Tuesday, August 5, 2008
My Name is Rangel, Congressman of Congressmen...
My name is Rangel, Congressman of Congressmen:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
(I know the title is a needless display of a classical education, but I'll tie this up below, I promise.)
Most politicians would be satisfied with one scandal per week. But Dan Seal's sugar daddy (there's that phrase again, darnnit) is a special kind of politician. A mere four days after the New York Times bombshell regarding his apartments hit, the Washington Post lined up for their shot at Charlie Rangel. The Post reported that Rangel has been soliciting donations for a school from various corporations and business leaders…on congressional stationery…and most of the people solicited have business before the committee that he chairs. Oh, and the name of the school? The Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service. That's right... he named the school after... himself.
Now, there are several no-nos that Rangel committed here so we'll deal with each one in turn. First there is soliciting donations for a private entity on congressional stationery. That's a violation of House rules. Of course since he's violating the gift ban already this might not bother him.
The second problem here is the people Rangel is soliciting frequently have business before the Ways and Means committee, which Rangel chairs, or work for companies that do. Even if he just asking, there is the appearance of impropriety. As the Dean of George Washington University put it "[Rangel] has crossed the line… Charlie Rangel is a prominent public servant and may deserve a center at City College. . . . But I think one has to be careful about how one raises the money for that. The danger is that it begins to blur the lines between whether a quid pro quo is implied by this or not."
His final offense is not so much an offense against laws or ethics, but an offense against good taste. The man named a school after himself while he was still in office. And he had the gall to request of $2 million in earmarks to fund said school. That sort of monumental hubris, to decide that not only are you worthy of a monument, but that the taxpayers should pay for the privilege of erect it, is not becoming in a public servant. With that kind of attitude he should change his name to Ozymandias Rangel (there's that classical education creeping in... if you slept through the Romantics in English Lit., here's a link to 'splain it to ya.)
Perhaps now we have a clue as to why a Congressman from New York is helping a long shot, out of work wannabe like Dan Seals. Rangel sees a kindred spirit in the Pup. Maybe when he sees how Dan is running for Congress in a district he's never lived in, with virtually no legislative experience to his name, Rangel sees a younger version of himself. It's like he's Rangel's long lost, arrogant, presumptuous son.
AND MOVING PICTURES, TOO!
Guess I'm not the only one out there who is working up the Rangel-Seals connection. Check out the latest video...