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Rangel’s ‘Ready To Fight’ Ethics Charges

From his undying fans at the Associated Press:

Rangel says he’s ready to fight ethics charges


July 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — Rep. Charles Rangel, who has spent half of his 80 years as a member of Congress, says he looks forward to fighting ethics charges. Other Democrats won’t be so pleased.

Note how subtlety the AP brings up the bothersome detail of Mr. Rangel’s party affiliation. If he were of the Republican persuasion it would be featured in the headline and the first sentence and every other paragraph forward.

The ethics trial sought by the New York congressman and former Ways and Means Committee chairman will coincide with campaign season. Democrats will have to defend their party’s conduct. If enough of them lose, the party could cede control of the House.

Republicans are already going negative, reminding voters that Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" of ethical misdeeds in Congress

Notice that instead of discussing Mr. Rangel’s alleged malfeasance the AP chooses to focus on how those Machiavellian Republicans will try to use this to their political advantage.

[Rangel’s] lawyer had been negotiating with the House ethics committee to settle his case. But to end it, Rangel would have had to accept the allegations. Rangel had been willing to accept some, but that didn’t satisfy the committee, according to a person familiar with the talks but not authorized to be quoted by name.

"I look forward to airing this thing," Rangel, who is tied for fourth in House seniority, told reporters Thursday, insisting the allegations against him have no substance.

"I am pleased that, at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media," he said.

Translation: Mr. Rangel realizes that his district will re-elect him no matter what his ethics trial will reveal. And he is confident that the Congress will never have the nerve to throw out a black member of his stature.

It was disclosed Thursday that Rangel is being charged with multiple ethics violations. The ethics committee won’t reveal the specific charges until next Thursday at a public meeting. However, several persons familiar with the allegations, who were not authorized to discuss them publicly, said some of the charges against Rangel, who has spent 40 years in Congress, were related to:

– Rangel’s use of official stationery to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.

– His use of four rent-subsidized apartment units in New York City. The city’s rent stabilization program is supposed to apply to one’s primary residence. One had been used as a campaign office, raising a separate question of whether the rent break was an improper gift.

– Rangel’s failure to report income as required on his annual financial disclosure forms. The committee had investigated his failure to report income from the lawmaker’s rental unit at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. Rangel also belatedly disclosed hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment assets.

Sanctions can range from a damaging committee report to censure by the House and even expulsion, a punishment reserved for only the most egregious violations…

The AP is already beginning to give the committee cover. Certainly these charges, even if true, do not rise to the level of “most egregious.” 

Ironically, Rangel raised money for scores of Democratic candidates before his ethics problems surfaced. Now, many Democrats wouldn’t touch a contribution from Rangel’s leadership fund and might pressure him to accept the charges or even get out of his re-election race.

Of course this is all pure conjecture on the part of the DNC flack AP reporter. We highly doubt that any Democrat would turn down any money from anyone.

Some officials in Rangel’s hometown voiced their support. And one analyst said the allegations are likely to change little for Rangel, who is running for re-election in the fall.

"They make jokes about people who are so popular they wouldn’t lose an election even if they were indicted," said Lawrence Levy, a political commentator and head of Hofstra University’s National Center on Suburban Studies. "Charlie is so popular it probably won’t have much effect on him."

"The process is going forward," said state Assemblyman Keith Wright, a Democrat representing Harlem. "I’m going to tell you what I’m going to tell him: Stay strong, keep your head up. The community of Harlem is behind you."

And speaking of ‘keeping the faith’ we are somehow reminded of the gentleman Mr. Rangel replaced in Congress, Adam Clayton Powell. From Wikipedia:

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

By the mid-1960s Powell was being increasingly criticized for mismanagement of the [Education and Labor Committee] committee budget, taking trips abroad at public expense (including travel to his retreat on the Bahamian isle of Bimini), and missing sittings of his committee. He was also under attack in his district, where his refusal to pay a slander judgment made him subject to arrest. He spent increasing amounts of time in Florida…

Following allegations that Powell had misappropriated Committee funds for his personal use… and other charges including evading a subpoena in New York and failing to appear on a post judgment hearing involving the slander case he lost, in January 1967 the House Democratic Caucus stripped Powell of his committee chairmanship. The full House refused to seat him until completion of an investigation by the Judiciary Committee.

