Unbelievable. That's the only word I can think of to describe Charlie Rangel's stunning response to being censured by the House of Representatives.
Rangel, the head of the chief tax-writing committee in the House, failed to report $75,000 in income to the IRS for his rental property in the Dominican Republic. His 3 bedroom beachfront villa sometimes rented for $1,100 a night during the peak busy season.
Rangel grew up poor. He was a lawyer for a brief time--where he made little money--before entering politics. Now he has a beachfront villa? Starting to smell a little fishy?
He also owns property in Sunny Isles, Florida worth up to $500,000 and has a checking account also with up to half a million dollars in it. He failed to report these assets initially. He also failed to report details on the sale of his Washington, D.C. home. Despite his wealth, he failed to pay taxes on two New Jersey properties he owns.
Oh there's more! Rangel also accepted trips from organizations lobbying the Ways and Means committee, which he chaired. This humble public servant also found some way to spend $2 million on his lawyers.
The wealthy politician also benefited from four rent-controlled apartments--one of which he illegally used as a campaign office--in Harlem.
Even the progressive group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington labeled Rangel one of the 15 most corrupt politicians in Washington, noting that he violated a dozen laws, more than any other name on the list.
The Democrats voted to give him only a slap on the wrist as his censure today.
What did this most corrupt of politicians do? He blamed the new wave of House Republicans for singling him out. After all, everyone makes these mistakes. He apologized only for putting people in a difficult position.
Defiant to the end. What an ugly display of arrogant Washington elitism.