08.31.2009 0

Editorial: Rangel Must Go

  • On: 09/21/2009 10:12:10
  • In: Corruption
  • Charlie Rangel’s problems are legion. Namely, he is the subject of an “ongoing” investigation by the House Ethics Committee for violating public disclosure laws to the tune of failing to report over $1 million in outside income. And he also failed to report $3 million in business transactions as required by the House. And if justice is to be served, it must no longer delayed by the Ethics Committee.

    The truth is, that committee charge of rooting out corruption in the House may have been perverted by none other than Charlie Rangel, himself. He apparently has “purchased” favor within the Ethics Committee—thus yielding any investigation compromised. CBS’ Marcia Kramer reported that “since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him.”

    Whether compromised or complacent—or both—the Ethics Committee, a government institution designed to bring justice to career miscreants like Mr. Rangel, has failed miserably.

    CREW reports that Mr. Rangel only disclosed in August at least $650,000 in assets he had previously failed to list on his House financial disclosure forms. But his problems don’t stop there. He also failed to disclose to the IRS or on his financial disclosure forms $75,000 in rental income for a beach villa in the Dominican Republic.

    He even violated House rules by using congressional letterhead to solicit donations for an education center bearing his name at City College of New York.

    But it’s not just national laws and rules the Congressman is running into trouble with. He broke state laws by claiming three primary residences and broke municipal laws by maintaining four rent-controlled apartments. He’s also been delinquent in paying his property taxes on two New Jersey parcels and failed to report the sale of a $1.3 million brownstone.

    Unfortunately, nothing has been done.

    Mr. Rangel has not been held accountable by those whose very job is to hold unethical leaders accountable. Knowing this—and knowing that enough is enough—Americans for Limited Government has launched an online public petition, www.RangelOutNow.org, to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Mr. Rangel’s malfeasance and hold the congressman accountable once and for all.

    Although the Ethics Committee claims that it is currently investigating Mr. Rangel, it has already demonstrated a tragic dereliction of duty. As ALG President Bill Wilson stated, the committee may be deliberately stalling:

    “[T]he Ethics Committee — comprised of some of Mr. Rangel’s most ardent apologists — has clearly decided to turn its ‘internal investigation’ into an ‘eternal investigation.’ And justice delayed has long since become justice denied.”

    If corruption as extensive, outrageous, and public as Mr. Rangel’s can go unaddressed and unpunished, who knows what other kinds of disgraceful fraud and abuse our elected leaders in Washington can get away with?

    Americans for Limited Government believes it’s time for all concerned citizens who value accountability in Washington to sign on to www.RangelOutNow.org and tell the Attorney General that Mr. Rangel’s “Get Out of Jail Free” card must be revoked. And it must be revoked now.

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