The Ethics Subcommittee found Harlem Representative Charles Rangel guilty of 11 of 12 counts of ethics violations. This is seemingly the beginning of the end for Charlie; as his next appearance will be in front of the Ethics Committee where he will receive his punishment. Many believe Rangel will not be expelled from Congress but he will not be able to regain the Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee (which he would have lost anyway with Republicans winning the majority in the House) and his reputation/legacy will forever be tainted by this controversy.
Rangel is the last remaining member of the Harlem’s Gang of Four still in politics. The group consisted of Rangel, Basil Paterson (David Paterson’s Dad), Percy Sutton, and David Dinkins. With Rangel’s follies it is a true lost for Harlem; Rangel carries 30 years of political experience in Washington and New York that cannot be recaptured easily by young and upcoming Harlem politicians. Old Charlie finally let the game catch up to him; after 30 years of Congress Rangel was late to adjust to the new world.
When Nancy Pelosi took over as Speaker of the House, she promised to clean up Congress. Those rules didn’t only apply to Republicans…
Rangel was facing 13 charges of financial and fund-raising wrongdoing, but the committee combined two counts.
Among other things, Rangel was accused of using his official letterhead to solicit money for a center in his name at City College, filing erroneous financial-disclosure statements, and misusing rent-controlled apartments in Manhattan.
Rangel was acquitted on the charge of violating the House of Representatives rule on accepting gifts. The panel was deadlocked on that count, 4 to 4. – NYC Daily News
The shame of it all is the power of the House Ways and Means Committee; potential reforms to programs like Social Security, Welfare, and Medicare would pass through this committee. Losing some one of Rangel’s clout is a blow to Liberals that could potentially the “30 Something” crowd and others to follow.
At the end of the day Rangel was his worst own enemy; the irony in all of this is that in 1970 and upstart Charlie Rangel beat the embattled incumbent Adam Clayton Powell Jr; Powell was a highly controversial congressman who faced a number of accusations of unethical use of his office and chairmanship.
Who knows what the future holds for Charlie; even with all the accusations he was able to win a landslide victory this past mid-term elections. He could remain a congressman when it is all said and done; I just don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing…
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!
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