While Representative Charles Rangel's hometown newspaper - The New York Times - can't quite bring itself to call on the tax evading, doubledipping Congressman to step down as Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, his other "hometown" paper - the Washington Post - feels no such constraints:
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Mr. Rangel helped preserve a valuable tax loophole for an oil and gas drilling company while the company's chief executive, Eugene M. Isenberg, was pledging $1 million to the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at City College of New York. Mr. Rangel insists that the mutual favors were entirely coincidental. And quite a coincidence it seems to have been. On Feb. 12, 2007, the Times reported, the day the tax legislation was being considered in his committee, Mr. Rangel met in New York City with Mr. Isenberg to discuss the businessman's support of the Rangel School. Then Mr. Isenberg escorted Mr. Rangel across the room to his lobbyist, Kenneth J. Kies, who wanted to make sure Mr. Rangel would not close the loophole.
That's in addition to his rent controlled apartment scheme and his owing more than $75,000 in taxes on his DC home because he illegally claimed it as his primary residence.
At a time when President-elect Barack Obama is holding frequent news conferences to reassure the markets and the American people that he is ready to lead the nation to economic recovery, the last thing he will need is a chairman of Ways and Means caught up in a swirl of serious allegations.
And to that we would add "amen" except Democrats in Congress are apparently still saying "hallelujah" as there is no sign that any pressure whatsoever is being put on Rangel to resign his position.