Rep. Charlie Rangel, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is charged with 13 ethics violations. The former head Democrat on the tax-writing Ways and Means committee is charged with various kinds of tax evasion. As if that is not enough to make your head spin, the panel bringing the charges against Rangel has suggested that only a “reprimand” is in order. A reprimand is simply the House voting to express “displeasure” with his conduct.
Really? That is it? The rest of us would be fined, if not imprisoned, for those infractions. He wrote the rules and might only get a slap on the wrist. Little mention has been made from leadership calling for Rangel’s resignation. Perhaps this behavior is common all around the halls of Congress. Democratic Representative Maxine Waters did say he should resign. Now she is facing ethics charges too. Instead of recognizing Rangel’s clear disregard for the law, the Democrats are throwing him a birthday/campaign fundraising bash. So not only are they not calling for his resignation, they are now assisting him with his campaign for re-election!
Among those supporters, we find our very own Congressman John Spratt. He has voted twice to keep Rangel as chairman of the Ways and Means committee. He also accepted quite a bit of campaign contributions from Rangel. Many Democratic candidates have returned the contributions made by Rangel in light of the current allegations, but not Spratt. It is also quite astonishing that it took 13 violations before Rangel’s offenses were finally addressed. I guess the longer you are in Congress, the more you can get away with. I can’t help but wonder why these ethic hearings are not being taken more seriously. Pelosi promised the most ethical Congress. I guess it was just about power, not about serving you and me.