Joseph Cao, Congressional Representative from Louisiana has an independent streak and won’t buckle down to Republican Party rhetoric. As seen in this video on the day of his landmark election in December 2008, this lawyer hopes to represent his community even in areas that aren’t considered Republican today.
On November 7, 2009, Cao, a lawyer and the first Vietnamese Representative in the history of the United States, demonstrated his willingness to break from the Republican Party rhetoric by voting for a landmark healthcare reform bill. While progressives suspect the bill will be a boon to the healthcare industry rather than the reform it had hoped, Cao’s break sharpens points of difference between the teabagging Constitutionalist Party leaning Republicans from more moderate voices who might be willing to consider a different definition of conservative.
Cao, who ran as independent in a previous election, was the first Republican to win this district since Reconstruction. As the Representative of a majority black community, Cao had asked to join the Black Caucus but was denied.