Ford go under they will disperse a predominant Blue State region population. Any where will those skilled autoworkers go...why to those low-paid Japanese plants in non-union red states like Tennessee.

    Actually (none / 0) (#20)
    by bluegal on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:57:02 PM EST
    the only upside from Katrina is the influx of blacks to states like Texas and Georgia. Georgia is where black political power is on the rise and from a national level and with changing demos there it could become a blue state in the next cycle or two. All this does is reaffirm the belief that the Republicans are a regional party that can't win outside of the south.  

    Works for me.


    Not really (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 02:04:07 PM EST
    Any other Democrat would have won comfortably.

    Now redistricting. . .that's going to be interesting, since LA is losing a seat.


    The party (2.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 08:34:28 PM EST

    The party is perfectly capable of recruiting candidates to run in the primary.

    The party (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by cal1942 on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 10:13:46 PM EST
    can recruit all it wants.  It can't ORDER anyone to actually run.

    Thats true. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 02:58:34 PM EST

    But Nancy P. could bounce bum out of the caucus, revoke committee assignments, denounce him publicly, and tell the district that they need to send other than a crook to get committee assignments.  Any of that done?  The DNC chair could coax a few deep pocket types to fund a challenger, and travel to the district to denounce the crook.  Any of that done?  For that matter, it seems the party bigs could care less.  

    Tell that to Rahm. n/t (none / 0) (#8)
    by Vico on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:20:45 PM EST

    I want (none / 0) (#11)
    by WS on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:37:31 PM EST
    this seat back in two years.  

    Some Democrat will win it (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    fait accompli.

    Yes, but some Democrat (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:04:28 PM EST
    could have won it this time. Loss of this seat is all Jefferson.

    The black vote was split in the primary (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:09:10 PM EST
    and Jefferson was put against crypto-Republican Helena Moreno in the runoff. If the white Democrats in the district could have chosen a black candidate in some numbers (Cedric Richmond, for example) Jefferson would likely have lost the primary runoff. (My understanding is that white Republicans saved him in the 2006 General Runoff against Karen Carter).

    Good for Mr. Cao (none / 0) (#22)
    by bob h on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 04:33:44 PM EST
    Jefferson was unworthy of the Democratic Party.