Sheila Jackson Lee Gives a Pretty Incredible Defense for Profanity-Laced Tirade at Staffers

We wrote Saturday about the disturbing leaked audio of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), a candidate in Houston’s crowded mayoral race, going off in a profanity-laced, belittling tirade on two staffers, an undated recording her campaign alleges was purposely released, possibly by her main opponent, State Sen. John Whitmire (who is also a Democrat), ahead of the start of early voting.

For those who missed it, listen below. Language warning applies here:

As noted above, the initial response by her campaign was to blame Whitmire operatives along with “political conservatives.” But on Monday night, Jackson Lee herself issued a statement responding to the leaked tape, giving a pretty incredible defense of her remarks in the process (bolded emphasis added by me):

“I want to convey to the people of Houston that I strongly believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that includes my own staff. I know that I am not perfect. I recognize that in my zeal to do everything possible to deliver for my constituents I have in the past fallen short of my own standards and there is no excuse for that. I am passionate about serving my constituents. I want the best for all of them.
At heart, I am someone who tells it straight. I know that as much as that is a strength, it can sometimes be a challenge to balance. But when I fall short, I want the people I represent to know that it is because I’m standing up for them – not me. To anyone who has listened to this recording with concern, I am regretful and hope you will judge me not by something trotted out by a political opponent, that worked to exploit this, and backed by extreme Republican supporters on the very day that polls open, but from what I’ve delivered to Houstonians over my years of public service.
Many staff have worked in my office and many of them have gone on to bigger and better opportunities, and others as well have returned to work with me again. Interns in my office leave with actual constituent service and legislative experience. I want each of them to know that the work we accomplish would never be possible without their hard work and dedication. Working as a public servant is demanding, but it is my calling. I expect excellence at all times and I know that it is because of their commitment that I am able to fulfill my duties as an elected official. I will never forget the debt of gratitude I and so many others owe them.”

Here’s what she wants people to get out of that: I apologize for being guilty of caring too much about making sure my office runs efficiently on behalf of my constituency, so as not only to better serve them but also my staff, whose knowledge base I want to help grow for when they move on to those bigger and better opportunities.

What utter hogwash. 

As we also previously reported, Jackson Lee has developed a reputation on Capitol Hill as being one of the worst members of Congress to work for if not the worsthaving among  “the worst [staffer] retention levels” in Washington, D.C. according to LegiStorm:

Including representatives who left at the end of the 117th Congress, Democrats made up seven of the top 10 member offices with the highest turnover rates. Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) had the worst staff retention, losing aides at 4.2 times the House’s average.
Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) rounded out the worst retention rates among representatives who are still in office.

In 2014, The Washingtonian named her the “meanest” Democrat in the House.

Jackson Lee isn’t sorry she treated her staffers the way she did. She’s just sorry she got caught.

While it’s anyone’s guess who wins the upcoming mayoral race, one thing that can be reasonably predicted is that by the time it’s all said and done, Houston will likely still be run by a Democrat. The only question is will Houston voters finally have the good sense to retire this woman, who has also allegedly demanded her staffers treat her like a “queen,” once and for all?

As always, stay tuned…

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