Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Buh-Bye!

WASHINGTON - New York Rep. Charles Rangel temporarily stepped aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday as he struggled with mounting ethics woes that left his political future uncertain at best.




Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

Sadly, though, I'll bet any of you that this former member of the "most ethical Congress in history" not only will not spend a day in prison, he won't even have charges brought against him.

40 comments:

USA_Admiral said...

This turd should be flushed as soon as possible.

Uncle Walt said...

He won't face criminal charges because nothing that he did was criminal.
Unethical, yes, criminal no.
Hopefully he will take this opportunity to decide not to run for reelection. He has a long history of good service to this country, perhaps it time to let it go.

Jen said...

ewwwwwwwww......

cube said...

Rangel should step down from the House. Period.

FJ said...

What Rangel has been doing IS criminal. And if Justice doesn't take him down hard, that should tell you something about the nature of "Justice".

Steve Harkonnen said...

COme to think of it, I wonder when was the last time a member of Congress even went to prison?

Uncle Walt said...

The last Congressman to actually do Prison time that I know of was Republican Duke Cunningham.

FJ,

I just read the ethics committe report and nothing in it even vaguely refers to anything even remotely criminal by Rep Rangel. What criminal activity are you referring to?

M.A. said...

He'll also command thousands of dollars for each University speaking engagement.

There is something very wrong with our system.

Uncle Walt said...

Is there something wrong with getting paid for speaking to groups that want to hear you speak?

Chuck said...

I didn't realize until listening to this on the news that he took over for Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Harlem sure knows how to pick 'em

M.A. said...
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M.A. said...

Uncle Walt,
No. Is there something wrong with being annoyed that corrupt individuals will get paid more for one speech than some honest, hard-working Americans will make in one year?

Brooke said...

USA: Rangel should have been ejected a looooong time ago.

Jen: He looks like a passed-out addict.

Cube: Thank goodness he did. I wonder how corrupt his replacement will be?

FJ: Absolutely. Justice is all about who you are and who you know.

Steve: In recent history? LOL!

MA: I'm sure Rangel has plenty of future 'payrolls' to speak of.

Although actually listening to him with that lisp... He'd have to pay me!

Uncle Walt: I love that leftists have no grasp on reality.

In July of 2008, it was discovered that Rangel had rented four rent-stabilized apartments in a Harlem building and used one of them as a campaign office. That IS illegal according to New York law.

Next, Rangel used congressional stationary to solicit funds for his personal foundation from companies with business with his committee. He then secured a $1.9 million dollar earmark to his own The Charlie Rangel Center for Public Service.

Ever hear of the "Monument to Me?"

Next, Rangel failed to disclose income earned from renting a Caribbean villa. Rangel failed to disclose $75,000 of income and ALSO failed to pay interest on the villa's mortgage for over 10 years on a loan that was given to him by a company in which a donor to Rangel was a primary investor.

Yeah, nothing fishy there. Also, I'm forced to wonder if you or I would've been a little more than "investigated" by the Federal gov't had we failed to pay so much in taxes...

Rangel also abused the "homestead" tax break for those subsidized apartments he bugged out of once found out. Also ILLEGAL.

Rangel also created offshore tax shelters for a company whose chief executive was a top donor to Rangel's foundation.

But that's just an innocent case of one hand washing the other, right?

Between '04 and '07, Rangel pushed almost $80,000 in campaign cash to an internet company ran by his son.

And that's not even scraping the relationship Rangel has with AIG...

Elmers Brother said...

didn't that Jefferson character (D)from Louisiana get some jail time?

Elmers Brother said...

Jefferson has been sentenced though is appealing in November 2009

Cunningham was in 2006 and Trafficant (D) was in 2003

Brooke said...

Pesky little facts...

beamish said...
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beamish said...

Uncle Walt,

No, there is something wrong with having a tax cheat be the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (the committee all tax legislation goes through).

Thanks for playing. Remember to boil the Rice-O-Roni or you'll break your teeth.

Brooke,

Jon Stewart had fun with that picture of Rangel.

FJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FJ said...

I just read the ethics committe report and nothing in it even vaguely refers to anything even remotely criminal....

