FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
More ethical concerns about Charlie Rangel.
Well, I don’t like revisiting the subject. It’s easily fixed: boot the guy from his committee chairmanship.
Anyway, I missed this latest about Rep Rangel’s murky ways from last week, but (via Instapundit) the New York Post is happy to highlight it for our attention:
The ethical clouds hanging over Rep. Charlie Rangel grow thicker by the day.
Thursday, it came to light that Rangel’s campaign committee steered some $80,000 to his son’s Internet company for work that Politico.com’s Luke Rosiak and Glenn Thrush describe as “poorly designed” and shoddy.
The Politico article referenced above:
Tangled Web: Rangel son got campaign cash
Between 2004 and 2007, Rep. Charles Rangel steered nearly $80,000 in campaign cash to an Internet company run by his son — paying lavishly for a pair of political websites so poorly designed an expert estimated one should have cost no more than $100 to create.
The payments are apparently legal under federal law, but their disclosure raises new questions about the Ways and Means Committee chairman as he faces House ethics committee probes into his failure to pay taxes on rental income and his alleged use of House stationery to solicit contributions for a public policy center that bears his name.
There is definitely something going on behind the scenes, here: the NYP reports that Rangel has indicated that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has assured him that he’s keeping his chairmanship of Ways & Means. This is very, very interesting, given that Rangel accused Pelosi last month of helping to remove Rep. Dingell from his committee chair for Energy. It’s possible that Pelosi is making this deal with Rangel in order to minimize the fallout of putting our industrial development in the hands of the Congressman from Beverly Hills, California; or she might just not really care what her caucus does, as long as nothing they do becomes part of a larger narrative. Either way, I think that we can rule out her merely being unaware of the ethical problems here.
Before you ask: Charlie Rangel’s district is rated at D+43 by Cook; it’s one of the top two in the country for the Democrats, in fact. Rangel got 88% of the vote (which is lower than what he got in 2006): so if you’re wondering why he thinks that he’s bulletproof, well, there’s his reason. None the less, the NY GOP does run candidates in that district every cycle: D+43 is one heck of a hurdle, but then, so was LA-02’s D+28. Perhaps more plausibly, a successful primary challenger would still have an excellent chance of keeping the seat for the Democrats… and that observation remains true even though it’s a VRWC Death Beast that’s pointing it out.
Hey, you can’t win if you don’t bloody try, you know what I’m saying?