With the Ethics Committee in the US House of Representative unable, thus far, to reach a settlement with Representative Charlie Rangel regarding allegations of ethics missteps, we look at Gabe Pressman's view and continue to hope for a settlement.
We hope that the US House and Upper Manhattan's Charlie Rangel can settle the Ethics case without a trial. Representative Rangel is accused of missteps that are nearly all self-reported and nearly all paperwork snafu's. The accusations themselves have always suggested sloppiness rather than greed. He is not even accused of any behavior that would have harmed his constituents, and he has not been accused of any sort of cover-up. Both the Rangel camp and the US House should recognize that a trial benefits no one, and the US House should not ask Representative Rangel to suggest that he knowingly committed any ethics violation.
We have highlighted previously that the US House has a record of targeting African American members of Congress for ethics investigations; in November 2009, we learned that 100% of the members of the US House of Representatives under investigation were African American, even though many non-African American lawmakers had been referred to the Ethics Committee for its review.
Presumed Innocent - Proven Effective
Charlie Rangel continues to have a presumption of innocence. He also has a record of achievement that eclipses that of any current member of Congress.
Gabe Pressman assessed the situation well last week. Charlie Rangel has served with dignity and effectiveness for 40 years.
He is a war hero who brought $5 billion of funding specifically to urban areas across our country. He has consistently served as the voice of those whose voices are often ignored. He has made our country stronger, and he has made Upper Manhattan stronger through his decades of service.
Charlie Rangel should not leave Congress this year. He was elected by the people of Upper Manhattan. We Upper Manhattan voters are the only people who should decide whether the member of Congress who represents us should be replaced. We have decided 20 consecutive times that Charlie Rangel is the best person for the job. On September 14, 2010, we will decide again who represents us. No one in Congress should suggest that he or she has better judgment than we do. We've been right 20 times in a row.