By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Well, it’s déjà vu all over again. The so-called ethics committee is going to “investigate” Congressman Charlie Rangel, for alleged unethical practices.
Don’t you find it interesting that this is similar to the b.s. investigation they leveled against Adam Clayton Powell Jr., when he became head of the House Ways and Means Committee, and attached more bills in favor of African Americans to any bill on the floor in the history of Congress? They came up with trumped up charges against him as well, and finally were able to use their bogus allegations to drive him out of office.
Interesting isn’t it that both men are Black, both from New York, both take principled stands, and both were head of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee?
Does anyone see the parallel between that and now? Is this a familiar issue to us? You bet your sweet a___ it is! Who here really believe that Charlie Rangel is guilty of anything egregious enough to be brought before the so-called "Ethics" committee. Who really understands that the same yellow journalism that has been leveled against President Obama, by mainstream media has been leveled against Congressman Rangel? The mainstream media have been used by the right wing to hound him, in much the same way they did Bill Clinton, to blow out of proportion issues that should not have even made a quarter inch column.
Compared to his track record, this is minutiae blown out of proportion. But, as with anything, we are not only ten times more talented, we are generally painted as ten times more guilty and culpable than any white (yes I said it) white congress person, white president, etc.
We have to see it for what it really is.
There is no ethics in the ethics committee. It’s in name only. It’s convenient when they have allowed the court of media-fanned public opinion to push them into knee jerk action.
Case in point: Where was the ethics committee when people like Strom Thurmond or Robert Byrd were around? Both were blatant racists; both card carrying members of the KKK. Both were segregationists, racists. Their just making an apology does not mitigate what African Americans suffered at their hands. How many were hung, burned, or castrated under their watch, while they were still in office?? Apology from them brought exoneration. Now isn't that special!
How can we be sure that Charlie Rangel is being dealt with ethically, equitably, with the same criteria the give their Caucasian peers. Why should we give credence to this trial; where they tie his feet to the fire, while the others are able to skulk around, flying low under the radar.
Where was the ethics committee when the Vice President Cheyney under George Bush, Jr., accidentally on purpose shot someone during a hunting trip? Where were they when Cheyney was running the White House and ruining America by fiat? Where were they when the entire bottom dropped out of our economy, under the advise and consent of key people in the Republican dominated administration?
I find it highly unethical that the ethics committee is basing its so-called investigation of Rangel on media hype and dirt digging; kind of funny, because I’d be willing to bet that most of our elected officials have one or more homes; have one or more business connections; and have raised funds in some of the most "creative" fashions..
My suspicion of this witch hunt grew even more when I found that they are investigating 8 (eight) Black congressmembers, among them the honorable Maxine Waters of California. It then begins to smell like exactly what is is. Not ethics - but a kind of ethnic cleansing under the guise of ethics. If it looks like a snake and hisses like a snake, it's a snake. Shades of McCarthyism running rampant in the halls of Congress, under the guise of ethics -- trying to assuage the yellow journalists -- we see you for who and what you are.
If the Democrats are worried about this splitting the party, they should be.
But the Republicans should be petrified with fear. Because we truly do recognize where this is coming from. These are the same people who tried to have Clinton impeached. These are the same people who brought you Sarah Palin, Richard TD Nixon, George Bush (1 & 2); Ford, Goldwater, and the ever unpopular Reagan. Each time they've had a hand on this country, we've been left eviscerated, disgraced, embarrassed and broke. And they leave with their pockets lined with our money, while they tread on our dignity and our trust. We have just had a blatant example of how little the Republicans care for Americans, when they filibustered over the extension of Unemployment funds to desperate families, who lost jobs as a result of their completely bankrupting the country under the Bush Administration. We know who you are.
We over understand the situation. That does not mean that so-called "blue dog Democrats" are not on our radar, but character assassination is the province of the Republican party. In either case, both parties will be walking on eggs if harm politically, socially, financially or emotionally comes to Congressman Rangel, Maxine Waters or any of the other Black congress members undergoing this ignominiously disgraceful grilling.
And always remember, there is the LARRY FLYNT FACTOR. The rep and office you save may be your own.
WE ARE WATCHING AND REGISTERING AND VOTING. Consider the consequences.
