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Another Day, Another Member of the Congressional Black Caucus In Trouble

If this is true, and it sure sounds like it is, how much lower can you get than this? From the Dallas Morning News:

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.

Her handling of the scholarships puts a rare spotlight on the program and how it is overseen. Caucus members have great leeway in how they pick winners and how aggressively they publicize the awards. Some lawmakers promote the program online, for instance, while Johnson does not.

Philanthropy experts said such lax oversight of scholarship money doesn't match the standards for charities.

The foundation – which is supported by private and corporate donations, not taxpayer money – provides $10,000 annually for each member of the Congressional Black Caucus to award in scholarships. Each gets to decide how many ways to split the money and whether to create a judging panel, choose personally or delegate the task.


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Reader Comments (3)

Come on, everyone knows its George Bush's fault, jus ak Obomba !!!

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgiaDawg

'Had there been more "very worthy applicants in my district," she added, "then I probably wouldn't have given it" to the relatives.'

1.2M people, %25 under 18, 1 in 18 college age, 50% applicants yields 8500 kids in Dallas going to college per year.

And she can't find 10 who are more worthy than her grandkids???

Q: How can you tell when a CBC member is lying?
A: Their lips are moving.

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgeMasonIV

Typical congressperson. Rules are for other people, not them.

BTW, Pundit, I kept clicking at bottom of story so I could rest for awhile, but more of that story popped up before I was fully rested.

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHorsebutt

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