I'm gonna give you some cash!
A few weeks ago TA detailed Dan Seals' ties to ethically challenged (to put it lightly) Congressman Charles Rangel. Since then there have been letters to the editor on the subject and the articles continue to pile up. Yet despite all this, not only did Seals hold onto the $7,000 he had already received from Rangel, he added another $7,000 to that total in his most recent FEC filing.
And Rangel's not finished helping out his protégé, not by a long shot. On August 6th he's hosting a swanky party at the Tavern on the Green in New York. Bill and Hillary Clinton will be there as well as Howard Dean and other assorted Democratic luminaries. Minimum ticket price: $2,500.
The Pup is poised to get 10% of the take from Rangel's little party. So you can all keep track of how long until Dan gives up the last of his already small store of integrity for some cold, hard (dirty) cash I'm introducing the Rangel-Seals cash grab countdown. Check it out on the sidebar to the right.
For now, I'm going to provide a quick background to the first Rangel scandal for those of you who are not familiar.
The New York Times reported on July 11 that Rangel occupies four rent controlled apartments in a luxury Harlem apartment building. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, rent control freezes rents at far below market rates. It was implemented to keep low and middle income people from being priced out of their homes. These days rent controlled apartments are a hot commodity and most people cannot find one.
Rangel managed to find four. Either he's really lucky or someone did him a big favor. Someone like Sylvia Olnick, Rangel's landlord. She is also a donor to Rangel and met with him at least once to secure his help in obtaining permits to construct new apartment buildings.
And how much is Rangel saving with this cozy little arrangement? Somewhat in excess of $30,000 a year. In fact, Congressional ethics experts say Rangel's acceptance of the second, third and fourth rent controlled apartment is probably a violation of the gift ban. The House rules state that a gift is "a gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value". I'd say allowing Rangel to rent three extra apartments at significantly below market rates constitutes a favor or discount.
Coming up soon: just how exceptional is Rangel's deal?
TA's NOTE: I originally called this post "Dan Seals' Dirty Sugar Daddy: Charles Rangel." But, the PC policeman in my brain got the better of me, and I did a Google search for the term "Sugar Daddy," just in case anyone out there thought the term meant something that was different from my understanding. For example, this definition states, "A man who spends money for the benefit of a younger person, especially a younger woman." All well and good, as I definitely meant to imply that Rangel is spending money for the benefit of Seals, and that you would expect some kind of quid pro quo will be in order somewhere down the line, although the implication in this context is that it will be a political, not a sexual, payoff. But what really made me decide to change the post title was the fact that Rangel is African American, and Seals is African American, so you know, whenever you use a term that could be considered derogatory (which was intended), the Dems who love to play the race card will scream RACIST at the drop of a hat (and that was certainly NOT intended). Nothing I can see from my research indicates the phrase 'sugar daddy' has any racial connotation. Moreover, clearly, Rangel is an equal-opportunity distributor of dirty money, as you can see by the diversity of the candidates listed as beneficiaries from the invitation above. And, Seals is certainly color-blind when it comes to taking money from felons, indicted or suspected criminals. So, I certainly didn't see anything 'racial' in calling Rangel a 'sugar daddy' as to Seals. But vicious tongues will wag, so it's easier to just edit the title of the post. Now, let's get back to the real issue before we get sidetracked... we'll have more on the Rangel-Seals connection soon.