The Washington Post devoted an editorial to repeat something it did in November: Ask Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) to "step aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee." This comes after last week's revelations that Rangel amended his financial reports, suddenly realizing there's $500,000 or maybe even over $1 million in assets he hadn't disclosed a few years ago.
The WaPo details Rangel's lowlights: "his contact with a potential donor to a pet project who also had business before the committee...his using official stationery to raise funds for that pet project, paying below-market rents on four Harlem apartments, failing to report income from a Florida condominium sale and failing to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic." Oh, and the other "subcommittee investigation into lobbyist-paid trips by Mr. Rangel and four other members of Congress."
Earlier this year, Rangel managed to keep his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Last night, WCBS 2 offered this intriguing tidbit: "CBS 2 HD has discovered that since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him. Charlie's 'angels' on the committee include Congressmen Ben Chandler of Kentucky, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Peter Welch of Vermont. All have received donations from Rangel." Baruch College's Doug Muzzio speculates, "Clearly he sees himself as having a problem and he is contributing to members who might look favorably." Welch's spokesman say he returned the money, "In an abundance of caution, he has returned all campaign contributions [of nearly $20K] from Mr. Rangel."