Corruption

Charlie Rangel Has Seen Better Days

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Bad news for scandal-ridden Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). As The New York Times reports, a House panel has convicted the impeccably-attired former Ways and Means Committee chairman of 12 ethics violations, including failing to pay taxes, failing to report rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic, using a rent-stabilized New York residential apartment as a campaign office (Rangel maintains three other rent-stabilized apartments for the mundane business of living), and "accepting benefits under circumstances that could be construed as influencing the performance of his governmental duties." But at least there's a sunny side:

Ethics experts say the committee is likely to issue Mr. Rangel only a letter of reprimand or a formal censure. While the committee has the power to expel, that has happened only rarely and is considered highly unlikely.

Whew! I'd hate to see a powerful government official held responsible for his actions. What kind of message would that send to the children?

More details here, including the full list of ethics charges.

NEXT: Adam Carolla Uncensored

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  1. I actually don’t think Congress should expel members unless there’s evidence of something more dangerous going on (like accepting bribes or committing treason). If he’s broken criminal laws he should be prosecuted like an ordinary person would be, but as far as removing people from Congress, that should only be done by the voters, outside of the most extreme circumstances.

    1. How about not showing up for work for 5-7 years with good behavior?

    2. For ethics violations? I’m more in the Caesar’s wife camp on this issue, and I think democracy can withstand the removal of people who are behaving unethically. Though we could use. . .the Censor!. . .to remove such dead weight in a possibly less political manner.

      1. It’s The Bishop Censor!

        1. The text, Vic! Don’t say the text!

          1. You guys know me too well. Indeed, I was saying “The Censor!” as I typed with Terry Jones’ seminarial role in mind.

            1. We was…too late. The Reverend ProL bit the ceiling.

              1. Terry Jones should make a TV series based on that bit.

    3. He failed to pay his fucking taxes – there’s your criminal violation, dude.

      1. If Rangel weren’t a total PoS, he’d put on the cape of tax rebel and make twin obscene gestures at the IRS. Hell, even as a political PoS that might be a good move right now.

        Repeal the 16th!

        1. Yeah, but what do we do with our Rangel after Mirror Universe Rangel takes his place?

    4. Well using your influence to get rent controlled apartments to use as office space is pretty corrupt, imo.

    5. I am so reminded of how Rangel got his seat in the first place. Adam Clayton Powell got a Supreme Court case about that very issue!

    6. Reason #42 we need term limits.

  2. Ethics experts say the committee is likely to issue Mr. Rangel only a letter of reprimand or a formal censure. While the committee has the power to expel, that has happened only rarely and is considered highly unlikely.

    How’s that “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history.” thingee coming along, Nancy?

    1. Are you serious? Are you serious?

    2. “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history.”

      535 criminals, and then Ted Kennedy died, leaving only 534 criminals for some time.

  3. It’s a good thing he didn’t go around shooting puppies. He might have been placed on paid administrative leave until his actions could be determined to be necessary and justified.

    1. Ah ya beat me to it barely.

    2. Nothing wrong with shooting your own property. Shooting puppies of others is a different affair.

      1. “Nothing wrong with shooting your own property”?

        So you’re saying you’re free to shoot your own puppies as much as you want?

        I hope not.

        1. If you need to shoot them more than once you aren’t doing it right.

      2. And putting down a hero dog is as low as it gets:

        Hero Dog Rescued from Afghanistan Accidentally Euthanized in Arizona

        [ Via: CNN ] A dog rescued from Afghanistan after she alerted soldiers to a suicide bomber was accidentally euthanized at an Arizona shelter on Monday. A Pinal County Animal Care and Control employee has been placed on administrative leave for failing to follow procedures and euthanizing the wrong dog.

        The dog, Target, was recently brought over from Afghanistan by a soldier who had returned from his tour of duty. Target was featured by CNN for heroism after saving dozens of soldiers from a suicide bomber on February 11.

