Bishop saga takes another twist

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

WASHINGTON -- In the latest twist involving Rep. Sanford Bishop, Jr., D-Albany, and the questionable awarding of Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships to relatives or people associated with his wife, Vivian, a Black conservative organization has jumped into the mix.

Timothy F. Johnson, Chairman and Founder of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, yesterday announced that the foundation would offer a $5,000 scholarship to any student who applied for a CBCF scholarship through Bishop, and was denied. The FDF said an unnamed supporter has committed the funds to help students in need.

Bishop's office has acknowledged awarding scholarship money to relatives and those with connections to staffers in his office. He has since repaid the CBCF $6,350, and the foundation has amended its rules to prohibit the practice.

"Congressman Bishop should be ashamed at himself for funneling scholarship money to relatives and friends, instead of those students in his district who need them most," Johnson said. "And in order for the Frederick Douglass Foundation to truly put our money where our mouths are, we're offering a $5,000 scholarship for any student who comes forward from Congressman Bishop's district and can prove they were denied a CBC scholarship."

The Frederick Douglass Foundation is a Black, conservative faith-based organization, which, according to its web site, focuses on "public policy and educational organization which brings the sanctity of free market and limited government ideas to bear on the hardest problems facing our nation.

"We are a collection of pro-active individuals committed to developing innovative and new approaches to today's problems with the assistance of elected officials, scholars from universities and colleges and community activists."

The Herald is currently awaiting a response from Bishop's office to the FDF offer and will update this report when it becomes available.