Tuesday, March 02, 2010

NRCC: Space Is Still Hanging On To Rangel's Dirty Money

Washington - Notoriously corrupt Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel’s recent admonishment by the House Ethics Committee has caused a stir among the nervous House Democrats who have accepted the Ways and Means Chairman’s tainted campaign contributions. Now, Democrats like Zack Space have found themselves in the eye of an ethical storm. Not only has Space accepted $21,000 in dirty campaign funds, but he has twice voted to sweep his party’s corruption problems under the rug by letting Rangel off the hook. With House Democrats quickly abandoning the embattled chairman, will Space finally follow suit?

“After months of holding ranks, some Democrats are finally turning on House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) in the wake of an ethics committee finding that he violated House rules by accepting a Caribbean junket.

“Early Friday, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) told POLITICO he wants Rangel to quit his powerful committee post — and that was quickly followed by similar statements from a pair of deep south Democrats, Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor and Alabama Rep. Bobby Bright.” (Glenn Thrush and John Bresnahan, “Dems Call for Rangel’s Gavel,” Politico, 2/26/10)

Now that the money is tainted, House Democrats have been quick to return it. Will Space do the right thing or is he too concerned about keeping Rangel’s checkbook open?

"I admire Mr. Rangel for his decades of leadership on civil rights and his service in the armed forces and in Congress," Himes said. "But as elected officials, we must live up to the highest ethical standards. Given this admonishment by the Ethics Committee and the other allegations pending against him, I have directed my staff to donate to charity the campaign contributions received from Mr. Rangel." (“Himes quickly distances himself from Rangel,” Connecticut Business News Journal, 2/26/2010)

“Tsongas said she received the donations in 2007, before she was a member of Congress, and now plans to donate the money to charity.

“Because she strongly believes that members of Congress have to be held to the highest ethical standards, she is disappointed by Congressman Rangel’s actions,” Tsongas spokeswoman Katie Enos said. The NRCC and other GOP groups are ramping up their efforts in Massachusetts in the wake of Brown’s Cinderella win. Tsongas is facing Republican businessman Jon Golnik in November.” (Dave Wedge, “GOP Zings Tsongas,” Boston Herald, 2/28/2010)

“Charlie Rangel has been embroiled in an ethical storm for years, but that hasn’t stopped Zack Space from lining his campaign coffers with his tainted money,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Now that Rangel has finally been busted for his ethical wrongdoings, Space has egg on his face for repeatedly protecting the embattled chairman. After accepting $21,000 in tainted campaign donations from the Harlem Democrat and twice voting to let him off the hook, Space is tied to this scandal whether he likes it or not. Will Space try to salvage what’s left of his political career and finally abandon Rangel and his campaign money?”