December 1st, 2010
04:22 PM ET

Why won't Congressman Charlie Rangel just go away?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The case of New York Congressman Charlie Rangel is bordering on pathetic.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/01/art.rangel.jpg caption=""]
After being found guilty of 11 ethics violations after a two-year investigation, the full House is set to vote on censuring the New York Democrat on Thursday. It's sort of sad really.

The Ethics Committee overwhelmingly recommended censure last month, which is the harshest punishment short of expulsion.

The 80-year-old Rangel is asking the House for the lesser penalty of a reprimand. Rangel claims that censure should only be used in cases where corruption was proved.

There was a time before the guilty verdict that Rangel could have simply walked away with his reputation intact. But apparently his monumental ego wouldn't allow it. Now it's too late. By continuing to whine publicly about his treatment, Rangel, who has served in Congress for 40 years, diminishes himself.

He came out of the Korean War a decorated combat veteran, was elected to Congress and has remained there for 20 terms. In fact, he was just re-elected in spite of the ethics cloud hanging over him.

Among other things, Rangel was found guilty of not paying taxes for 17 years on his rental home in the Dominican Republic, failing to report assets for a decade, misusing a rent-stabilized Harlem apartment as a campaign office and misusing congressional resources to raise money for a college center named after him.

Rangel has apologized for what he calls honest mistakes and wrote his behavior off to "sloppiness." The House Ethics Committee found otherwise.

The ethics scandal cost Rangel the chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and more than $2 million in legal fees.

Here's my question to you: Why won't Congressman Charlie Rangel just go away?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

C. writes:
Being in Congress is not a finite term of service. It's a lifetime identity with pensions, perks, pork. Kind of like royalty. It's our fault. We keep voting them back in.

D. writes:
Charlie, you are like gum stuck on our shoes. You have had your day in the court of opinion. Too much time has been wasted listening to your self-righteous babble. Take your generous government retirement, sit down and relax, and watch the rest of us try to piece this country back together again.

Bob in Kansas City, Missouri writes:
Why won't he go away? Because he's like the rest of the long-term jerks; he's drunk with power and thinks the place won't run without him.

Gordon writes:
Warts and all, Charlie Rangel is my hero – and not just for his Bronze Star valor in the Korean War. When Bush sent our soldiers off to seemingly endless wars after 9/11, only Rangel had the political guts to say we needed to bring back the draft. Today, as our soldiers face the trauma of third, fourth, or more combat tours, Rangel's recommendation was right. His constituents know who he is and what he's done, and 80% still voted for him. Rangel should not betray their vote by quitting.

Rich in Texas writes:
I agree with Rangel. They should not censure him. They should throw his crooked ass out of the House.

Al in Cincinnati writes:
Better question: Why in the hell doesn't the IRS prosecute this crook? If you or I evaded taxes for 17 years…

Clark writes:
His ego. But more importantly, why do his constituents continue to elect him and others like him? The rest of us have to suffer under the consequences of their lack of self-control and morals.

Mike in St. Paul, Minnesota writes:
He's a politician. You have to spray to get rid of them.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Mike in St. Paul

    He's a politician. You have to spray to get rid of them.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  2. Jim LeBow

    All politicians must get the same disease when they go to Washington, ENTITLEMENT!!! It is not about them, it is about representing the people who elected them. So sad they have lost their way.
    Jim LeBow
    Kansas City, MO

    December 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  3. Brandon in Kodiak, AK

    Probably because certain individuals in the 24/7 media circle KEEP HIM IN THE NEWS.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  4. Jeremy

    He delivers for his constituency. They obviously do not care about his behaviour as long as he is bringing home the bacon. If his bosses(voters) don't care about this, why should he?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  5. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    EGO as big as his bank account that he didn't pay taxes on, and he like the rest of the worthless jerks in congrass think that once they serve one term and get elected to another the job is theirs for life, just another reason there should be term limits for all elected officials and
    do away with the lucrative pension plan they have established. for themselves, that would save billions.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  6. fred penick

    Any psychologist or psychiatrist could tell us why he won't go away. It is ego. And inflated ego would apply to most politicicans. And it interferes with them doing the right thing for the country. Instead they want to do the right thing for themselves. Term limits would help us, citizens, but the elected office would still attract the egotists.

