BET's Sheila Johnson Makes Inexplicable Comments in Virginia Governor's Race

Sheila Johnson's mockery of Creigh Deeds taints her reputation

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I have interviewed Sheila Johnson in person. I have followed her fabulous career as a ground-breaking female professional team sports owner, billionaire and outspoken politico. That's why I cannot believe what the Associated Press is reporting she said:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The billionaire co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television mocked Democrat Creigh Deeds' occasional stuttering at a fundraiser she held for Deeds' Republican opponent in the governor's race, Bob McDonnell.

In a YouTube video, Sheila Johnson says Virginia needs a governor "who can really communicate, and Bob McDonnell can communicate."

Then she tells a small crowd of wealthy donors, "The other people I talk to, especially his op-op-op-o-opponent, di-di-did this all through my interview with him."

Ms. Johnson is a woman who has opened many doors for other women. She is a generous, magnanimous promoter of women's professional basketball. She is very proud of her leadership in this arena. Here's a description of Johnson from the Blue Virginia blog:

Sheila Johnson is "team president, managing partner, and governor of the WNBA's Washington Mystics." Also, "According to the BET.com website in 2008, Sheila Johnson is the world's first female African-American billionaire."

That is why I cannot believe that (A) she would be insensitive to Creigh Deeds' disability and (B) would support the candidacy of a guy whose views on women's rights are right up there with those of Pat Robertson and the Christian conservative crowd. This is disappointment so great it exceeds the ability to put it into words.

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