Following yesterday’s third quarter Federal Elections Commission filing deadline and a vote last week where the current congressman in New York’s 19th district voted to side with Democratic leadership by blocking a move calling on Congressman Charles Rangel to step down as Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee in light of ethics investigations for questionable practices, Assemblyman Greg Ball (R-Patterson), a candidate in the 19th district, called on the current congressman to return his donations from Rangel. (House Roll Call 759)
“Last year, prominent members of both parties called on Rep. Rangel to step down, and many returned campaign contributions given by ‘Uncle Charlie’,” Ball said. “Why then, almost exactly a year later, has the current congressman not returned the $14,000 he has received from Charlie Rangel and his PAC and return the money from the December 17, 2007 at George Soros’ home where Rangel was the featured guest?”
This was not the first time the current congressman rushed to Rangel’s aid. Last year, the current congressman voted to kill a resolution that would have convened a House Ethics Committee investigation to look into Rangel’s mounting scandals. (House Roll Call 609) The current Congressman may have thought himself prescient when he told Roll Call in September of 2008 that “Mistakes were obviously made, but he’s owned up to them and obviously (Rangel) will set them right,” but that mistaken assumption is marred by the ongoing investigation that continues to uncover more improprieties. (‘Rangel Could Face $100K Tab’ by Paul Singer and Tory Newmyer, Roll Call, September 17, 2008)
“Obviously the current congressman is more interested in playing ‘follow the leader’ and standing with his party bosses then to return the $4,000 check he took from Charlie Rangel and the thousands raised by Rangel and Soros on his behalf,” Ball added.
“Wouldn’t everyone in America salivate at the possibility of benefitting from what I call the ‘Uncle Charlie Stimulus Plan’?” Ball asked. But then again, only someone with Rangels’ power can so arrogantly break the law without repercussions. While he should be given the courtesy of due process, as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Rangel should step down during this pending investigation.”