^^LOL!^^

Brooke said...

Beamish: That was a pretty good video. Stewart was in good form!

FJ: Willful blindness!

Mustang said...

Uncle Walt … allow me to ask you something. Do the behaviors of a very long list of ‘unethical’ politicians strengthen, or weaken our country? You say that Rangel has a long history of ‘good service’ to this country. Do you honestly believe that service to one-self equates to service to America? What I can tell you is that corruption and dishonestly is not limited to one or another political party. Your assertion of Duke Cunningham, as if he in some way justifies Rangel speaks volume about you and your own loose set of ethics.

We have people like Rangel, Cunningham, Jefferson, John and Monica Conyers, David Duke, Jack Murtha, and a far too long list of dishonest men and women because of people like you. These are men who swore an oath to uphold the United States Constitution … and what they ultimately did was behave in such a way as to impair our constitution. And every one of those who escaped prosecution … such as Nancy Pelosi (whose husband’s company benefitted from Democratic legislation and whose shenanigans cost the American taxpayer the price of a Gulfstream V … in the face of a period of time when most of us are hurting financially). The list of crooks goes on, and on, and on … and so I cannot help but wonder why such behavior among elected officials, including Barack Obama and George Bush, doesn’t enrage you.

We should notice that the only time elected officials seem to uphold our constitution is when they are hiding behind one of the first ten amendments. That said, I would agree with you that Rangel and so many others are not the real problem. If you think that corruption and unethical behavior is no more than quid pro quo of the American politik, then Rangel isn’t the problem at all. Primus inter pares may have been acceptable among our Roman ancestors, but if you think that our politicians are first among equals today, then YOU are the problem.

Anonymous said...

Proof that our political system is corrupt beyond belief is that this crook is only “temporarily stepping aside.” He'll continue to chair the Ways and Means committee from a federal peniteniary. It's his right, as a member of the Black Congressional Caucus.

Sam

Leslie said...

I find a comment here intersting and wonder if it can be backed up with fact: Rangel "has a long history of good service to this country..."

Do you have examples of this "good service?"

FJ said...

He obviously mispoke and meant Rangel "has a long ago history of good service to this country..."

FJ said...

...because any good service Rangel ever performed was long, LONG ago, way before he ever GOT to the people's House!

Z said...

Great job, guys....Facts, figures and common sense.
Hey, that's funny :-) Where'd Uncle Walt GO?

Snarky Basterd said...

And then his replacement stepped aside 24 hours later. The Zombiecrat party really must have to look deep to find anyone among their ranks with honor.

Uncle Walt said...

I must admit that I hadn't paid a lot of attention to they other issues surrounding Rep Rangel. I stand by my earlier statement that nothing in the Ethics Committee report even vaguely approaches criminal conduct. Then again the Ethich Committee report that I was refering to (and that was the immediate reason for him stepping aside) didn't address these other issues at all.

That being said, if he is has truly committed the things he is accused of, then let him join Duke Cunningham in prison.

I have not and will not defend corruption just because the corrupt is a Democrat. I also don't talk much about corrupt Republicans. Corruption doesn't really have a party. Most of the corruption in the Republican led congresses will be Republican and most of the corruption in Democrat led congresses will be Democrats.

As I understand the process (and I may be wrong on this) the Ethics Committee has not finished addressing the other charges against Rep Rangel. Until there is some resolution on those other charges, I don't see any value in commenting one way or the other.

If he is corrupt, then let him go to jail.

In the case the Ethics Committee just admonished him on, they acknowledged that his staff knew that his travel violated the rules and that he did not. He was admonished because he is responsible for the actions of his staff. I agree with that judgement.

Always On Watch said...

If this is the "most ethical Congress in history", I'd hate to see the worst. Sheesh.

Brooke said...

Mustang: Thank you.

Sam: Just like the Chicago-style thug Rangel is, exactly.

Leslie: I defy Walt to come up with one example that doesn't also serve "number one."

FJ: LOL! I doubt even then Rangel has done any 'service.'

Z: Here he is...

SB: The leftists in the House are probably all corrupt, or on the fast track to be so.

Walt: Again, using a rent-controlled building in New York for anything other than a primary residence IS ILLEGAL.

