High-ranking Black Dem in Hot Seat

High-ranking Black Dem in Hot Seat

Published August 31, 2009

Harlem Democrat Charles Rangel, one of the most powerful members of Congress, is in the hot seat after failing to reports hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets on his financial disclosure forms between 2002 and 2006.

A good chunk of that money was in rental income from a home he sold a half-century ago, the records show. Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which sets the nation’s tax laws, is being investigated for his personal finances and fundraising.

He has acknowledged omitting several assets, business transactions and sources of income, including a Merrill Lynch Global account valued between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds; and $30,000 to $100,000 in rent from a multifamily brownstone building he owned on West 132nd Street, The Associated Press reports.

This is compounded by a recent amendment Rangel filed to his 2007 disclosure form showing that he also failed to report a cool half-million dollars in assets.

Rangel says the omission was accidental.

Naturally, Republicans, sensing an opportunity to oust one of their most powerful congressional foes, is calling for Rangel’s ouster.

“The ball is in Speaker Pelosi’s court,” said Bill Steel, a spokesman for the House minority leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio. “How much longer will she allow Representative Rangel to keep such a powerful and influential position, given the staggering array of ethical allegations he faces?”

Written by BET.com Staff


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