Scratch one House race

October 24, 2010

Yeah, when you say the violent overthrow of the government of is one of the options “on the table,” you’ve pretty much disqualified yourself as a reasonable candidate by any stretch of the imagination.

Sigh. And I had so hoped to see corrupt oligarch Eddie Bernice Johnson kicked to the curb.

Thanks a lot, Rev.


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus? Part two

September 8, 2010

A follow-up to this story:  It seems Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was a lot more directly involved than she has admitted in funneling scholarship money meant for poor children to her own relatives:

Letters bearing Eddie Bernice Johnson’s signature ask that scholarship money be sent directly to her grandsons

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson apparently asked the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to send scholarship checks directly to her two grandsons and two great-nephews, rather than to their colleges.

Johnson has insisted repeatedly that she left scholarship decisions to aides.

But two letters she sent the foundation from 2006 undermine claims that she wasn’t involved in obtaining $31,000 for her relatives and two other ineligible recipients.

Neither her aides nor the foundation responded to repeated requests to discuss the letters, which were obtained separately by The Dallas Morning News and by Johnson’s GOP challenger, Stephen Broden, who released them Tuesday.

But the letters suggest a far more direct role for the Dallas Democrat than she acknowledged in the last week after revelations by The News that she awarded at least 23 scholarships to her relatives and the children of a top staffer – in violation of the foundation’s nepotism and residency rules.

“There have been statements made by Congresswoman Johnson that she was oblivious to the process and that she was sort of detached from it and was not involved in the detail,” Broden said. “We see here that she was orchestrating how the checks should be made out.”

The letters are on Johnson’s U.S. House letterhead. They bear a fax stamp from her Dallas office and a signature that appears to match hers from previous correspondence unrelated to the scholarships.

Oh, my. What’s that hand doing in the cookie jar, Eddie?

As Ed Morrissey puts it, if you’re going to be a crook, don’t leave a paper trail.

As a reminder, you can help clean up Dallas politics by donating to Congreswoman Johnson’s opponent, the Reverend Stephen Broden.

LINKS: More from Pajamas Media.

EDIT: Forgot to include the link to the Dallas Morning News story. D’oh!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus?

August 30, 2010

First Charlie Rangel, then Maxine Waters, and now Eddie Bernice Johnson:

Longtime Dallas congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has awarded thousands of dollars in college scholarships to four relatives and a top aide’s two children since 2005, using foundation funds set aside for black lawmakers’ causes.

The recipients were ineligible under anti-nepotism rules of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which provided the money. And all of the awards violated a foundation requirement that scholarship winners live or study in a caucus member’s district.

Johnson, a Democrat, denied any favoritism when asked about the scholarships last week. Two days later, she acknowledged in a statement released by her office that she had violated the rules but said she had done so “unknowingly” and would work with the foundation to “rectify the financial situation.”

Initially, she said, “I recognized the names when I saw them. And I knew that they had a need just like any other kid that would apply for one.” Had there been more “very worthy applicants in my district,” she added, “then I probably wouldn’t have given it” to the relatives.

Uh-huh. Sure. We’re to believe a Representative who’s been in office for almost 20 years, chaired the CBC, and sat on the board of this foundation didn’t know that giving money to her grandkids and the children of her aide -none of whom lived in the district- violated the rules? That there were no children from poor families in her district who were better qualified? None?

I bet she promised to respect her constituents in the morning, too.

I’ll grant that corruption is a bipartisan problem (Remember Duke Cunningham?), but it does seem the CBC has more than its fair share. (Let’s not forget a former member, William ‘Icebox” Jefferson)

The problem has nothing to do with their ethnicity, of course, and everything to do with a sense of entitlement born of being in DC far too long, in which “public service” becomes “the public serves me.” Combine control over money with a sense of “I make the rules, so I can break them,” and this is what you get: a politician who thinks of herself as a modern day aristocrat, not a public servant.

Corruption, I think, is also more a problem with modern social liberalism, with its emphasis on government solutions by concentrating money and its distribution in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, creating temptation. Again, “If the money is mine to distribute, what does it hurt if a little of it goes to help my own?” Nothing, except for gutting the belief that anyone else outside of the well-connected few has a fair shot at it. To the extent that CBC members are almost all social liberals (at least) and statists, it shouldn’t be surprising that these problems keep showing up among its members.

The solution, of course, is to replace oligarchs like Johnson, Rangel, and Waters with genuine representatives who will treat public money as a public trust, not a private piggy bank. And, while I’ve been opposed to term limits for legislators in principle, this is another in a long series of incidents that’s slowly changing my mind: if the problem is caused in part by being in Washington too long, then perhaps we should limit how long a person can stay there.

LINKS: More from Hot Air. Moe Lane points out that Congresswoman Johnson not only diverted money to her own family, but helped create her own district. An oligarch, indeed. Her opponent in November is the Reverend Stephen Broden. Perhaps we can all help clean up Congress by sending a little money his way.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)