Crockett questioned retiring U.S. Rep. Johnson’s wealth, longevity before scoring her endorsement

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A video surfaced Monday of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s choice to replace her in Congress in which she questioned Johnson’s personal wealth, support of the 1994 crime bill and her nearly three decades representing Dallas’ 30th Congressional District.

“We have a congresswoman here in Texas… who has been in that seat for 28 years, ever since they created that seat,” state Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, said during a sprawling, two-hour interview on the podcast Barbershop Conversations that was posted in August of 2020. “She was the first elected Black woman to the Texas House. She has been an elected official for the last 47 years. By education she is an RN. Somehow she is a multimillionaire. I want to say she’s worth approximately $12 million at this point.”

Financial records show that most of Johnson’s assets are in a blind trust and worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

Crockett then pointed out that Johnson was still an ardent defender of the 1994 crime bill, which progressives and many Democrats contend contributed to the mass incarceration of Black and Hispanic people.

Good Morning All!Check this appalling video out where a newbie to our state legislature, Jasmine Crockett, has the audicity to publicly question the integrity of Congresswoman Eddie Berniece Johnson, who has devoted her life to public service and has done good work for us! She doesn’t deserve to be criticized like this by ANYONE, especially a barely elected State Representative, whose still wet behind the ears and could not get ONE SINGLE PIECE of legislation passed during her abbreviated term as the state representative of District 100! I’m embarrassed for Congresswoman Johnson! We must do a better job of picking our elected officials! We should not allow people we don’t know and who don’t know us, to represent us! Shame! Shame! Shame on you Jasmine Crockett!!

Posted by Ocie Kazee on Monday, January 10, 2022

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“She’s been a public servant for the last almost 50 years,” Crockett said. “And while everybody’s talking about, you know, the crime bill, the ‘94 crime bill, she actually specifically stated that if she had to do it all over again, she would not change her vote. She would still support the crime bill in this majority-minority district.”

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson is congratulated by friends and colleagues after she announced that she will retire from Congress during “The Justice Tour” luncheon for Democratic Party activists and judicial candidates, at Kirkwood Temple CME Church in Dallas, on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

On Monday, Crockett dismissed the video as the desperate act from one of her rivals in the March 1 primary for District 30.

“I know which camp did this because they are still so sorely upset about the fact that they did not garner the endorsement of the congresswoman,” Crockett told The Dallas Morning News. “This only proves that my endorsement didn’t come because I was a favorite. The only reason the congresswoman endorsed me is because of my work ethic and the work that I’ve done.

She said her remarks about Johnson should not be taken out of context.

“What I was saying is that we can’t be asleep at the wheel,” Crockett told The News. “We’ve got to make sure that we know what our elected officials are doing. I wasn’t saying she wasn’t doing anything. What I’m saying is there are people that can’t cite what she’s doing.”

Crockett also distributed a response from Johnson, who reiterated her support for the state legislator.

“No amount of desperate trash will cause me to doubt my support for Jasmine Crockett,” according to the statement. “Desperation has set in to attempt to discredit Jasmine, but this will attract dirt diggers, not the voters who know better.”

Crockett said her endorsement from Johnson wasn’t because they were in lockstep on all issues.

Rather, Crockett said, “She’s convinced I will work for the people. She’s convinced I will do right by the people.”

But on Ocie Kazee’s Facebook post on the video, she blasted Crockett. Kazee worked in former state Rep. Eric Johnson’s office before he left the Legislature to become Dallas mayor. She also worked for former state Rep. Lorraine Birabil.

Good Morning All!Check this appalling video out where a newbie to our state legislature, Jasmine Crockett, has the audicity to publicly question the integrity of Congresswoman Eddie Berniece Johnson, who has devoted her life to public service and has done good work for us! She doesn’t deserve to be criticized like this by ANYONE, especially a barely elected State Representative, whose still wet behind the ears and could not get ONE SINGLE PIECE of legislation passed during her abbreviated term as the state representative of District 100! I’m embarrassed for Congresswoman Johnson! We must do a better job of picking our elected officials! We should not allow people we don’t know and who don’t know us, to represent us! Shame! Shame! Shame on you Jasmine Crockett!!

Posted by Ocie Kazee on Monday, January 10, 2022

“Check this appalling video out where a newbie to our state legislature, Jasmine Crockett, has the audicity [sic] to publicly question the integrity of Congresswoman Eddie Berniece [sic] Johnson, who has devoted her life to public service and has done good work for us!” Kazee wrote. “She doesn’t deserve to be criticized like this by ANYONE, especially a barely elected State Representative, whose still wet behind the ears and could not get ONE SINGLE PIECE of legislation passed during her abbreviated term as the state representative of District 100!”

Kazee continued: “I’m embarrassed for Congresswoman Johnson! We must do a better job of picking our elected officials!…Shame! Shame! Shame on you Jasmine Crockett!!

Crockett is the leading contender in a crowded field for District 30. The Dallas lawyer and progressive Democrat is serving her first term in the Texas Legislature.

Johnson backed Crockett in November, after announcing that she would not seek another term in Congress.

State Representative Jasmine Crockett tears up as she is brought to the podium in Dallas on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. Crocket will run to fill Eddie Bernice Johnson’s seat. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News)(Rebecca Slezak / Staff Photographer)

In the video, Crockett described how Johnson was entrenched in the District 30 seat and would not pay a price for her support of the 1994 crime bill.

“Do you think she’s had any problems getting reelected? Nope,” Crockett said. “She’s on the ballot now. She’s going to get reelected again.”

Crockett said she wasn’t trying to put Johnson in a negative light during the interview, but inform voters that they should know what their elected officials are doing.

“I wasn’t saying that she hasn’t done anything or that she is terrible,” Crockett said. “I’ve never gone after her.”

On the video, Crockett was critical of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, contending that he was “silent” when Dallas resident Botham Jean was shot and killed in his home by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his murder.

“He was silent,” Crockett said of Mayor Johnson. “He actually grew up in the same church Botham worshipped in. I would imagine that he would have led the charge of some kind of reform.”

In the video, Crockett was lukewarm about President Joe Biden, but said he was a much better choice than Donald Trump. She also said that she preferred former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Biden’s vice president, but defended Vice President Kamala Harris’ early record on criminal justice.

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