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Joseph Cao

Joseph Cao
Joseph Cao Website

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana’s 2nd district Incumbent Assumed office January 3, 2009 Preceded by Born Political party Spouse William J. Jefferson March 13, 1967 (1967-03-13) Saigon, South Vietnam Republican Hieu "Kate" Hoang, daughters Sophia and Betsy[1] New Orleans, Louisiana Jersey Village High School,[2] near Houston, Texas Baylor University Fordham University Loyola University New Orleans Lawyer Roman Catholic

Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao (Vietnamese: Cao Quang Ánh, which "Cao" pronounced /ˈɡaʊ/ "gow" in English;[3] born March 13, 1967) is a New Orleans lawyer and a U.S. Representative from Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. On December 6, 2008, Cao defeated nine-term Democratic U.S. Representative William Jefferson with 49.6 percent of the vote to Jefferson’s 46.8 percent. Cao is the first Vietnamese American as well as the first native of Vietnam to serve in Congress. He won in a district that usually votes overwhelmingly Democratic.[4] Cao previously ran unsuccessfully as an independent for District 103 of the Louisiana House of Representatives.[5] He was a delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention.[6] At the time of his election to Congress, Cao was a member of the Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors.[7] A devout Roman Catholic, Cao has served as a board member for Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church’s Community Development Corporation[8] which assists Vietnamese-Americans with hurricane relief,[9] and is a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.[10]

Cao’s father, My Quang Cao (born 1931), was a lieutenant in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and was captured by the North Vietnamese Army at the end of the Vietnam War. His mother, Khang Thi Tran (born 1935), did not immediately flee South Vietnam. She stayed with Cao’s five other siblings and visited his father while he was imprisoned in the reeducation camp. Cao was 8 years old when he arrived to the United States with two siblings and an uncle as a refugee.[11] Cao’s father was imprisoned for seven years in a communist re-education camp, before being released and joining his Cao and his two siblings in Houston, Texas. Both of Cao’s parents, the mother pushing the wheelchairbound father, attended their son’s swearing-

Residence Alma mater

Profession Religion


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
in ceremony in Washington on January 6, 2009.[12] Cao is married to Hieu “Kate” Hoang; they have two daughters—Sophia and Betsy. The Caos live in New Orleans’ Venetian Isles neighborhood.[13] Kate and Joseph met, in 1998, at Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in New Orleans East and have attended there since, with the children. After the 2008 election, registered pharmacist Kate, an alumna of the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy, resigned her position with a New Orleans Walgreens pharmacy.[14] Besides Cao’s parents, Kate and the two children along with Wagner, people with a background in New Orleans, and a contingent of VietnameseAmericans attended the swearing-in. Cao held 4-year-old Betsy in his left arm while raising his right arm for the oath. After the official swearing-in by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Jefferson Parish Judge Robert Murphy readministered the oath in front of a crowd assembled at Cao’s new office.[15]

Joseph Cao
After working with Waltzer & Associates, Cao opened his own law practice specializing in immigration law. He decided to enter politics after seeing the ineffective government response to Hurricane Katrina, and soon became involved in leading New Orleans East residents to oppose a landfill.[18]

Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District election, 2008
The situation, endorsements, campaign dynamics, and results gave the election significance far beyond the boundaries of the district.

Incumbent U.S. Representative William J. Jefferson won the Democratic primaries in 2008. Jefferson had weathered a major challenge in the Louisiana 2nd congressional district election, 2006, overcoming allegations that he had inappropriately used members of a Louisiana Army National Guard unit to reach his home during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[19] In 2008 Jefferson also faced federal charges of bribery involving Nigerian business interests and was perceived as vulnerable, with only 25 percent of Democrats voting for him in the Democratic primary. Jefferson faced six African-American challengers, along with newscaster Helena Moreno,[20] all clamoring to change Louisiana’s reputation for political corruption.[21] In a runoff primary, Jefferson defeated Moreno by 57 percent to 43 percent in a vote largely along racial lines. Unopposed for the Republican nomination, Cao ran against Jefferson, as did Green Party candidate Malik Rahim and Libertarian Party candidate Gregory [22] An earlier candidate, independent Kahn. Jerry Jacobs, had withdrawn.[23]

Cao has a diverse educational background and, in fact, almost became a Catholic priest. He graduated from Jersey Village High School in Houston. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and became a Jesuit seminarian, which he remained for a period of six years.[16] Cao received his master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University in New York City. In 2000, he completed his J.D. at Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans. While in law school he also taught undergraduate courses in philosophy at Loyola.

Law practice
Cao abandoned his plans to become a Roman Catholic priest to focus on lay ministry in assisting parishioners and others, using his legal training and experience in immigration issues. He taught at a local parochial school in Virginia and volunteered at Boat People SOS (BPSOS)[17] to assist Vietnamese refugees and immigrants and help organize Vietnamese-American communities toward self-sufficiency. He served as a board member of BPSOS from September 1996 to March 2002.

