2008_08_rangelpo.jpgEver since the NY Times reported that Representative Charles Rangel had four rent-stabilized apartments--three for living quarters and one for an office--his real-estate holdings have been scrutinized. Now the NY Post puts a dozing Rangel on its cover for a story about his vacation property in the Dominican Republic.

Rangel owns a beachfront villa that is apparently rented out to resort goers at the Punta Cana Hotel, but the Post says he "has only sporadically declared income on the property in federal filings." The three-bedroom, three-bath villa "is rented for between $500 in the low season to $1,100 a night in the busiest tourist season." The hotel's staff says that Rangel's villa had been available in 2006 and 2007 (the hotel is "always booked solid" on Rangel's villa), but Rangel claimed, "I have not received any rental income. There wasn't any rental income."

Rangel did report rental income on the villa between 2001 and 2005. One possible explanation is that rental income was put back into the resort (for repairs or other maintenance), but a watchdog group tells the Post that reinvesting rental income "would have to be disclosed."

After the rent-stabilized apartment bonanza was revealed, Rangel gave up the one used as an office, saying he was going to move anyway. Of course, it was discovered other rent-stabilized tenants had been pressured to leave the same complex. And earlier this month, the Sun had an editorial wondering why politicians with rent-stabilized apartments seem to have second homes.