FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Et Tu, Harlem?
It’s debatable what’s the most loyally Democratic district in the country, but NY’s 15th District would have to be in the running. The district, centered in Harlem, went 87% for Al Gore in 2000, 90% for John Kerry in 2004, and 93% for Barack Obama in 2008, is rated D+41 by Charlie Cook, and in various formats has been represented in Congress since 1971 by arch-liberal Charlie Rangel, who took the seat when his predecessor, Adam Clayton Powell jr., was enveloped by a decade-long series of scandals and ultimately booted from office by the House Democratic caucus after 26 years in office.
But in 2010, with the now scandal-marred Rangel facing a primary challenge from Powell’s grandson, Adam Clayton Powell IV (who he defeated previously in 1994), the NY Daily News finds even the Democratic voters in NY-15 dispirited by their choices, in an article helpfully titled (in the print edition) “Pick Rangel or Powell for Congress? Yuck!”:
“Everybody wishes there were better options,” said Pax Williams, a 33-year-old party promoter who plans to vote for Rangel because “you don’t want to get anyone worse.”
Rangel faces a House trial on 13 ethics charges, including tax evasion, and, as the Daily News reported Thursday, Powell took thousands in campaign cash – which he is returning – from an ex-con strip-club king.
“You don’t know what else is coming out of the bag with either of them,” said 73-year-old Leo Mobley of central Harlem….
“This is the problem in Harlem. They haven’t developed a generation of young leadership,” said one high-profile Rangel supporter.
That’s your energized base, Democrats.
Of course, I should point out here that there is a Republican running even in NY-15 (the GOP has fielded candidates in a record 432 of the nation’s 435 districts, for which the RNC and NRCC deserve some credit), former NY Jet and now pastor Rev. Michel Faulkner. RedState’s Moe Lane talked to Rev. Faulkner back in June.