Unethical, Creaking Tax Cheat Charlie Rangel Cannot Understand Why Obama Won’t Endorse Him

  he's just so wonderful

Not his gavel.New York Congressman Charlie Rangel loooves Barack Obama — puts him on mailers. Brags about that health care deedly-doo the two of them passed. Declares, proudly, that “Rangel’s got Obama’s back!”

Now that he’s facing a primary challenge today, though, Rangel (D-Jurassic) is hurt — Obama, you see, just won’t endorse the guy for Congress. Obama! His old pal! The guy Rangel is so close with that he endorsed Hillary Clinton to beat him in 2008!

It’s a simple gesture, really — all Obama has to do is release a statement, for goodness’ sake. No photo op, no public appearance. Just one little email from a campaign that sends so, so many emails. No dice.

Why? WHY?! It’s almost like Obama is bothered by Rangel being one of only six congressmen to be censured by Congress since 1890. How preposterous!

OK, New York Times, let’s say, hypothetically, that being convicted of 11 ethics violations would actually bother the president of the United States. What was Rangel accused of?

 
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He was accused of failing to declare hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal assets on his financial disclosure forms, failing to pay state and federal taxes on rental income on his villa in the Dominican Republic and helping to preserve a tax loophole worth hundreds of millions of dollars for an oil company at the same time that he was seeking a $1 million contribution to the Rangel Center from a company executive.

Oh. Um… Well, he had to have had a good explanation, right?

Since the accusations were first raised two years ago, Mr. Rangel has acknowledged bookkeeping errors in his financial disclosure forms and has said that his failure to pay more than $60,000 in taxes on rental income from a Dominican beach house was an oversight, caused, in part, by his inability to speak Spanish.

Ah, well that makes sense. Charlie no habla taxes. Simple mistake! Plus, there’s no way the House panel that found him guilty of all that stuff was legit — he wasn’t even in the room when they decided.

Oh, that was because he just got up and walked out? Well, he must have had his reasons. He must also have had reasons for improperly funding his defense with campaign money:

The Federal Election Commission is investigating a complaint that Rep. Charles Rangel improperly used his National Leadership PAC to fund his legal defense on ethics charges for which he was censured Thursday…

So, his ethics hearings… spawned more ethics hearings? How did he respond to that?

“In all fairness, I was not found guilty of corruption, I did not go to bed with kids, I did not hurt the House speaker, I did not start a revolution against the United States of America, I did not steal any money, I did not take any bribes, and that is abundantly clear,” he said.

Hm. Perhaps the “at least I’m not a molester” defense is an indication that maybe we should move on from this ethics business.

Let’s look elsewhere. He’s been super nice to Obama, right, Politico?

In May, as he was departing a news conference in the Bronx, Rangel told a group of reporters that he didn’t “give a damn” whether Obama would endorse him.

Oh.

Privately, Rangel told advisers that he wanted the president’s support, reasoning that it could make a difference in his race.

THAT’S A DIFFERENT THING, CHARLIE. THAT’S A DIFFERENT THING THAN THE THING YOU SAID. Hm. Oh well, that’s OK — you’ve still got Bill Clinton, right? Right, New York Post?

Bill Clinton is abandoning his old ally Charles Rangel, who is fighting for his political life as he seeks re-election to a 22nd term, The Post has learned.

Harlem Rep. Rangel won’t be getting an endorsement from the former president, who will sit out the primary, a Clinton source said.

We are not out of it yet, Charlie, don’t you look at me like that. Who else we got, New York Post?

The ethically challenged congressman from Harlem yesterday got a full back-slap of support from equally troubled New York City Comptroller John Liu as Rangel wages his hardest-fought re-election bid yet.

Great! A full back-slap! That’s wonderful. Wait wait, what’s this “equally troubled” business about? Oh, federal authorities are investigating Liu’s shady fundraising paperwork? The New York Times found “instances in which people listed as having given to Mr. Liu say they never gave, say a boss or other Liu supporter gave for them, or could not be found altogether”? Who cares. Liu’s endorsement is gold, Charlie. Plus, no way anything comes of that investigation. Nobody’s even been arrested.

