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Rangel vs. Stevens (Updated)

John on September 1, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Byron York writing for the Examiner:

[T]he Rangel case is very, very serious. If you don’t think so, just look at this, from the front page of the Oct. 28, 2008 Washington Post: “Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, one of Congress’s most powerful Republicans, was convicted yesterday of lying on financial disclosure forms to conceal his receipt of about $250,000 in gifts and expensive renovations to his house. …”

Stevens’ conviction was later thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct, but the message was clear: This is the kind of thing you can go to jail for.

Rangel appears to have hidden greater sums of money than Stevens allegedly did. Democratic leaders don’t want to face it now, but it’s just a matter of time before they’re forced to admit they have a serious Rangel problem.

Rangel should have his chairmanship pulled, but of course Pelosi won’t do that. A Democratic scandal is no scandal at all.

Update: I’m a prophet:

Democratic aides say that Pelosi will not pressure Rangel to resign his post or censure him publicly unless the House ethics committee finds him guilty of misconduct or a prosecutor brings charges.

Aides cited various reasons for Pelosi holding her fire.

First, she does not want to be seen as interfering with the ethics committee probe by stepping in before it reaches a conclusion.


In addition, the Speaker does not want to set the precedent of penalizing a colleague because of transgressions alleged in media reports.


Third, there is not an obvious successor on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all tax issues.


There is also the danger of alienating members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), a large bloc of liberals in the Democratic Caucus.

Got all that? Rangel stays because he’s black, he’s the best they’ve got and newspaper stories aren’t proof. I seem to remember a somewhat different standard regarding allegations against former speaker Gingrich.

[HT: Hot Air for the Hill story]

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