The case against Rangel
Everyone knows that long time New York Congressman Charlie Rangel is a sleazy, greedy crook. But no media outlet has ever compiled a "Bill of Particulars" that shows how truly awful Rangel is.
In a 5,000 word indictment, the New York Post lays out the history of Rangel's corruption going back more than 40 years. It is a devastating piece of journalism and must be read in its entirety to grasp the truly immense nature of Rangel's deceptions, evasions, crimes, and sins of hubris that have marked this powerful Congressman's career.
A small sample:
In 1971, soon after his arrival in Washington, Rangel and his wife Alma purchased a four-bedroom house on North Colorado Avenue.
During his nearly three decades of ownership, he applied for tax breaks in DC, declaring the property as his primary residence even as he still lived in the row house and later in a posh apartment complex in Harlem. Then, in 1989, he took out a $60,000 loan on his childhood home in New York, declaring that home to be his primary residence in order to obtain a low interest rate.
But a year earlier, he moved to Lenox Terrace, scoring a giant rent-stabilized apartment - two units combined into one - the kind of perk New Yorkers covet. He later leased a small studio on the same floor and yet another apartment in 1999 which he used as a campaign office. Since it was built in 1958, Lenox Terrace has been the home of prominent politicians, such as former Manhattan borough president Percy Sutton, former New York secretary of state Basil Paterson and his son New York governor David Paterson.
Rangel was listing three addresses as his primary residence, and, at least between 1995 and 2000, getting tax breaks because of it.
It is too simple to ascribe this favored treatment of Rangel to his race. That may be part of it. Rather, it is the power he wields in Washington - the same kind of power that has corrupted people of all races, all backgrounds since the stinky swamp was drained to build a city named after one of the truly honest politicians in our history.
Party has nothing to do with it. Political philosophy is irrelevant. Using one's position for self-aggrandizing purposes is a disease of our democracy that has reached epidemic proportions. It threatens the very idea of self government and will not be cured until the people rise up in their righteous anger and throw the rascals - all that deserve it - out.
Read the whole Post piece for some astonishing facts about Rangel's corruption.