Long-time Harlem Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel said yesterday that he’ll seek reelection, amid calls to resign. Rangel joined the House in 1970, and if he wins, he’ll serve out his 21st term, reports the Daily News. But despite his long record, peers have indicated they want him to step down, at least from his post on the House Ways and Means Committee, since an ethics panel found that he took a trip to the Caribbean paid for by corporate sponsors like AT&T. "Washington must be held to the highest ethical standards. Regrettably, with the finding of ethics violations, Charlie Rangel should step down from his leadership position,” said one Democrat, Rep. Paul Hodes from North Carolina.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been one of Rangel’s few supporters since he lost the backing of President Obama. A Times editorial yesterday called for Rangel to be “stripped of his gavel,” saying his arrogance was “one more reason why Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who championed ethics reform — should stop protecting him and relieve him of his crucial role as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.” But Pelosi advocated a wait-and-see approach, since the Democrat is still under investigation for rent-subsidized apartments he accepted from a Manhattan developer, unpaid taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic and $1 million campaign donation he received from a company that might have been seeking his good graces in Congress.