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Posts tagged ‘Charles B. Rangel’

Democrat Rangel Expects Tough Race Running on Obamacare.

Image: Democrat Rangel Expects Tough Race Running on Obamacare

By Wanda Carruthers

Rep. Charles Rangel predicted the bid to hold onto his New York House seat would be a “rough one,” but said it would be a “moral mistake” not to run on Obamacare.

“It’s going to be a rough one. But, you know, it’s like shooting craps. Either you win or you lose. You just can’t stay even with the first shot,” Rangel, a Democrat, told MSNBC Tuesday.

“All of those people that have been afraid to stand with the president (on Obamacare), I think, will be making a great moral mistake. But, more importantly, a great political mistake as well for 2014,” he said.

Rangel announced his candidacy earlier this month to run for a 23rd term for the House. A staunch proponent of Obamacare, Rangel called it “the most exciting thing that’s happened for the United States of America since the Republic began.”

“Fifty million people that hoped, dreamed and prayed that one day they could get insurance, no matter what their status was — this is going to start to roll in,” he said.

Should the future of Obamacare play out like the problem-plagued rollout, Rangel admitted the Democrats had “shot crap.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

NY Rep. Rangel Compares Tea Party to ‘White Crackers,’ GOP to ‘Terrorists’.

New York‘s long-serving Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel bitterly lashed into his conservative foes, comparing Tea Party members to racist “white crackers” and Republicans to “terrorists.”

“It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police,” the 83-year-old Harlem congressman told the Daily Beast. “They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say, ‘Enough is enough. I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.’ What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break.”

On the subject of House Republicans, Rangel, first elected 43 years ago, was equally harsh, saying they’d done more damage to American competitiveness than al-Qaida ever could, The Daily Beast reported.

“What is happening is sabotage,” Rangel said in the interview, which went online Friday. “Terrorists couldn’t do a better job than the Republicans are doing.”

He said there’s a couple of Republicans, however, he didn’t mind — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Rep. Peter King.

“People only go for Christie because he is reasonable,” Rangel said. “He says something nice about the president helping out Jersey and now he is on the hit list by Republicans. And now my friend Peter King is on their hit list. Peter King, a Republican, is considered a goddamn communist.”

Rangel was censured by the House and stripped of his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee after scandals including a rent-regulated apartment, taxes on a Dominican villa and use of congressional stationery to fundraise for the school of public service at the City University of New York. In 2012, he won the primary vote in a newly redrawn district by little more than a thousand votes.

He’s not made public any plans to retire.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

Rangel Sues Boehner Seeking to Reverse House Ethics Censure.

U.S. Representative Charles Rangel sued House Speaker John Boehner and six other lawmakers, saying evidence was withheld from a House probe that led to Rangel’s censure for several ethics violations.

The House was “knowingly deceived” by members of the ethics committee, including fellow Democrat Zoe Lofgren, Rangel, a New York Democrat, claims in a complaint filed today in federal court in Washington. The committee withheld a memo by former committee staff warning that the proceedings against him had been tainted by misconduct, Rangel alleged.

“The suppressed material would probably have led to a different outcome,” Rangel’s lawyer, Jay Goldberg, said in the complaint. Rangel alleges that “had he known the facts,” he would have “made a motion to dismiss by reason of wrongdoing.”

Rangel, a former Ways and Means Committee chairman, was censured by the House in December 2010 for violations including using a rent-controlled apartment as a campaign office, using congressional stationery and staff to seek donations for an academic center named for him at City College of New York, filing erroneous financial-disclosure statements and failing to pay taxes on rental income for 17 years.

The Federal Election Commission last year fined Rangel $23,000 over the rent-controlled apartment. The FEC said the use of the apartment was a campaign contribution in excess of legal limits and should have been reported by Rangel’s campaign committee and his leadership political action committee.

Duncan Neasham, a spokesman for Lofgren, of California, said in a phone interview that he had not seen the complaint and declined to comment immediately. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.


© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Most of Congress coming back despite low approval.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Listen up, voters, you’re the boss.

Your employee has barely produced the past two years, has hardly showed up for work, hasn’t cooperated with others and has gotten low marks on every evaluation. Time to fire ’em, right?


When the results are counted this Tuesday, Americans will have resoundingly rehired a big majority of the House and Senatedespite railing for months about an ineffective, bitterly dividedCongress.