        “She got her name because the Afghans we lived with were constantly trying to off her. She’s been shot in the leg. ? The Afghans actually ran over her,” Sgt. Christopher Duke said, who helped care for Target in Afghanistan and has adopted her packmate Rufus. “There’s no killing this dog for sure. She’s pretty much been through it all, ” he said upon their reunion in July in Georgia.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..ed-arizona

        1. If I laughed at the line, “There’s no killing this dog for sure,” does that make me a terrible person?

          1. No. It means you’re not a humorless dick.

          2. I LOLed at the whole story, but then again I have a dark sense of humor that makes Lucifer cringe when he stops by for high tea.

          3. Too soon.

          4. You’re in good company. Well, bad company, actually, I can’t deny.

  4. …12 ethics violations, including failing to pay taxes, failing to report rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic, using a rent-stabilized New York residential apartment as a campaign office… and “accepting benefits under circumstances that could be construed as influencing the performance of his governmental duties.”

    Help me out here. What, exactly, would a congressman have to do in order to receive actual punishment? Is there a minimum number of violations, like, say, fifty? Or is only things like murder that would result in something more severe, like suspension with pay for example.

    1. “Help me out here. What, exactly, would a congressman have to do in order to receive actual punishment?”

      Use the word Macaca in a public setting.

    2. The failure to pay taxes is a crime for which he should be prosecuted in a criminal court. The other things are not illegal, and were known to the voters who reelected him but a few days ago.

      1. The other things are not illegal

        Completely sure of that, are you? I’m not.

        1. holding four rent-controlled apartments in NYC is illegal.

          1. Don’t talk sense to Tulpa. He only understands authoritarian.

          2. Is it? I’m not familiar with the idiosyncracies of legal regimes in insignificant places like NYC.

            But, if that’s the case, he should be prosecuted/fined/sued whatever. It shouldn’t be grounds for Congress to expel him if his constituents are OK with it.

            1. Technically, it’s not the having four of them, it’s any of them not being one’s primary residence, which in practice rules it out.

        2. Of course they aren’t. It’s not like he was trying to sell cupcakes or something.

    3. Live boy or dead girl in the bedroom used to be the rule of thumb

      1. DAMMIT! You beat me to it!

  5. “If it were in $100,000 bills, I could hold it like this. But they don’t make those anymore, because I’m black.”

    1. 100k bills are only used for transactions between the federal reserve and the US treasury. They are still used, AFAIK.

      1. and coming soon, for loaves of bread…

  6. How does one get four rent controlled apartments in New York? And why?

    1. One for each chin.

    2. The actual answer is that Rangel used them as his Congressional district offices. Because renting space out actually zoned for office space would have been vastly more expensive than using rent-controlled apartments (that incidentally carry a residence requirement Rangel blithely violated).

    3. One gets four rent controlled apartments by being a corrupt politician.

      It sucks that Charlie isn’t going to be properly punished for this, but he’s been significantly embarrassed. That’s not bad; I’ll take what I can get.

      1. Had to use rent controlled apartments. Why? Rent is 2 damn high.

      2. What makes you think he is in any way embarrassed about this? He will absolutely be re-elected in 2012. And if the Dems ever retake Congress, he will get his chairmanship back. This is nothing but theater for the proles.

      3. He is so guilty, but he is loved and shameless. No one really cares or is all that outraged.

        1. No one in his district at least.

      4. What is infuriating is that he undoubtably supports rent control, yet, despite a shortage of affordable residential space he uses his position to get FOUR rent controlled apartment, to use a OFFICE SPACE. Even more irritating, he’d probably support punishment for businesses that did anything similar.

        Also, I always thought that the character on ‘The Wire’ of the black state legistlator was a thinly veiled parody of Charles Rangel.

        1. The Mayor or the state legislator guy? I am guessing the state legislator guy.

      5. Embarrassed?

        Doesn’t that require shame?

  7. If you are a little person and you don’t pay taxes, the feds will come after you like, yes, the NAZIS. But this clown will just get a “letter of reprimand.” OOOOH! I’m sure his diaper is soiled with the seepage of fear over that one.