On November 30, the New Orleans Times-Picayune endorsed Cao in an editorial,[24] while on its op-ed page columnist James Gill stated that Jefferson’s reelection "is not going to happen."[25] The prospect of a serious general election in the heavily African American and Democratic 2nd district was startling, as the last Republican to represent the


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
district was Hamilton D. Coleman, who left office in 1891.[26] Cao’s candidacy received the endorsements of the Alliance for Good Government,[27] the Family Research Council’s Action PAC,[28] Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand,[29] Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal,[30] Democratic City Council members Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson and Stacy Head,[31] and singer Pat Boone.[32] In the final days of the campaign Democrats Helena Moreno, who was defeated by Jefferson in the Democratic primary runoff election, and former District Attorney Harry Connick, Sr., endorsed Cao and recorded telephone messages to be played to voters.[29] New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had announced his support for Jefferson during the Democratic primary elections. The New Orleans Gambit Weekly, citing its opposition to Jefferson’s alleged corruption and to Cao’s noncommittal statements on embryonic stem-cell research, made no endorsement.[33]

Joseph Cao
simultaneous election in Louisiana’s 4th congressional district and Obama’s non-involvement in efforts to support Jefferson.[38]

CNN, at 10:20 PM CST of the election day, projected Cao to win.[39] Complete unofficial results on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s web site showed Cao with 33,122 (49.55%), Jefferson 31,296 (46.82%), Kahn 548 (0.82%), and Rahim 1,880 (2.81%).[40] Jefferson won by 23,197 to 20,246 in Orleans Parish, where 21 of the 392 precincts showed zero votes for Cao.[41] Cao, however, more than made up the difference with a margin 12,696 to the incumbent’s 8,099 in Jefferson Parish.[42] A post-election map analysis by the Times-Picayune showed the election result as having depended on higher turnout in the precincts favorable to Cao.[43] After speaking by telephone 4 days after the election, on December 31, 2008, Wednesday, Jefferson and Cao met cordially at the home of New Orleans’ Liberty Bank CEO Alden McDonald to discuss the transition. [44]

At first, Jefferson, as indicated by the New York Times on the day after his winning the Democratic nomination, was "heavily favored" to win against a Republican challenger.[34] The campaign was characterized by what Jefferson’s campaign called "overly negative" tactics on behalf of Cao’s campaign by outside organizations, such as the National Republican Congressional Committee. References were made to Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s removal of Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee and entailed what USA Today termed a "barrage"[35] of automated telephone calls, including from a woman who identified herself as "Katy" and who cited Jefferson’s federal indictment on 16 counts of corruption. In a meeting of African-American ministers, Reverend Samuel Butler claimed the reason was to "disenfranchise" African-American voters, which motivated Cao advisor and former New Orleans City Council member Bryan Wagner[36] to reply: "with Rev. Butler’s imagination, he may want to go to work for Walt Disney."[37] On December 6, the Times-Picayune reiterated its endorsement of Cao, pointing to President-Elect Barack Obama’s efforts on behalf of Democrat Paul Carmouche in the

Significance declared Cao’s victory one of America’s "Top 10 Political Upsets" of 2008.[45] Cao’s win rendered the 2nd District by far the most Democratic district in the nation to be represented by a Republican; the district has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+28.[46] Cao’s victory over a tainted incumbent became a cause for celebration among many in Louisiana. As stated by Jeff Crouere in his column Ringside Politics, "The victory strikes a major blow against the reputation of Louisiana as a corrupt state."[47] Contrasts to a virtually simultaneous event—the allegation that Illinois continued to be corrupt as its governor, Rod Blagojevich, was trying to benefit personally by selling a U.S. Senate seat—were inevitable.[48] House GOP members were particularly vocal in their glee over Cao’s defeat of the Democrat. Among many other statements, House minority leader John Boehner asserted Cao’s win as "a symbol of our future" in a memorandum with "The Future Is Cao" as its subject line.[49]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Cao
of global warming that we have to address."[52] Cao, whose personal relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle is thought to be amicable, was invited to a White House reception on April 23, 2009, at which time Cao presented the President with a letter requesting $490 million for post-Katrina restoration of New Orleans’ Charity Hospital (FEMA had offered $150 million). Cao invited Michelle Obama to visit New Orleans before the end of the crawfish season in June 2009. He also spoke with Vice President Joe Biden and met White House social secretary Desiree Rogers.[53]

Congressional career

California Congressman Ed Royce and his wife welcoming newly-elected Congressman Joseph Cao and his wife outside Cao’s office Despite the tardiness of the election date, Cao was able to set up his office and staff and to gain committee assignments for the 111th Congress. The anomaly of the election of a Republican from a strongly Democratic constituency ensured an unusual amount of limelight for the generally quiet and self-effacing new U.S. representative. On Tuesday, March 24, 2009, just 11 weeks to the day after he was sworn in as a new member, Cao delivered his first speech on the House floor—a statement supporting a bill by California Democrat Linda Sanchez to express congressional support of Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.[50] Cao, with the support of congressional Republicans who collectively had an entitlement to 40 percent of earmarks for federal projects, soon set about to "bring home the bacon" for his district. His requested projects totaled $1.2 billion, approximately three times the average for the other six members of Louisiana’s U.S. House delegation. Support by Louisiana’s Democratic United States Senator Mary Landrieu and by lobbyist and former United States Representative Bob Livingston rendered several of the projects credible for congressional approval and set up a situation in which Cao could claim credit for them among voters who liked them and, among voters who disapproved, could disavow credit for them as being the work of someone else.[51] Cao has also shown interest in environmental issues, saying in a meeting at Loyola University New Orleans on April 16, 2009: "I recognize there is an issue

