Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ghost Visits Charlie Rangel

The ghost of actions past visited Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY).  A Congressional subcommittee found Rangel guilty of eleven ethics violations.  WaPo reported:

Rangel improperly used his congressional staff and official letterhead to raise seven-figure checks from corporate charities and chief executives for a college wing named in his honor; violated New York City rules by housing his political committees in his rent-controlled apartments in Harlem; did not pay taxes on a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic; and did not properly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal financial assets. 

The Subcommittee that convicted Rangel included:

Zoe Lofgren,
Chair, California
 Michael McCaul,
Ranking Republican Member, Texas
G.K. Butterfield, North Carolina Mike Conaway, Texas
Kathy Castor, Florida Charles Dent, Pennsylvania
Peter Welch, Vermont Gregg Harper, Mississippi

Odd, Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) has an earmark ghost in his closet.  It benefited the Albertine's of Fredericksburg, Virginia, not the Texas town. The timing of donations and legislative progress are most curious.

Conaway served as head of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Audit Committee.  It took the CPA a full year to learn outside auditors worked for Casper & Dickens.  The House Ethics Committee has standards for proper use of campaign funds.  Renovating Chris Ward's house hardly qualified.  Five years of abysmal Republican Congressional oversight deserved an investigation and trial. 

I realize the Ethics panel can only right one wrong at a time.  Will Conaway's new earmark religion keep him off the stand?  Will dozens of Republican leaders avoid responsibility for Chris Ward's five year embezzlement?  Only time will tell.  I'd love to hear Chris Ward testify to the level of oversight under the Red team.

Whether Red or Blue, the leadership bar continues to fall, well past abysmal.  Will ghosts visit Mike Conaway this Ethics season?  If so, what story will he tell?  Will it be the simple or complex one?

No comments: