I almost feel sorry for Rep Charlie Rangel. Almost.
The House ethics committee voted to recommend a censure of Rep. Charlie Rangel after an adjudicatory panel ruled earlier this week that the New York Democrat has repeatedly violated the chamber’s rules. The full House must now vote to approve the punishment.
The verdict was delivered in two days.
The 9-1 vote by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct sets up the extraordinary prospect of one of Capitol Hill's most powerful figures being forced to stand in the well of the chamber and be officially censured as a record of his misdeeds are read out to members.
The ethics committee made the recommendation two days after concluding that Mr. Rangel, a former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and one of the Hill's most prominent lawmakers, was guilty of 11 charges that he violated House ethics rules regarding financial reporting, use of official resources and fundraising. The committee also ordered Mr. Rangel to repay any unpaid back taxes related to the charges, a bill estimated at about $17,000
The full House vote on censure is thought to be scheduled after Thanksgiving.
The man is a decorated Korean War veteran. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. That is the war during which my own father served. He has been in the House of Representatives for forty years and risen in leadership with senority.
I think that is the problem, though. They just stay too long, those elected officials in Washington. They become corrupted and then the people they represent lose. It even happens to war heroes.