Tuesday, November 25, 2008


What is Nancy Pelosi going to do about Charlie Rangel?

Representative Charles B. Rangel has helped raise $11 million for a City College of New York school of public service to be named in his honor. In recent months, as questions have emerged about his fund-raising, he has insisted that he has kept his efforts to attract donors scrupulously separate from his official duties in Congress.

But Congressional records and interviews show that Mr. Rangel was instrumental in preserving a lucrative tax loophole that benefited an oil-drilling company last year, while at the same time its chief executive was pledging $1 million to the project, the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at C.C.N.Y.

There has been a steady drip of progressively worse stories dribbling out about Rangel for some months now. They at first seemed like relatively minor infractions and deals that probably a vast majority of Congress has been involved in at one point or another. They were infractions that perhaps should have earned Rangel a slap on the wrist and stern rebuke but nothing that merited serious punishment.

All of that changed today. Rangel's position as Chair of House Ways and Means Committee is almost certainly in jeopardy as the House ethics committee investigates. As John Cole noted earlier,
And while you always have to be careful about what is being chummed up about someone, if this had been Tom DeLay, and not Charlie Rangel, I know what people would be saying.

During all of the scandal plagued days for the GOP in 2005, 2006 and 2007 I was always careful to discuss corruption not as inherently tied to Republicans as it is tied to power. Of course there were more high profile Republicans going down in ethical flames - they controlled all of the levers of power and had for a decade. What was the point of bribing a Democrat? They couldn't help you or your company. Well now the Dems are back in control and we shouldn't tolerate this sort of behavior anymore than I would if it were Duke Cunningham or Tom DeLay.

Have a proper investigation and if the evidence is there toss his ass overboard. Quickly.

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