    Fred R. Penick
    Calhoun, Georgia

    December 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  7. Eric in RTP

    Be Honest Jack.. his ethics charges are petty.. come on.. using letterheads... not paying property tax on one of many rental houses geez.... you know every public office holder violates these "ethics" daily not to mention the uber-rich and their tax evasiveness... come on Jack... you know better.. the way you make it sound.. heck, with all these charges you might as well send him for the chair for his "Crimes".. gimme a break

    December 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  8. Rob Anderson

    Actually, it didn't cost him $2 million because he didn't have to pay for his defense out of his personal funds, but rather out of his campaign warchest – other peoples' money!

    And, I can't stand his constantly repeating that he "didn't gain financially" from his "sloppiness". What? If you avoid paying taxes for decades on a rental property, doesn't that constitute financial gain?

    I think he should be kicked out of Congress for good. I'm tired of corrupt politicians (including Republicans such as Tom DeLay) breaking laws and lining their pockets at our expense.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  9. Bill

    It doesn't matter if he is censured or not. He is a fighter and the people he represents love and he will be re-elected. What is censure anyway? Its just harsh disapproval. To me its meaningless.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  10. Carol

    For the same reason John McCain won't just go away. Exaggerated sense of their own importance.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  11. Edward Nashville, TN

    Because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Once you get a taste you want more and like an addict you don't know when to stop.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  12. Pat Trager

    Thank you Jack for asking the relevant question – having lived in NY for over 30 years, I am not surprised that Mr. Rangel wont' just go away. My guess would be that he has gotten away with so much for so many years, he thinks he can do it again. And there is always the pity vote to appeal to.

    Tucson, AZ

    December 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  13. Dave from WI

    A better question would be "Who in their right mind voted for him again?"

    December 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  14. lou/michigan

    because he knows that its all smoke and mirrors to appease the great unwashed. come on, jack, this is congress we're talking about.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  15. Shirley

    Why don't all of the senior politicians in DC go away? It's the money honey!!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  16. Jeff Berry

    He didn't pay taxes on his rental home in the Dominican Republic for 17 years and he isn't under federal tax evasion charges? What planet do we live on? Is this the Clingon Empire?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  17. Ed in Harrisburg

    Charlie Rangel won reelection in his district, why should he go away?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  18. AB in L.A.

    Is their any other reason for term limits! Power corrupts and absolute power currupts absolutely!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  19. arthur e woehrlen jr

    his ego is too big , he feels he can play "dumb " and dismiss all this as a BIG misunderstanding . why would anyone who has fooled us all for 17 years want to give up the perks he has granted himself because of his position !

    December 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  20. Slater

    Sounds liek a witchhunt. The amounts and transgressions are so minor as to be inconsequential.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  21. Ike

    He should resign now.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  22. Johnny Blaise

    Because he is a crook with an over inflated ego. He thinks he is above the law. He's lame and he sucks.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  23. Tom

    Charlie needs to go home. He is now become the poster boy for term limits.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  24. gene

    I want to know how, with a congressman's salary he was able to buy a vacation home in the Caribbean? I earn more and have no such luxuries.I think a little more digging would reveal many things far worse than sloppiness.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  25. The City On A Shining Hill

    Of course Charlie won't go away. Voters recognize excellence in their representatives, and those who go the extra mile to secure scarce tax dollars from all Americans to benefit the constituents of their districts.

    Even Ted Stevens of Alaska and Patty Murray of Washington State were overwhelmingly elected by voters who know good food, called pork and bacon, and engorge on that, becoming very obese.

    It does not matter if any ethics violations are violated by these distinguished civil servants, who definitely deserve pay for performance.

    Even conservatives concerned with economic slowing budget deficits and overreaching governments believe in pay for performance, and a job well done.

    We all should! Charles Rangle for president in 2016!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  26. THiNKTaNK

    Because Heroes never leave.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  27. Dianne

    Why won't he go away? For one thing he has made himself rich off the citizens of his district and he now needs more money cause he had to spend 2M defending himself.

    He also has an ego and sense of entitlement that only comes from being in publice office for so many years.

    He is the best reason to have term limits that I can think of.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  28. Otto

    You are certainly not from New York and Manhatttan in particular. The question would serve a better purpose it what was asked was: Why won't Sarah Palin, Newt and the part of say "no" just go away?

    Every politician since this nation was formed are/was selfish people who play a political game. Show me one or name one honest politician. Never!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  29. Dennis

    Mr. Rangel's excuse of not knowing the tax laws after being on the Ways & Means Committee that writes the tax laws, for the last 35 years. His being on the Joint Committee on Taxation serving as the Chair or Vice-Chair for the last four years to me is akin to a High School math teacher not being able to add 2+2. If he can't understand the Tax Code he helped write it's about time he became familiar with the Penal Code.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  30. Mike D.