  8. For all his sheep. NYC has strict rules on how many sheep are allowed to live in a defined space and he won’t break rules where his sheep are concerned.

    1. Are you insinuating that Rep. Charles Rangel (Douchebag – N.Y.) herds sheep?

      1. I’m saying that Rep. Charlie Rangel fucks sheep.

        1. Because he is, after all, a public figure.

          1. Yes he is, unlike He Who Shall Never Be Named”.

            1. There you go, wolking up a perfectly civil discussion.

          2. He fucks sheep because he is a a public figure?

  9. “accepting benefits under circumstances that could be construed as influencing the performance of his governmental duties.”

    Sounds like bribery to me.

    I don’t think the Republic would come to any grievous harm if he were to be expelled.

    1. It’s the appearance of bribery, not necessarily bribery itself.

      1. Yeah, just like Rep. Charlie Rangel (Douchebag – N.Y.) has the appearance of being a criminal asshole.

      2. I’m not sure its merely the appearance of bribery.

        The statute reads:

        a public official or person selected to be a public
        official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks,
        receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of
        value personally or for any other person or entity, in return
        for:
        (A) being influenced in the performance of any official act;

        It seems to me there is no dispute over the acceptance of “anything of value”. The only dispute is whether Rangel “corruptly” accepted the bribe in return for being influenced.

        IOW, at a minimum he should face a criminal indictment, and let a jury sort out why he accepted the bribe.

        I’m sure Holder will get right on that.

        1. Nope. Too busy going after Gov. Christy:

          The Daily Caller has learned that the author behind the recent report from the Department of Justice that targeted five former U.S. attorneys

          for excessive travel expenses has had, according to our sources, a troubled history in the DOJ and attempted in the past to use her position to smear conservatives.

          When the report surfaced last week, the investigation’s timing and targeting especially of New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, who has steadily been raising his national profile, raised red flags.

          According to the DOJ report, Christie ? favored by many conservatives to run against President Obama in 2012 ? spent a total of about $2,000 more than his budget allowed on 23 trips he took between 2007 and 2009. Almost immediately after the report’s release, conservative media and the blogosphere lit up with accusations that the report was politically motivated and meant to malign a rising star in the Republican Party.

          Tom Fitton, the president of DOJ watchdog organization Judicial Watch, agreed with that sentiment, telling TheDC that his first instinct was that the report was nothing more than a hit job from an “ideological and hostile Justice Department that leaked the report.”

          New information obtained by TheDC shows that that narrative may be true.

          The report’s author, Maura Lee, began her DOJ career in the civil rights division, but now works in the DOJ Office of Inspector General. Hans von Spakovsky, former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, supervised Lee and told TheDC that he was “astonished” when he found out she was the author of the report.

          http://dailycaller.com/2010/11…..urces-say/

          1. That works out to less than $100 over budget per trip. Obama’s recent circumnavigation of the globe probably went that much over budget every second.

            I mean, if that’s the best they’ve got, he should be feeling pretty good.

            1. Well he is a fatty.

  10. “Ethics experts say the committee is likely to issue Mr. Rangel only a letter of reprimand or a formal censure.

    Maybe we can get the UN to write the letter of reprimand.

    1. They’re bound to be very, very angry.

      1. Very angry, indeed.

  11. Congratulations, Charlie! Now you’re assured of winning every re-election run you ever make in Harlem.

    1. See also: Alcee Hastings.

    2. As if he wasn’t already.

  12. The full house would have to vote 2/3 to expel him. Given the cartoonish nature of Rangel’s corruption it wouldn’t shock me.

  13. The rest of us would be in fucking-in-the-ass prison if we did the shit this fucking jackwagon did.

    Are you fucking kidding? The tax violations this fucking creep committed? The IRS would have its microscope so far up your ass, your eyes would glow like flashlights. And then you’d be criminally prosecuted in federal court.

