ALBANY, GA (WALB) – After scholarships for members of his family became a campaign issue, Second District Congressman Sanford Bishop's Office say that the Democrat will donate an equal amount back to the fund that supplied the money.
Bishop's step-daughter and his wife's niece received the scholarships between 2003 and 2005, when the rules were different and that was allowed. Bishop says that did not violate Congressional Black Caucus rules that were in place at the time.
Here is a news release from Bishop's office:
BISHOP CAMPAIGN ADDRESSES REPUBLICAN ACCUSATIONS AND ATTACKS ON HIS FAMILY
SEPTEMBER 10, 2010 ALBANY, GA - Today Congressman Sanford D. Bishop's campaign spokesman, Tim Turner, responded to the most recent outrageous accusations directed at him and his family by his political opponents:
"This is about nothing more than Mike Keown scoring cheap political points by attacking Representative Bishop and his family. To Mike Keown, apparently nothing is off limits, even attacking someone's family. This is a scholarship opportunity that has helped so many young people and Representative Bishop followed the guidelines in place at the time awards were made. Mike Keown is trying to tarnish this programs reputation with misleading attacks.
In effort efforts to answer any concerns, to comply with the newer guidelines and to halt attacks from Mike Keown on his family, Rep. Bishop will donate an amount equal to the scholarships back to fund.
"Mike Keown should be ashamed of himself for attacking Rep. Bishop's family. This program is a worthy endeavor that has enabled so many young people to further their education," concluded Turner.
Andrew O'Shea, campaign manager for Mike Keown, issued this statement:
"It is reprehensible and morally wrong for Sanford Bishop and his campaign staff to blame the fact that he has enriched his family not only through scholarships but federal earmarks on Mike Keown. How can you blame a lack of character and judgment on the part of Sanford Bishop on Mike Keown? It is obvious to me that Sanford Bishop has been in Washington DC so long that he thinks breaking the law is someone else's fault."