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10.01.2008 0

Rangel’s Big Government Scam

  • On: 10/21/2008 20:33:20
  • In: Government Transparency
  • A troubling story that received very little coverage appears to be swept under the rug once and for all. And it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

    Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY), a long serving Representative from the New York City neighborhood of Harlem, recently was caught red-handed violating the clearly defined laws applicable to his four rent-controlled apartments in New York City. Rent controls set prices for the renting of residential properties. Rangel had been illegally operating his campaign office out of an apartment zoned for residential use and was caught in the act.

    The New York Post wrote an interesting story covering this serious transgression, that led to an attempt to censure Rangel. The censure attempt, led by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), was tabled however by a vote of 254 to 138. As the New York Post reported:

    “’Instead of keeping their promise to ‘drain the swamp’ of corruption in Washington, House Democrats are sinking in it. Chairman Rangel’s own public admissions about his conduct make clear that his sweetheart deals violate House rules as well as state and federal laws,’ Boehner said.

    “The censure measure was defeated by a vote of 254-138, with two dozen Republicans voting with Rangel and the Democrats.

    “’There’s no one in this house that’s more thick-skinned than I am in terms of playing politics,[or apparently breaking the law] but playing with someone’s reputation, especially someone that has felt so honored to serve in this House, I really think goes a step beyond that,’ Rangel said to his colleagues on the floor.”

    Rangel fought the effort and was able to successfully navigate around his wrong doings allowing corruption, cronyism and Big Government policies to carry the day. Rangel goes as far to say that he is honored to serve in the House but this apparently doesn’t prevent him from dishonoring its rules.

    Rangel does seem to acknowledge that he has done something wrong. Upon learning of the censure vote, he said that he would move the campaign office out of his rent-controlled apartment. Reported the Post:

    “Rangel has said he would move his campaign office out of the apartment, which Boehner took as an admission of guilt.

    “According to Boehner and watchdogs, Rangel’s acceptance of the reduced rent violated House rules, which bar gifts.”

    The current House rules, which were developed by the Democratic majority in Congress, address the acceptance of gifts. Rangel voted for them – which would suggest he may have read them. And that means he knew full well that he could not accept cheaper housing because of his status as a member of the House of Representatives.

    And, that’s fine, as far as it goes. Mr. Rangel’s gift to himself of a low-rent office did, indeed, violate House rules. But, it also violated New York City laws. And when lawmakers become lawbreakers, it shouldn’t be swept under the rug—it should headline the story of their being swept from office.

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