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Heave Ho Hiram! Retire Rangel!

October 20, 2009 - John Stack

            Its time for these two NYS democrats to just leave. Hiram Monserrate is a NYS Senator, and Charles Rangel is in the US House of Representatives. Both should have left long ago.

            Hiram was just convicted this month on a misdemeanor assault conviction against his fiancé. Back on late 2008, he was caught on an apartment security camera forcibly pulling his fiancé back as she screamed and pounded on doors for people to help her. Her statements that night led to his indictment. She later changed her story when it was cear he would be charged with a felony. Luckily, it was till prosecuted even without her cooperation. (my cynical side says ‘just wait until they break up. The Post will have a tell-all story the next day’).

Unfortunately, it is just now that the chorus has started asking him to resign. He was just convicted this week, but just the public video evidence is enough to see that this guy is completely unfit for public office. Just his arrest prior to being sworn in in January should have caused him to not become a senator, and more people should have been against his participation in the Senate. But there was another fly in the ointment.

Hiram is also one of the ‘gang of three’. These are the 3 senators who held up the Senate all summer in their unbridled quest for power. Hiram was the first to break, moving the Senate from 32-30 Republican to 31-31 causing the long stalemate. On an aside, the 32-30 GOP majority would have probably done NY better, as the Democrats have not lived up to any expectations at all (except all of the bad expectations naysayers were saying – and proven right).

Monserrate was only convicted of a misdemeanor. He had the foresight to forego a jury trial and went with just a judge. (He would have been sent to the hoosegow for 20 years if a jury got their hands on him). But, only a felony would cause an automatic loss of his seat. Now it is up to him to do the right thing. He has lost all ability to govern. No one will stand in his corner. I think people may have been a little afraid to say anything up until now because he might threaten to jump ship again, but I don’t think the NYS Republicans would stoop that low. (Is it just me, or does his cohort in the gang of 3, Pedro Espada, make you think of Joe Pesci in a cross between his characters in Good Fellas and Lethal Weapon4?). Now he is bad news for anyone connected to him. He should do one classy gesture, and resign with some dignity.

Resigning with dignity is what many have done with class and honor. Many refuse to resign until forced out (see Rod Blageovich, Senatpr Larry Craig or Gov Samson in South Carolina). Many resign in the face of possible criminal investigations or unethical behavior. Others though, resign          because they realize that though they haven’t broke any rules, they are in a situation where them staying is unfair to their constituents. Sarah Palin did the good people of Alaska a service when she realized her heart wasn’t in the job, and the state would be better off with someone else so she resigned. In 2004, NJ governor Jim McGreevey resigned after he came out of the closet and admitted an adulterous affair.

Rep Charles Rangel should have resigned years ago. His list of assorted offenses goes back years. Rangel is the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means committee, which write all of the tax code for the US. Of course, the irony is that Rangel himself is an admitted tax cheat although he claims to not have known           about some of his own dealings. He has a sweetheart deal on a villa in the Caribbean, of which he claims not to have known he had a no-interest loan. He also ‘forgot’ to report to the IRS $75,000 in rental income (which many believe is much less than what he actually received). On his mandated federal disclosure forms , he ‘forgot’ about a credit union account with between $250,000 and $500,000 in assets. He pushed through a tax break for Nabors industries, while at the same time accepting a $1 million gift to his self named Charles Rangel of Public Service at CCNY. He showed little or no rental income from apartments he owned in Harlem, although records show they were continuously rented.

 The $75,000 in unpaid taxes contains elements of humor as well as extreme power. Although he didn’t pay taxes for years on the rental income, he only paid what was owed, and didn’t have to pay any penalties or fines. You can’t pay your sewer bill late here in Saranac Lake without a fine! (I’m not condemning this practice – these bills need to be paid on time for the water and sewer districts to do their job). So, the GOP sponsored bill HR735. This bill would make it so that any taxpayer late on their taxes would not be levied any fines or penalties. Basically, this ‘Rangel Rule’ bill has no chance of passing, but it is a funny way for the GOP to highlight this.

So, both of these miscreants need to be shown the door. There is no excuse for Monserrate. Just go Hiram. For Rangel, he should go no matter what. If what he did was purposeful and he was trying to hide something, he should go. If, as he contends, he actually ‘forgot’ or ‘didn’t know’ this is even more of a reason to go. If you forget about a half a million bucks you have, and don’t realize you have a zero interest loan for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you really shouldn’t be a congressman, let alone the chair of the Ways and means committee.

  

 

 
 

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