    Yup, the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress ever. Thanks, Madame Pelosi, you lying, fetid bitch.

    1. Sounds like your beef is with the IRS, not Congress.

      1. No, my beef is with Congress for not kicking this sorry creep’s ass out, thereby further proving the proposition that the place is a swamp of whore, thugs and thieves, each one as crooked as the next, and every one covering the other’s ass.

        1. I agree with Mr. Rage. In fact, I’m amazed Al Sharpton never found a place in Congress. He and Charles could be political BFF.

        2. If you want him out of Congress, your beef is with the voters in Mr Wrangel’s district. It would be extremely bad precedent for Congress members to undo the election of members they don’t like, for any but the most extreme reasons.

          1. True, we should put all the voters in his district in prison instead.

    2. You are obviously a racist and sexist bigot, and we cannot reward your racism and sexism by expelling an honorable member like Charlie.

  14. The way he defines being deprived of the right to counsel is amazing at the least. He fired his counsel after he got their bill, days before his hearing, thus he was ‘deprived of counsel’.

  15. Even funnier, Rangel says it’s unfair because he can’t afford a lawyer anymore.

    1. Good – give him the same shitty, worthless public defender your or I would get and see how quickly he scares up counsel.

    2. Maybe he should use the money he hid away from the IRS . . .

  16. Charlie Rangel Has Seen Better Days

    Sartorially, I hope so.

  17. Charlie Rangel!

  18. “Ethics experts say the committee is likely to issue Mr. Rangel only a letter of reprimand or a formal censure. While the committee has the power to expel, that has happened only rarely and is considered highly unlikely.”

    So why did he spend $2M of campaign money on legal fees? What does a letter or reprimand or a formal censure mean to a 50 year ego maniac politician. Does this prevent him from slithering on the Ways and Means committee?

    1. No, it gets him a $5 million dollar book deal, tentatively titled “Rangel on Rangel: My life of public service”

    2. So why did he spend $2M of campaign money on legal fees?

      Well, it wasn’t his money, and its not like he needs it to keep his seat.

      My guess is that he grossly overpaid his lawyers, and much of that money will find its way back to him, freshly laundered.

  19. Since no one else has linked it:

    http://reddogreport.com/wp-con…..00×399.jpg

    Tricky Chick is a lot better dresser than Dick, though.

  20. I’m still waiting for the Charlie Rangel’s “Clay Davis” moment.

  21. I see no evidence of corruption, and it’s hard to answer the question of personal financial benefit.

    Do I believe that based on the record that Congressman Rangel took steps to benefit himself based on his position in Congress? No. I believe that the congressman, quite frankly, was overzealous in many of the things he did. And sloppy in his personal finances.

    1. Do I believe that based on the writings of Blake Chisam that Blake Chisam is a moron? Hell yes.

    2. I believe Al Capone was overzealous in many of the things he did, and sloppy in his personal finances.

  22. Do I believe that based on the record that Congressman Rangel took steps to benefit himself based on his position in Congress? No.

    Then you, sir, are remarkably naive.

    Rangel and his ilk spend little energy on anything other than using their positions to benefit themselves.

    1. “Do I believe that based on the record that Congressman Rangel took steps to benefit himself based on his position in Congress?”

      Doesn’t the term Congressman in front of Rangle’s name answer that question definitively in the affirmative?

    2. “Do I believe that based on the record that Congressman Rangel took steps to benefit himself based on his position in Congress?”

      Doesn’t the term Congressman in front of Rangle’s name answer that question definitively in the affirmative?

    3. There’s nothing wrong with using a position to benefit yourself. How much did Ron Paul’s “Revolution: A Manifesto” put in his bank account again? A lot more than it would have made if he were just another cranky obstetrician in Galveston.

      Bribery is a small subset of using your position for personal advancement.

      1. There’s nothing wrong with using a position to benefit yourself. How much did Ron Paul’s “Revolution: A Manifesto” put in his bank account again? A lot more than it would have made if he were just another cranky obstetrician in Galveston.

