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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Rep. Charles Rangel (D, NY) violated ethical rules.

Not a good time for Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

The House ethics committee has found Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, violated House rules by failing to properly disclose financial details of trips to the Caribbean, senior congressional officials said Thursday.

After several months of investigation, the ethics panel determined Mr. Rangel didn’t inform the ethics committee of the corporate source of funds for trips that took place in 2007 and 2008. The panel determined his staff knew the trips were paid for by corporations, and found that Mr. Rangel—who says he didn’t know—should still be held accountable, officials said.

…and you can read that any way that you like. If the Speaker does nothing to censure, punish, and/or admonish Rangel, you can be assured that the GOP will helpfully point that out in summer/fall campaign ads across the land. But if she does do something, Pelosi will get a good deal of grief from the Congressional Black Caucus, which is by the way giving her a good deal of internal support for the more progressive items on the Democratic agenda. For that matter, Charlie Rangel is a power in the House, and he is naturally disinclined to have to suffer from the consequences of his actions*.

So how does this get resolved? Well, there’s always the fine old Congressional tradition of trying to have it both ways and hope that nobody can raise a large enough stink. How well that works in the YouTube era… well, it has been established that it doesn’t work at all; but most of our older politicians really haven’t internalized that yet.

Moe Lane

*The fact that he should have to so suffer is just your Western Civilization’s overarching ethical matrix talking.

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