View Full Version : Charles Rangel

December 2nd, 2010, 06:01 PM
House majority votes to censure Rep. Rangel

N.Y. Democrat receives most serious House rebuke short of expulsion


Alex Brandon / AP The elevator doors close on Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., as he goes to the House floor for a series of votes on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday.

The Associated Press http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Sources/sourceAP.gif
updated 12/2/2010 7:36:31 AM ET 2010-12-02T12:36:31
WASHINGTON — The House majority voted to censure Rep. Charles Rangel on Thursday after rejecting an attempt to reduce the veteran New York congressman's punishment for financial and fundraising misconduct.
Rangel agreed he broke congressional rules but said the censure proposed by the House ethics committee was unfair and asked his House colleagues for leniency.
Facing other members of the House, the 80-year-old Harlem Democrat spoke shortly before the House was to decide his punishment for financial and fundraising misconduct. Rangel was likely to become the 23rd House member to be censured.
The dapper Rangel, wearing a blue suit, blue tie and a blue handkerchief, faced his colleagues and told them, "I have made serious mistakes" including filing misleading financial disclosure forms and failing to pay all his taxes. But he pleaded with the House to be "guided by fairness."
Censure is the most serious House punishment short of expulsion. Rangel would have to appear at the front of the chamber while Speaker Nancy Pelosi read the resolution adopted by the House. His supporters asked instead for a reprimand, which would eliminate that humiliating appearance.
Before Rangel spoke the chairman of the House ethics committee, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, said the censure her committee recommended was consistent with a Democratic pledge to run "the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history."
She said Rangel "violated the public trust" while serving in influential positions including chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

'I brought it on to myself'
Rangel, who brought up his combat experience in the Korean War in making his case, did not specifically propose a lesser reprimand. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said censure has been reserved for lawmakers who enriched themselves or were otherwise corrupt.
House Television / AP This video frame grab image provided by House Television shows Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., speaking of the floor of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday.

Rangel was at times contrite, saying that members of Congress "have a higher responsibility than most people" for ethical conduct and that senior lawmakers like himself "should act as a model" for newer lawmakers.
"I brought it on to myself," he said of his troubles.
Yet, the 40-year congressional veteran insists he did not intend to break any House rules, and he walked out of the ethics committee's deliberations last month because, he said, he had been treated unfairly for "good faith mistakes." The panel found him guilty on 11 of 13 charges and overwhelmingly recommended that he be censured.
It's a difficult sunset for Rangel's long career. A jovial backslapper with a distinctive gravelly voice, Rangel was re-elected in November with more than 80 percent of the vote despite being under an ethics cloud for more than two years. He has argued that censure is reserved for corrupt politicians — and he's not one of them.
He also has been making a more personal plea, asking colleagues to remember that he won a Purple Heart after he was wounded in combat in Korea, to focus on his efforts for the underprivileged and to understand that he has great respect for the institution he has served for so long. He's tied for fourth in House seniority.
Ethics committee charges
The House ethics committee painted Rangel as a congressman who ignored rules of conduct and became a tax scofflaw despite his knowledge of tax law from his long service on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel chaired that panel until last March, when he stepped down after the panel — in a separate case — found that he improperly allowed corporations to finance two trips to Caribbean conferences.
Rangel shortchanged the IRS for 17 years by failing to pay taxes on income from his rental unit in a Dominican Republic resort. He filed misleading financial disclosure reports for a decade, leaving out hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets he owned.
He used congressional letterheads and staff to solicit donations for a monument to himself: a center named after him at City College of New York. The donors included businesses and their charitable foundations that had issues before Congress and, specifically, before the Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel also set up a campaign office in the Harlem building where he lives, despite a lease specifying the unit was for residential use only.
He has paid the Treasury $10,422 and New York state $4,501 to fulfill an ethics committee recommendation. The amounts were to cover taxes he would have owed on his villa income had the statute of limitations not run out on his tax bills.
The last previous House censure was in 1983, when two members, Reps. Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass., and Daniel Crane, R-Ill., were disciplined for having sex with teenage pages. Nine House members have been reprimanded, the latest last year when Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. was punished for a breach of decorum.
Wilson had yelled "You lie" at President Barack Obama during a nationally televised speech to Congress.
The objective for the House is to make the punishment fit the ethics violation. In past cases, a censure usually was reserved for congressmen who enriched themselves personally.
Rangel was not charged with lining his pockets. But the ethics committee found that his violations went on for so long that the pattern of misconduct deserved a censure.


December 6th, 2010, 07:49 AM
Grade A slimebag.

What amazes me even more was the group of idiotic voters out there that re-elected him by such a HUGE margin.

We say we want the best, but so few pay attension to any but those that have very little effect on them personally (The President....) that it is no wonder why our reps do not represent us.

December 7th, 2010, 09:28 PM
After awhile it's just habit; you're voting on the legend, not the candidate. Like Ted Kennedy. They're just afraid of change (who will the new guy be? we probably won't like him).
As far as how the politicians view themselves & their actions, some have become so hardened & callused after decades of service, they really don't think that those infractions are actually infractions. They think they're entitled to those rewards.

December 8th, 2010, 08:15 AM
What exactly is his PUNISHMENT in censure?

Maybe they should have FINED him, nevermind told him to be quiet.

December 8th, 2010, 10:01 PM
Courtesy of dictionary.com:
   [/URL]/ˈsɛnhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngʃər/ http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (https://secure.reference.com/sso/register_pop.html?source=favorites) [U]Show Spelled [sen-sher] http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html) Show IPA noun, verb, -sured, -sur·ing.
–noun 1. strong or vehement expression of disapproval: The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the tax proposal.

2. an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.

–verb (used with object) 3. to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner: She is more to be pitied than censured.

–verb (used without object) 4. to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.

So basically, "BAD Charlie! BAD! No biscuit!" He wanted a reprimand rather than censure. To me they're the same thing. I don't even think his pension is affected. Even if they put an asterisk next to his political history, so what?

December 9th, 2010, 07:53 AM
Rangel wrangled a good deal.

But, lets face it, the last guys that got this were brought up on charges of sleeping with underaged senatorial aids......

So even for a CRIME, they do not lose their jobs. GREAT system we got. The only way to get someone to leave is to vote them out (good luck) or shame them into it with things that might not even be true.

Nevermind a crime. Crimes are NOTHING. :rolleyes:

December 9th, 2010, 08:58 AM
Lawyers always look out for themselves first. Many legislators are lawyers, and know that they could easily find themselves in the same boat. They're not going to set any precedent of kicking out a colleague for misdeeds (beyond maybe murder or treason), lest it should come back to haunt them.

December 9th, 2010, 10:10 PM
^Good point. Remember Spitzer?