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CBC to Cao: “Whites (and Vietnamese Republicans) Need Not Apply”

Promoted from diaries. Will the CBC choose the content of Cao’s character over the color of his skin? After all, the people of LA-02 did. – Moe Lane

This should be interesting.

Anh “Joseph” Cao (R), fresh off his stunning upset of career Corruptocrat William Jefferson (D) to represent Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, is interested in joining the Congressional Black Caucus.

“I’d join any caucus that would have me, ” Cao said.

As a representative of a black-majority district, Cao sees the caucus as one avenue to serve the interests of his constituents. After all, isn’t that the purpose of the CBC?

Apparently not.

So far the stance of the Caucus is “Whites (and Vietnamese Republicans) Need Not Apply”.

Rep.-elect Cao (R-Chocolate City) Bids to Join Black Caucus

This is New Orleans. Birthplace of Jazz, home of the Essence Festival, the Southern Classic, Xavier University. New Orleans, home of the (unlamented) Desire Projects, the Lower Ninth Ward, with memories Katrina and the “bombed” levees.

Cao has not formally approached the caucus about joining. After his election to represent a district that is more than 60 percent African-American, Cao was asked whether he would be interested in joining the Congressional Black Caucus. He answered “yes, ” reasoning that it would be good for him, for his constituents and for his district. He said he also accepted an invitation to join the Congressional Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus, which is open to anyone who is of Asian-Pacific Island descent, represents a large Asian constituency or is simply interested. …

“If the purpose of the caucus is to advance the interests of a group that is seen as disenfranchised or plagued with more serious problems than other Americans, then the membership should not be based on the racial characteristics of the member, but on the makeup of the district, ” said Carol Swain, a professor of law and political scientist at Vanderbilt University.

“They’re not going to let him; it ain’t going to happen, ” said David Bositis, a seasoned observer of the Congressional Black Caucus at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington.

Since its founding in 1971 by 13 black members of Congress, the caucus has never had a member who was not African-American. And the caucus has had only one Republican member — Gary Franks, a former representative from Connecticut — and that ended in acrimony. Another former black Republican in Congress, J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, chose not to join the caucus.

Cao, who was born in Vietnam, is neither black nor a Democrat.

The caucus, so far, has remained quiet on Cao’s status.

The newly elected chairwoman of the caucus, Rep. Barbara Lee of California, did not reply to a request for an interview. A spokeswoman for the outgoing chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who cut a campaign ad for Jefferson, referred questions to Keiana Barrett, communications director for the caucus, who has not replied to e-mail and phone messages on the subject for the past week. Neither did Joe Leonard, the executive director of the caucus. Queries to eight other members of the caucus drew no responses.

Pass the Orville Redenbacher’s.

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