The Swamp Is Still Full

Remember this?

Pelosi Says She Would Drain GOP ‘Swamp’

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is thinking 100 hours, time enough, she says, to begin to “drain the swamp” after more than a decade of Republican rule.

It’s four years later, how’s that “most honest, ethical Congress” working out?

Pelosi’s Choice: Rangel or the Swamp

Draining swamps is not so popular today. It’s bad ecology.

We could understand Nancy Pelosi’s defense of Charlie Rangel this way. It’s an issue of conservation. I’ve heard those San Francisco liberals love the environment. Forget promises to “drain the swamp” during the 2006 campaign. She wants to conserve her ally’s job.

Don’t get Pelosi wrong. Surely, if a powerful House member “has proven himself to be ethically unfit” we know “the burden” indeed “falls upon” his party to oust him. In such a case, party leaders would obviously ask: “Do they want to remove the ethical cloud that hangs over the Capitol?”

So Pelosi explained in October 2004. The subject was Tom DeLay. The House ethics committee had admonished the Republican majority leader. DeLay used the Federal Aviation Administration to track Democratic state rivals. He hosted a fundraiser with energy lobbyists while energy legislation was under consideration.

Pelosi argued: “We must stop the influence of special interests so that the people know that we are here for the people’s interests.”

After all, this is why we have institutions like the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service. Except, that is, for the namesake and the center. An oil drilling company (special interest) made a $1 million donation to Rangel’s center. The quid pro quo, allegedly, included legislative favors. The matter, like so much of Rangel’s world, is under investigation.

Rangel has one of the powerful jobs in government. The New York Democrat is chairman of the House Ways and Means committee. The committee has jurisdiction over all taxation. And that’s the rub. Rangel has a problem paying all his taxes.

The chairman failed to report more than a half million dollars in income. He later amended his financial disclosure forms. Perhaps it was a senior moment. The public servant simply forgot about his New Jersey real estate and a quarter million dollar account.

But perhaps he’s just corrupt. There are other investigations. Possibly still more absent taxes, this time regarding rental income and a Dominican villa. There’s the four rent-stabilized Harlem apartments used by Rangel, reportedly, well below market value. House lawmakers cannot accept gifts worth more than $50.

Rangel’s cloud grew still larger on Thursday. The House ethics committee ruled that Rangel violated Congressional rules by accepting Caribbean junkets.

Thank goodness for Pelosi’s past stands. Back in October 2004, the ethics committee had not yet acted on DeLay’s links to a more serious money laundering investigation. But Pelosi saw that as no excuse. The cloud was big enough. Action had to be taken on behalf of the “people’s interests.”

Certainly, Pelosi is not foolish enough to not apply a Democratic double standard. Well, you know how this story goes. In Washington, the cynics are rarely proven wrong.

Some Democratic lawmakers are calling for Rangel to step down. But not the House leader. She says slow down. Don’t jump to those conclusions. She told reporters Friday, “There’s obviously more to come and we’ll see what happens with that.”

INVESTIGATION INTO OFFICIALLY CONNECTED TRAVEL OF HOUSE
MEMBERS TO ATTEND THE CARIB NEWS FOUNDATION MULTI-NATIONAL
BUSINESS CONFERENCES IN 2007 AND 2008.

Volume 1 of the Report
Volume 2 of the Report
Volume 3 of the Report 

Statement of the Chair and Ranking Republican Member Regarding Its Report in the Matter of the Carib News Foundation Multi-National Business Conferences in 2007 and 2008

The Report further finds that Representative Charles B. Rangel violated the House gift rule by accepting payment or reimbursement for travel to the 2007 and 2008 conferences.

See also:
House Ethics Committee admonishes Rep. Rangel, D-N.Y.
Ethics Panel Says Rangel Had Info on Caribbean Trips
Ethics panel: Rangel was sent memos on trips
Panel Admonishes Rangel for Taking Trips as Gifts
Rangel won’t step aside after ethics slap
Rangel Unrepentant After Ethics Violation
More ethics problems for Rangel
Tax King Charlie’s crown is slipping
The Rangel swamp
Rangel fills political swamp faster than Pelosi can drain it
Pelosi Confronts Racial, Power Issues in Rangel Ethics Dilemma
Pelosi says Rangel didn’t break rules
Pelosi defends Rangel, again
Pelosi sticks with Rangel, notes ethics committee ‘did not take action’
Pelosi Focuses on Positive in Rangel Report
President Barack Obama abandons Rep. Charles Rangel against ethics charges
Charlie Rangel Ethics Violation RULING! *** Pelosi in a Jam *** “Shoe on the Other Foot”

And so, four years later, it appears the swamp is still filled to the brim, if not overflowing with Democrat corruption.

/someone needs to find Pelosi a bigger drain

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