Keeping ‘em Honest in Harlem
And while we are on the topic of politics, yesterday’s election resulted in Representative Charlie Rangel making a triumphant return to his Congressional seat for a 20th term. It doesn’t necessarily means that everyone in Harlem agrees that the past decisions he made were wise or honorable. I know many of us, myself included, felt that out of the other candidates Rangel was the most qualified.
However, I would hope that since his constituents and peers have entrusted him with another chance, Congressman Rangel will be more accountable for his actions and more forthright with his choices . It’s a new day, a new Harlem, and we have higher standards and great expectations. We deserve a congressional representative that we can trust in an era of change.
Read more about the results of the election and the investigation by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct after the jump.
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)
Embattled Rep. Rangel will serve a 20th term after winning the 15th district of New York with a resounding 87 percent of the vote.
The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman has been dogged by scandal after scandal this election cycle. In September, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Standards of Official Conduct began investigating whether Rangel violated any laws or standards of conduct with regards to allegations that he:
Used official letterhead to solicit donations for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York, which is prohibited by congressional rules.
Maintained four rent-stabilized apartments in a Harlem apartment complex, one of which was used as his campaign office, despite city and state regulations that say such units are only to be used as primary residences.
Failed to disclose taxable income on a guest house he owns at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic.
Stored his old Mercedes-Benz for free in a House of Representatives parking garage for years, another violation of congressional rules.
In July, Rangel formally asked the ethics committee to investigate his use of congressional letterhead saying, “none of these letters made any reference to or in any way solicited financial contributions to the Center.” He has said that he did not violate any ethics rules and that he would give up the rent-controlled apartment that he used as a campaign office. In regards to his apartment in the Dominican Republic, Rangel blamed “cultural and language barriers” for his failure to report $75,000 in rental income. When the New York Post confronted Rangel with the parking allegations, he said, “I told you I am not discussing that. I want to be kind and gentle — please let me be.”