In the latest black eye to the democrats' midterm election chances, Charlie Rangle, the former chairman of the ways and means committee was charged with a plethora of ethics violations, confirming yet again that the phrase "honest politician" is just as oxymoronic as "Non-stripper-abusing Wall Street CEO." And while we will leave the politics aside, one of the charges is particularly interesting as it ties in closely with the recently popular topic of offshore drilling. Specifically, one of the allegations against Rangel is that he was guilty of: "Preservation of a tax shelter for an oil drilling company, Nabors Industries, which has a chief executive who donated money to the center while Rangel's committee considered the loophole legislation." It appears offshore drilling is not just a republican provenance. If NBR is about to be exposed for a kickback scheme with one of the (allegedly) most "ethically violated" politicians, one wonders just what a detailed investigation into any very probable comparable corruption schemes by BP, DO, HAL, APC and others would reveal and just how far the trail of Corexit-laden corruption would lead.
The other allegations against Rangel, who will see a trial held against him next week, are as follows, courtesy of the HuffPo:
- His use of official stationery to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.
- Whether he had the Ways and Means Committee consider legislation that would benefit donors to the Rangel Center at the same time the congressman solicited donations or pledges.
- Use of four rent-controlled apartment units in New York City, when the city's rent stabilization program is supposed to apply to one's primary residence. This raises the question of how all the units could be primary residences. One was a campaign office, raising a separate question of whether the rent break was an improper gift.
- Whether Rangel, as required, publicly reported information on the financing and rental of his ownership interest in a unit within the Punta Cana Yacht Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Rangel also had to pay back taxes on the rental income.
- Whether he intentionally failed to report – when required – hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in assets. The amended disclosure reports added a credit union IRA, mutual fund accounts and stock.
If the fourth most senior democrat is guilty of this (and possibly much more), one wonders why America still tolerate a class of politicians which is certainly the most corrupt group of humans to have ever existed, and where a full blown court trial of each and every one would reveal so much dirt, it would be sufficient to put normal citizens behind bars for thousands of years. But then again, when the entire nation is based on the same principle that got Barney Frank behind bars for 150 years, and where hypocrisy knows no bounds, there is little that can surprise one any more and nothing short of a revolution likely has any hope of any remedial action.