Congressman Joseph Cao (R-La.) (pronounced Gow) was the lone Republican vote for the House of Representatives version of Health Care Reform. Now, many are questioning his motives in voting for the bill.
In interviews, Cao defended his vote by saying that his constituents are poor and needed this bill, but in reality it was Cao who “needed” this bill-so he could get reelected in his New Orleans district.
In 2008 Cao defeated incumbent and indicted Congressman William Jefferson, making him the first Republican to hold the seat in many years. But most people recognize that he would have had no chance if Jefferson had not been caught with nearly a hundred grand in his freezer.
Facing reelection in 2010 and desperate to stay in office, Congressman Cao’s vote for Health Care Reform was a blatant attempt to pander to the overwhelming Democratic presence in his district.
And he has reason to be afraid of losing. After all in Cao’s district, three out of four voters chose Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. In 2004, President Bush won only 24 percent of the vote here.
In statements released to the press the evening of the vote, Cao pretty much admits that Obama bribed him to vote yes by promising to provide greater assistance to the still struggling New Orleans area, which could influence voters in the upcoming elections.
Simply put, Cao voted not in the best interest of his district but in the best interest of his campaign.