A fund-raiser for the New York City comptroller, John C. Liu, whose campaign finances are under federal investigation, was arrested on Wednesday morning on charges that he helped illegally funnel thousands of dollars into Mr. Liu’s campaign account.

Ah. Well… good luck, Charlie. Here’s hoping your constituents don’t mind whether the person who helps decide their taxes is actually paying his. They didn’t last time. [Politico]

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70 comments

  1. mavenmaven

    "Here’s hoping your constituents don’t mind whether the person who helps decide their taxes is actually paying his."

    Oddly enough, we may have a president like that soon.

  2. Barb

    Charlie, just go to the site of the fallen World Trade Center buildings and *poof* Rudy will appear out of nowhere. Get someone to snap a photo and use that in your ads as an endorsement.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      Although he likes a bit of rouge and garter belts, I don't think Rudy is really a poof.

    2. James Michael Curley

      Probably won't see Rudy magically appear. They replaced all the Port-A-Johns.

    1. Negropolis

      He's our crook, right?

      Honestly, he's stayed on a few too many terms, and I feel that way about A LOT of politicians. If I still lived in John Conyers district in Detroit, you better believe I'd be voting him out, this election. Thanks for the service; now bow out gracefully.

  3. Oblios_Cap

    re-election to a 22nd term

    It seems that Charlie has had a pretty good run sucking on that government teat. I endorse him for retirement.

  4. ChernobylSoup

    NPR's coverage of this noted that Harlem is no longer predominately Black, and that it's more of a cosmopolitan place now. So the question is not so much what this means for Rangel, but what the fuck is going to happen to the Globetrotters?

  5. Sassomatic

    Holy shit Obama. If Rangel were a Republican, other Republicans would be elevating him as a hero and frothing at the mouth about all teh racizms of the media and such. Why can't Democrats do that?

    1. Chet Kincaid

      Because it's a primary and there are other Democrats available, perhaps better suiting the demographics of his district, so the hell with him. And no Republican is going to win the general in his district.

  6. An_Outhouse

    Rangel is 82 years old. Give it up already. Retire to the DR. Rush pays a good dollar for his rent boys.

  7. Serolf_Divad

    He was accused of failing to declare hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal assets on his financial disclosure forms, failing to pay state and federal taxes on rental income on his villa in the Dominican Republic and helping to preserve a tax loophole worth hundreds of millions of dollars for an oil company at the same time that he was seeking a $1 million contribution to the Rangel Center from a company executive.

    Just a kinda crazy, thought here, but: sounds like maybe Charlie should be seeking Mitt Romney's endorsement?

  8. actor212

    The ethically challenged congressman from Harlem yesterday got a full back-slap of support from equally troubled New York City Comptroller John Liu as Rangel wages his hardest-fought re-election bid yet.

    Boy, is the Post whistling past the graveyard or what? Rangel's toughest election is today, and his opposition is splitting his vote four ways. No way he loses, and he sure as hell will cream any Republican in November. 2010 was a tough race. This is a coronation.

  9. Terry

    Charlie needs to retire, perhaps to his lovely beach house in the Caribbean.

    I heard him speak once in person to a group of college students. He talked about getting to go to college and the responsibility a college grad has to help kids in his/her old neighborhood have the same or better opportunities than he/she had. It was a really good speech, drawing on the oratorical style of black ministers.

    He's done some good over the years, but seems to have reached that old politico's point of thinking the rules don't apply to him. He needs to gracefully move into his life's next chapter.

    1. Chow Yun Flat

      Agree. Over the years Rangel has been a tough guy on the right side of just about everything and a real thorn in the side to conservatives/fascists/Republicans.

      But it is way past time to retire.

    2. Tyrannically_Joe

      I think it's honestly a sort of pathology born of deep incumbency in an extremely safe district; recall that Rangel replaced Adam Clayton Powell, Jr, -who, while locally beloved, also left office in scandal.

  10. Mittens Howell, III

    If only he had a dancing horse, the tax deductions could have saved him all this trouble.

  11. SorosBot

    But according to Fox New and the New York Post, I'm sure, Rangel is best buds with Obama and proves that every single Democrat, especially the blah ones, are just as corrupt as him.

  12. Callyson

    bookkeeping errors in his financial disclosure forms

    Oh crap–we got caught!

