And you thought South Carolina Democrats who voted for Alvin Greene were stupid …
Harlem Democrats on Tuesday overwhelmingly reelected ousted Ways and Means Committee chairman Charlie Rangel – giving him 51 percent of the vote State Assemblyman Clayton Powell IV (24 percent) and community activist Joyce Johnson (12 percent).
Rangel is serving his 20th term in Washington, D.C., but he stands accused of a veritable smorgasbord of ethical violations – failing to report assets, failing to pay taxes, using public resources to campaign for reelection and using taxpayer-funded mail to solicit campaign donations. There are also multiple allegations that Rangel traded taxpayer-funded favors to political donors from his powerful Ways and Means perch. All told, Rangel faces thirteen separate ethics violations.
Basically, he should be incarcerated – not reelected.
Amazingly, Rangel’s Harlem constituents are enthusiastically returning him to Washington. And not only that, his Democratic allies in the nation’s capital have recommended that he receive nothing more than a reprimand in the event he’s found guilty. They’ve also pushed his public trial back to January in an effort to minimize bad press in advance of the November elections.
Yeah … so much for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2006 promise to “restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C.” and run “the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history.”
As for Rangel, any man with an ounce of shame would have stepped down already (as President Barack Obama has suggested that he do), but the 80-year-old spent his election night Tuesday complaining that votes weren’t being counted quickly enough.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” he bellowed when told that some ballots would not be counted until as late as 11:30 p.m.
An unabashed fiscal liberal, Rangel was one of the key sponsors of the anti-business tax hikes included in “Obamacare.”