The late date of Cao’s election meant that he inherited Jefferson’s office, 2113, in the Rayburn House Office Building, despite the difference in seniority. Writing in the Times-Picayune, Jonathan Tilove observed the historicity of 2113 in the Rayburn Building due to its being, as Jefferson’s former location, the only congressional office ever raided by the FBI.[54] By the middle of February 2009 Cao had hired most of his staff.[55] In April 2009 Cao’s district staff moved into what was reputed to be—by Kenner, Louisiana, mayor Ed Muniz—"Kenner’s first-ever office for a sitting congressman." The office was formerly a storeroom in Kenner’s Community Services Department at 624 Williams Boulevard (LA 49).[56]

Committee assignments
After confirmation by the House Republican Conference, Cao was assigned to the Homeland Security Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.[57] • • Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response • Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight • • Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management • Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials


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Joseph Cao
them, whereupon columnist James Gill commented: This is most odd, for these ministers never impersonate shrinking violets. It would be hard for anyone to forget meeting them.[62] After Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issued an opinion that the state cannot recall federal officials, Butler and Young announced that they would pursue the matter in the federal courts.[63] Gill, immediately jumping on this new twist in the plot, asserted that Young would certainly know how to get to federal court, because he has been to federal court several times, most recently when Judge Lance Africk gave him permission to fly to Washington for President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Young couldn’t leave this jurisdiction without Africk’s say-so because he is on probation, having gotten out of the joint late last year. Africk sent him down in 2006 after he pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud and identity theft.[64] Gill concluded that Wagner’s not knowing Young could be explained by the latter’s having been "detained elsewhere" during the early stages of campaign planning.[65] On March 1, 2009, the Times-Picayune reported that Obama had tried to reach Cao on his cellphone prior to the vote on the stimulus package but was unsuccessful; Cao acknowledged that Obama "might have been persuasive" with a "concrete commitment" to help the 2nd district and New Orleans.[66] Cao averred that the Obama administration’s $410 billion omnibus spending bill for the final 7 months of Fiscal Year 2009 (ending September 30, 2009) "would provide important benefits for his 2nd Congressional District" and became one of 17 Republicans voting in favor of that bill.[67] Before the Cao-recall petition, a separate petition had been started to recall New Orleans City Councilwoman Stacy Head, who is white but represents a predominantly black constituency after defeating Jefferson protégé Renée Gill Pratt in 2006. Head, a Democrat, supported Cao in the election on December 6, 2008. James Gill had a field day

Interest in Congressional Black Caucus
From the outset of Cao’s congressional service, his relationship to the Congressional Black Caucus remained uncertain. George Mason University political scientist Michael K. Fauntroy described Cao’s expressed interest in joining as "a very smart move": It sends a message to black voters in his district that, even though he’s a Republican, he is doing more than just paying lip service to the history of the district. . . . I don’t expect it to work out, but if it doesn’t, to me the caucus will look bad on this.[58] Ever sensitive to the demographics of his district where Democratic President Barack Obama is especially popular, Cao told the Times-Picayune that the new president should receive a letter grade of "A" for his first 100 days in office. Cao cited as his reason for such a high mark Obama’s "working with us in this whole recovery process" (in reference to Hurricane Katrina).[59]

Recall drive
Among the bills which came to the floor during Cao’s first days in Congress, Cao voted against the Obama Administration’s economic-stimulus package. Cao justified his votes on expressed dissatisfaction that his 2nd congressional district of Louisiana ranked dead last among the 435 congressional districts in outlays provided by the legislation even though the district was one of the most seriously damaged by hurricanes. His vote provoked a petition to recall Cao, which formally began on February 16, 2009. Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and other Louisiana officials, as well as congressional analysts, perceived it as having little or no prospect of succeeding.[60] Although the petition collected over 13,000 signatures on the first day, it needs over 100,000 within 180 days to fulfill Louisiana requirements, and Congress has never removed, and has no constitutional provision for removal of, a member because of constituents’ recall.[61] Several leaders of the recall campaign, specifically the Reverends Samuel Butler and Toris Young, claimed to have been supporters of Cao, but Cao and his campaign manager Bryan Wagner asserted never to have met


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in his column on March 18, 2009, defending Head’s support for Cao and asserting that allegations against Head as a racially motivated politician in supporting Cao (who also is not white, but asiatic) were "half-witted" because "Jefferson . . . is morally unfit for any public office"; Gill concluded: It is probably a mistake to believe any of the complaints coming from the people pushing the recall, except for one. And that’s as plain as the nose on your face.[68]

Joseph Cao
Shaun Donovan, Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon, and other federal, state, and local officials on a tour of damaged areas in New Orleans, including the campus of Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), where the group was led by SUNO President Victor Ukpolo.[77]Eleven days later, on March 16, Cao again visited the SUNO campus, pledging full support of Ukpolo’s mission to rebuild the campus.[78] The seguing event on Cao’s agenda during the same day was a fund-raising cocktail party at the home of bankers Stephen and Dana Hansel at which the admission contribution was $1000 a person and an unexpected guest was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich[79] who was en route to lead a discussion in James Carville’s political science class at Tulane University.[80] The Times-Picayune, in an editorial on 2009 March 19, praised Ukpolo and Cao in their efforts to secure funding for restoration of SUNO’s campus.[81]

