Thursday, December 02, 2010

Charlie Rangel To Be Censured By The House

In a vote of 333-79, the House voted today to censure Charlie Rangel. It's the most serious penalty they could give him short of expulsion.

Let's reiterate what Rangel actually did, and then we'll discuss the horrendous penalty.

To summarize briefly, we have blatant and recurring Federal and State tax fraud, illegal use of four rent-controlled apartments in New York City, using his Congressional letterhead to illegally solicit funds for his private foundation from lobbyists for companies he was writing tax regs on, outrageous conflict of interest, failure to declare over $600,000 in income..the sort of stuff that would get you or I locked up for a long time.

Charlie Rangel's penalty? He'll be required to stand in the well before his colleagues in the House while a censure resolution is read, which will then become part of the Congressional Record. That's it. Boo-freaking hoo.And he will stay in Congress.

Rangel lobbied to the end for a 'reprimand', a lesser punishment based on the idea that he did not commit the violations for personal gains.

According to Rangel there was "no evidence of corruption, no evidence of self-enrichment found, no evidence there was an intention on my part to evade my responsibility, whether in taxes or whether in financial disclosures."

As I revealed earlier, that's exactly what the Rangel Center he solicited corporate and lobbyist donations for was all about.

What Rangel was doing with the Center was setting up a tax free source of funding and employment for himself and his heirs after he left Congress. Think of it as Charlie Rangel's 'Presidential library', funded by the corporations and lobbyists he put the bite on and the American tax payer, from whom he obtained $2.1 million via his fellow Democrats in Congress. And the Rangel Center is still going to be there, without having to give back a cent.

Much is being made of the fact that censure has only been used 23 times in history. In fact Rangel and his allies used that in lobbying for a lesser punishment, saying that censure should be reserved for 'criminal or despicable conduct'.

They used as examples the last time a member of Congress was censured back in 1983, when Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., and Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass. were censured for having improper sexual relationships with Congressional pages.

But if we base it on that, Rangel should have received a lot more than just censure.

After all, when you come down to it, Crane and Studds were only screwing one other person.

Charlie Rangel was trying to screw the whole country.

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1 comment:

Rosey said...

Perhaps I've missed something. He does very bad things: lies, cheats, steals, gets to keep the money and his punishment is they say "Bad boy!" Sweet. Sign me up.