Apparently there are some Democrats from New York that are beginning to experience the ill effects of having an unrepentant House Ways and Means Committee Chairman like Charles Rangel around for the 2010 elections.
Politically vulnerable junior Democrats have been agitating with more senior counterparts to intervene — either with Rangel or with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — in an attempt to ease Rangel out as Ways and Means chairman until the House ethics committee completes its review of the allegations against him, members tell POLITICO.
“The past month it’s escalated,” said one of the lawmakers, noting that Rangel’s restatement of his personal finances in August “put additional pressure on those members” from northern swing districts.
“There’s concern. There’s rumblings,” said another New York member about the dean of the state delegation. “Is it palpable? No. But there is talk.”
Several members of the delegation said Democratic Reps. Eric Massa and Michael Arcuri, both elected by the barest of margins, have been the most rattled.
As has been mentioned here at Wizbang before, there is one constant at work in the fluid world of Congressional politics: at the end of the day, members of Congress will act in their own best interests. Reps Massa and Arcuri are both feeling the effects of a nascent “throw the bums out” movement that is gaining momentum by the day. While the Chairman of Ways and Means asked in December that his past tax indiscretions be viewed through the prism of his “intent”, the growing legions of jobless voters in New York are having nothing of it. Then there is the matter of Rangel restating his net worth this year by over $500,000 in federal tax filings that were somehow filed inaccurately for years. There’s something about the unrelenting accumulation of several million jobless voters that can turn an electorate sour. Of course, the idea of a Congressional tax writer (who doesn’t pay his own taxes) trying to raise taxes on his own constituents strains credulity.
Charlie Rangel is beginning to look a lot like Tom Foley. When times get tough voters always show that they have long memories. What makes me think Jack Murtha is watching this closely?