Secret Recording of Democratic Congresswoman’s Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Staff Could Shake Up Race to Lead America’s Fourth-Largest City

A leaked recording of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s profanity-laced tirade against a member of her staff could shake up the race to lead Houston, America’s fourth-largest city.


A leaked recording of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s profanity-laced tirade against a member of her staff could shake up the race to lead Houston, America’s fourth-largest city.

  • The audio and a transcript were shared by Current Revolt, a right-leaning website. The congresswoman can be heard saying “I don’t want you to do a goddamn thing. I want you to have a fucking brain” to a member of her staff who didn’t know the answer to her question.
  • Jackson Lee continued, “That’s the kind of staff that I want to have. So some stupid other motherfucker did it. And, and I don’t have the information. Nobody sent me the information. I need to, uh, ensure my, um, schedule and, uh, you know, if, if Boo Boo did it, shit ass did it, fuck face did it. And nobody knows a goddamn thing in my office. Okay? Nothing.” 
  • She concluded, “I gave it to you. Your job was to get it on the calendar, imprint it in your brain, or send me the information back saying, “Congresswoman, I made sure that the Ovide Ducantell event that you gave me, uh, for a so-and-so date at seven is on the fucking calendar.” Not to, oh, Jerome has it.”
  • Jackson Lee could also be heard calling a staffer a “fat ass stupid idiot” and another a “fuckup.” Her tirade also included the choice phrase “It’s the worst shit that I could have ever had put together. Two goddamn big ass children fucking idiots serve no goddamn purpose. Ain’t managing nobody. Nobody’s respecting them. Nobody gives a shit about what you’re doing and you ain’t doing shit.”
  • Jackson Lee is widely considered one of two frontrunners in the Houston mayoral election, along with state Sen. John Whitmire. The 2023 Houston mayoral election is an open-seat race as incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, is term-limited.
  • Jackson Lee and Whitmire are both career politicians, and their decades in public office have given them the name recognition that’s powering their campaigns. Jackson Lee was first elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1995.  
  • Whitmire, a fellow Democrat, first won election to the Texas State House in 1973 and the State Senate in 1983.
  • Jackson Lee and Whitmire have led the polls for the entirety of the race and seem guaranteed to make the runoff election, which will occur several weeks after the Nov. 7 general election.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Newsweek observed that “the behavior shown in the clip does fit a prior pattern of allegations against Lee, with the Houston Chronicle noting on Saturday that she ‘has long had a reputation as a demanding, sharp-talking boss,’ though this would be the first time that she was allegedly caught on tape behaving in such a manner. A 2019 lawsuit also alleged that Lee fired a staffer in retaliation for them suing the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in response to an alleged rape from 2015.”
  • Mediaite pointed out that “Precise details about the clip and its authenticity are unknown.” Jackson Lee’s staff did not deny that it was her voice on the tape, merely saying in a statement that “This is a low handed political tactic meant to discredit a thriving mayoral campaign and distract voters ahead of the early voting period. It’s unsurprising that these attacks have originated from extremely conservative blogs and political operatives backing John Whitmire.”
  • The Houston Chronicle noted that mainly Republican social media and news sites were sharing the Jackson Lee recording. Indeed, most of the coverage of this incident came from right-leaning sources.


  • Fox News noted Jackson Lee was endorsed by Hillary Clinton just days before the recording went viral. Fox News also observed that Jackson Lee has a reputation as one of the “meanest” politicians in Washington.
  • The Washington Examiner pointed out that the recording appears to have been made by one of Jackson Lee’s own staffers. It appears the event that triggered her fury was being held in honor of the late Ovide Ducantell, a prominent black Houstonian and activist.
  • The Daily Mail explained “The less-than-two minute clip has since sent the internet into a fervor, and threatens to upend the New York native’s recently announced intentions to take on fellow Democrat Sen. John Whitmire in November’s marquee mayoral election in the US.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023