As a general rule, I don’t follow the antics of the various and sundry Congresscritters. There are too damned many of them, and most of them are usually safe to ignore.
Every now and then, though, one of them manages to garner enough attention to catch my interest, and reaffirm my belief that a philosophy of “voting against the incumbent” is probably the safest practice one can make.
Case in point: Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY).
Rangel is the chairman of the incredibly powerful Ways And Means Committee in the House. That is the committee that writes the tax laws.
Well, Mr. Rangel seems a bit underqualified for that position, because he’s been accused of violating tax laws — as well as other regulations — right and left.
In New York City, rent-controlled apartments are rare prizes. As such, they are tightly controlled — no one is supposed to have more than one, and they can only use them to live in.
Somehow, Rangel managed to snag four of them, in the same building. He combined three of them into his home, and uses the fourth as a campaign office.
Also, Rangel owns a villa in the Dominican Republic. He rents it out during the year, but he never bothered to report the income. One would think that the guy who is in charge of writing the tax code would know better, but you know you can’t expect law MAKERS to follow the same laws they expect us to obey.
Rangel is also taking heat for going on a trip to Antigua and Barbuda, letting lobbyists pick up his tab for him.
Rangel had been undergoing divorce proceedings. On the same day he came clean about the villa, he also pulled those plans. I’m sure that that was a wild coincidence — the chance that his wife of 42 years might be freed to talk about his shenanigans was most likely the furthest thing from his mind.
You know, when the Democrats took control of Congress back in 2006, Speaker Pelosi promised us “the most ethical Congress in history.” She has the authority to remove Rangel from his position of power.
I’m betting she won’t.