FEMA critic
On February 25, 2009, Cao grabbed headlines by announcing that his staff members were investigating the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) office in New Orleans. Cao, whose aversive relationship with the agency had started during his time as a community activist for victims of Hurricane Katrina, accused FEMA of a host of malfeasance charges, including "widespread complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, ethics violations, nepotism and cronyism."[69] Cao conveyed his concerns to the Obama administration’s Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who promised that "we will obviously follow up."[70] The next day Cao’s call for the resignation of Doug Whitmer, head of FEMA’s New Orleans office, was bolstered by United States Senator Mary Landrieu,[71] whereupon the story spread on CBS News.[72] Popular reaction quickly pervaded New Orleans blogsites, one of them calling its discussion FEMA having a Cao.[73] On February 27, 2009, acting FEMA Director Nancy Ward replaced Whitmer with Tony Russell, theretofore an administrator in FEMA’s Denver office.[74] Ward stripped Jim Stark of his immediate responsibilities for Louisiana’s FEMA district, leaving him as FEMA assistant administrator for Gulf Coast recovery. Cao had also been critical of John Connolly, FEMA chief for Gulf Coast public assistance, whom Stark cited as his source of information on "how much public-assistance money FEMA should approve for local projects" (in a congressional hearing with Cao on February 25, 2009).[75] Connolly was previously with FEMA’s Philadelphia office, and Cao asked rhetorically, "How many times has Philadelphia been hit by a hurricane?"[76] On March 5, 2009, Cao joined Napolitano, Jindal, Housing and Urban Development Secretary

Re-election prospects
According to AP reporter Kevin McGill, paraphrasing longtime New Orleans political consultant William "Bill" Rouselle, Cao "will have his work cut out for him."[82] Greg Giroux of CQ Weekly described Cao’s victory as a major upset in a staunchly Democratic district. He’ll probably be branded by Democrats as an “accidental congressman” and surely will be vigorously opposed for re-election in two years.[83] In his presumed quest for reelection Cao has been adamantly encouraged by Wagner, who, as described by Times-Picayune columnist Stephanie Grace, asserts that Cao can win reelection if he staffs key positions with African-Americans and emphasizes service to constituents. Grace quoted Wagner as saying that, if Cao focuses on the needs of the people he represents, they "aren’t going to care whether the congressman is black, yellow or blue."[84] In his final column of 2008, John Maginnis, naming Cao’s election as one of eight reasons why the year was one of the "most eventful" in Louisiana political history, asserted that Cao’s "electoral future is uncertain but not untenable."[85] Political watchdog C.B. Forgotston said he assumed that the Democrats would regain the seat in 2010


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
First Ballot, October 20, 2007 Candidate Reed S. Henderson Mark Madary "Mike" Bayham Clay Cosse Anh "Joseph" Cao "Rob" Ruffino Affiliation Democratic Republican Republican Republican Independent Democratic Support 1,376 (21.61%) 1,188 (18.66%) 1,154 (18.13%) 1,144 (17.97%) 895 (14.06%) 609 (9.57%)

Joseph Cao

Outcome Runoff Runoff Defeated Defeated Defeated Defeated

Second Ballot, November 17, 2007 Candidate Reed S. Henderson Mark Madary Candidate Anh "Joseph" Cao Bill Jefferson Others Affiliation Democratic Republican Affiliation Republican Democratic n.a. Support 3,143 (52.37%) 2,858 (47.63%) Support 33,132 (49.54%) 31,318 (46.83%) 2,432 (3.64%) Outcome Elected Defeated Outcome Elected Defeated Defeated

once the majority party unites behind a new candidate free of the scandal associated with Jefferson.[86] On March 19, 2009, Times-Picayune analyst Stephanie Grace averred that Cao will defeat Jefferson if Jefferson is somehow Cao’s opponent in the congressional election of 2010.[87] As of April 17, 2009, Cao’s fundraising lagged that of all other Louisiana U.S. House incumbents.[88] On April 29, 2009, "Cao’s New Orleans office was being visited by a small group of protesters complaining that Cao had not supported Obama’s economic program in Congress," Cao himself in Washington was one of eight Republicans to join Democrats in sponsoring hate-crimes legislation and one of just a handful of Republicans to vote for it.[89] On May 23, 2009, Cao attended a $500-admission fundraising event staged for him by California Republican U.S. Representatives Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher in Garden Grove. On the same day, in Orange County, Cao attended a forum on U.S. policy toward Vietnam. Cao and Royce both serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where earlier in the month Cao had supported Royce’s successful attempt to attach, to 2009 Foreign Relations authorization bill, an amendment seeking to return Vietnam to the U.S. State Department’s "countries of particular concern" because of religious-freedom violations.[90]

Electoral history
Louisiana State Representative, 103rd Representative District, 2007[91] Threshold > 50% U. S. Representative, 2nd Congressional District, 2008[91] See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2008

[1] Michelle Krupa and Frank Donze. "Anh ’Joseph’ Cao beats Rep. William Jefferson in 2nd Congressional District" (The Times-Picayune, December 6, 2008, Saturday, 11:40 PM CST, for paper publication the following day). [2] "The Candidate" by Michelle Krupa, Times-Picayune, December 8, 2008, p. A2. See also Jersey Village, Texas. [3] Halloran, Liz (December 10, 2008). "Once Snubbed By GOP, Now Hailed As Its Future". National Public Radio. story.php?storyId=98079271. Retrieved on December 10, 2008. [4] Greg Giroux, "Republican Wins Upset Victory over Indicted Louisiana Congressman" in CQWeekly, December 15, 2008, p. 3374.


