It's the day after Representative Charles Rangel's press conference discussing his tax issues related to not reporting 20 years of rental income (totaling around $75,000) to the IRS, and the big headline is that no one seems to quite buy one of his excuses. From the NY Times:
At a Capitol Hill news conference, during which he was by turns remorseful and combative, the congressman said that he had not been aware of the income and unpaid taxes in part because he had trouble getting detailed financial statements from the resort’s managers in the Dominican Republic.
“Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel said.
The explanation was greeted with skepticism and surprise by some people in his district, where Spanish is the primary language in nearly half the households and even Mr. Rangel’s own Congressional Web site can be instantly translated to Spanish with just two clicks of a computer mouse.
In another Times article, a reporter spoke to Rangel's constituents in Harlem, one of whom "said she saw him interacting with Spanish-speaking voters some years ago, looking as if he understood what they were saying and throwing back a few phrases in Spanish as well."
Rangel, who did apologize ("I sincerely regret and take personal responsibility for these errors"), didn't think this issue would prevent him from continuing his position at Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, "I'm a lucky old son of a gun, and ain't nothin' gonna stop me from gettin' back here next year."
But the Daily News reported Rangel "was suddenly quiet" when told he was called one of Congress's "most corrupt" politicians by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, "Am I on the list? I think that's sad and unfair."
Rangel also informed reporters that the Post cover of him--CASH COW--prompted his wife to tell him he's fat, "I hope that some of you will notice that I've lost about 10 or 15 pounds as a result of that picture."