1/20/09 Change Comes To DC

A large oil drilling company whose chief executive pledged $1 million to the newly constructed C.C.N.Y.’s Rangel Center of Public Service, paid up on his promise, twice. Good for him. It’s nice to know some people still keep promises.


Ah, but there is a slight bump in the road to the Rangel Center, which just this week had its grand opening postponed for some reason.


The chief executive of Nabors Indsutries Ltd. (Read Big Oil drilling company $$) made two $100,000 donations to C.C.N.Y.’s Rangel Center of Public Service. But suddenly those payments look like, to the House Ethics Committee investigating Democrat Charles Rangel, installments on a standard pay to play deal. Or else it’s all one big misunderstanding.


From the NYT December 9, 2008:

“The chief executive, Eugene M. Isenberg, had acknowledged that he and a company lobbyist met with Mr. Rangel at the Carlyle Hotel in New York on Feb. 12, 2007, the same day that the Ways and Means Committee, of which Mr. Rangel is chairman, was considering a bill that left the loophole intact, but said they did not discuss his pledge to donate $1 million to the school.

Did I mention Democrat Charles Rangel opposed closing a specific loophole for five companies involved with big oil? Just what the lobbyist, Ken Kies of the Federal Policy Group, and big the time donor, Isenberg, wanted. What a coincidence.


And the loophole: The company’s ability to declare Bermuda its home office to avoid paying US taxes. I should have seen that one coming.


Oh it gets better. Four years ago, the New York Times reported, Rangel led the opposition to the tax loophole when Republicans were fighting to establish it.


But God forbid we look at Democrat Charles Rangel’s career through the single lens of this smelly incidence. There is much else to admire about the character. Recently, Rangel plodded into the limelight again regarding free commercial air travel during his relaxing Caribbean trips. First class I hope.

American Airlines donated free tickets (and got a write-off?) to the New York Carib News Foundation, a non-profit, who in turn gave the tickets to five members of the House Black Caucus on this years trip on Nov. 6 to 9 to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort in St. Martin. The Black Caucus members put down the non-profit news group as the donor on their House travel disclosure forms making what is an illegal donation harder to find.


There is more to old Charlie Rangel’s ethics.


Luke Rosiack and Glenn Thrush of Politico report:


Between 2004 and 2007, Rep. Charles Rangel steered nearly $80,000 in campaign cash to an Internet company run by his son - paying lavishly for a pair of political Web sites so poorly designed an expert estimated one should have cost no more than $100 to create.

Democrat Congressman Charles Rangel has, in 2008, paid back income taxes on $75,000 in undeclared income generated over the years from rentals of a beach house he owns in the Dominican Republic.

The New York Post reported last month that Rangel took a homestead tax exemption on a Washington, D.C., home he owns. A homestead tax break is legal only for a person's primary residence. Under New York law, a rent-controlled apartment has to be your primary residence. The sleaze has FOUR of them.


Mr. Rangel leased four rent-stabilized apartments from a prominent New York developer, including one that he used as a fund-raising office, in violation of state regulations. Common New Yorkers are only allowed one rent controlled apartment.


As luck would have it, Barack Hussein Obama will be working closely with Democrat House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel and the rest of the “Most Ethical Congress in History” to CHANGE America.


We are off to a great start.