December 29th, 2008
10:09 AM ET

Ethics test for Democrats

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/26/rangel.responds/art.charles.rangel.gi.jpg caption="U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel denies any ties between pledges for a project and preservation of a tax loophole."]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Congressman Charles Rangel's fate hangs in the balance as a report concerning the Ways and Means Committee chairman is being prepared for release in early January.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she is waiting for the report from the House Ethics Committee before deciding what to do about several allegations against Rangel.

He's under investigation for allegedly using formal letterhead to solicit donations to a school to be named in his honor; helping one donor's company keep a tax loophole; having unreported income from a vacation villa; and having several rent-controlled apartments at below market rates, including one set up for his campaign operations in violation of state and local laws.

Filed under: Democrats • Ethics • Raw Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. JC- Los Angeles

    How about cleaning house at all levels of government and industry? Start the new year with ethics reform?

    If we threw out all our corrupt executives, politicians and leaders, the unemployment numbers would skyrocket, but we'd be better off in the long run.

    Perhaps employ hard working, self-made, non-connected individuals who have experience, ethics and skill sets; sorry Pelosi.

    December 29, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Corruption seems to be rampant in our governments these days from the local level to the national level. Sounds like it is past time to clean house. Perhaps having an "audit" of each person in office on a surprise random basis would be effective in cutting back on the amount of illegal acts our elected officials try to get away with. Its starting to sound like some foreign government that we look down on saying their government is rife with corruption – ours seems to be the same lately.

    December 29, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  3. Kat77

    Rangel is being railroaded by the puppets we mistakenly believe are the PTB. He's got loads of dirt on them. So he got a little dirty in the interim and oh my gosh, had a school built. How shocking. We must investigate what is being taught at the Charlie Rangel school. Maybe it's ethics, morals, integrity? ...and what's this? He kept apartments below market rates and took advantage of his own generosity in order to do the work of the people? my my, how terrible. I dare say, Charlie Rangel should write off that whole vacation villa as a business expense because he undoubtedly needed it to unwind and the income it brought to do what his representatives sent him to Washington to do. You go, Mr. Rangel. 😉

    December 29, 2008 at 11:01 am |
  4. Cindy

    If all of the corruption allegations are found to be true then Rangel needs to be given the boot and put in jail also! I don't care who he is or what he's done once you pass over the line into corruption you need to go and go fast. And he's not the only one needing to be looked at either....shoot half of congress needs scouring over!


    December 29, 2008 at 10:16 am |