Don't Count Rangel Out Just Yet
An investigative subcommittee has charged Congressman Charles Rangel with multiple ethics violations, but to those hoping the Harlem Democrat is going to resign, don’t hold your breath.
Rangel is a fighter, and when he does decide to leave, he’ll want to do it on his own terms.
In a statement Rangel said: "I am pleased that, at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media."
"I will be glad to respond to the allegations at such time as the Ethics Committee makes them public."
It is true the charges are a big blow to the former Ways and Means chairman and an election-year headache for Democrats.
It’s remarkable that the same “ethical cloud” is what brought Rangel to Washington in the first place with Rangel barely defeating legendary Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and now Rangel is facing a similar situation.
Powell was described as iconic, and charismatic. The same words used to describe Rangel by many today.
That brings to mind what happened in Newark New Jersey when Sharpe James was elected over Newark's first African American Mayor Kenneth Gibson. James ran as a reformer, the "man to clean up the city," and decades later ended up facing ethics charges and ultimately was convicted.
It will be fascinating to see how Rangel’s situation plays out, but anyone that knows him, knows Rangel is not going down without a fight.
Rangel has been under fire for nearly two years over his failure to report rental income, his fund-raising activities for a CUNY center named for him, and the use of rent-controlled apartments. The congressman vows he has done nothing wrong.
Here's what you can count on, with his popularity in the district, Rangel will be tough to beat. Just like it was almost impossible to defeat Adam Clayton Powell.
But Rangel was the man to get the job done and now he finds himself in the hot seat.
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