Sheila Jackson Lee has been a congresswoman for over 20 years. However, she acts far more like an arrogant monarch than a humble servant of the people.
The Texas Democrat has regularly abused her power and position to demand and receive special treatment from private companies, demean and harass subordinates, and reap untold benefits of being “The Queen.”
When her abusive behavior comes to light, Jackson Lee often claims her opponents are racist.
Jackson Lee’s most recent abuse of power comes at the expense of teacher Jean-Marie Simon who was allegedly bumped from her first class seat when Jackson-Lee demanded it. Simon was given a voucher for her flight by United and moved to the economy section. On her way to the back of the plane, Simon saw Jackson Lee occupying her seat.
In a Facebook post, Simon says she spoke with a congressman who said Jackson-Lee regularly poaches seats from other passengers.
“I was the last passenger on the plane. A Texas congressman, a nice guy, sat down next to me. He said was glad I had made it on the flight. I showed him my boarding pass with my seat, 1A, printed on it. He said, ‘You know what happened, right? Do you know who’s in your seat?’ I said no. He told me that it was Jackson Lee, a fellow U.S. congresswoman who regularly does this, that this was the third time he personally had watched her bump a passenger.”
In response to the accusation, Jackson-Lee called Simon racist, saying the teacher caused a stir “because I was an African American woman.”
Along with being a teacher, Simon is a celebrated photojournalist who helped document human-rights abuses in the third world.
This is not the first time that Jackson Lee has claimed privilege while flying.
A well-documented report from the beginning of her congressional service shows that Jackson-Lee would regularly demand first class upgrades and throw temper tantrums when she did not get specialty items and treatment.
Once when Continental Airlines did not have a seafood meal option in first class Jackson Lee reportedly had a meltdown saying:
“Don’t you know who I am? I’m Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Where is my seafood meal? I know it was ordered!”
Daily Mail reporter David Martosko tweeted his experience with Jackson Lee on an airplane flight on Tuesday, saying, “I saw Sheila Jackson-Lee on a domestic flight two years ago. While I was walking back to coach, she was throwing a hissy fit in First Class over why the steward had to gate-check her carry-on. (It was too big to fit in the overhead.) She threw a tantrum worthy of a 3-year-old.”
This is certainly not the first time that Jackson Lee has thrown tantrums when she did not get preferential treatment — and then claimed racism when she received bad press over the incident.
According to a thorough 2011 Daily Caller report on Jackson Lee’s antics, the congresswoman once allegedly requested to be driven through an area that the Secret Service said was off limits. When the Secret Service stopped Jackson Lee’s vehicle, she claimed it was because the “white” officers were racist. (The officers were Hispanic.)
A former staffer recalls one revealing episode during the height of the financial crisis in the waning months of the Bush administration. Jackson Lee demanded a meeting with a top Treasury aide, even though she did not sit on any of the committees with jurisdiction over financial matters. As her car pulled up outside the Treasury, Jackson Lee told her driver to park directly outside the door.
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. She then filed a formal complaint with the Secret Service, which prompted an investigation. A Treasury official later explained that the accusation had been dismissed because the agent in question was Hispanic, not white.
In a 1997 visit to NASA, Jackson Lee reportedly asked if the Mars Rover that NASA had landed on the planet had located the American flag planted on the surface. No astronaut has ever been to Mars, and when the embarrassing anecdote was reported, Jackson Lee claimed it was a racist attack.
“You thought you could have fun with a black woman member of the Science Committee,” was her defense in a letter to the editor.
Jackson Lee once tried to close down an entire hallway in her congressional office building so she could have a private meeting with Michael Jackson. According to reports:
One day in March of 2004, Jackson Lee told colleagues on her hall in Rayburn that the corridor would be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate her visit from Michael Jackson. The House Administration Committee promptly informed her that she had no authority to close a public hallway.
Jackson Lee’s alleged abusive treatment of those around her should come as no surprise to those who have followed her career. The congresswoman reportedly regularly abuses subordinates and staff.
According to accounts from former staffers, Jackson-Lee would berate staffers, calling them names like “You Stupid Motherf***er.”
Those former staffers claim she was physically abusive, threw cell phones at staff and demanded unsafe driving while being chauffeured, which allegedly resulted in at least one car accident. She would reportedly demand staffers go to the market and buy garlic supplements for her at 2AM and would be furious with them if her demands were not met.
“You don’t understand. I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen,” she allegedly once told a member of her staff.