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[5] "After Katrina, Vietnamese Become Political Force in New Orleans." [6] "Should Congress Have a Cao?" by Quin Hillyer. While Cao and his family were at the Convention, the Cao home had been flooded by Hurricane Gustav. They spent much of the campaign living with friends while their home was repaired. [7] Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors membership accessed December 8, 2008. Each parish has a Board of Election Supervisors established in the Revised Statutes 18:423 of the Louisiana Election Code. The Louisiana Secretary of State web site displays an easier-to-read analysis of the duties of the Parish Boards of Election Supervisors. Cao was appointed to the Board by Governor Bobby Jindal. [8] "The Candidate" by Michelle Krupa, Times-Picayune, December 8, 2008, p. A2. [9] MQVNCDC "About Us" web site. Observe the photographs of then-Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis and the demonstrations against the landfill. [10] PoliticsLA Cao article, which lists various facts about Cao’s background. [11] "Q & A: Rep. Larry Kissell and Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao". C-SPAN. January 11, 2009. ?ProgramID=1213. Retrieved on January 16, 2001. [12] The parents stayed, during their trip to swearing-in ceremony, with a daughter, Thanh Cao Tran, who had fled simultaneously with her brother Anh "Joseph" Cao from Vietnam in 1975 and who now lives in Falls Church, Virginia. Jonathan Tilove, "Cao Makes Splash as Congress Sworn In" (Times-Picayune, 2009 January 7, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A5), retrieved January 6, 2009. For many years Cao either could not or did not keep in regular contact with his father. His mother was permitted to visit the father just five times during his 7 years of captivity in the communist reeducation camp. Released from captivity, the father had post-traumatic stress disorder and diabetes and hardened anticommunist feelings but is reticent in Vietnamese and knows very little English, as reported by CNN. [13] For the Parish Board of Election Supervisors, the Louisiana Secretary of

Joseph Cao
State lists Cao’s address as 4371 Murano Road, New Orleans, LA 70129-2646, the telephone number being (504) 368-0491. See Mapquest and Google Maps. [14] Peter Finney, "Mr. Cao Goes to Washington as First VietnameseAmerican in Congress" reported by the Catholic News Service on December 16, 2008. [15] Jonathan Tilove, "Cao Makes Splash" also cited supra. [16] For Cao’s pragmatic and Kierkegaardian reasons for departing his quest to be a priest, see Neely Tucker, "The Possible Dream: Louisiana’s Historic New Congressman Seems to Surprise Everyone but Himself" from the Washington Post, December 30, 2008 (retrieved January 6, 2009). Tucker notes that Cao spent part of his seminary training at the home of his sister in the District of Columbia suburbs. Cf. the "Family" section concerning Cao’s sister in Falls Church, Virginia. In the January 5, 2009, Times-Picayune (Metro Edition, pp. A1, A4), Jonathan Tilove ("Cao’s Star Already Rising in D.C.") termed Neely’s Washington Post "Style Section" article on Cao "a grand and glowing profile . . . the likes of which most members of Congress can only dream of" (retrieved January 12, 2009). [17] For an explanation of the term "boat people" with respect to refugees from the Vietnam War, see the "Vietnamese boat people" article. For information on Boat People SOS (BPSOS) per se, see the BPSOS web site. [18] 2006 successful opposition to landfill. [19] "Katrina: Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson Used National Guard to Retrieve Belongings" by James Joyner. [20] Dave Walker, Helena Moreno Leaves WDSU, Times-Picayune, 2008 March 03 (accessed 2009 May 02). [21] "A Troubling Bayou Tradition" by Bret Schulte in U.S. News & World Report, 2005 October 2. [22] Michelle Krupa, "Newcomer Hopes to Unseat Jefferson: Republican Lawyer Vows to Restore Ethics," Times-Picayune (New Orleans), December 1, 2008, pp. A1, A4. Most of the print article is at index.ssf?/base/news-12/


