More Shady Money Transactions from Rangel

Posted: Dec 05, 2008 9:41 AM
Chalk up another one to the list of Charlie Rangel's ethical lapses.

The Politico reported the powerful congressman routed $80,000 in campaign cash to his son in exchange for shoddy websites. Politico reporters spoke with a website design expert who said Steven Rangel's sites were only worth $100.

A google search for Steve Rangel leads to a defunct web page that says "My personal website has been taken down because it was attacked by a spammer." This is, generally, a sign of bad web design.

The news about Rangel paying of his son is only the latest in a series of eye-brow raising actions that have led to an investigation of the congressman's finances and have caused the New York Times and the Washington Post to call on him to resign as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee.

The NYT recently reported that Rangel has secured a tax break for an oil company whose CEO made a $1 million donation to the Charles B. Rangel of Public Service at the City College of New York.

Reporters discovered a myriad of personal financial problems related to Rangel's homes and campaign fundraising over the summer. Rangel was found illegally using a Harlem rent-stabilized apartment for campaign purposes, improperly sending letters on congressional letterhead to solicit donations for his pet projects and owing somewhere around $75,000 on his beach house at a yacht resort in the Dominican Republic. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish," he said as an excuse. Rangel rented the beach house for as much as $1,000 a week to tourists in the high season.

He was even illegally storing his vintage Benz in the House parking garage. The plates had been removed from the parked car for years. Technically, Rangel was supposed to report this parking perk as a gift on his financial disclosure forms, but he never bothered.

Rangel insists these ethical lapses should not cause him to lose his position. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for an investigation that is scheduled to be completed on January 3.