    Charlie Rangel won't just "go away" because he doesn't have to. His constituents fully support his illegal actions. The folks who vote him into office are happy with his behavior. Furthermore, none of the violations he has committed justify his removal under current congressional policy. Did he break the rules? Yes. Will he have to answer for it? Of course not. US Congressman: A great job if you can get it.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  31. inmyopinion

    Because there is still money to be made. Ha

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  32. Bob R

    Just can't give up that power!!!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  33. danny

    He has not cheated the taxpayers out of enough money yet and the idiots in his district do not vote on their own they vote the way that they are instructed to vote by their reverends and inmans.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  34. Andrew

    I call it the Bear Bryant syndrome. Bear Bryant died suddenly about a month after he retired. I think some of these guys (Joe Paterno, Charlie Rangel, Clint Eastwood) think that retirement is the first step to the end.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  35. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    Because, like most of our Professional Politicians, he is addicted to the power of office. Add to that the fact that his district will elect him no matter what laws he breaks so why not take the money and act Congressorial.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  36. rabid

    He's hoping for a miracle. He's a favorite son democrat, and he's been riding the gravy train for years. His hand is still out, looking for forgiveness and more freeloading...

    December 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  37. greg lehman

    My question is how in the world did he win reelection?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  38. Dave

    As you pointed out, he has a monumental ego and a way of life that leaves him and other dinosaur politicians the belief they are untouchable. 40 years??? Shouldn't we start limiting appointments for Congressmen and Senators to a two-term stint? Charlie Rangel got his hands so far into the cookie jar because his 40 years have served him well in establishing the ins and outs of politics and the corrupt system.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  39. West Hollywood Hairy

    He is a Democrat and thinks he is entitled to all of those benefits.

    Can't teach an old dog new tricks.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  40. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, Rangel (like most veteran politicians) thinks the public should be a servant to him.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  41. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    Congressman Rangel has had the privilege of living a life without consequences. How many more criminals would we have if the general public was punished in the same manner.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  42. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Why should he? He is no worse than any of the others in Congress. If the truth were known I imagine that many are just as bad, just not caught yet!

    Although, if Boehner and his buddies would just go away I would personally urge Rangel to do the same.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  43. Joe Gregory

    Frankly, I do not believe that censure is strong enough punishment for Mr. Rangel. The Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee fails to pay taxes on his rental income for 17 years? Seventeen years?? The man should be expelled from Congress and prosecuted for tax fraud.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  44. ktown

    Any nonpolitician would be under the jail. Why can't he be?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  45. Deborah Seibert,. Co

    He wouldn't be able to line his pockets out of office. He needs to be expelled. Any congressman convicted of graft needs to be expelled. That is the ONLY way to restore confidence in government. If you allow a crook in your midst, you are sanctioning his behavior and you are therefore guilty by association.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  46. Jeffrey Akita

    Because of this... He sees that our country is loosing its edge, he realizes that nobody care anymore... He feels if he stays the district he serves can stay where it belongs... Put on your glasses and ask yourself this... How do you expect to Declare Victory Abroad, when you cant even take care of you own country @ Home... America is crumbling, the skyscrappers are all falling one by one, we need to save them before they cave us all in... Charlie Rangle is one of the oldest ones, he has been here for a long time and has seen it all, he is a living monument in American History.... Let him live on..

    December 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  47. Lorrie

    I can only assume that the politicians who stay in Washington well past their freshness date do so because they are addicted to the money, power and influence their position provides. They obviously don't stay out of a love for love the country they serve. The only way to rid Washington of the stench of old, corrupt politicians like /charlie is to enact TERM LIMITS.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  48. rabid

    He is a grandfathered favorite son democrat. He's been riding the gravey train for years. He's hoping for a miracle and forgiveness. He still has his hand out, looking for more gravey.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  49. Dennis north Carolina

    Rangel is a professional political person who has made a career out of elective office so he feels that he owns the seat in congress and the people owe him a living. people like him are corrupt and I would say we have only see the tip of the iceberg. two terms would have been written in to the charter of our country if our founding fathers had seen this far in the future. two terms was placed on the president's pffice after F.D.R. so a dictatorship could not take place. we should make all elective offices this way. the reason that our country is in bad shape is career office holders looking out for their own. right now our republicans in the senate are holding the unemployed and our country hostage until a bill on tax breaks for the rich is extented. guess who the rich are????? we the people have to take the blame because a good percentage do not vote every time. shame on us and we are paying for it and our children will pay for it in years to come unless we take our country back.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  50. Juan

