Rep. Charles Rangel was admonished by the House Ethics Committee for accepting vacations sponsored by corporations, a big ethics no-no:
Rep. Charles Rangel said Friday he won’t step down as chairman of the powerful House tax-writing committee after being admonished by an ethics panel for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean. The public rebuke of one of the Democrats’ most outspoken leaders posed more woes for a party that had vowed to end a “culture of corruption.”
The House ethics committee said that aides to the 20-term New York Democrat tried at least three times to show him the trips — to Antigua in 2007 and St. Maarten in 2008 — had corporate sponsorship, a violation of congressional gift rules.
Rangel, a political spin machine, actually said the admonishment exonerates him. Only someone as arrogant as Rangel could attempt to tell the public that being admonished by an ethics committee for violating the rules actually proves he did nothing wrong:
Rangel asserted that that the ethics report “exonerates” him because it says there is no evidence that he knew the trips were sponsored by corporations.
Asked by reporters if he planned to stay on as committee chairman in light of the ethics report, Rangel responded: “Why don’t you ask me am I’m going to stay chairman of the committee in light of the fact that we’re expecting heavy snow in New York?” He said that would be just as relevant.
Ethical violations are a relevant to his staying in charge of the House Ways and Means Committee as a snowstorm. This arrogance is nauseating.
The fact is his staff not only knew about the corporate sponsorship of the trips, but they sent him multiple emails concerning it:
The House ethics committee says Rep. Charles Rangel’s aides tried at least three times to show him that his Caribbean trips had corporate sponsors, but he denies seeing any of the written communications.
“Common sense dictates that members of Congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or mistakes or errors of staff unless there is reason to believe the members knew or should have known.”
His staff made at least three attempts to inform him and he shouldn’t be “held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or mistakes or errors of staff.” If I was a member of his staff, I would be calling SO many people to nail this slimeball.
Meanwhile, San Fran Nan sees no reason for Rangel to step down:
Rangel has other problems still to deal with.
Examples? Oh, there are plenty:
- failure to report over $1 million in outside income and $3 million in business transactions as required by the House,
- failure to disclose at least $650,000 in assets he had previously failed to list on his House financial disclosure forms,
- failure to disclose to the IRS or on his financial disclosure forms $75,000 in rental income for a beach villa in the Dominican Republic,
- violation of state laws by claiming three primary residences and broke municipal laws by maintaining four rent-controlled apartments,
- violation of House rules by using congressional letterhead to solicit donations for an education center bearing his name at City College of New York, and
- delinquency in paying his property taxes on two New Jersey parcels and failure to report the sale of a $1.3 million brownstone.
It’s doubtful anything will be done about any of this. In the three years since Pelosi dedicated herself to creating the most ethical Congress ever, no one has been punished for anything.
Keep it up. This is why only only 10% of American think you are doing a good job. You’re making a 2010 Republican Revolution even more probable.