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Joseph Cao

1228112427291090.xml&coll=1 [32] Krupa, Michelle; Donze, Frank (accessed December 1, 2008). (December 4, 2008). "Sea of early New [23] Michelle Krupa (with Frank Donze), "2 Orleans voters dries up". The TimesCandidates Offer Alternative Views," Picayune. Times-Picayune, December 2, 2008, pp. index.ssf/2008/12/ A6, A7. sea_of_early_new_orleans_voter.html. [24] "Cao for Congress". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. November 30, 2008. [33] "For Congress: No Endorsement". Gambit Weekly. December 1, 2008. index.ssf?/base/news-5/ 122814421340360.xml&coll=1. Content?oid=oid%3A46918. Retrieved Retrieved on December 20, 2008. on December 20, 2008. [25] Gill, James (November 30, 2008). "Polls [34] "Louisiana: McCain" in New York Times, Apart". The Times-Picayune. 2008 November 06 (accessed 2009 May 05). index.ssf?/base/news-0/ [35] Associated Press (December 7, 2008). 6, 1228028660197320.xml&coll=1&thispage=1. 2008-jefferson-cao_N.htm "Voters oust Retrieved on December 20, 2008. indicted U.S. Rep. Jefferson". [26] Nossiter, Adam (December 7, 2008). "History and Amazement in House Race Outcome". The New York Times. election2008/December 6, 2008-jefferson-cao_N.htm. Retrieved on politics/08cao.html?_r=1. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. December 20, 2008. [36] Wagner is Cao’s political mentor. [27] "United States Congress - 2nd District". According to Tilove ("Cao Makes Splash" Alliance For Good Government. 2008. also cited supra), "Pop" is the term Cao uses in referring to Wagner. node/39. Retrieved on December 20, [37] Krupa, Michelle (December 5, 2008). 2008. "Tension rises as finale nears in 2nd". [28] PR Newswire (November 3, 2008). "FRC The Times-Picayune. Action PAC Endorses Joseph Cao for Congress". index.ssf?/base/news-12/ 1228458313204360.xml&coll=1&thispage=1. 20081103/03nov20081102.html. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. [38] "Why today’s election matters". The [29] ^ Krupa, Michelle; Donze, Frank Times-Picayune: p. B4. December 6, (December 6, 2008). "Anh ’Joseph’ Cao 2008. beats Rep. William Jefferson in 2nd stories/index.ssf?/base/news-5/ Congressional District". The Times1228544712295490.xml&coll=1. Picayune. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. index.ssf/2008/12/ [39] "Louisiana Election Results for the U.S. jefferson_cao_in_dead_heat.html. House". December 7, 2008. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. [30] Josh Kraushaar, "Holy Cao, Republican results/individual/#mapHLA/H/02. Defeats Jefferson" from The Scorecard: Retrieved on December 20, 2008. The Latest Campaign News and Analysis [40] "Louisiana Secretary of State Multion the Battle for Congress, Category Parish Elections Inquiry". Louisiana Louisiana for December 6, 2008. Secretary of State. December 6, 2008. Kraushaar speculates that Jindal may have waited until 2 days before the cgibin/?rqstyp=elcms2&rqsdta=120608. election to gain certainty as to whether Retrieved on December 20, 2008. These Cao had a serious opportunity. results remained the same on becoming [31] See Jackie_Clarkson#Election_history "official" after promulgation by the and Stacy Head#Mayor’s outlook & Jefferson Parish Board of Election Jefferson factor. Supervisors, the Orleans Parish Board of


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Joseph Cao

Election Supervisors, and the State congressional district ended in 1935. Board of Election Supervisors. Besides numerous examples during the [41] "Louisiana Secretary of State Election Reconstruction era and its aftermath, in Results by Precinct U. S. Representative, the 20th century black Republicans 2nd Congressional District Orleans Edward Brooke, Gary Franks, and J. C. Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Watts represented largely non-black December 6, 2008. constituencies in Congress. [47] "Holy Cao, Louisiana Makes History". cgibin/ Daily Star (Hammond, Louisiana): p. 4A. ?rqstyp=elcmpct&rqsdta=1206081451906336. December 16, 2008. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. [48] Willis, Mary (December 12, 2008). "Sign [42] "Louisiana Secretary of State Election of a New Start?". Times-Picayune: p. B6. Results by Precinct U. S. Representative, [49] Grace, Stephanie (December 14, 2008). 2nd Congressional District Jefferson "Gleeful GOP mobs Cao bandwagon". Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Times-Picayune: p. B5. cgibin/ 2008/12/ ?rqstyp=elcmpct&rqsdta=1206081451906326. gleeful_gop_mobs_cao_bandwagon.html. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. Retrieved on December 20, 2008. On [43] "How Cao Did It" (JPG). March 27, 2009, Boehner participated in December 2008. a fund-raising effort for Cao in New news_impact/2008/12/CAO120908.jpg. Orleans (Jonathan Tilove, ’Future is Cao’ Retrieved on December 20, 2008. author visits, Times-Picayune, 2009 [44] McDonald and fellow Jefferson March 28, Saint Tammany Edition, p. supporters Rev. Mr. Tom Watson and A2). Jefferson’s campaign manager and [50] In the speech, which was broadcast on Cformer chief of staff Eugene Green Span, Cao said, of Vietnam War attended the December 31, 2008 veterans: meeting. With Cao at the meeting was I am pleased that I, a direct former Appeals Court Judge David beneficiary of their service, can take Williams. Jonathan Tilove, " Cao’s Star part . . . in this historic event. Already Rising in D.C." (Times-Picayune, The bill passed. Cao’s speech had been January 5, 2009, Metro Edition, pp. A1, written by his Legislative Director, A. A4; URL retrieved January 11, 2009). Brooke Bennett. (Jonathan Tilove, Cao [45] Alexander Burns, "Top 10 Political speech honors Vietnam veterans, TimesUpsets of 2008" posted December 29, Picayune, 2009 March 25, Saint 2008 retrieved January 7, 2009. Cao was Tammany Edition, p. A4 [web version supposed to be interviewed on Fox accessed 2009 March 26]. See also Jorge News’ Hannity & Colmes but was A. Maspons, Vietnam vet applauds repeatedly bumped by news stories speech, Times-Picayune, 2009 March 28, related to Rod Blagojevich and Caylee Saint Tammany Edition, p. B4.) Anthony. Cao was, however, interviewed [51] Jonathan Tilove, Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao on C-SPAN, broadcast January 11, 2009. seeks heaping helping of pork; earmark See "Dance Cart a Little Too Full for Cao requests top $1 billion, Times-Picayune, on Fox News Show" (retrieved January 2009 April 16, pp. A1, A3. Livingston 12, 2008) in Times-Picayune, January 11, represented the adjoining First 2008, Metro Edition, p. A10. Congressional District of Louisiana from [46] Before Cao, the last Republican to 1977 to 1998. represent a majority African-American [52] Cao, quoted in Molly Read, Carbon congressional district was white attorney credits may fund coastal work, TimesWebb Franklin for Mississippi’s 2nd Picayune, 2009 April 17, Saint Tammany congressional district from 1983 to 1987. Edition, pp. C6-C7. The quotation The last black Republican to represent a appears on p. C7. Web version = district with an African-American Wetlands restoration touted at panel majority was Oscar Stanton De Priest, discussion on climate change. Cf. Bruce whose career representing Illinois’ 1st