    Juan in Oakland California: $

    December 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  51. Bill in Houston

    He's the Congress' version of Don Quixote as he "tilts at windmills" with his female version of Sancho Panza named Nancy.
    Together they fight the never ending battle against conjured boogiemen that will heroically and sadly come to an end with his final breath in the chamber on live TV.
    True American melodrama for the entertainment of an audience that left the theatre long ago.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |

    Jack, because like all members of the House and Senate, they are drunk with power. The rule of law only applies to those of us who don't serve in Washington. Rangel is the epitome of what is wrong with our Federal government.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  53. the_dude

    You try walking away after sucking on the public teet for 40 years.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  54. rabid

    He is a favorite son democrat, belongs to the club. Has been riding the gravey train for years. Hoping for a miracle and forgivness, with his hand still out for more gratuities.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  55. TD from SoCal

    Study history, Jack. Who did Charlie replace in Congress? Remember Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.? Re-elected (twice I think) after having been expelled from Congress for CORRUPTION by vote of his peers; seems like Rangel just picked up the ball and ran the same patterns as those laid down by his predecessor. And who was Rangel's chief opponent on the Democratic ticket this time around? Powell's grandson.

    Is it Groundhog Day already? Must be some serious gravy on that Congressional train, so who is going to leave voluntarily? Besides, if Charlie bailed, old Maxine would be under a much larger lens than she is right now. Anyone wonder why these folks can't balance a budget?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  56. Emile Zola

    Why should he? He stole, alledgely thousands of dollars. Bush, Cheney and their cronies stole billions, invaded two countries, killed a million plus of innocent civilians and they are home enjoying the benefits of a nice pension thanks to uncle Sam. If this "democracy" of ours were to punish every comgress person for being dishonest, who would run the country. How many billions have Halliburton, Blackwater, now Xe stole from Joe Q. Public and no accountability, not even when they kill innocent civilians for sport. How many republicans get millions from special interests and no one raises an eyebrow. The problem here is that America loves to see nothing in themselves, even if it's war crimes we are talking about, but want to lynch others for thousands. That sounds like screwed up priorities.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  57. Steve in SC

    This guy has been in the public eye for much of his life. He has no clue how to remain away. He is an eye sore and needs to enjoy the remaining years of his life quietly. Thanks for your honorable military service and your dishonorable public service.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  58. Brad

    Because he is afraid he will have to go out in the real world and get a real job, if he remembers how. He is a disgrace to the Ways & Means Committee. Not to mention the State of New York.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  59. Matt

    Because, my dear boy, you keep talking about him.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  60. Bob Pauly

    Good question! Wish I had an answer...:-(

    December 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  61. Cem Gokcen

    He is 80 years old. What else is he going to do?
    We have to stop allowing people to serve way passed their primes. They become an embarassment to us and to themselves. I am not saying we should ignore their vast experiance, but relegate them to a position of respected elder statesmen and allow new ideas to florish.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  62. Ed

    Why won't he go away? Ego. He believes his own press clippings 100%.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  63. Jim

    Charlie Rangel is a perfect example of the hubris of power. He honestly came to believe that he was exempt from and above the law (as anyone could become during his time in Congress). Furthermore, he is now unwilling and unable to accept that he has ruined his own legacy.

    I saw the other day where someone was commenting on his "misuse" of the rent-controlled apartments in NYC.. They were specifically commenting on the fact that someone else was being deprived of access to rent-controlled apartments because he was wrongfully controlling four apartments. There is no way that Charlie Rangel did not know this was wrong!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  64. Jim - Michigan

    Simple Jack, he is a victim like the rest of us. Nobody is accountable, heck you can break our immigration laws and nothing will be done. I am hoping that as citizens we can break the tax laws and receive the same blindness to it as illegal immigrants get from our government. Why should one law be ignored yet enforce others?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  65. Ed

    He probably stages all his problems to get re-elected. Always unfairly treated by the establishment, something the voters can relate to.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  66. Jarrod Rager, Greeley CO

    It is hard to give up the things we know and love the most. Call Brett Favre, he is well aware of why Rangel can't go quietly.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  67. John Baker

    Why won't Congressman Rangel go away? "Away" to where, to what life? He won't go away because as scared as he might be of an ethics panel, and his likely censure, he's more frightened of what life holds for an 80-year-old man who can no longer pull strings or do favors for his friends.

