What to do with William Jefferson.
Oy. Just when you're starting to get a little traction on the whole "culture of corruption" thing, a guy from your own team is filmed stuffing bags of cash (marked with dollar signs?) into the trunk of his car. It matters little that this has nothing to do with institutional practices the GOP have instituted that have turned Congress into a cash enterprise, a place where for a few quid you get a lot of pro. Everyone will recall mainly that he stored $90k of the booty in his fridge, like Tony Soprano.
If Dems are smart (which would be a first), they'd excoriate this guy and use him as a part of their effort to clean up Congress. While the GOP are going to make massive hay about how everyone's doing it, that strategy may not win votes. After all, when Americans are pissed at entrenched power and wanna throw out the bums, the party who is entrenched has a lot more to lose. But Dems have to get ahead of the story and use it as a further example of how the ruling elites in Washington sell lawmaking to the highest bidder. Using one of your own as an example of what's wrong with the system actually gains credibility.
Because the GOP are in fact corrupt, and do in fact take bags of cash to pass legislation (at the back end, of course, legally, in the form of tax cuts and other legislative kick-backs), they have a lot more to lose and will naturally try to block any reform--thus exposing the very culture of corruption they hope to conceal with a coordinated campaign aimed squarely at Jefferson-defending Dems.
So don't defend him.
[Update. Quite a lot of chatter about this. John Cole, a righty who is appalled by the corruption of his erstwhile party, has particularly insightful comments here. The FBI raided Jefferson's office in Washington, an act so baldly partisan it has freaked out even the GOP. See Avedon for some comment on this (she's satisfyingly outraged). As to my suggestion that Dems shouldn't defend Jefferson, Mark Kleiman and Kevin Drum appear to agree.]