Help from the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts is one reason so many lawmakers will return to Washington. The first election after that politically driven process is typically a high point for those in office. But redistricting is hardly the only reason. The power of incumbency, with its name recognition and cash advantages, also is responsible.

At least 15 senators of the 22 seeking re-election are expected to cruise to new terms. The same is true for at least 330 House members from coast to coast, based on interviews with Republicans and Democrats, opinion polls and a tally of non-competitive races.

There have been some close calls. Twenty-one-term Rep. Charlie Rangel faced a scare in his primary but probably will win in his heavily Democratic New York City district. Sen. Orrin Hatch fought off a tea party challenge and is expected to easily win a seventh term in solidly Republican Utah. Ethics and sex scandals — even skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee — won’t stop other incumbents.

Yet in survey after survey this year, Americans overwhelmingly have given Congress an abysmal approval rating in the low double-digits. Even its members joke darkly about their standing compared to, say, used car salesmen or tax collectors or even journalists.

Support for Congress, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has often said, is “down to paid staffers and blood relatives.”

A quick look at the statistics suggests why.

In two years of partisan backbiting and brinkmanship over the nation’s finances, the current Congress has produced just 196 laws, including quite a few renaming post offices or appointing members to the board of the Smithsonian Institution.

The once-easy work such as a transportation bill took months of wrangling.

Compare that to the 460 laws of President George W. Bush’s two years with a Democratic Congress or the Watergate-era 649 laws.

Congress hasn’t been around Washington very much of the time. Lawmakers have been in session about 220 days in the past two years of Tuesday-to-Thursday afternoon workweeks that would prompt an avalanche of attendance demerits.

Still, Americans will reward this level of performance, perhaps rivaling only A-Rod’s in baseball’s postseason, by giving their senators and House members another six- or two-year term at a salary of $174,000 a year.

The re-election percentage for House incumbents in the modern era — 1964 to 2010 — has rarely dipped below 80 percent, even in “wave” election years when the president saw members of his party sent packing, such as Bill Clinton in 1994 (52 House seats lost), George W. Bush in 2006 (30 seats lost) and Barack Obama in 2010 (63 seats lost).

Senate re-election hasn’t always been as sure a thing. In 1980, when Republican Ronald Reagan ousted Democratic President Jimmy Carter from the White House, nine Senate incumbents fell and the re-election percentage for incumbents fell to 55 percent. Two years later, however, it was back up to 93 percent.


Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, cites post-Census redistricting in which both Republicans and Democrats shore up incumbents and create a significant number of safe, non-competitive House districts.

But Storey points out that the district boundaries reflect a geographical and cultural reality: The United States is a nation of clusters.

“It takes a real quick look at voting patterns geographically to realize that we are very sort of clustered in heavily partisan ways,” Storey said. “And so when you start drawing maps, many of these districts, you can’t unless you extraordinarily contort the lines, you’re always going to have some number of districts, a large number, that are heavily Republican and heavily Democratic. So that is the nature of a geographic dispersion along party lines.”

Storey said people decide where to live for a variety of reasons, but the conventional view still stands — rural America is predominantly Republican and urban America is strongly Democratic. The suburbs provide some intersection of the two, and that line moves in and out depending on the election. Other factors come into play, too. The 1965 Voting Rights Act limits what nine states can do in drawing up new districts, to ensure that minorities are represented in Congress.

Just being in office helps a candidate a lot. Incumbents typically have a considerable advantage in raising money, making it difficult for challengers to unseat them.

The result is that next week, despite the public’s frustration, Americans won’t be sending many incumbents to the want ads or unemployment offices.

That likelihood leaves some people in the world of business and human resources scratching their heads. Think about George Clooney’s job-firing character in the 2009 film “Up in the Air” unable to tell members of Congress they’re out of a job.

Vic Tanon, the self-described chief simplicity officer for Emplicity, a human resources outsourcing company based in Irvine, Calif., said his firm consults with companies of 20 to 50 employees, the kind that members of Congress repeatedly talk about when they talk about job growth.

“In what you call a small business there isn’t a lot of room for keeping, let alone hiring, people that are not delivering results. There’s just not a lot of room,” Tanon said. “When you get into larger work places, it’s easier for people to hide.”