    John Baker
    Los Angeles, CA

    December 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  68. Dick B

    As a child Charlie probably always just got hit in the butt when he made a mistake. Since Congress hasn't done that Mr. Rangel probably thinks he did nothing wrong.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  69. Gary in West Allis, Wi.

    These guys have been doing this so long they don't understand that
    they have broken any laws. They just don't get it!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  70. Rob

    You nailed it already: :...his monumental ego..."

    December 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  71. Angela from East Texas

    Because Rangel is a horse's butt and apparently horse butts are very popular; people love to keep them around so they can complain about them

    December 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  72. Dave from Clinton

    Jack - you've hit another home run - it is sad he just doesn't do the honorable (or what's left of his honor) and just resign. Just another sign of where some of the leaders have lost sight of honor, duty, country..

    December 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  73. George

    There's no need for him to go away. I'm learning that the closer we look at anyone, we are bound to find imperfections. The issues raised are far less significant than what others get away with on a daily basis. He apologize for what he calls honest mistakes. He's provided 40 years of service and is 80 years old. Find a more interesting topic to discuss that could potentially better the world as opposed to picking on someone who has served this country so long and so well.

    High Point, NC


    December 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  74. Michael Shea Albuquerque,NM

    I agree with you the Charles Rangel Story is a sad one to be sure,

    Here's a man that fought for this country in the Korean War and 20 terms in congress. H e has a great congressional record voting for pro-worker legislation and bringing home the pork for his district.

    He is a savy politician and a person who got things done.

    Unfortunately all of his good will is buried in tax eavasion, extortion and a whole host of other sins that he has committed.

    Like Tom Delay and others he got to big for his britches and thought he was insulated when breaking the rules.

    I used to be opposed to term limits. However Charles Rangel is ample proof why we need term limits.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  75. Ed Bernstein

    Rangel is guilty of the hubris that strikes all who spend such a long period of time in Washington. In fact, in his heart , he probably doesn't even think his done anything wrong. And that's the problem. Loss of moral compass and integrity. Some form of overaching term limit for congressman is needed. How about 12 years?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  76. Brian Wickremasinghe-Woodland Hills

    Why should he go away, when he can milk the system and live off the perks for a few more years. He fels that the country owes him.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  77. maryanne

    He has no shame and politics is his drug of choice. Pathetic.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  78. Janet

    He's gotten away with this behavior for close to two decades and continues to knock down a gov't salary with gov't benefits. A Censure won't even send him packing and his constituents have basically said we're okay with your unethical behavior- so WHY should he go away???

    December 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  79. joe conservative

    Because he lacks integrity. What is integrity you ask? When you do the right thing even when it hurts. He is trying to avoid the consequences of his choices.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  80. inofritzn

    Tax-payer funded liberal .

    December 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  81. clark1b

    his ego..

    but more importantly, why do his constituents continue to elect him and others like him .... so that the rest of us have to suffer under the consequences of their lack of self control and morals.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  82. Jules

    Because he is an idiot!

    December 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  83. Gerald Mack

    Moderation is what is worng with washington ,thay have
    taken two years to investgate Charlie found him guilty,


    December 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  84. Pat Gremmler

    Judging from Congressman Rangel's embrace by his constituents and
    Mayor Bloomberg, what would compel him to exit the Congress? It
    would seem that only those of us who have not directly benefited from his
    earmarks to NYC can view Congressman's Rangel's behaviors so clearly above and beyond the law and good decorum as cause for

    December 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  85. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Earmarks, earmarks, earmarks.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  86. S.T. Lambert

    Why should Charlie Rangel go awway? Bill Clinton didn't go away after Monica. Al Gore refused to concede graciously in 2000. Rod Blagojevich, Maxine Waters, Kwame Kilpatrick, and Marion Barry didn't just go away. Jack and Leslie Johnson won't go away. Liberals have to be dragged kicking and screaming from power, so great is their lust for control over the lives and finances of us "little people."

    December 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  87. ConcernedAboutDirection

    It is time for the US Congress to enact a "timeout" rule that provides opportunity for each child acting Congressman to be sent to a timeout corner. Whilest in timeout, no playing, no talking, no chewing gum. sit and be quiet. Rangel would be in timeout until end of his tenure, followed by the Leaders of House on both sides of the isle. good riddance. We have higher standards of expectations for our elementary school children than has been displayed in Congress for many years.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  88. Ken in NC

    I don't know why he won't go away but as a fellow Democrat, I would gladly take him by the hand and show him the door.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  89. Bill from Clinton, Maryland

    He's like any other politician who convinced himself the place can't run without him. Dying in office is becoming a norm. How sad is that?

    December 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  90. lori

    Why are these crooks allowed to remain in Congress.?
    That is why we need term limits. People like Rangel , Kennedy, and the ole boy from NC. spent too much time in Congress. Taking from the people is their only talent. They knew how to milk the system.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  91. The People

    Rangel.. This is the people speaking.. PLEASE GO AWAY

    December 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  92. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    Justice is only for the little people.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  93. William Spendlove

    If Charlie left who would do his hair?

    Los Angeles California

    December 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  94. eric

    Charlie B. Rangle, won't you please go now!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  95. shilpy

    Rangel, a 40 year washington insider, may be less dangerous as a congressman than as lobbyist who knows everybody's vulnerability.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  96. Ryan

    I certainly wish he would go away. 40 years is far too long to serve. He obviously doesn't believe he has done anything truly wrong. He las lost touch with reality. We have term limits on Presidency for a reason. 20 Terms is just too many. cut that to 10 and it may start to seem reasonable.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  97. Dorothy Finney

    Strangely, I've always liked Rangel and thought him "a good guy." A decent, caring Dem... But just the fact that he didn't pay taxes for 17 years on the Dominican home makes me sick! How on earth does he explain that as "sloppiness"? If I had done the same, I'd be hauled off to jail by the IRS in no time! And how did the IRS fail to realize his lack of paying taxes for 17 years? As per usual, the rich and prominent get much leeway, while the rest of us would get screwed, tarred and feathered for such behavior! He needs to go...

    Dorothy Finney
    Harpers Ferry, WV

    December 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  98. John from San Antonio

    He is addicted to the job of a lifetime. You don't have to do anything, know anything and enjoy riches beyond the dreams of anyone who works for a living. Ethics violations should be automatic expulsion for anyone involved in any capacity that can jeopardize the public welfare. Instead we reward theives and scoundrels. What a nasty turn of events in how we show our appreciation for the sacrifices previous generations made to preserve our way of life..

    December 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  99. Jack in Dallas

    Softball question Jack! It's easy to say it's ego because that's obvious. When I think of the perks and benefits that our elected officials get I can't help but think it's more along the lines of greed.

    And speaking of benefits when I think of how our elected officials exempted themselves from the health care bill because they had their own plan, (at the taxpayers expense), it infuriates me.

    The situation with Rangel is another argument in favor of term limits at the congressional level. Forty years is too long. Heck.....20 years is too long.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  100. Arnold MI

    George Bush and Dick Cheney were water boarding prisoners and what did we do about that? I doubt that Rep. Rangel has cheated on his taxes any more that the rest of our elected officials, but he got caught.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  101. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No doubt in my mind Jack, if you or I would have done half of the things that he has done we'd be in prison and not one of those country clubs that these people go to.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  102. John

    Don't waste your time on him. He should be in jail. End of story.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  103. Marie (Portland, OR)

    You may want Rangel to go away but its clear the people of his district do not so he must be doing something right for the people there. 20 terms of service means a lot even in light of unpaid taxes which have now been paid. Time to move on Jack and quite bemoaning mistakes. We have bigger fish to fry before the next congress gets under way.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  104. Karl from Flint, MI

    Why won't Charlie Rangel go away. Because God hasn't called him home. That is the only way Charlie is going anywhere.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  105. Susan

    Charlie Rangel won't go away because he, like most of his liberal counterparts, thinks that they are above the law. Any citizen would have been fined, taxed and charged....as should he. NO ONE serving in politics should EVER be around 40 years. Two terms and your out! Public SERVANTS: Quit making a fortune while honest Americans pay your way!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  106. Rick from Indiana

    Why won't all the politicians just go away?

    And if you want Rangel to go away, quit reporting on him.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  107. mark e raymond

    Two options: (1) these were mistakes, in which case he is too stupid to be in congress; (2) they were intentional acts, in which case he is a crook. In either cas he does not belong in the US Congress.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  108. Kathie

    What politician in Washington has ever been held accountable–not bush, Cheney, Rangel etc. There is a double standard of justice. Term limits needed. The taxpayer (aka their employer) should determine pay, benefits, etc–only elected official get to chose their pay and benefits. Any criminal should be promptly expelled - a convicted felon in the public sector has no voting rights.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  109. Dennis Ayden

    The real question about Rangel was never asked by the politicians and everyone knows that's because they don't want to answer such questions themselves. They were happy to frown, make pronouncements and slap his wrist as though that were real punishment. He shouldn't go away, he should be put away.

    Why does the media ever ask the hard questions? In this case, where did Rangel get $ 2 million cash to spend on lawyers, much less all his reported and unreported assets. For such a "sloppy" manager of his affairs, he must be a very prudent investor.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  110. Doug Lynn

    You nailed it when you pointed out his galaxy sized ego that is, perhaps, a million times larger than his brain. I do not know why I continue to be amazed, but I am. This guy wants us to let him use the "I did not know it was illegal" argument. It is so typical of the give-me-more-rights-but-none-of-the-responsibility crowd. The man brings horrific shame to himself and everyone that has voted for him, but remains a god in his own demented mind.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  111. James W - Yorba Linda, Ca

    The reason he won't go away is simple. There's still more money to be made if he remains in office. He's on the take like the rest of our wonderful politcians.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  112. William Penn

    Hi Jack. I don't know, Rangel was a good senator, but he didn't pay his taxes and that is what brought him down. He deserved it and should be booted out of the senate, but he won't be, he will figure a way out, after all, money talks. I don't believe for one minute that he couldn't afford to defend himself after paying his lawyers 2 million dollars, how much more does he have stashed away that we don't know about?

    December 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  113. patrick in westminster md

    Jack – Charlie Rangle is the Politician our Founding Fathers warned us against and why they were for term limits. Corrupt, Power hungry and someone who feels they are above the law by walking out on the Ethics Committee. How can you not pay taxes for 17 years and call it sloppiness. I call it political corruption at its finest. I guess the only thing he has in his favor is his age. It is another sad day for American Politics.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  114. Mark Kline

    better question would have been "why hasn't Rangel been locked away?" The reason he won't go away is because he as well as most politicians believe they are above the law. In Rangel's case he broke the law and gets a slap on the wrist. If it had been you or me we would be facing prison time.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  115. Mark Lovett

    Eighty year old Charlie Rangel is a political work horse. Rising up from poverty and the trenches of the civil rights movement, he got a law degree from his service in the military and then rose to the chairmanship of the House Ways and means committee.
    He certainly has been tainted by his ethics violations, but his work on behalf of the civil rights of all Americans stands as a unblemished history of man who takes a licking but keeps on ticking.

    Mark Lovett

    Margate NJ

    December 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  116. andrew in nc

    It's called being a professional politician. After 40 years, Rangel has become the poster boy for those of us who favor term limits.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  117. jamfs

    He's not leaving because in the above picture of him looking up in the sky there is another bag of money.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  118. Harold, Vacaville, CA

    Would you just walk away from your life's work? It seems that the ethics committee only works well when it trys minority members. Is that what they consider fair and equal treatment?

    December 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  119. Scott, Massachusetts

    Good evening Jack,
    Why should he go away? The only difference between Mr. Rangel and the rest of our elected officials is he got caught.

    Actually, kinda like me and the other blogs on here..they get read on your segment but I never do..maybe I will go away.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  120. Nancy, Tennessee

    Congressman Rangel won't go away because he must feel that his service to the country during the Korean War makes him a privileged character. If all the WWII, Vietnam, and Iraqi vets didn't pay taxes on their properties, the national debt would exceed the thirteen trillion dollars. Vets deserve to be honored, but not allowed to disobey the laws of the land. Ignoring paying taxes, using public housing when not qualified, and misusing congressional resources shows a character flaw in this patriotic American.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  121. Jeff Van Dyke

    I believe that Mr Rangel was an upstanding citizen when he took office. As so many others, narcisstic tendencies take over and he feels that he is bigger than life, that he no longer is a servant of the constituants who voted him in. This certainly makes the case for term limits even stronger but swift penalities would accomplish the same end.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  122. Brad

    I think you asked the wrong question.
    Why won’t the 15th district of New York send him away? Maybe they don’t have the “junk” to do it. Nothing will ever change.



    December 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  123. Kerry C

    The man's in his 80's. He'll go away.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  124. Mitch from Tulare CA.

