Guy Benson
Sheila Jackson Lee is a Democratic Congresswoman from Houston.  She is also, apparently, an abusive, monstrous person to work for.  Below, I've excerpted just a few shocking nuggets from Jonathan Strong's lengthy expose on the boss from hell, as described by current and former staffers (content warning):


Profanity and insults -

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas also hands out nicknames to the people who work for her. The Houston Democrat addressed one of her employees as “you stupid motherfucker.” And not just once, but “constantly,” recalls the staffer, “like, all the time.”

Another Jackson Lee aide recounts the time her parents came to Washington to visit: “They were really excited to come to the congressional office. They’re small town people, so for them it was a huge deal. They were actually sitting in the main lobby waiting area….[Jackson Lee] came out screaming at me over a scheduling change. Called me a ’stupid idiot. Don’t be a moron, you foolish girl’ and actually did this in front of my parents, of all things.”

Unreasonable taskmaster -

“You worked really, really, really late for her. When she was in town, you were in the office. So that meant, two, three, four o’clock in the morning – we were there,” one former staffer said.

“She liked to hold her staff meetings — she would individually pull in the deputy chief of staff, myself and some other people individually to go over different parts of her day. But she would literally wait until super late at night. None of us could go home, because she wouldn’t tell when she was coming back or if she wasn’t. And if she called and you didn’t answer, it was like World War III,” the source said.

Jackson Lee’s designated driver picks her up at her apartment one block from her office each morning and waits for her outside wherever she goes throughout the days and nights.

Running on empty -

Even though she delays others for hours, Jackson Lee won’t wait a second for her demands to be met. “She expected you to run – all the time,” says a former staffer. “There was no walking. Nobody could walk, you always had to run – everywhere. She viewed walking as being lazy, so everyone always had to run.”

Another former aide added that the congresswoman would clock her on how long it took her to run an updated schedule print-out from Jackson Lee’s office in the Rayburn building to the House floor. “She would actually physically time you in terms of from office to getting to the [House] floor and finding her, hunting her down,” the staffer said. Then Jackson Lee would demand, “what took you so long?”

Christmas Cheer -

On Christmas Eve, one staffer was at a midnight mass ceremony at her church. When the boss called, the staffer didn’t answer. “She got so irritated that I wasn’t answering her call on Christmas Eve. So she called me every minute for 56 minutes,” the source recalled.

Race-baiting -

Due to the proximity of the Treasury Department’s headquarters to the White House, Secret Service officers told the driver not to park there. After an argument with the agents, who kept telling the driver to back off, Jackson Lee finally emerged from the building.

As the car drove away, a Secret Service van flashed its lights behind them. “Keep driving,” Jackson Lee told her staffer. Ultimately, the driver pulled over in defiance of the boss’s wishes. At this point, Jackson Lee emerged from the car, screaming, “I’m Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee! Who do you think you are?” to a team of Secret Service agents.

Jackson Lee accused the “white” agent at the gate of racism, claiming she wouldn’t have to deal with “this stuff” when Barack Obama became president.


Targeting black aides -

Given Jackson Lee’s apparent touchiness on racial questions, there’s a certain irony in the fact that aides claim she is far harsher to the African Americans who work for her. “’You stupid mother-effer’ was like a constant,” says one. “Like, all the time. But the interesting thing is she would really project that behavior more towards her African American staffers. She would have other ethnic groups in the office, like interns or whatnot. But it was really her African American staffers who she felt comfortable enough to really curse out…. This is something we always talked about. We chalked it up to her just feeling more comfortable acting out her aggression toward a certain group of people versus others.”

“She is very strange in who she insults and how. For some reason, it seemed like she was racist against African Americans,” another said.


Hoarder and control freak -

Staffers describe Jackson Lee as a hoarder. For example, she keeps over twenty boxes of the book “Black Americans in Congress” in her office, hundreds of copies in all. From time to time, she adds new copies of the same book to her collection.

Aides who’ve worked for Jackson Lee for years will call her on her cell phone and, despite the caller ID on her blackberry, she invariably answers, “This is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.” When getting into the car in the morning, she will give her aide directions to the Rayburn building one block away, even if the aide has been driving her there every morning for months or years.


When I recommend that you read the whole thing, I truly mean it.  Someone whose behavior is this tyrannical and heinous deserves to be publicly shamed.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography