By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Kids these days: Well, if that isn't just about the saddest thing ever. We're talking about U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, who has spent much of the past two weeks being raked over coals after The Dallas Morning News reported that she arranged for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to award $31,000 in scholarships to two of her grandchildren, two great-nephews and two children of an aide.
How disheartening to see Johnson try to explain that she didn't quite grasp the "ambiguous" anti-nepotism rules for the scholarships before finally admitting that she didn't consider two of her grandchildren to be part of her "immediate family." Just picture it: a grandmother living on a fixed government income—an income north of 200 grand a year, grant you, but still—facing the heat and paying back the money while the real culprits escaped blame.
We're talking about those two grandchildren, of course.
Now, perhaps there are some young people reading this column—not likely, but possibly—who don't grasp Buzz's point. Well, youngsters, in our day, we had a thing called etiquette. Back when, if Grannie violated clearly written rules to send a chunk of change your way, she'd damn sure consider you part of her "immediate family," and you can bet that the rest of the family would make certain Grandma got a proper "thank you" for it.
Of course a grandma's liable to get confused by all those newfangled "rules." That's what grandkids are for: to mow Grandma's grass, program her TV remote, pick up her prescriptions and explain how to avoid violating basic ethical standards. All Buzz is suggesting is that a proper thank you note and a call might have jogged Johnson's obviously addled brain and spared her much embarrassment, assuming she's capable of being embarrassed. But today's youths are too busy with their Myface pages and sending each other cell-phone photos of their hoo-hahs to stop by the Hallmark store.
And Buzz isn't just talking through our hat etiquette-wise here. We checked with Wanda Sykes-Moore, owner of Royal Court School of Etiquette in The Colony, who assured us that a proper thank you is still de rigueur when Grandma loots a scholarship fund ("Loot" is Buzz's word, by the way, not Sykes-Moore's. We couldn't get her to say anything discourteous, naturally enough.) A call, at least, is required, a short letter or card to follow up is classy, and a hug and a kiss is best, Sykes-Moore said. But Buzz supposes hugs and kisses are too much for Johnson to expect, and that's the saddest thing in this whole situation.
OK...maybe the second saddest.
If I robbed a bank and got caught...all I have to do is give the $ back and then I would not be prosecuted? I do not think so! And those grand kids...they signed the papers saying they were not related AND lived in that district...which they did not! What a FINE example their grandma is to them and other young people. She needs to be prosecuted just like you and I would be!!!
This woman has been all about herself for years.
Glad that her self serving,Stanley Marcus bed warming A$$ is finally being called out.
Poor Eddie Bernice. Political figure, grandmother, champion of all that is south Dallas. Can't blame her for seizing an opportunity to help her family, immediate or not, but rules are rules. I'm quite sure she would not hesitate to lambaste anyone else who used and abused their political connections to better friends or families lives. She is not above all others, grandma or not, and must suffer whatever consequences come from her faux pas. Whatever credit she may have with those in south Dallas, she needs to fess up and bite the bullet on this one.
When people are in Congress too long they tend to develop a mythological sense of the world as they want to see it. Even if they don't have an entitlement mentality to begin with , they end up with one. Fact is that you can spend other peoples money only for so long before you begin to get used to it.Time for a change grandma. Back to reality.
EBJ has three college degrees and she knows nothing about nothing.How do dumb asses like her get college degrees I would like to see her transcripts. I believe a Rhodes Scholarship is next up on the agenda. I bet she was a real wiz bang in the classroom. She doesn't have time to read the Legislation she passed or respond to e-mail's from her consituents so she obviously doesn't have time to be a Congresswoman. (VOTE HER OUT!!!)
Let's see.......how many crooks have been caught on the city council ? I think we got another one !!!
This saddens me beyond words for I have long respected the devotion with which Ms. Johnson has served the community. What is equally sad is that w/all of the recent 'festivities'[Don Hill & friends], Ms. Johnson failed to observe or heed the wheels of accountability— Darwinism @ its absolute finest.So very, very sad.
Ms. Johnson is a very poor representative of anyone, and certainly not qualified to even be a candidate as a U.S. Representative. I personally contacted her 3 times via her U. S. Representative site and did not receive any reply at all. The 2nd and 3rd times, I asked if anyone in her office would contact me if she was busy or out of town-- still not a word was heard. Now, with her ridiculous claim that she didn't understand the terms of the scholarship proves that she is unqualified for any role of representation. I'm disappointed in her and embarrassed that she claims to be so ignorant. Vote this simpleton OUT.
Sniff, sniff... What is that I smell? Ahhh the sweet smell of change! Eddie Bernice Johnson is a crook and a liar and it is time for a changing of the guard. Vote for Pastor Stephen Broden, District 30 in November.
Stephanie dear, I'm sure you mean well, but while we're on the subject of etiquette, you might consider that referring to your fellow voters as "poor minorit(ies) whose vote can be purchased by being kept on the continuance of the government dole" is, shall we say, not the very best way to persuade them to support your candidate?
The problem is that Stephen Broden is an even worse candidate than EBJ, and he seems to get campaign money from a bunch of Highland Park residents. Why these folks are funding a Glenn Beck conspiracy theorist in a different district...oh, never mind.
Sorry, but regardless of legalities, this is unethical. As a public official, she knows it is in her best interest to avoid ANYTHING that remotely smacks of wrong doing. She even directed the money be paid directly to her grand children rather than to the school. If this action does not raise red flags for Ms. Johnson, I fear she may well be crookeder than dog's hind leg. Just saying...
for those that say that you cant afford to send your kids to school, that is no excuse, they can go. There are plenty of options available, sacrifces to make, if an education is a priority you or your children/grandchildren would do what it takes to make that happen, even if it is bending a few rules.
The issue is not the system, its where your priorities lay.
I'd like a thank you note too since I helped put her relatives through college and can't afford to put my own children through college because I only make a fraction of what she's making.
What about the grandchildren (college students) lying on the application? This makes the grandmother a lier and a cheat and the grandchildren liers and cheats also....I guess EBJ is getting them ready for a life of Politics...or Crime...wait...I just said that.
She was a crook going in. She only got a hand slap from the Federal Election Commission for her creative campaign financing when she was first elected to office years ago - after she drew her own district as part of the state redistricting committee.
I'm a grandmother of eight. Two of the grandchildren are adopted, and one is a step-grandchild. However, I consider ALL eight to be my immediate family members, and I love them equally, blood related or not. EBJ is a crook and a scam artist. While some of her constituents may consider her to be a "savior" of the black community, this situation reminds me of the South Oak Cliff H.S. principal and coach who knowingly played ineligible students in order to win a state championship. Their excuse was that "the community needed to feel good about itself". Baloney! Just as those two stole a championship (which luckily was finally awarded to its rightful owner), this woman stole opportunities from deserving youngsters in her district who might have been able to attend college with the money she illegally put in the pockets of her family members. Another example of arrogance and greed. Her attempts to circumvent the problem by giving lame excuses have only revealed how pathetic those attempts are. I'm sure the two graandchildren she doesn't consider to be part of her immediate family love her dearly for her generosity.
While your observation put a giggle in my throat, I am appalled that this crook has been allowed to continue representing the 30th District. I am a resident of the 30th, and while I am not a poor minority whose vote can be purchased by being kept on the continuance of the government dole -- I am still, a voter.
Her behavior is nothing new; check out the blind trust of the book business at Love Field along with her three female votes on the City Council that voted in her favor by voting down tenant bidding for locations there.
The time has come to pick up the gauntlet and vote her out of office. This can be done by placing your vote for Stephen Broden in November.