The latest on Charlie the tax cheat Rangel

Posted by: ST on March 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

The House’s top tax cheat has “temporarily” stepped down from his chairmanship of the HWMC (via Memeorandum):

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday that he would temporarily step down as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, days after being admonished for breaking House rules by accepting corporate-financed travel.

The longtime incumbent from Harlem, who was facing a growing wave of opposition from within his party, said he didn’t want the ethics probe into his activities to affect fellow Democrats running in next fall’s House elections.

In order to avoid my colleagues having to defend me during their elections, I have this morning sent a letter” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “asking her to grant me a leave of absence until such time as the ethics committee completes its work,” Rangel said.

Citing the ongoing probe, the 20-term incumbent declined to take reporters’ questions.

In a statement issued by her office, Pelosi said she would honor Rangel’s request to step down temporarily. “I commend Chairman Rangel for his decades of leadership on jobs, health care, and the most significant economic issues of the day,” the statement said.

Rangel, 79, becomes the highest-ranking House member to resign a leadership position amid an ethical scandal in four years, since then-Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) stepped down as, respectively, majority leader and administration committee chairman amid the Jack Abramoff lobbying investigation.

Note the bolded part. That is what this is all about. Elections. The Democrats don’t want this embarassing episode on their hands so he’s “temporarily” stepping aside because he thinks it takes the heat off of House Democrats who are up for re-election this year. Ah, such a noble little martyr, isn’t he? Not.

Left Coast Rebel has some questions:

Why is it in this country that we put up with transgressions from leadership, especially an individual that has power over the tax writing branch of the government (think of Tim Geithner, ‘my dog ate my turbotax’ as well). Why is it that our leadership at this point just brushes over malfeasance with a willing accomplice press? How in God’s name can the head of the IRS cheat on his taxes yet keep his job? How can Charles Rangel keep his job as chief tax writer after myriad scandals as well?

Why indeed?

That said, as Michelle Malkin notes, Rangel’s not out of the woods yet in terms of the ongoing ethics investigation -and furthermore no matter whether the ethics panel finds any more wrongdoing on Rangel’s part, the fact that he has “temporarily” stepped down after being admonished for ethical wrongdoing speaks volumes – and not in a good way.

It ain’t ovah til it’s ovah.

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6 Responses to “The latest on Charlie the tax cheat Rangel”


  1. Kate says:

    Big Idea…IRS AUDIT, anyone? If this was one of the many citizens in his precinct do you think they would still be walking around with all the money and goodies to boot?

    What hypocrisy! They are more worried about their precious election because, let’s face it, they are only interested in keeping their hands on power and their fingers in the cookie jar!

    Shame on the lame stream media for allowing this THIEF to continue to steal from the pockets of our children and grandchildren. How much of a kickback are they getting?

  2. Tex says:

    Wow! What noble leadership Rangel exhibits! He’s gonna make the ultimate sacrifice (temporarily) for his pals in the Democratic Party. What a guy!

    After all, it is HIS chairmanship on the House Ways and Means Committee ….. it belongs to him ….. it’s his personal property. To give it up (temporarily) for the good of his party exemplifies everything the Democratic Party stands for. He’s a regular pillager pillar of his community.

    Thank God we have the Democratic Party and selfish selfless leaders like Charlie Rangel to steer this country through these dangerous and dark economic times. I give you “The Three Amigos” salute Charlie!

  3. Carlos says:

    So, what he’s saying is a) the ethics committee found sufficient dirt, and b) it’s not nobility that causes me to step down temporarily, it’s the hope that the opposition can’t use my transgressions this election cycle but as soon as the elections are over any unethical misdeed on my part won’t count.

    Is that about right?

    And Kate, you’re almost spot on, but I would recommend 100% of Congress get audited every year. After all, these are our leaders by example, right? Let’s see if the IRS has the cajones to do that!

  4. Kate says:

    I agree Carlos…you would think that these “public figures” would know better. They need a trip to the wood shed….and an good old fashioned IRS audit across the board would certainly clear the air and maybe gain a few points of confidence with the general public.

    Of course, who knows how much they have hidden, protected and off shored…..

  5. I just hope this makes a difference, a positive difference that it; not only to Ragel and may it set a good example to his colleagues as well.

    I agree both to Carlos and Kate to the audit thing. This is more of a psyche war to those people who tends to be “very smart”.