Rangel rented four and used them as offices.

That doesn't "vaguely approach" illegality, it IS ILLEGAL.

And that's just one example.

As for your last statement... Since when does ignorance of the law excuse a person? That's jr. high civics!

AOW: I think we'd have to look rather hard to find a worse Congress.

Uncle Walt said...

Again Brooke,

My original statement was that the Ethics Committee report that I read did not address any other issues. It only addressed the trip that was fraudulently paid for by a business. The other issues you cite were not addressed.

I take if from your comment that he has been accused of these things and I presume that the Ethic Committee (and possibly the District Attorney in Manhattan) are investigating the allegations.

I have not and will not defend corruption. If he did the things he is accused of, then he needs to join Cunningham in jail.

As for the ignorance of the law point, the Ethics Committee didn't find that Rep Rangel was ignorant of the LAW, they found that his STAFF failed to tell him that this trip violated House Ethics rules. That's not ignorance of the LAW or ignorance of House Rules, it is that is responsible for the actions of his staff.

Mustang said...

You’ll forgive me for saying so, Uncle Walt … but I think you are stuck on stupid. If we understand that ethics is about morality, what responsibility does Rangel’s staff have to tell him about right and wrong? Did the White House Chief of Staff have a responsibility to tell Bill Clinton it was immoral to have wanton sex with an intern?

We should wonder about a body of people who collectively agree to soft-shoe around serous allegations. Why would they do that? Could it be partisan politics at its worst? Is it ‘good old boy’ politics? Does it constitute enabling illegal or unseemly behavior?

What bothers me is the astounding arrogance of politicians (of any party). Here, we have the chairman of the most powerful committee in Congress … pretending that he has no idea that breaking the law violated morality rules. That might even be believable were it not for the fact that Rangel is a trained lawyer; doesn’t the law concern itself with ethnic issues? You know … right versus wrong, moral, and practical behavior? Rangel isn’t alone, of course. Chris Dodd, while issuing blistering comments about the mishandling of mortgage loans accepts lucrative deals from those same people. Was it Dodd’s staff who failed to remind him he behaved unethically, or illegally?

And then, at what point do we expect Mr. Rangel to do the right thing? Yes, he has the right to remain silent … consult with an attorney … to have an attorney present during questioning. Every citizen should avail themselves of their rights, pursuant to our bill of rights. But a moral man would understand the implications of such accusations and ‘step aside’ without arrogantly and very publicly pushing the envelop of credibility.

Let there be no mistake, Uncle Walt that if it were you and I in similar circumstances, we would already have been arrested and earmarked for a day in court. Why is it different for Charlie Rangel? Does this even matter in our country of laws, or should it?

commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting this! I love your blog!!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Uncle Walt said...

Good Morning Mustang,

I guess its stuck on stupid to just read the Ethics Committee report.

The Ethics Committee investigated a trip that Rep Rangel (and several other Representatives) took. Supposedly this trip was funded by a non-profit foundation of some sort and as such it was both legal and ethical for these Representatives to allow this foundation to pay for their travel.

The Ethics Committee unamiously found that NONE of the Representatives on this trip knew that some corporation was actually funding the trip in violation of both House Ethics rules and Federal Law.

Again NONE of the Representatives knew that this trip was illegally funded by a corporation. They had all been told and had every reason to believe that their trip was both Legal and Ethical. They applied to the Ethics Committee for clearance to take the trip and the Ethics Committee cleared the trip based on the same information that the Representatives were given.

And they were being lied to.

Rep Rangel was admonished by the Committee because some members of HIS STAFF knew that he and the other Representatives were being lied to and did nothing to stop it.

The Ethics Committee correctly said that Rep Rangel is responsible for the actions (or in this case) inaction of his staff.

Its not that Rep Rangels staff needed to teach the Rep about Right and Wrong, its that they failed to tell him he was being lied to and so he and other Representatives took a trip they should not have taken.

I don't dispute your belief that someone not in Congress might already have been indicted for the other things Rep Rangel as been accused of and I don't defend that.

I don't defend corruption.

