Friday, August 28, 2009

Rangel Continues His Crime Spree With Impunity

The Wall Street Journal has a damning indictment of serial criminality on House Ways and Means Chmn Charlie Rangel's consistent failure to obey the laws of the USA. For any other citizen, this might mean trouble. But not for Obama Administration members, whose consistent inability to pay their own taxes while trying to raise taxes on everyone else.
When normal people happen to "find" their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you're Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your net worth.

Earlier this month the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee "amended" his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income. That number may be as high as $780,000, because Congress's ethics rules only require the Members to report their finances within broad ranges. This voyage of personal financial discovery brings Mr. Rangel's net worth for 2007 to somewhere between $1.028 million and $2.495 million, while his previous statement came in at $516,015 and $1.316 million.

This man is a moral leper who himself has a half-dozen illegitimate offspring from his many dalliances outside the vows of marriage. For a Democrat, his remaining a responsible father puts him in the minority, as Teddy Kennedy never did acknowledge fathering a son out of wedlock and a pliant media never looked into that particular allegation, simply dismissing it as a canard. But he also isn't an out-and-out pervert like the Banking Committee Chairman from Massachusetts. This sport-of-nature ran a homosexual prostitution ring out of his Capitol Hill basement, but "apologized" and the media immediately gave him a clean slate.

Here are some more "oversights" that Don Charlie and his Gang of Lawyers and Accountants managed to overlook:
When you're a powerful Congressman and working diligently to increase tax rates to pay for President Obama's health-care plan, we suppose it's easy to lose track of one of your checking accounts. That would be the one at the federal credit union with a balance somewhere between $250,001 and maybe as high as $500,000. And when you're crunched for time and pulling together bills to pass in a rush, we guess, too, that you might overlook several other investment accounts, even if some of them are sizable, such as the ones Mr. Rangel missed at JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer and BlackRock.

Oh, and those vacant properties in Glassboro, in southern Jersey? Everybody in Manhattan tries not to think much about New Jersey, so those lots and their as-much-as-$15,000 value must also have slipped down the memory hole. (The New York Post reported yesterday that Mr. Rangel failed to pay property taxes for two of the lots, according to the county clerk's office.)

The Chairman probably isn't doing a lot of dining at KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell or Long John Silver's, either, which may explain why he didn't disclose the $1,001 to $15,000 in stock he owns in Yum Brands, the conglomerate that runs those chain restaurants. Compared to his undisclosed portfolio stake in PepsiCo—$15,001 to $50,000—that's practically a rounding error.

All lawmakers amend their financial reports from time to time, though rarely are the errors this extensive. Via email, a Rangel spokesman declined to offer details about how the errors occurred, noting that "Once the Ethics Committee completes its work, then we can answer questions in more detail." He added that Mr. Rangel is now "confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests."

Among other issues, Mr. Rangel is currently under investigation regarding his use of four rent-stabilized apartments at New York City's tony Lenox Terrace and soliciting donations with his official letterhead for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, which was itself built with a $1.9 million earmark. Yet another part of the probe is his failure to report $75,000 in income from a rental villa at the beachfront Punta Cana Yacht Club, in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Rangel blamed that last one on the language barrier because he doesn't speak Spanish. We can only imagine what language he speaks with his accountants and tax attorneys.

It's obvious that even a kangaroo court as silly and corrupt as the House Select Committee on Ethics [members are selected for their moral turpitude, not their probity], might be unable to pass over each one of the abominations cited above by the WSJ.

Maybe Chiquita Obama will declare an Internet Security Emergency and follow in his moral minders' footsteps: those moral minders would be Chavez of Venezuela and Ahmedinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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