Sunday, August 3, 2008

Charlie Rangel: Who Loves Ya, Baby? Dan Seals, Of Course.


As I said in my last post, today we'll be answering the question: just how exceptional is Charlie Rangel's apartment deal? Turns out, it is completely unheard of. As this story unfolds further, it becomes clearer and clearer that Dan Seals of the 9th District, whose hand is out to take whatever cash Charlie can send his way, has chosen a very poor mentor to emulate (but one very much in keeping with Dan's other choices like Bob Creamer, Dan Rostenkowski, and the list goes on).

In the New York Times' original story it mentions that Rangel must have unusual, even exceptional good luck. "State officials and city housing experts said in interviews that while the law does not bar tenants from having more than one rent-stabilized apartment, they knew of no one else with four of them" said the Times. But that's dry stuff. They wait for a couple of days to really sock it to him....

On July 17th the Gray Lady ran this story: Rangel's Neighbors See a Rent Double Standard. You remember Sylvia Olnick from yesterday? She's Rangel's landlord, political donor and has enlisted his help getting permits for new apartment buildings. It turns out that her company, the Olnick Organization, is one of the most aggressive landlords in the city when it comes to evicting rent control tenants and renting their former apartments are the market rates.

Normally this would be bad news for someone in Rangel's position. His yearly income is over the maximum amount to qualify for rent control. He also pays that $2000 in aggregate rent per month, also technically disqualifying him for rent control. It would be a simple matter for his landlord to take away his three extra apartments. But the Olnick organization has yet to move on Charlie. Perhaps they've been too busy with their other tenants…

Tenants like Edward Torrence, a 90 year old man whose failing eyesight kept him from writing his rent check. So he had his daughter write a check out of their joint account. The Olnick Organization initiated eviction procedures against him because his daughter's name was on the check but not on the apartment lease. The only reason the Olnicks didn't kick Mr. Torrence out onto the street was he died before they could.

There's also Carlton Ford. He and his family had lived in Rangel's building for decades. He developed grand mal seizures so severe that he was confined to a nursing home and hospital for 9 months. When he was released his doctors advised him that he could not return to his old apartment. But he wanted his wife to be able to stay. As soon he rented a new apartment for himself the Olnick Organization initiated eviction procedures against his family.

So, this landlord is willing to kick out a blind, 90 year-old man and a family that had lived in their apartment for decades. In both of those cases the people only had one apartment and were definitely not in violation of rent control statutes. The Olnick Organization still tried to throw them out on the street. But Congressman Rangel, who has FOUR rent controlled apartments and is absolutely not entitled to them, is allow to stay. I wonder why that is.

My guess is Rangel and his landlords take their philosophy on this matter from Animal Farm: Some animals are more equal than others. This is the guy Dan Seals is begging for money.

Coming up soon: what's that you say? Another Rangel scandal?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rangel will get indicted soon.

Anonymous said...

Nice scam Rangel was running with the slum landlord. Evict those in need of such housing and let Rangel take over in their place?

On his salary?

Louis G. Atsaves

El Rider said...

The landlord sounds a little. It like our town's Tony Rezko, she would love Barack Obama.

Anonymous said...

Rangel makes Rezko look like a piker!

DCEyes said...

Sources at the NYT report a new revelation coming on Rangel...