    Sorry, Charlie, but "it's time the Dems started fighting back hard against the Reeps" does not mean we should do so by emulating their greed…

  13. Tyrannically_Joe

    Hm. Perhaps the “at least I’m not a molester” defense is an indication that maybe we should move on from this ethics business.

    Actually, given Congress, I'd say it was actually a fairly reasonable defense.

  14. gurukalehuru

    Don't feel bad, Charlie. Bammers didn't do shit for that guy that was running against Scott Walker, either, whatever his name was.
    Myself, I think it's bad strategy, but Barry doesn't do downticket.

  15. Oblios_Cap


    In May, as he was departing a news conference in the Bronx, Rangel told a group of reporters that he didn’t “give a damn” whether Obama would endorse him.

    Privately, Rangel told advisers that he wanted the president’s support, reasoning that it could make a difference in his race.

    sounds a lot more like Romney than O'Bama.

    1. tessiee

      Charlie [thinks]: "I'll wear TWO diamond rings with my judicial robes; that will show them that I have good taste."

  16. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Charlie is "my" congresscrook, and I vote against him every chance I get. It's a rare and pointless exercise, rather like voting against Bloomberg, but it makes me feel good.

  17. Biel_ze_Bubba

    "Privately, Rangel told advisers that he wanted the president’s support, reasoning that it could make a difference in to his race."

    That really needed fixing.

  18. Tyrannically_Joe

    Also, it's hard to think of a single district in the country that went harder for Obama than Rangel's district, nor a state that went harder for Obama than New York. Which means this:

    Privately, Rangel told advisers that he wanted the president’s support, reasoning that it could make a difference in his race.

    Is a manifestly insane reading of the political tea leaves.

  19. Limeylizzie

    He is my Congressman and I adore him so do all the lovely old black women in my building, and as MrLimeylizzie always says, re. Charlie's sartorial splendour, "He steps right up to the line on flashy but never crosses over".

    1. guangho

      He is a lovely man. But that aside, if his best defense is that he is not a kiddie-diddler, then perhaps its time to go. Oh and irony of ironies, he got his gig by beating a past his prime dinosaur.

    2. Negropolis

      Well, a certain someone made the trains run on time, as well. Doesn't make a crook any less a crook, and after so many terms and honest voters needs to find the ability to say "no" and send a treasured dinosaur into the sunset.

  20. tessiee

    Just looking at Rangel's very *picture* annoys me.
    Look at his smile! Look at his facial expression! Look at his body language!
    And THEN tell me you don't want to punch him in the gut!
    And the picture doesn't give you even a hint of his voice, which sounds like the thing that crushes a car into a little cube.
    *takes deep, calming breath*
    Unless things have changed drastically in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, there are one million guys like that who live there. Every single one of them is a meathead. They're like that when they're 18, and they're like that when they're 80. The younger ones tend toward Ed Hardy and Axe Body Spray, and the older ones go more for Aramis and the 60 buck silk ties — but they all have way too much hair product and way too much jewelry, they all think they're God's gift to women, they all have more nerve than a lion tamer and more self-esteem than Bill Gates — and the thing that keeps this combination from having the least shred of attractiveness? They are all, every last one of them, as dumb as a bag of hammers with the handles missing.

  21. proudgrampa

    President Obama has enough on his plate without endorsing a horse's ass like Rangel.

    He is one of those (many) congresspeople who have abused their power and profited from it. Doesn't matter if he's Democrat: he's gotta go!

  22. tessiee

    "his failure to pay more than $60,000 in taxes on rental income from a Dominican beach house was an oversight, caused, in part, by his inability to speak Spanish"

    My grasp of Spanish is, I'm afraid, very poor. Will someone who is fluent in the language explain how "you have to pay taxes" could be mistaken for "you don't have to pay taxes"?

  23. barto

    “In all fairness, I was not found guilty of corruption, I did not go to bed with kids, I did not hurt the House speaker, I did not start a revolution against the United States of America, I did not steal any money, I did not take any bribes, and that is abundantly clear,” he said.

    Enough with the thinly veiled threats, Carlos.

  24. ttommyunger

    Charlie should have a Syndrome named after him: "Been in power too fucking long Syndrome": gives one a sense of entitlement and self-worth that borders on Megalomania.

Comments are closed.