I remember when I joined the Congressional Black Caucus back in 2011. The funny thing was when a reporter asked me if I was qualified to be a member of the CBC. My response was simple, I assessed that the only qualifications were to be black and in Congress.
It was a very interesting experience, knowing there were some who flat out despised my being there. But there were some very good memories…such as working with fellow Florida Representative Corinne Scott-Brown to have the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Montfort Point Marines. They were the first black Marines, and that ceremony, where I was honored to give a short address, was memorable.
However, there were other memories that were not so fond such as the extravagant spending for lunches. I remember the time when the CBC lunch rotation fell to me…and it wasn’t gonna be any Maryland sea food. Instead, we ordered Chick-fil-A and there was not a single crumb left. It was hilarious when another Florida Representative, Alcee Hastings, complained to some news reporter. The lesson learned from the “conscience of the Congress” — more like “convicts of the Congress” such as “Cold Cash” Jefferson, Jesse Jackson Jr., and of late, Chaka Fatah and Corinne Scott-Brown — is that extravagance was a modus operandi. Sadly, the constituents of the CBC are rarely privy to such exquisite living.
And apparently it’s still going on.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, “The Congressional Black Caucus PAC (CBC PAC) spends lavishly on upscale resorts and hotels, catering at exclusive restaurants, and on fundraising and Broadway tickets, according to a review of campaign finance records.
The CBC PAC, which is the fundraising arm of the Congressional Black Caucus, puts far more money towards administrative and fundraising purposes than it donates to candidates, the intended purpose of the political action committee.
The CBC PAC claims its mission is to increase “the number of African Americans in the U.S. Congress” and to “support non-Black candidates that champion our interests, and promote African American participation in the political process-with an emphasis on young voters,” according to its website.
The PAC spent hundreds of thousands throughout the 2016 election cycle on administrative expenses that included bills for lavish trips that were paid by the committee. A $5,000 payment was made in January 2016 from the PAC to the Buccaneer Hotel located in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, one of the “world’s top 50 tropical resorts.” Later, on March 21, 2016, the PAC made another payment to a resort in the Virgin Islands. This time, the money went towards a stay at the “one-of-a-kind” Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa also located in St. Croix. The Renaissance is situated “among the foothills of a lush tropical rainforest and only steps away from the pristine sands of Estate Davis Bay.”
The PAC spent $820 on taxicabs while in the Virgin Islands. More than $2,000 was spent at Sweeny’s St. Croix Tours in the town of Christiansted, considered “the most beautiful town in the West Indies.” Sweeny’s provides an open-air bus for its guests as they embark on safari tours of the island. More than $4,500 was also spent by the PAC on catering at Un Amore, an Italian restaurant. The group’s largest expenses were made in New York and Washington, D.C. The Conrad Hotel, a luxury all-suite hotel located in New York City, is a favorite of the PAC, which spent in excess of $40,000 at the venue throughout the last election cycle. Another favorite of the PAC, the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., that “plays home to dignitaries, royalties, and refined travelers alike,” received more than $18,000 in payments from the committee.”
Jeepers, that’s a real expensive “conscience.” Now, I know a little about having a Political Action Committee. Back in 2011 we established the Guardian Fund PAC, whose continuing mission is to get more conservative minorities and veterans into elected office. Let’s just play hypothetical for a moment — can any of you just imagine if our PAC had extravagant expenditures like those aforementioned?
Boy howdy, would the liberal progressive media be going bonkers, in total apoplectic meltdown mode — and I mean worse than Kellyanne Conway having her knees on the Oval Office couch. Yes, the Guardian Fund would be all over the network news and camera crews would be following me 24/7.
Now, ask yourself, will there be any investigation or similar actions as to pursue this story? So how many black candidates got no support due to the lavish lifestyle and travel idiosyncrasies of the CBC PAC?
Currently the CBC Chairman is one Rep. Cedric Richmond out of New Orleans Louisiana…he holds the congressional seat once occupied by Rep. “Cold Cash” Jefferson. Do you think Richmond, who was so brazen as to testify in the U.S. Senate against the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, will be asked to step down? Or will the previous chairman, Rep. GK Butterfield, have to face any type of congressional inquiry?
I think y’all get my point, the hypocrisy continues to be disturbing, yet laughable. The double standard continues to be so very blatant that it’s unconscionable to believe the liberal progressive left is held to any standard. CBC member Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York’s 8th Congressional District was so bold as to state that if the CBC met with President Donald Trump, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon should not be allowed to attend the meeting.
Rep. Jeffries used that tired old line about Bannon being a racist. There is a parable in the Bible where Jesus Christ provides this sage counsel in, Matthew 7:5 (NIV), “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I recommend Rep. Jeffries first removes the forest of trees from the eye of the CBC PAC before considering the speck in anyone else’s.
Let’s follow this story and see if anyone elaborates, but most importantly, will anyone be held accountable? Knowing what we know about the progressive socialist left, they’ll spin this into a “move along, nothing to see here” dismissal. Kinda like all the ranting from the left about Russian involvement in the Trump administration and election…but nothing about the three Pakistani boys who were masquerading as IT specialists for several Democrat House members, and accessed classified information.
As Spock would say, “Fascinating.”