NRCC - Carol Shea-Porter: Corruption? What Corruption?

Shea-Porter Blocks Measure Asking Tax-Cheating Dem Chairman to Step Down

Washington- With corruption running rampant through the ranks of the Democrat party as unemployment and deficits continue to rise, Carol Shea-Porter looked the other way today when she sided with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, a powerful New York political boss who has a long history of playing fast and loose with the law. Despite Rangel’s well-documented penchant for cheating on his taxes, failing to disclose income, and breaking House rules, Shea-Porter sided with her corrupt colleague when she voted to block consideration of a resolution on the House floor requiring Rangel to step down from his powerful committee chairmanship until the House Ethics Committee completes its seemingly endless investigation into Rangel’s dirty deeds (House Roll Call 759).

The vote came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continuously refuses to ask her crooked wingman to step down from his post:

 “Why is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refusing a growing chorus of calls to drop the hammer on ethics-challenged Charlie Rangel?”

 “Because, at the moment, doing nothing creates a lot less trouble for Pelosi than doing anything, current and former House aides tell POLITICO.”

 “‘The speaker is totally behind him, and she told him that the last few times they have spoken,’ the person added.” (Glenn Thrush, “Pelosi Loath to Drop Hammer on Rangel,” Politico, 9/5/09)

"In this time of great economic uncertainty and mounting deficits, what kind of message are Carol Shea-Porter and her liberal party leadership sending when they openly endorse an individual who can't even manage his own personal finances?" said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Shea-Porter faced a clear choice today: stand with her friends in Washington or stand with the voters and taxpayers who have to shoulder the burden of her party’s corruption problem. Shea-Porter's decision to back her Washington political boss is a clear sign that it’s time for both her and Congressman Rangel to make way for someone who thinks that Washington politicians should be held to the same standards as the rest of us.”

For full text of the resolution, click here.



Rangel’s Ethics Issues Have Been Mounting for Months: “Representative Charles B. Rangel has earned more than $75,000 in rental income from a villa he has owned in the Dominican Republic since 1988, but never reported it on his federal or state tax returns, according to a lawyer for the congressman and documents from the resort. Mr. Rangel’s three-bedroom villa at the Punta Cana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the federal tax code, bought the beachfront villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club and has received twice-yearly payments from the resort, which rents the property for $500 or more per night.” (David Kocieniewski, “Rangel Failed to Report $75,000 in Income,” New York Times, 9/5/08)

 “An oil-drilling company whose chief executive pledged $1 million last year to a school to be named for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) reportedly benefited from a tax loophole he helped preserve.” (“Congressman Charles Rangel Linked to Tax Loophole for Oil Executive,” Associated Press, 11/25/08)

 “Already embroiled in an ethics probe now entering its tenth month, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, received more bad news Wednesday night as the House ethics committee announced it would look into Caribbean trips taken by the veteran lawmaker and four other Democrats.” (Josh Bresnahan, “Ten Months In, New Twist in Rangel Ethics Inquiry,” Politico, 6/25/09)

 “House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel , already beset by a series of ethics investigations, has disclosed hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unreported assets. Among the new items on Rangel’s amended 2007 financial disclosure report were an account at the Congressional Federal Credit Union worth at least $250,000, land in southern New Jersey and stock in PepsiCo and fast food conglomerate Yum! Brands. None of those investments appeared on the original report, which was filled out by hand and filed in May 2008.” (Richard Rubin and Alex Knott, “Rangel’s Wealth Jumps After Disclosure,” CQ Politics, 8/25/09)

 “Representative Charles B. Rangel failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets on his financial disclosure forms for 2002 through 2006, including tens of thousands of dollars in rental income from a Harlem brownstone he sold in 2004, according to records filed this month with the clerk of the House of Representatives.” (David Kocieniewski, “Rangel Failed to Disclose More Income and Assets, Forms Show,” New York Times, 8/28/09)

 “Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, has failed to pay taxes on two plots of land he has in New Jersey, records show. Rangel's ownership of the small, undeveloped properties came to light on Tuesday only after he drastically amended at least six years of financial-disclosure forms he had filed annually with the House clerk as required by law. The corrected filings as much as doubled the amount of personal wealth Rangel has claimed going back years and revealed at least $780,000 in previously unreported assets. The Harlem Democrat concealed somewhere between $38,902 and $116,800 in 2007 income, according to the revised filings. Among the assets he failed to list was a checking account containing somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000. Also undisclosed for years were two lots he owns in Glassboro, NJ, about 100 miles from the city. Rangel is delinquent on his taxes on that property, according to the Gloucester County Clerk's office.” (Charles Hurt and Perry R. Chiamonte, “Tax Chief Charlie a Tax ‘Cheat’ Too,” New York Post, 9/13/09)

Meanwhile, Calls For Rangel to Resign Have Come from Far and Wide: “Want to understand why 2009 has witnessed the eruption of Tea Party and Town Hall protests of unprecedented intensity? Look no further than Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee that writes tax law for the rest of us... It's not like he's got nowhere to go. There's always that little rental villa he owns at the Punta Canta Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. He forgot to report $75,000 in income he derived from that asset but I am betting it's looking a lot more attractive to him as a retirement spot these days.” (“Stop Embarrassing Us, Mr. Rangel. Resign.” Washington Times Editorial, 8/28/09)

 “This recommendation does not come easily, considering the New York Democrat’s four decades of service in Congress. But Mr. Rangel himself has felt obliged to request three separate House ethics inquiries of his behavior. While denying serious improprieties, Mr. Rangel concedes that he has not lived up to the “higher standard” expected of members of Congress... Committee posts are not bestowed by voters. They are partisan privileges granted by leaders in Congress, and Ms. Pelosi must not cut slack for an ally. If Mr. Rangel refuses a temporary hiatus from his chairmanship, Ms. Pelosi should remove him permanently.” (“Chairman Rangel,” New York Times Editorial, 9/14/09)

 “The man who is in charge of writing the nation’s tax laws doesn’t pay his federal income or local property taxes. He has such a poor grasp of his own finances that he neglects to list half his assets on a disclosure form intended to keep members of Congress accountable and honest. ‘House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has shown no interest in removing Rangel from his post. Why should she? We can already hear the defense of the next tax deadbeat called into court. If Charlie Rangel doesn’t have to pay his taxes, why should I?’” (Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, “The Case Against Charlie Rangel,” New York Post, 9/4/09)