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Shocker: Rangel To Remain As Chairman

Buried in the back pages of the New York Times NY/Region section (because this is not national news):

Rangel to Remain as Committee Chief

September 17, 2008

Representative Charles B. Rangel will not step down from the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, despite pressure from Republicans and others who say his leadership is being undermined by his swirling ethical problems.

Mr. Rangel’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday that the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, supports his decision to remain in the chairmanship. The announcement came after Mr. Rangel, the 78-year-old Harlem Democrat, met behind closed doors on Monday with the speaker and other party leaders.

Mr. Davis said Mr. Rangel was addressing the ethical issues in a forthright way by asking the House ethics committee for an investigation, and hiring an accountant to report on his finances directly to the committee.

“The chairman believes that the facts should prevail, not innuendo or editorial opinion, or the partisan actions of the Republican leadership,” Mr. Davis said.

About the possibility of stepping aside temporarily, while the ethics committee conducts its review, Mr. Davis said, “It’s not even on the table.”

Mr. Davis added: “Mr. Rangel believes, I believe and his colleagues believe that making inadvertent errors with no intention to conceal, no personal enrichment and no corruption of the public trust, is not disqualifying. He is prepared to let his constituents make the final judgment on his fitness to serve. Whatever the facts are, he has not dishonored the House, he has not dishonored himself he has not done anything intentionally wrong.” …

One concern Democratic leaders have discussed is whether Mr. Rangel’s vacating his post could set a precedent in which chairmen who have not been charged criminally may be forced from their positions…

Mr. Rangel tried to defuse the furor last week at a news conference and by releasing hundreds of pages of documents and assuring the public that he had “done nothing morally wrong.” …

This is exactly the kind of open and honest leadership the Democrats promised us in 2006.

Exactly.

Mr. Rangel believes, I believe and his colleagues believe that making inadvertent errors with no intention to conceal, no personal enrichment and no corruption of the public trust, is not disqualifying.

Let’s all remember this line of argument next April 15th.

One concern Democratic leaders have discussed is whether Mr. Rangel’s vacating his post could set a precedent in which chairmen who have not been charged criminally may be forced from their positions.

That’s right. Only Republicans have to do that.

Mr. Rangel tried to defuse the furor last week at a news conference and by releasing hundreds of pages of documents and assuring the public that he had “done nothing morally wrong.”

Well, now we know all we need to know about Mr. Rangel’s “morals.”

As if they were ever in doubt.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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