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25 September 2010

CNN's Anderson Cooper Says Sanford Bishop Scholarship Scandal Stinks

Friday, a new report from the Associated Press highlighted even more instances of nepotism and cronyism from the office of 2nd district Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop (D - Albany).

Bishop earlier this month repaid the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation $6,350 to cover the cost of scholarships that he provided to his stepdaughter and niece. The nonprofit foundation receives funding from corporate sponsors to help fund the education of needy students.

Now the circle of people known to have received scholarships and have connections to the Bishops is growing, raising fresh criticism from a government watchdog group and questions from charity officials. Public documents and interviews show that two scholarships went to the children of individuals who were employed by Bishop's wife, while two more went to persons with connections to the congressman's office.

"Those scholarships were intended to go to smart, needy kids," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "It wasn't supposed to be a matter of cronyism."

Henry, Ray (2010-9-24). Scholarships went to people tied to Ga. lawmaker. Associated Press. Retrieved on 2010-9-25.

These new revelations prompted CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to say the following on the September 24th edition of his show, Anderson Cooper 360:

". . .the more we scratch away at this, the more this whole thing stinks."

A few weeks ago, the re-election campaign of Sanford Bishop blamed this entire controversy on Republican Mike Keown.

"This is about nothing more than Mike Keown scoring cheap political points by attacking Rep. Bishop and his family," campaign spokesman Tim Turner said in a statement. "To Mike Keown, apparently nothing is off-limits, even attacking someone’s family.

Keefe, Bob (2010-9-10). Rep. Bishop under scrutiny for scholarships to family. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-9-25.

Who knew Anderson Cooper was moonlighting on the side for the Keown congressional campaign.