I didn't defend Rep Jefferson or Trafficant. I also don't spend a whole lot of time attacking Rep Cunningham. Corruption is not a party issue. There are Corrupt Republicans and Corrupt Democrats and I don't know that either party is more or corrupt than the other.

If Rep Rangel did the other things he is accuesed of then let him be indicted by the US Attorney and/or the New York District Attorney.

I get back to my original comment, I hope he decides not to run again, no matter what comes from these investigations.

I don't see myself as stuck on stupid. I see myself stuck on facts which is why I read the Ethich Committee report.

FJ said...

Was this in the report? Who knew that the Congressman Rangel was such a philanthropist... given his House salary.

At least 27 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have sent to charities $378,000 in campaign donations from scandal-plagued Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., since Feb. 28.

Starting last November, The Examiner’s “Dirty Money Watch” has highlighted 39 senators and representatives and asked whether they planned to keep campaign donations from Rangel.

The Examiner has found $378,000 of Rangel’s contributions that have been donated by 27 recipients to charity.

Among them are nine who appeared in “Dirty Money Watch,” who have donated $165,000 to charity: Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill. ($14,000); Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. ($21,000); Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill. ($16,000); Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn. ($16,000); Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio ($21,000); Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C. ($14,000); Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla. ($14,000); Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif. ($21,000); and Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz. ($28,000).

The other 18 who gave their Rangel contributions to charity are: Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-N.Y. ($14,000); Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn. ($25,000); Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas ($8,000); Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala. ($1,000); Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz. ($14,000); Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla. ($9,000); Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho ($10,000); Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. ($21,000); Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va. ($7,000); Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich. ($16,000); Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Mich. ($14,000); Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H. ($14,000); Rep. Zachary Space, D-Ohio ($21,000); Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio ($7,000); Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev. ($1,000); Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass. ($7,000); Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio ($12,000); and Rep John Yarmuth, D-Ky. ($12,000).

Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, is under investigation for multiple ethical and legal improprieties. He was formally admonished by the House ethics committee last week for accepting trips to the Caribbean paid for in part by special interests with business before the Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel took a leave of absence as chairman earlier this week, pending completion of the multiple ethical investigations he faces.
Rangel has now drawn something else, a potentially strong Republican opponent, Michel Faulkner, a Harlem pastor and former NFL player with an extensive community service resume.

In the 2008 election cycle, Rangel’s political action committee donated $794,000 to 106 Democratic candidates for the House of Represenatives and $90,000 to Democratic senatorial candidates.

Of the 117 candidates Rangel gave money to, 80 are now House or Senate members. Forty-four members of the House of Representatives have yet to return Rangel’s money, and none of the nine senators has done so.

The remaining members of Congress who received Rangel donations but have either said they will not return it or have taken no action are:

Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa.
Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.
Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill.
...
...
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.;
Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.



Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Congressmen-send-378000-of-Rangels-Dirty-Money-to-charity-86591197.html#ixzz0hKWgDqFJ

FJ said...

The Ring of Gyges Compact that has been formed by House and Senate Democrats is an Augean Stables on the Potomac. It would take a veritable labour of Hercules to flush it all out.

...and Herc is coming in 2010.

Krystal said...

I have a degree as a paralegal. I'm not a lawyer, like Rangel. However, I took a bunch of law classes. BASIC INTRO to LAW teaches that "ignorance of the law is no defense". This is used by prosecutors all over the United States. And if it were any Joe Blow American, they'd have been held responsible from the get go.

Ask anyone who's ever messed up on their federal taxes ...

It was NOT the responsibility of his staff to let their boss ... A LAWYER ... know what was legal and what wasn't.

But I'd STILL let him slide if he would have acted like a MAN worthy of the his office and said, "Hey, I'm really sorry, I didn't realize that ... I accept responsibility and I'll pay for it." Everyone makes mistakes. Fine. But he's not even accepting responsibility due to sheer ignorance. He's passing the bucks to some staffers.

That says more than anything else to me.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Krystal ... Bravo.

Mustang

Brooke said...

Follow the money... The votes are bought.

I suppose I'll go out and rob a bank... Hey, no one ever TOLD me it was wrong.

Really, I know that we're dealing with a leftist, but one would think that such blatant absurdity would shame even the most foolish.