More Congressional Black Caucus scholarship nepotism

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) provided thousands of dollars of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) scholarship funds to his stepdaughter and niece. The funds are not derived from federal tax dollars, rather private donations filtered through the CBC.

Bishop’s excuse … the CBC did not have any rules excluding family members from receiving the scholarships back in 2003 and 2005.

From Politico, with a hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

In 2003, Emmaundia Whitaker, the niece of Vivian Creighton Bishop, who is Bishop’s wife, was awarded an education scholarship. She was also given a similar award in 2005.

And in 2003, Aayesha Owens Reese, the congressman’s stepdaughter, was granted an education scholarship as well.

The congressman’s wife, is a longtime state employee in Georgia. She currently serves as clerk of the municipal court in Columbus, Georgia.

A Bishop spokesman insisted the Georgia Democrat did not violate CBC Foundation rules that were in place at that time by awarding scholarships to family members.

“It is our understanding that the CBC Foundation in 2008 revisited the guidelines and processes for its scholarship programs, and as such included language to clarify that CBC family members are not eligible to receive the scholarships,” said Ashton McRae, Bishop’s spokesman, in a statement released by the office. “These scholarships … were awarded prior to 2008.”

Bishop’s nepotism did not stop at handing out scholarships to family members. Aayesha Owens Reese (Bishop’s stepdaughter) and her husband were hired by a youth program funded by a federal earmark (pork) sponsored by Bishop. Reese also worked for working in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office last year, we’re not sure what she did. This is a Howie Carr hack-o-rama extravaganza!

Public service…

Bishop was also caught up in a scandal in 2009 when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation began a probe into whether a youth program operated by Muscogee County Marshal’s Office improperly spent federal funds after it hired Bishop’s stepdaughter and her husband. Bishop had earmarked more than $190,000 for that youth program.

Reese and her husband, Stephen, were paid more than $14,000 by that program, although they lived in the Atlanta area, more than 100 miles from Columbus, where the program operated.

The GBI later ruled that the hiring of the pair was legal.

Of course it was legal. That’s the thing with ethics abuses, they can be legal and smell really bad.

An update from Politico concerning Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-Texas) nepotism. I guess all is forgiven now, we’ll see what happens come election day.

Johnson (D-Texas) repaid $31,000 to the foundation last week after the Dallas Morning News reported that she had steered 23 scholarships to relatives and the children of a top staffer.

Posted in

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. ctrefugee on September 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Only pay up when you're caught. Otherwise its not a crime. Creed of the "Most Ethical Congress…"


  2. PatRiot on September 10, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I am unfortunately certain this affliction is more widesoread than this Caucus.

    It seems like breaking the law (and not getting caught) is a prerequisite for alot of positions. And if you can weasel out of presecution, well then kudos to you.  

    A sad state of affairs and poor role modeling for our youth and an unfortunate truth. 

    Again, I prefer the ugly truth over the beautiful lie.

    Makes you wonder if lottery winners are not so random.

  3. Dimsdale on September 10, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Congresscritters of any background tend to become necessarily corrupt over time, particularly in the congressional "good old boy/girl" networks, where it is "I won't rat you out if you don't rat me out" ("rat" being the operating word here).  Remember the abuse of the franking privileges?


    The new members are probably cleaner, but succumb over time.  I call it Congressional Stockholm Syndrome.

  4. NH-Jim on September 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    All I want to know is when will one of my aunts or uncles become a congressperson so that I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car, paying my mortgage, my kid's college education?…Hey, it will be the most memorable time of my life.

  5. Dimsdale on September 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    NH-Jim: I recall that electing Øbama was supposed to get you all that!

  6. chris-os on September 12, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Agree with Pat.

    I was once told that sometime after your second re-election, a sense of "entitlement" settles in. True for municipal, state or national office holders.

  7. Dimsdale on September 14, 2010 at 5:52 am

    No third terms, no fat pensions or health care plans, minimal pay.  No titles after their term is over.  Do your service and get out.


    We have to poison the roots of the ruling class.


The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.