    Because this is what arrogant politicians do best....pretend they do nothing wrong.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  125. Allison

    Allison Phoenix Arizona

    Jack, as a democrat I am just furious that he is not fired! Censorship is just a crappy way of being told that he gets to sit on his hands for the rest of his term. Doesen't anyone in congress do the job we hired them for? I am so tired of public servants serving themselves.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  126. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Oh come on Jack. Quit picking on Charlie. You can not blame a guy that has been groomed and metored by some of the best crooks in Washington. And to think Nancy Pelosi is going to be the one that lectures him on his ethics violations. Ain't that the pot calling the kettle black.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  127. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's the Ethics Committee that needs to go away, their cost to taxpayers is more than what Charlie Rangel has paid in legal fees and for what. Charlie Rangel's just using the same methods that put him in this position, ignoring right from wrong.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  128. Richard, (I) IN

    Like all of our elected officials, he believes he is above the law... and why shouldn't he?The give themselves pay raises while everyone else is being laid off or let go, they have diamond encrusted health care, and big business scratches their belly every time any kind of regulation looms on the horizon. The sooner people realize the majority of our politicians are professional lawyers (pronounced: liars), the better off we'll be. If I had made these "honest mistakes" and were this "sloppy" I'd likely spend the remainder of my showers with soap on a rope. Censuring is too good for him; it's too good for any of them. They should all have to work for minimum wage, be enrolled in the in our (laughable) "health care" reform, and be required to take public transportation, everywhere – scans and "pat downs" and everything else the rest of us have to deal with every day.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  129. Kevin

    Question should be: Why has he not been recommended for legal action?

    December 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  130. paul duick

    he won't go away because he is a greedy bloodsucking crook.
    however, if his fellow congressmen agree with the house ethics
    committee will subject him to the unduly harsh and unbearable process
    of censure before his peers.

    jack i'm absolutely sure this harsh and unbearable punishment
    will prevent all future congressmen from not benefitting financially
    by not filing proper income tax returns or taking rent stabilized apartments
    that needy people deserve and paying less than one half of the rent for the apartments

    jack we should close all of are prisons and censure the wrong doers by
    reading their offenses in times square

    December 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  131. bailoutsos

    He just has to lay low while the GOP are fighting Obama.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  132. Al Curtis

    Love your work Jack. Funny how the ethics committee can omly point out ethics violations and cannot hold him accountable. At least make him pay his back taxes, eh

    December 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  133. John

    Blackmail... He would tell on them all

    December 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  134. lynnej in nc

    Ego won't let this guy resign and then there is lack of having federally mandated term limits across the board.

    That stop a lot of this nonsense. Two terms and you're out.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  135. Robert Stroney

    Charlie Rangel should have been expelled; for 17 years he didn't pay this...didn't pay that...that's more than "sloppy"; that's criminal and as a citizen of the U.S.A. – I object to anyone who is to uphold the Office of which he represents – and "gets a slap on the hand". I would renege on his pension – let's see how the piggy screams – then!

    December 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  136. JOHN phoenix, az

    He thinks he is above the LAW and expects that he can get away with it. I'm expecting him to pull the race card, if he hasn't already. He has nothing to fall back on, probaby living from day to day on his salary. There are probably a lot more like him that just haven't been caught...YET. But, if he gets taken down, they will be too. And, they know it.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  137. Jeff

    If all poilticians were held to the same ethical standards as Rangel then they all would have to go away...

    December 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  138. marvin tomlinson

    Time is on his side, He is waiting for the the dementia that caused so many voters to forget what eight years of the Bush era did to the country to make this just go away Marvin in POLO, MO

    December 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  139. Steve from Florida

    If the average citizen was convicted of his "sloppiness" at our job, we would be jobless we would be in, so should he. Career politicans are a menace to society.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  140. Luci

    He stays for the same reason that the guy from Nevada stays. That guy cheated on his wife, $96000.00 worth of cheating. He got her husband a lobbying job and did have a job for her son. There are many people in congress that have ethic problems. Palin even has ethics problems. Let's be as easy on Rangel as well. What's good for them is good for him.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  141. Tom

    These "public servants" get away with criminal behavior. If any enlisted member of the armed forces did a tenth of what these "public servants" do, they would be court martialed, wages garnished and kicked out of service. Proper accountability only applies to average citizens.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  142. Robert Stroney

    I think the only reason government is "slapping Rangel on the hand" is because they are afraid to open Pandora's Congressional Box; I'm sure there are a lot more elected Officials who would fall into the "Rangel-Category" and what a mess that would create, huh? Charlie Rangel is a parasite; he's only one of many.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  143. John NYC

    Wesley Snipes is going to jail for tax evasion, why isnt Charlie Rangel...?

    December 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  144. Denny in STL

    Why leave the best club with the cushiest benefits on earth until you are marched out? The ethical standards for people in his position need to be the highest, not the lowest. The swamp draining didn't get very far along – Nancy needed the votes.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  145. Tim F


    Evidenced by some of the comments here, some people just don't get it!

    Oceanside, CA

    December 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm |