Charlie Rangel Faces His Scott Brown

Charlie Rangel Faces His Scott Brown

By Mark J. Fitzgibbons

What better message to send to Washington than to defeat an old bull like Charlie Rangel?

Rangel is one of the principal symbols of the tolerance Washington has for corrupt insider politics. He is Chairman-in-school-detention of the House Ways and Means Committee pending efforts of Democrats to avoid the most devastating mid-term election defeat in history.
Because he usually doesn’t have a serious challenger, Rangel is able to funnel in the neighborhood of a half million dollars every election cycle to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Such political largesse protects corruption. Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats dole out committee chairs to, and overlook offenses of, big-money lieutenants like Rangel.
Last week at the Susan B. Anthony List dinner, I sat with Reverend Michel Faulkner, the career non-politician who announced as the Republican challenger to Charlie Rangel. That made a special night all-the-more special.
You see, a little over a week before, Bart Stupak was scheduled to receive a pro-life award at the Susan B. Anthony List dinner. Instead, he was ceremoniously dumped by the group’s president Marjorie Dannenfelser for showing his commitment to his party and its corrupt, socialist ways was stronger than his commitment to the life issue.
Meeting him for the first time just that evening, my first impression of Rev. Faulkner is that he conveys his message in conversation rather than slogans, which struck me as refreshing. There was no, “I plan to introduce this bill,” and certainly no rehearsed lines. The closest he came was, “The people in my district want jobs, not programs,” but he said even that with the conversational sincerity of a friend or neighbor, not a candidate meeting someone for the first time.
He told me about himself. He’s a pastor, and founded a nonprofit called the Institute for Leadership. He works with the poor and the homeless. He fosters leadership within his community. He is — dare I say it? — a community organizer, but one who believes in and practices the free market and the Gospel.
Later in the conversation, he said something that made me a sure supporter of his run. Politicians — Republicans, nonetheless — who recognized his outstanding work in the community, offered him government money for his nonprofit. Rev. Faulkner declined taking taxpayer money. He has wisdom, for he knows he who pays the fiddler calls the tune.
I asked him why he decided to run. He answered exactly as I had hoped. Things stink. The country’s going in the wrong direction. We need new leaders, ones with principles who are willing to acknowledge their roles as responsive to the people, not the reverse. He spoke about freedom and the principles on which America was founded, and how far off course our leaders — not our people — have gone.
He said the people in his district are hard working, and they deserve someone representing them in Washington who doesn’t have four rent-controlled apartments.
I then gave him the test I’ve recently learned about how to measure a candidate. I asked him, “Are you a boat rocker?” A welcoming grin came across his face saying, “Oh yeah. That, and more.” He told me he doesn’t want to go to Washington just to slow down the corruption and bankruptcy level spending of government.
So, Charlie Rangel has a problem. Michel Faulkner combines the best leadership qualities of being both brave and humble, a man who walks with the poor and the powerful, and most of all, someone who seems to be entering politics for the right reasons.
Will Charlie Rangel show the courage of the Korean War vet he is and debate Rev. Faulkner, or will the Washington-insider, tax-evading Rangel duck a debate?
Speaking of where we were from, I told him I lived far across the Potomac River in Virginia. He said he grew up in the Washington area. I asked him how he ended up in New York. Football. He played a year with the New York Jets. Not a massive man sitting down, he must have been a quarterback or defensive back, I thought to myself. At the end of the dinner when he stood up, I changed my mind. Definitely a lineman. That ended any notion I had of telling him I’m a New England Patriots fan.
You can check out Rev. Faulkner’s campaign website for yourself.

Dems Can’t Dump Rangel’s Tainted Cash Fast Enough

Dems Can’t Dump Rangel’s Tainted Cash Fast Enough

March 3rd, 2010 Posted By Erik Wong.


National Journal:

Charities around the country stand to gain thousands of dollars as House Dems begin to unload tainted donations from embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), according to a Hotline OnCall survey.

So far, Dems who received contributions from Rangel have pledged to donate $320K to charity, according to spokespeople and news reports. Members will give back at least another $86K.

The ethically challenged Rangel, who was admonished last week by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, has donated millions over the years to Dem candidates and causes. But now that he has surrendered his Ways and Means gavel, at least temporarily, the GOP is showing no signs of letting up their attacks on Dems who accepted his campaign cash.

And there is no shortage of members who will take heat: In office since ‘71, Rangel has never won re-election with less than 89% of the vote. That means he uses the millions he raises every year goes to his colleagues facing far more difficult election campaigns.

Incumbent members of Congress seeking another term have accepted nearly $1.58M from Rangel, according to filings made with the FEC. That doesn’t include the millions Rangel has contributed to the DCCC throughout the years; as chairman of a major committee, Rangel’s dues are set at $500K this cycle, though he has given just $150K.

Though an increasing number of Dems have given contributions back to Rangel, or donated the money to charity, some members have only handed over a portion of the money they’ve received from the Ways and Means chairman. Reps. Larry Kissell (D-NC), Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Dina Titus (D-NV) each made a show of giving back some of the money, but they have not returned all of it.

Titus, for example, has received $15K from Rangel since she began running for the House in early ‘08. Titus returned just $1K of that money — equal to the amount given this year. Aides to several members said the rest of the money had already been spent in previous elections.

Hotline OnCall is keeping track of members who have benefitted from Rangel’s generosity, either through direct donations, money from Rangel’s PAC or joint fundraising committees and who GOPers are pressuring to return the money.

Check out our full chart after the jump.
We contacted offices of each member of Congress who took money from Rangel. Those who members who remained silent did not respond to phone or email messages. We’ll continue to update this list as we hear from more members.

Altmire (D-PA) $21K
Arcuri (D-NY) $14K Charity
Barrow (D-GA) $33K
Bean (D-IL) $28K
S. Bishop (D-GA) $6K
T. Bishop (D-NY) $15K Money has been spent
Boccieri (D-OH) $59K No decision yet
Boswell (D-IA) $53K
Boyd (D-FL) $9K
Braley (D-IA) $7K
Bright (D-AL) $14K
Cardoza (D-CA) $7K
Carney (D-PA) $21K
Chandler (D-KY) $10K
Connolly (D-VA) $7K
Costa (D-CA) $2K
Courtney (D-CT) $26K
Cuellar (D-TX) $8K Charity
Dahlkemper (D-PA) $14K No comment
L. Davis (D-TN) $15K
Donnelly (D-IN) $21K
Driehaus (D-OH) $12K
Edwards (D-TX) $42K
Foster (D-IL) $14K Charity
Giffords (D-AZ) $21K Charity
Hall (D-NY) $21K
Halvorson (D-IL) $60K Charity
Heinrich (D-NM) $12K
Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) $17K
Higgins (D-NY) $11K
Hill (D-IN) $26K
Himes (D-CT) $16K Charity
Holden (D-PA) $19K
Israel (D-NY) $9K
Kagen (D-WI) $21K
Kanjorski (D-PA) $21K
Kilroy (D-OH) $22K Returning
Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) $14K Charity
Kissell (D-NC) $23K Partly returning
Klein (D-FL) $9K Charity
Kosmas (D-FL) $14K Charity
Larsen (D-WA) $24K
Maffei (D-NY) $82K No^
B. Markey (D-CO) $7K
Marshall (D-GA) $29K
Massa (D-NY) $74K
Matheson (D-UT) $45K
McMahon (D-NY) $70K
McNerney (D-CA) $21K Partly charity
Michaud (D-ME) $12K
Minnick (D-ID) $55K Charity
Mitchell (D-AZ) $28K Returning
C. Murphy (D-CT) $21K Returning
P. Murphy (D-PA) $19K
Nye (D-VA) $14K
Perriello (D-VA) $7K Charity
Peters (D-MI) $16K Charity
Pomeroy (D-ND) $30K
Rodriguez (D-TX) $21K
Ross (D-AR) $19K
Schauer (D-MI) $14K Charity
Schrader (D-OR) $7K
Shea-Porter (D-NH) $14K Returning
Shuler (D-NC) $14K
Space (D-OH) $21K Charity
Spratt (D-SC) $18K
Sutton (D-OH) $7K Charity
Stupak (D-MI) $7K
Teague (D-NM) $4k
Titus (D-NV) $15K Partly returning
Tsongas (D-MA) $7K Charity
Walz (D-MN) $21K
C. Wilson (D-OH) $12K Charity
Wu (D-OR) $5K
Yarmuth (D-KY) $12K Charity

Notes: A spokesperson for Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY), a former aide to Rangel, says the campaign has no plans to return the money “at this time.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) returned $1K Rangel gave her campaign this year. A spokesman told a Stephens Media reporter the $14K Titus received for her ‘08 campaign is spent and gone.

Update: Rep. Zack Space (D-OH) has donated the $21K he received from Rangel to charity. Rep. Debbie Halvorson’s (D-IL) campaign will donate $16K to charity; that’s the amount she received in direct contributions. Halvorson will keep money raised at a joint fundraiser with Rangel.

Culture of Corruption Watch: Breaking – Rangel reportedly giving up House chairmanship; Update: Bitterly clinging to his gavel; Update: Taking “leave of absence”

Lead Story

Culture of Corruption Watch: Breaking – Rangel reportedly giving up House chairmanship; Update: Bitterly clinging to his gavel; Update: Taking “leave of absence”

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 2, 2010 07:49 PM

Scroll for updates…


Reports breaking via NBC that corruptocrat Charlie Rangel is “on the verge” of stepping down from his powerful House Ways and Means Committee chairmanship. Stand by for more…

Here’s the NBC News/NY report:

Harlem Democrat Charles Rangel now says he will step down as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, NBC News has learned.