        How is the writing and selling of a book, even remotely similar to bribery?

        Bribery is a small subset of using your position for personal advancement.

        Bribery deals with the purchase of political power, not the market transaction of private goods of production.

        1. Because all profit is theft.
          Ron Paul selling a book is the moral equivalent of Rangel selling his political office. See ?

  23. alt text fail

    “Invisible Cheesburger!”

  24. Charlie Rangel: Aristocrat.

    You: Peasant.

    The law is only for the little people.

  25. Meh. Just some of what my NYC relatives would have jokingly called “Honest graft.” It’s not like he’s targeting American citizens for extra judicial killings or anything.

  26. the impeccably-attired former Ways and Means Committee chairman

    Suit: Nothing wrong with a medium-gray pinstripe.

    Pocket square: Is supposed to be decorative, and not give an excellent impression of a used snot-rag.

    Cufflinks: Should be unobtrusive, not gargantuan.

    Shirt: Contrasting collars are so 1980s. And, you don’t wear a striped shirt with a striped suit.

    Tie: Meh.

    1. I wish they’d bring back tasteful windowpaning.

  27. I see no evidence of corruption, and it’s hard to answer the question of personal financial benefit.

    Ask your dog to read the newspaper to you.

  28. It would be extremely bad precedent for Congress members to undo the election of members they don’t like, for any but the most extreme reasons.

    Once more we observe Tulpa’s lonely crusade against barbarianism and chaos.

    1. As far as members getting tossed for ideology or “voting wrong”, I completely agree. But when it comes to legitimate ethics violations, crimes, or serious acts of moral turpitude, I say can the jokers.

      Being in Congress is a privilege, not a right. (Saying that to a Congressperson would give me physical pleasure.)

      1. And who will be the arbiter of which crimes are bootable and which ones aren’t? How do you guarantee that Congresspeople who “vote wrong” don’t get disproportionally targeted?

        We mock liberals for neglecting to think about these questions when they spew their platitudes; let’s not make the same mistake ourselves.

        I agree that being in Congress is a privilege. However, being representated in Congress is not, and routinely expelling representatives will interfere with that right.

        1. You know my answer already. You’ve been here long enough.

          The Censor!

          1. Ah, but who censors the Censor?

            1. Well, that’s actually one of the easier issues to deal with. The Censor would be a fourth branch of government (more than one person, by the way). Like the original three, there would be checks on its powers inherent in the other branches.

              What I see as the biggest problem is in getting relatively nonpartisan and nonpolitical people appointed and confirmed to this branch. If a group of censors with removal powers are at all partisan, well, that’s obviously not good.

              Someday, when I’m not so busy posting here, working, and raising a flock of children, I might write a law review article on this and actually think it through more thoroughly.

          2. If no Censorial branch, then I’ll say that the courts could, to some extent, be a check on Congressional powers to eject members. They’ll generally punt on the issue as a “political question”, but anything egregious would likely be prevented by the judiciary.

    2. Once more we observe P Brooks’ lonely crusade against the reply to this button.

  29. Ordinary schmucks like us can’t:

    Get away with not paying taxes

    Walk out of court and not get arrested

    Fuck Rangel. His ONLY redeeming quality is being a veteran. Period.

  30. I’m sick of these government workers being above the law …censure ( a formal letter of reprimand) is RIDICULOUS! Can you imagine…John Doe doesn’t pay taxes for 18 years on one of his 5+ houses and only gets a letter of reprimand????? We’d be carted off to jail or bankrupt because the government would WANT THEIR MONEY FROM US…but not him???? GUESS CUZ HE’S A MEMBER OF THE PARTY (referencing 1984.)

  31. AND do you realize a long time ago members of congress were not paid to be there, it was not supposed to be a full time job, they were supposed to be working with us side by side and fighting for what we wanted….NOT up above on a pedestal above all laws.

  32. What the hell is in the water in Harlem that they keep voting this crooked dope into office? Are they BLIND? Or they see and just don’t care? Unreal

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