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Alpert, l Louisiana has much at stake in debate to reduce greenhouse emmissions [sic, Times-Picayune, 2009 April 16. [53] Jonathan Tilove, Cao hands Obama letter on Charity, Times-Picayune, 2009 April 24, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A4. [54] Jonathan Tilove, " Cao’s Star Already Rising in D.C." (Times-Picayune, January 5, 2009, Metro Edition, pp. A1, A4; URL retrieved January 11, 2009). [55] "Cao Settles on Legislative Director" in Times-Picayune, January 11, 2009, Metro Edition, p. A10; Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove, "Cao Rounding Out Washington Staff" in Times-Picayune, February 8, 2009; Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove’s "Tulane Law Graduate Gets Job with Cao" in Times-Picayune, February 1, 2009, p. A12. [56] Cao carves out space for Kenner constituents, Times-Picayune, 2009 April 19, Metro Edition, p. A17 (for web version go to Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove’s "On the Hill" and scroll down). [57] Gerard Shields, "Lawmakers Get Assignments" in the Advocate (Baton Rouge) (accessed January 12, 2008); cf. the earlier article by Jonathan Tilove, "Cao Learns Which Panels He’ll Get" in Times-Picayune, January 9, 2008 Metro Edition, p. A4, which mentioned Cao’s desire to take the seat previously occupied by Jefferson on the Ways & Means Committee, which would have been a long shot for a freshman; instead, Charles Boustany, a Republican reelected from Louisiana’s 7th congressional district, was assigned to Ways & Means. [58] Fauntroy, quoted by Jonathan Tilove in the Times-Picayune, December 19, 2008, p. A15 (Tilove’s entire article "Cao Tries to Crack Black Caucus" appears on pp. A1 and A15 of the Saint Tammany Edition). [59] Jonathan Tilove, "Obama’s first 100 days are graded on a curve" in TimesPicayune (New Orleans), 2009 April 29, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A6 (the Cao quotation appears twice on p. A1); web version = Louisiana’s congressional delegation grades President Obama’s first 100 days from A to L. [60] Jonathan Tilove, "Effort to recall representative faces long odds" in Times-

Joseph Cao
Picayune, February 19, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A3. [61] Michelle Krupa, "Recall reports 13,000 signees" in Times-Picayune, February 20, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A4. See also Bob Warren, Recall petitions face big obstacles in Times-Picayune, February 21, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B5. [62] James Gill, "Ministers are on a political mission" in Times-Picayune, February 25, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B7. [63] Group Says It Will Seek Cao Recall In Federal Courts, WDSU-TV Channel 6, New Orleans, March 5, 2009 (accessed March 6, 2009). [64] Cao critic has own worries, TimesPicayune, March 8, 2009, Metro Edition, p. B5. [65] Gill, Ibid. Gill returned to the Toris Young theme on 2009 April 29 in a column titled "Pastor’s works must be taken on faith" (Times-Picayune, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B5). [66] Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove, Cao phone too busy for the president, TimesPicayune, March 1, 2009, Metro Edition, p. A13. [67] Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove, Cao on board with Demo spending bill, TimesPicayune, March 1, 2009, Metro Edition, p. A13. [68] James Gill, Of all the accusations against Stacy Head, only one sticks -- she’s white, Times-Picayune, 2009 March 18, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B5. A petition to recall the mayor of nearby Mandeville, Louisiana, amidst an unrelated controversy failed in February 2009; see the article on Eddie Price Jr. The petition to recall Head likewise failed to meet its statutory deadline (Frank Donze & Michelle Krupa, "Head hunters miss the mark in recall attempt" in TimesPicayune, 2009 May 09, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B3). [69] Jonathan Tilove, N.O. recovery office probed: Employees’ complaints crippling, Times-Picayune, February 26, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A6. [70] Tilove, ibid. [71] Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove, Landrieu, Cao call for FEMA official’s resignation; Jonathan Tilove & Bruce Alpert, FEMA office chief is urged to quit, Times-Picayune, February 27, 2009,


