Several decades worth of coverage of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee suggests she’s behaved badly on planes – and on automobiles – before this week’s incident.
The latest airplane drama came this week when a United Airlines passenger said she was booted from her first class seat to accommodate the Texas Democrat, who shot back by saying the only reason the woman complained was because Jackson Lee is black.
But previous reports show the House member, who was elected in 1994, has had a history of transportation drama, including berating flight attendants on first class flights and making her Congressional staff drive her one block, while waiting on her for hours and disrupting traffic.
She’s been documented calling her employees ‘you stupid motherf***er,’ while referring to herself as Congressional royalty.
‘You don’t understand. I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen,’ she was quoted saying in 1998, three years into her nearly 23-year tenure on Capitol Hill.
In 2002, the Weekly Standard did a deep dive into her travel demands.
The congresswoman, the article noted, lived about ‘200 paces’ from her Cannon Building Capitol Hill office, though still insisted on a ride.
On December 6, 2001, a blue Ford Contour with government plates pulled up to her apartment building where it idled for 23 minutes, blocking rush hour traffic in the meantime on one of Capitol Hill’s busiest streets, the Weekly Standard said.
When the congresswoman appeared an aide opened the car’s doors for her and waited while Jackson Lee stood outside the automobile to take a phone call.
Then an awkward moment ensued when Jackson Lee stared her staffer down until the congresswoman’s jacket and shawl were removed.
In a 2011 article in the Daily Caller drivers for the lawmaker said she demanded that they run red lights and on highway shoulders – antics that caused one accident.
Jackson Lee was screaming at a staffer to drive faster when the aide turned too sharply and ran the car into a wall, the Daily Caller reported.
While her time was precious, staffers’ testified theirs was not.
‘Whatever time she told me to be there, I would always show up at least 20 minutes later, and expect to wait at least 45 minutes,’ one of Jackson Lee’s drivers told the Daily Caller. ‘She was making me wait in the car, sometimes upwards of five to seven hours per day.’
Idling the car so much started to damage its engine.
‘My mechanic friend said, “you know, your car looks like you’ve driven it twice the miles you have,”‘ the staffer said.
Before this week’s United debacle, Jackson Lee had a tense relationship with Continental, the Houston-based carrier that merged with United in 2010.
Jackson Lee’s staff would book seats on multiple flights for her week-end trips back to Houston, allowing the congresswoman to pick the trip that would best fit her schedule.
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