You cannot pick up a newspaper or watch a newscast these days without hearing fresh revelations about the misbehavior of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY). Throughout Rangel’s long political career he has been a lighting rod, since he won election defeating controversial Congressman Adam Clayton Powell in a 1970 primary election.
Isn’t it ironic that Rangel is now facing a primary contest this November from Powell’s son who is currently a New York State Assemblyman? The Washington Post and The New York Times are all running long articles covering the growing concerns of Rangel’s fellow Democrats, because they are scared they will be painted by his tainted brush come the November election. A Washington Post poll reports that 60% of the responders believe Rangel should resign now.
This story has deeper implications, because of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s earlier strong statements of running a clean House and rooting out corruption. The truth of the matter is that the House Ethics Committee has stalled its investigation of Rangel for two years, and they are now fearful of a televised Committee interrogation that will have voters believing all Democrats are like Rangel.
Rangel is accused of a whole list of infractions that should result in his removal from office, but nothing will surprise me when it comes to Congress protecting their own fellow wheeler-dealers. Way back in 2008 the Ethics panel began looking into claims of improper use of his office to raise money for a New York City college for a building in his name, his failure to pay taxes on a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, failure to properly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal assets, and violation of New York City rules through his rent-controlled apartments in Harlem.
Clearly it is time for Charlie to cut and run. Apparently at this time his arrogance is preventing him from getting out while the getting is good. I suspect that Congressional pressure will force his resignation in the near future. The real sad part of this story is not the fact that he is guilty, it is the fact that he will leave Washington with a fat bank account and a huge pension that you and I must pay.
Don’t tell me that crime does not pay. Charlie is laughing all the way to the bank, and he will go back to Harlem as a hero to his neighbors when in fact he is a crook, and should be required to pay for his crimes.