Tanon said small businesses have to worry about their own existence.

“They need results. They look directly to their people and their resources to get those results and when they’re not, to remain competitive, we need to write up those employees, put them on a PIP — a performance improvement plan — document that. And if they don’t meet the PIP, I’m sorry, but we will have to free them to the economy,” he said.

Burton Goldfield, president and chief executive officer of TriNet, a San Leandro, Calif., firm that provides health care plans and guidance on hiring and firing, like Clooney’s character, sees parallels between Congress and business.

“The results aren’t there,” Goldfield said. “Now that doesn’t mean that you fire them, but if they’re not going to acknowledge that the results aren’t there, then you’re pretty much done. If I’m counseling an employee, and they’re not willing to own up to the results, the chances of them surviving in that role are near zero.”


By DONNA CASSATA | Associated Press

Hatch ready to rule Tuesday’s primary in Utah, but will other incumbents follow?.

Hatch (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Across the country, Republicans are fighting off tea party threats while Democrats are dragged down by anti-incumbent sentiment and a president who remains unpopular in many competitive states.

But on Tuesday, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is expected to defy those trends and win re-election handily, with experience and a novice challenger helping to boost his odds. Similarly, Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel certainly has years of congressional service on his side–41 to be exact–and faces lesser-known opponents, but redistricting changes could thwart the Congressman’s chances of winning.

In Utah, Hatch faces a primary challenge from former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, who has amassed tea party support, an endorsement from Rick Santorum and boasts other high-profile backing. Hatch’s detractors view him as an establishment figure who has slipped into moderate territory after 35 years in office. That line of criticism is not uncommon in a tea party vs. incumbent Republican primary, such as in the race that led to Sen. Dick Lugar’s loss to tea partier Richard Mourdock in Indiana. But the same fate doesn’t seem likely to befall Hatch.

Even though Liljenquist’s arguments and conservative ideology have enjoyed wide appeal, Hatch is likely to win due to several factors: the senator is much better funded than his challenger; Hatch remains well-known throughout every corner of the state; and Hatch’s challenger, a one-term state senator, has limited experience and pull statewide. The Republican incumbent has maintained support in the face of a potentially treacherous tea party challenge, receiving endorsements from tea partiers such as Sarah Palin, mainstream Republicans such as Mitt Romney and conservatives such as the American Conservative Union.

An independent public poll released Saturday by Deseret News/KSL-TV found Hatch leading Liljenquist among registered voters by 60 to 32 percent. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. And winning the Republican nomination in Utah virtually guarantees the party a victory in November, given the conservative nature of the state.

Hatch has been arguing that his experience, seniority and potential chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee are the main reasons why voters should send him back to Congress, arguments similar to those being made by House veteran Rangel, 82, in New York.

Rangel’s four decades of service have led to several high-profile endorsements for his re-election race, including popular Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Ed Koch, borough presidents, unions, House colleagues and other prolific New York politicians.

That support, combined with Rangel’s experience, well-versed campaign and name recognition, is pushing the incumbent to the top of the Bronx-area 13th District Democratic primary.

Still, redistricting has increased the number of Hispanics in the new 13th District where Rangel, who is black, is running. This year is the first time Rangel is running in a Latino-majority district and Rangel’s biggest challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, has drawn strong Hispanic support, not to mention aid from super PAC’s opposed to Rangel. Three candidates in addition to Espaillat are running in the primary, further diluting the anti-Rangel vote. But the fact that all three challengers are black could stand to lower Rangel’s support among African-Americans.

Meanwhile, critics of Rangel continue to make an issue of his ethical improprieties. In December 2010, the House of Representatives censured him for multiple ethics violations, including failing to report and pay taxes on rental income, improperly soliciting donations and improperly running a campaign office. Despite spending money on legal fees and fending off bad press over the charges in 2010, Rangel easily won his Democratic primary that September by nearly 30 percentage points and emerged victorious in November.

But, it remains to be seen whether the district’s new demographics will help spell the end of Rangel’s storied career on Tuesday. The winner of Tuesday’s race is virtually guaranteed to win the highly-Democratic seat in November.

In addition to Utah and New York, primaries Tuesday are being held in Colorado and Oklahoma and select runoffs are taking place in South Carolina and South Dakota.


By Rachel Rose Hartman, Yahoo! News | The Ticket 

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