Former Alderman Pete Karas emailed a report from New Orleans about a Congressional election that was pushed back to Dec. 6 because of Hurricane Gustav. Karas, a member of the Green Party, is supporting Malik Rahim's bid to unseat (allegedly) corrupt Democratic House member William Jefferson.
Rahim is something of legend in New Orleans. He stayed through Hurricane Katrina and is credited with on-the-ground organizing in the aftermath of the devastation. He opened the first free health clinic in New Orleans, helped thousands of people back into their homes and worked to re-open schools.
Greens like Karas from around the country are targeting the seat in hopes of winning their first Congressional office. They hope Jefferson's corruption troubles (the Republican candidate apparently doesn't stand a chance in the district) push people Malik's way.
Here's Karas' report from New Orleans:
It’s an interesting race. “Dollar Bill”
Jeffersonis not to be seen. He apparently thinks he has it in the bag. The Republican is visible, but has very little support in this district. I’m seeing true excitement surrounding Malik’s campaign. He is being supported both with dollars and people from not only here, but also from around the country.
It is a very grassroots campaign. There are many people on the street working for him. Radio ads are running. There are even three billboards in prominent locations. Signs are popping up all over town. There is a real feeling that this is a winnable race.
I’ve been canvassing at the doors and talking with people. One of the challenges is to remind people there is an election on Saturday and get them to the polls. I have not talked to one person who had anything nice to say about “Dollar Bill.” And most everyone seems to know who Malik is.