He may make the move as early as tonight and Michigan Democratic Rep Sander Levin will temporarily take over the committee.

Some details still need to be ironed out, but sources said Rangel has been pushed to step down before the House voted on a bill to forcefully strip him of the coveted chairmanship.

Rangel is bitterly clinging to the gavel. Pelosi is, um, tight-lipped.

The move would preempt GOP plans to try and strip him of the chairmanship tomorrow:

FOX Has learned that Rep. John Carter (R-TX) will introduce a special resolution Wednesday that could potentially relieve Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) of his chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

Late last week, the House Ethics Committee “admonished” Rangel for taking two trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by corporate sponsors. The ethics panel approved the trips but still disciplined Rangel, saying his staff tried to brief him on who was footing the bill. The Ethics Committee is still reviewing a host of other allegations against Rangel, ranging from his failure to pay taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic to his use of Congressional stationary to raise donations for his school of public service at City College of New York.

As has been the case when similar measures have come to the House floor, most Republicans are expected to vote for the resolution, with most voting Democrats against it. But things are different this time around for the Harlem Democrat. A handful of Democrats have publicly called for Rangel to give up his gavel on the Ways and Means panel.

“If this was only them (the Republicans), he would be fine,” said a senior Democratic aide who asked not to be identified. “This is the other shoe.”

The GOP effort to oust Rangel is called a “privileged” resolution, meaning it goes to the front of the legislative line. It must be considered immediately or within 48 hours.

Politico: “The dam broke today.”

Examiner: Representatives ditching Rangel’s hot dirty money

Well, gee, why are they doing that? Like Nancy says, it’s not like he’s endangering national security or anything…


The Culture of Corruption chickens are coming home to roost.


Update: 3/3 9:05am…Rangel announces he’s taking a “leave of absence”…

Related: NLPC’s Peter Flaherty – Photo Casts More Doubt on Rangel Claims

It’s not over for Rangel by any means. Probes into his many disclosure lapses are still ongoing.

Election ’08 Backgrounder


Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy



Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials



Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials



Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now




Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials




Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now



Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil


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The Rise of the United Socialist States of America



If you really want to undestand the global financial crisis, watch these videos

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Democrat that gets it

Opposing view: The sky is not falling

Opposing view: The sky is not falling

By John Shadegg


Every Republican who voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act on Monday believes that Congress must address this crisis. They take it seriously and stand ready to vote for reasonable legislation. They were unwilling to give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a blank check.

The sky is not falling. The market will return. Secretary Paulson is getting a lesson in civics. The world he has entered is different than the wheeling-and-dealing Goldman Sachs world where he made his fortune.

Members of Congress have a duty to protect the interests of the American people. That is precisely what they did. The vote against the measure was solidly bipartisan.

Paulson’s $700 billion dollar plan was fundamentally flawed. The bill asked for a blank check. It did not specify which assets could be purchased or the procedure by which they would be purchased.

Regrettably, Congressional Democrats inserted extraneous provisions and chose to put groups such as ACORN (a liberal housing advocacy group) and trial lawyers before the American people. After Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., courageously halted the stampede, most negotiation time was spent removing harmful Democrat language, rather than improving Paulson’s proposal.

House Republicans want to protect the American people and our nation’s financial institutions, enabling them to make the loans needed to run America’s economy. It is also critical to calm public anxiety.

To begin, “mark to market,” the accounting rule that requires mortgage-backed securities to be valued at fire-sale prices, must be suspended. For reasons that are incomprehensible, Paulson and congressional Democrats refused to include such a provision. It’s a systemic reform Congress must insist upon to reduce taxpayer exposure and prevent this crisis from reoccurring. Further, an update to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., increasing its $100,000 limit, would relieve the concern of millions of Americans for their life savings. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would oppose such a change.

Many House conservatives do not like the structure of Paulson’s proposal to have the government purchase troubled assets. But there is nothing inherent in this plan that’s inconsistent with the two reforms outlined above.

Americans need to understand that the Senate was not scheduled to vote on this bill until Wednesday evening, as a result of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah today. We have ample time to reach an acceptable compromise if all parties act in good faith. The Democratic House majority can move to reconsider its bill if Speaker Nancy Pelosi will allow an amendment to improve it by making changes, including those I have outlined.

This problem can be solved in the very near future, and the market will come back.

Rep. John Shadegg, R-Arizona, first elected in 1994, has held a number of Republican leadership positions in the House.


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