It does my heart good to know that everyone must play by the very same rules even though there should be questions as to why Mr. Rangel and Ms. Waters and not several others who may be as guilty. I am not convinced that these two are the only ones who have broken these rules but that is a subject for another day. I understand that Mr. Rangel may believe that he was not treated fairly but the end result can be attributed to his own admissions. No one is above the law except for maybe George W. Bush and his administration.
“New York Rep. Charles Rangel , a longtime power in the U.S. House, violated its rules with financial misconduct, brought it discredit and will be punished, fellow lawmakers sitting as jurors ruled on Tuesday.” “The conduct often cited by critics was his failure to report income to the IRS from a unit he owned in a Dominican Republic resort – showing the chairman in charge of tax legislation shortchanged the IRS.” “The eight-member ethics panel that convicted him – four Democrats and four Republicans – now will write what is likely to be a stinging report to amplify its findings.” “Then, the full House ethics committee will conduct a hearing on the appropriate punishment for Rangel, the silver-haired, gravelly voiced and sartorially flashy veteran of 20 terms in Congress.” “Possible sanctions include a House vote deploring his conduct, a fine and denial of certain privileges.” “Rangel’s downfall, in part, came in the way he solicited money for a New York college center designed as a monument to himself. There also was his decade of misleading annual disclosures of his income and assets and his use of a subsidized New York apartment – designated for residential use – as a campaign office.” “Rangel had previously acknowledged some of the charges, including submission of 10 years’ worth of incomplete and inaccurate annual statements disclosing his assets and income.” “He also admitted he initially did not report his rental income from a unit he owned at the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.” “An apartment in Harlem’s Lennox Terrace complex housed the Rangel for Congress and National Leadership PAC political committees; although the lease terms said the unit was for living purposes only.” (Margasak, Larry, 11/16/2010, Rangel guilty: House ethics panel rules misconduct, Retrieved from email@example.com ).
I have grown to love and respect Mr. Rangel as a man of character and even though I do not agree with his wishing to postpone or finding excuses, I do respect the fact that he stood tall and owned up to those mistakes. Elected officials must remember that they no longer just represent themselves when voted into office; they represent their supporters, their districts, their state and their nation. They must watch carefully anything and everything that is done in their names because the image does not only affect them, it affects us all.