Monday, January 26, 2009

Ethics Committee Member Investigating Rangel Gives Back $20K

Vermont Representative Peter Welch (D), who is on the House Ethics Committee investigating Charlie Rangel, gave back close to $20,000 he received from Rep. Rangel. He returned the money to "avoid any appearance of impropriety" when Nancy Pelosi named him, along with four other Democrats, to the panel.

Rangel is being investigated for a number of alleged ethics violations.

My reaction? No, no, no, no, NO. How can you accept $20,000 from someone and then be impartial when investigating them?

Yes, I realize the whole investigation is a sham to begin with, but pu-leeze, don't assume we're stupid. At least try to pretend you're giving a good effort.

Sure, the guy is giving the money back that he received from Rangel. Big deal. Welch has already used the money to win his seat, what does he need with it now? Besides, what's to say Rangel won't fork over double the amount once he's let off the hook?

I know that money goes back and forth between elected officials all the time. I also know Rangel has been in office for a long, long time and he has built up a lot of loyalty points. However, isn't there someone Pelosi can pick who doesn't owe something to Rangel?

Can you imagine what kind of uproar there would be in the media if a Republican tried this kind? I am getting more than fed up with obvious double-standards in the minds of Congress, the media and some of the public. I'm also getting really tired of our elected officials flaunting their disdain for their voting public.

Welch gives back Rangel contributions
By Susan Crabtree
Posted: 01/26/09 04:43 PM [ET]
Rep. Peter Welch (Vt.), a new Democratic member of the House ethics committee, gave back nearly $20,000 in donations he received from Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who is under investigation by the panel for an array of ethics charges.
Welch received a total of $19,000 from Rangel’s reelection committee and leadership political action committee over the last four years.

This from Fox News Jan. 5th:

Ethics Wrangle
The ethics investigation into House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel still is not done — despite promises from Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Rangel is being investigated in at least four areas — including his failure to report income taxes on a Caribbean villa and the use of rent-controlled apartments in New York. Pelosi said in November, "The report will be completed by the end of this session... which concludes January 3, 2009."

The Hill newspaper reports the investigation will be further delayed because the ethics committee is currently without a chairman.

And Cybercast News reports Rangel will likely hold onto his Ways and Means chairmanship because the House voted Tuesday to eliminate term limits for committee heads. Michael Steel, House Minority Leader John Boehner’s press secretary, says "There's no limit whatsoever on the amount of time Chairman Rangel can remain chairman, despite the ethical questions he faces."

Here's a list of some of the stories on Charlie Rangel:

Rep. Rangel, AIG Sought Favors From Each Other New York Times, 1/5
Rangel Pays Parking Tickets With Campaign Funds CQ Politics, 12/30
This Year in Scandals: Congressmen Behaving Badly ProPublica, 12/24
Trips to Caribbean Appear to Have Broken House Rules The Hill, 12/17
Madoff’s Political Contributions Capital Eye, 12/16
Rangel Investigation Expanded Politico, 12/10
Rangel Disputes Ethics Violations Wall Street Journal ($), 12/9
Rangel Steered Campaign Cash to Son’s Business Politico, 12/5
This Week in Scandals ProPublica, 12/5
NY Times Rebuts Rangel’s Claims on Meeting With Donor Politico, 12/4
Pols’ Trip to the Caribbean Skirted Rules New York Post, 12/3
Rangel Takes on The New York Times Politico, 12/2
Pelosi: Rangel Ethics Probe Will Be Done By Early Jan. Politico, 12/1
Republicans Question Rangel’s Tax Break Support New York Times, 11/26
Rep. Rangel Rebukes ‘Inflammatory’ Media Report CNN, 11/26
Investigations Hamper Rangel’s Sway Politico, 11/25
Rep. Rangel Helped Protect Tax Shelter for Big Donor New York Times, 11/25
Rep. Rangel Reaped DC Home Perk While Renting in NYC New York Post, 11/24
Rep. Rangel (Finally) Hires Forensic Accountant Roll Call ($), 11/13
House Ethics Committee Stymied By ‘Truce’ Reason, 11/12
Rep. Rangel Pays Law Firm With Campaign Funds New York Post, 11/3
Rep. Rangel’s Attorney: Auditor Yet to Be Hired Roll Call ($), 10/28
Rangel’s Beach Trip Got Ethics Thumbs-Up The Hill ($), 10/1
Dem Calls for Rangel to Step Down Politico, 9/29
House Ethics Committee Votes to Investigate Rep. Rangel Politico, 9/24
Rangel Now Faces Losing Low-Rent Apts. New York Post, 9/23
Senate Candidate Refuses to Return Funds from Rep. Rangel Rocky Mountain News, 9/22
Rangel Pays IRS, Complains of ‘Guerilla War’ AP, 9/22
Ethics Committee Moves Toward Rangel Probe AP, 9/19
Rangel Deflects Blame in Open Letter Politico, 9/19
Rangel’s Illegal Free Parking May Be New Tax Woe New York Post, 9/18
Parties Spar over Convicted Donors Politico, 9/18
Rangel to Stay on Tax Committee AP, 9/17
Rangel Could Face $100K Tab for Audit Roll Call ($), 9/17
Rangel Says He Won’t Leave Ways and Means Post Wall Street Journal ($), 9/16
Rangel, Pressured, Meets With Leaders New York Times, 9/16
Rangel Failed to Report Profit on Condo Sale Roll Call, 9/15
Rep. Rangel to Hire Forensic Accountant to Investigate His Finances The Washington Post, 9/15
More Errors for Rangel; Hires New Accountant The Associated Press, 9/15
Rangel’s Papers in Disarray Roll Call, 9/15
This Week in Scandals ProPublica, 9/12
Dems Stand Up for Rangel Politico, 9/11
Watchdog Names the 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress CREW, 9/10
Rangel Tries to Explain Back Taxes on Villa New York Times, 9/10
Rangel Admits ‘Mistakes,’ Lands on Scandal Watch ProPublica, 9/10
Pelosi: Rangel Won’t Be Forced to Step Aside Politico, 9/10
Rangel to Amend Taxes, GOPers Want Him Removed From Tax Panel Chair ProPublica, 9/9
House Republicans Call on Rangel to Step Aside Politico, 9/9
Rep. Rangel to File Amended Tax Returns Wall Street Journal ($), 9/9
Rep. Rangel Asks for an Inquiry Roll Call ($), 9/9
Rep. Rangel Says He Didn’t Known of Loan Terms Washington Post, 9/8
Interest Was Waived for Rangel On Loan for His Caribbean Villa New York Times, 9/5
Rep. Rangel Failed to Report $75,000 in Income New York Times, 9/5
Rep. Rangel’s Shady Filings on Beach Villa Rental Income New York Post, 9/1
House Defeats GOP Bid to Censure Rep. Rangel AP, 8/1
Real Estate Developers Are Major Rangel Donors New York Times, 7/28
Rep. Rangel Acknowledges Seeking Gifts Washington Post, 7/24
Rep. Rangel’s Letters to Potential Donors Washington Post, 7/18
House Ethics Manual Shows Rule Rangel May Have Broken Washington Post, 7/18
Rangel Says He’ll File Ethics Complaint – Against Himself The Wall Street Journal ($), 7/17
Watchdog Seeks Ethics Probe of Rep. Rangel’s Fundraising for NY Center Washington Post, 7/16
Rep. Rangel to Move Office from Low-Rent NYC Apt AP, 7/15
Rep. Rangel Seeks Funds for Pet Project From Firms with Business Before his Panel Washington Post, 7/15
Rep. Rents Apartments at Bargain Rates The New York Times, 7/11

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