In 1967 Yvette Diago… the third wife of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. made national headlines when she was subpoenaed by a U.S. Congressional committee with respect to her theft of state funds. Yvette Diago admitted to the committee that she had been on the congressional payroll of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. from 1961 until 1967, even though she had moved back to Puerto Rico in 1961.

As reported by Time Magazine, Yvette Diago continued living in Puerto Rico and "performed no work at all" yet remained on the payroll, where her salary climbed to $20,578 until she was exposed, and fired, in January 1967

Powell urged his supporters to "keep the faith, baby" while the investigation went on. On March 1 the House voted 307 to 116 to exclude him

Powell won the special election in April to fill the vacancy caused by his exclusion, but did not take his seat. He sued in Powell v. McCormack to retain his seat. Powell was again elected in November 1968, and on January 3, 1969, was seated as a member of the 91st Congress, but was fined $25,000 and denied seniority. In June 1969 the Supreme Court ruled that the House had acted unconstitutionally when it excluded Powell, a duly elected member.

Powell’s absenteeism was increasingly noted. In June 1970 he was defeated in the Democratic primary by Charles B. Rangel

When you consider the long honored tradition of political corruption in Harlem – as embodied by Adam Clayton Powell, Charlie Rangel and David Paterson, it’s no wonder that Bill Clinton chose to put his offices there.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Rangel’s ‘Ready To Fight’ Ethics Charges”

  1. proreason says:

    Here comes a 95% victory for fightin Charlie Rangel.

    In your face.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    This guy in jail would be a great sign of returning sanity in our political process.

  3. Natural Born Citizen says:

    It’s about time. Another tax cheat representative in charge of the federal purse strings. The sad part is unless he is convicted or kicked to the curb his constituients would probably re-elect him. A picture is worth a thousand words…http://sharprightturn.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/charlie-rangel.jpg

  4. Right of the People says:

    “Republicans are already going negative, reminding voters that Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to “drain the swamp” of ethical misdeeds in Congress…”

    Why is it considered “going negative” by reminding everybody what the Botox Queen said? Didn’t Queen Nancy claim this was going to be the MOST ETHICAL CONGRESS EVER?

    Rangel would look good at Rikers Island or Sing Sing.

  5. Melly says:

    Karma….luv it.
    Remember when Rangel kicked Cheney out of his office in 2006?
    The front page of today’s “New York Post” has a photo of Rangel basking in the sun. The caption reads: “Cash Cow.”
    I wonder how his constituents in Harlem NY feel seeing their Representative breaking a sweat on a rough beach.
    (“NY Post” cover: http://www.nypost.com/archives/covers/;jsessionid=D33DC13D0C01349B069B27F9F844FA29)

  6. canary says:

    How come Rangel isn’t pimped out in all that gold attire & jewelry, and those
    fancy pimp suits..

    All those homes explain why Pelosi never found her movie star teeth, lost when she was spending alot of time with Rangel.

    Who can forget the re-election of that D.C. mayor smoking crack with a hooker in a hotel.

  7. wardmama4 says:

    How come this is happening? Perhaps the exposure of JournoList – that showed how duplicitous the media was in covering, distorting and just outright lying about BHO and now a Dem ethics committee is actually accusing a Dem of ethics violation – I am amazed. I guess – given the JournoList story – we are to assume that this is just another high cover story – to deflect as the Thug Administration takes away another RIGHT of the Citizens?

    Or golfs another round.

    Or eats more desert.

    Or takes another vacay.

  8. Liberals Demise says:

    Me thinks Nancy w(R)angles away from standing beside her boy on this one.
    Yup…..she’ll slither away and say she knew him not.

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