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Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A13; Gerard Shields, N.O. FEMA chief should resign, Landrieu, Cao say, Advocate (Baton Rouge), February 27, 2009, p. 1A, 4A (web version = Landrieu, Cao: N.O. FEMA chief should resign). Cao additionally called for the resignation of Jim Stark, director of FEMA’s Louisiana office. [72] La. Sen. Landrieu Demands FEMA Resignation. [73] "Fema having a Cao" on [74] Gwen Filosa, Local FEMA leaders reassigned: National chief in N.O. probing complaints, Times-Picayune, February 28, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A8. [75] Filosa, February 28, 2009, p. A8. [76] Cao, quoted in Filosa, February 28, 2009, p. A8. [77] John Pope & Katy Reckdahl, Obama aides vow to speed recovery, TimesPicayune, March 6, 2009, pp. A1, A9. Allen M. Johnson Jr., 2 Cabinet members tour N.O., vow to boost recovery, Advocate (Baton Rouge), March 6, 2009. [78] John Pope, Cao vows to help SUNO’s recoveryCao vows to help SUNO’s recovery: FEMA rejects plan for move to high ground, Times-Picayune, 2009 March 17, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B3. [79] Jonathan Tilove, Gingrich backs Cao at fundraiser: He offered support after improbable win, Times-Picayune, 2009 March 17, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A4. [80] Bruce Nolan, Gingrich attacks federal bailouts: GOP leader addresses students at Tulane, in Times-Picayune, 2009 March 18, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A1. [81] Drier, higher ed, Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2009 March 19, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B6 (web site accessed 2009 March 19). [82] McGill paraphrased Rouselle in McGill’s Louisiana Spotlight column titled "Can Giant-Killer Cao Repeat?" in the Daily Star (Hammond, Louisiana), December 23, 2008. [83] Greg Giroux, Republican wins upset victory over indicted Louisiana congressman, CQWeekly, December 15, 2008, p. 3374. [84] Wagner, quoted by Grace, in "GOP Advisor Never Gave Up on Cao" in the Times-Picayune, December 23, 2008, p. B7.

Joseph Cao
[85] John Maginiss, "Louisiana Made Its Share of History in ’08" ( 12/louisiana_made_its_share_of_hi.html accessed December 31, 2008), TimesPicayune, December 31, 2008, p. B5. Of Maginiss’ eight reasons, two of the others also involve Cao: the demise of the Jefferson family and the gain of two U.S. House seats formerly held by Louisiana Democrats (see Bill Cassidy). [86] "Richard Fausset, "’In Louisiana, an unlikely victory makes history", December 9, 2008". Los Angeles Times. nation/na-cao9. [87] Much of Grace’s commentary is her allegations that Jefferson’s supporters have been attempting to rehabilite Jefferson by sending thousands of emails attacking Cao, U.S. Senator David Vitter, radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, and other Republicans but that still Jefferson’s quest for acquittal is the challenge of a lifetime. And no matter how many e-mails his remaining "friends" send out, vindication in the eyes of the voters will be even tougher. (Stephanie Grace, Rehab a tall order for Jefferson, TimesPicayune, 2009 March 19, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B7 [accessed 2009 March 19].) See also the article on Jefferson’s future election prospects. [88] Jonathan Tilove, Cao’s fundraising lags peers, Times-Picayune, 2009 April 17, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A4. [89] Jonathan Tilove, Hate crimes bill gets Cao’s vote, Times-Picayune, 2009 April 30, p. A9. [90] Bruce Alpert & Jonathan Tilove, Congressman has audience in California, Times-Picayune, 2009 May 24, Metro Edition, p. A7. The Orange County Garden Grove area has one of the United States’ highest concentrations of people who fled Vietnam. [91] ^ "Election Results". Louisiana Secretary of State. 153/Default.aspx. Retrieved on December 20, 2008.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States House of Representatives Preceded by William J. Jefferson

Joseph Cao

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Incumbent from Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district January 3, 2009 – present • Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission • Campaign contributions at • Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart • Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues • Staff salaries, trips and personal finance at • Congressional profile at • Profile on Sourcewatch Congresspedia • Profile from • Frank Donze’s December 2, 2008 TimesPicayune article on William J. Jefferson’s reelection campaign. • In New Orleans, beyond black and white politics from LA Times • Vietnam-born lawyer wins US poll from BBC News

See also
• • • • • • • Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson Stacy Head William J. Jefferson Helena Moreno Ray Nagin Victor Ukpolo Bryan Wagner

External links
• Congressman Joseph Cao official U.S. House website • Joseph Cao for Congress official campaign website • Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress • Voting record maintained by The Washington Post

Retrieved from "" Categories: 1967 births, Living people, American activists, American Roman Catholic politicians, Baylor University alumni, Community organizers, FEMA critics, Fordham University alumni, Jersey Village High School alumni, Louisiana lawyers, Louisiana Republicans, Loyola University New Orleans alumni, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana, Naturalized citizens of the United States, People associated with Hurricane Katrina, People from Ho Chi Minh City, People from New Orleans, Louisiana, Roman Catholic activists, Vietnamese-American politicians, Vietnamese community activists, Vietnamese immigrants to the United States, Vietnamese refugees, Vietnamese Roman Catholics This page was last modified on 24 May 2009, at 20:37 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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