Rangel Campaign Slams Media And Ethics Committee, Corrects ‘Historical Record’ On FEC Fine (Updated)
Rep. Charlie Rangel’s re-election campaign released a lengthy and unusual statement today from spokesman Bob Liff that took both the media and the House Ethics Committee in connection with the veteran Harlem congressman’s own ethics woes.
Liff addressed the reports earlier this week on new FEC documents that showed Rangel agreed to pay a $23,000 civil fine stemming from a rent-stablized Harlem apartment that he illegally used as a campaign office and did not report on financial filings – a perk equated to receiving “excessive in-kind contributions.”
But Liff did not step there, revisiting the long and tangled history of Rangel’s ethics problems, which resulted in his censure on the House floor in late 2010 – about a month after he easily won re-election in the November general following his success in fending off five Democratic primary challengers that September.
“Fighting conventional wisdom is always hard, but it is important for the historical record and for Congressman Charles B. Rangel’s constituents to learn the truth, when it comes to inaccuracies in reporting on the background of Congressman Rangel agreeing to pay an FEC penalty concerning an apartment in the Harlem building where he lives,” Liff wrote.
“Use of language that he ‘dodged’ or ‘evaded’ taxes are untrue; neither did he ‘hide’ or ‘conceal’ his assets as mischaracterized in many of the articles.”
“…It is a fact that Congressman Rangel signed a settlement agreement with the Ethics Committee staff accepting responsibility for some of the allegations, mainly involving the way in which he supported a public policy center at the City College of New York, but the allegations surrounding the apartments were completely dropped by the Committee. The FEC for its own reasons made its own judgments, which the Congressman has responded to in settling the matter.”
Liff noted that the Ethics Committee itself has come under investigation due to allegations that Republican House members and committee staffers were engaged in misconduct.
“We anxiously await the findings of that investigation, as we believe it will lay bare the manner in which Congressman Rangel was unfairly treated, as well as Congresswoman Maxine Waters,” Liff said.
“It is such exploitation, as well as an example of how such conduct relates to the likelihood that Congressman Rangel and Congresswoman Waters were unfairly treated for inappropriate partisan reasons. The result was an unprecedented censure of Congressman Rangel for allegations that involved no corruption or personal gain.”
Liff again reiterated that the 82-year-old congressman, who has been laid up by a back injury that kept him away from work and out of the public eye, is indeed seeking re-election this fall.
UPDATE: A second statement from Rangel himself indicates he will serve out the entire two-year term if he makes it back to D.C. (Conventiontional wisdom for some time now has been that Rangel will retire mid-term so he can hand-pick his successor; Assemblyman Keith Wright is seen at the moment to have the inside track on that).
“I am not in this race so I could politically manipulate the system,” the congressman said.
“The constituents I have long served know, and those who I now seek to represent will learn, that I am a straight-talker. Any rumors that say I’m not going to serve out a full term are false. Again, I am absolutely running for re-election. I intend to serve my entire term. There is no wiggle room.”
He’s already facing a number of primary opponents, including Joyce Johnson, who was among Rangel’s unsuccessful 2010 challengers; former Bill Clinton aide Clyde Williams and Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who has not yet formally delcared his candidacy, but is reportedly expected to do so next week.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on March 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm, and is filed under Charlie Rangel, Congress, Democrats, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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