Jefferson poised to become another congressional jailbird

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With William Jefferson’s conviction yesterday on 11 public corruption counts, the former Louisiana Congressman may be looking at 20 years in prison, although his attorney plans to appeal.

But while a prison term would be a significant fall from grace for the New Orleans Democrat, it will put him in the company of at least nine of his former Congressional colleagues.

The gallery includes:

And with former Reps. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Tom DeLay of Texas, and Rick Renzi of Arizona, all under indictment, Jefferson may have more company still.

Of course, none of these cases involve $90,000 in their freezers.

The public already gives fairly low approval ratings for members of Congress — 24 percent approve of the job it is doing in the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll — and violations of the public trust like these that help explain why.

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