In case you missed my point, I reiterate, the blatant issue is that both Charlie Rangel and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. were and are Black, and in charge of the most powerful committee in the nation. So the racist hounds of hell went after them the way they do whenever a Black person wields power. The allegations are pure racist b.s.
Yes, I said it! It’s racist b.s.
Charlies apartments and real estate were purchased nearly 30 years ago. It wasn't an issue then, and it's not an issue now. Having a property in the Dominican Republic is not a crime. And as far as I know, no one has died as a result of either of these two acts. But, I can almost bet you that under KKK Byrd in West Virginia many a Black man and woman have become "strange fruit"; segregated, denigrated, violated. Where is the real standard? Where is the real moral compass? Since the ethics committee didn’t deal with Byrd, or any of the other characters who have committed egregious acts against America, Republican and Democrat, they get a vote of no confidence from me.
By the way, exactly what does the Ethics Committee’s standard, or code of ethics consists of? Share them with the world, so we can see if they are truly equitable. List them so we can all see them. Then I think we should have full disclosure as to where each member of the ethics committee stands or falls along that criteria. Additionally, who are their contributors? How did they get elected? Who’s in their closet? What’s their track record? If they can’t stand the litmus test, they shouldn’t serve on the committee.
Biblically speaking, he or she who is without sin can cast the first stone.
Otherwise, HANDS OFF CHARLES RANGEL, MAXINE WATERS AND THE MEMBERS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS.
To all of you who are likewise reading this, don't just sit there and nod your heads in agreement. Pass this on, and get your people together to make sure that we are VOTING OUT OF OFFICE THOSE WHO WOULD UNDERMINE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPORTING PRESIDENT OBAMA -- because this is really where it's coming from. Let's make sure we send home a few more Republicans. Let's not be sitting on our hands and sitting at home when we need to be at the polls. It's the bigger picture time. And it's time to let them know those days are over.
Time to take out the trash.
Stay Blessed &
PS: ADDITIONAL NOTE
I mentioned that there were at least 8 Black Congress members under scrutiny via the so-called ethics committee, I decided to do some additional research. There are actually 9 African American and 2 Hispanics under investigation. (wikipaedia)
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Donna Christensen, Donald Payne, and Bennie Thompson are under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for taking part in a private trip organized by the Carib News Foundation. The Carib News Foundation is an organization that focuses on closer ties between the United States and the Caribbean. The allegation is that the funds for travel were provided by businesses. The error is in trying to make it look as if big business and/or major Wall Street based corporations had a hand in their accomodations, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Additionally the Carib News Foundation is a Black, nonprofit organization, and each one of these congressmembers, in the interest of their constituency, were actually appropriately participating in the conference. What would happen had any of the caucasian congressional members visited Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland or Germany for a conference? Would that have likewise come under scrutiny? What about Greece, Italy, France?
The ethics committee is on a witch hunt, trying to legitimize their existence via bogus allegations. There are too many other things they need to be taking care of to put the country back on track. How about investigating the Republicans who filibustered to keep from expanding unemployment benefits while millions of Americans, white and Black, were twisting in the wind?
Stop wasting our time with this McCarthy Era type lynch mob mentality and get on with the business at hand.
The following are the Black Congressional Members who are being harassed by the (un)Ethics Committee:
Sen. Roland Burris (D-Illinois)
Currently Burris is under investigation by The Senate Ethics Committee and the Illinois Sangamon County State Attorney for continually changing his testimony regarding his appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat left by President Barack Obama. He has given more than three different explanations for his appointment to the seat. While Burris did not claim he spent money on legal fees, he has stated he has accumulated more than $500,000 in legal fees surrounding his appointment to the Illinois Senate seat. After being appointed to the Senate, Burris filed an affidavit stating that he had not had any contact with Blagojevich or anyone involved in the Blagojevich campaign concerning the vacant Senate seat. Three days later, Burris testified in person before the impeachment committee and when asked if he had spoken with anyone "closely related to the governor, including family members or lobbyists connected with him," Burris named only former Blagojevich chief of staff, Lon Monk. A month later, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Burris sent an additional affidavit to the head of the Illinois House impeachment committee revealing that Robert Blagojevich, Rod Blagojevich's brother, had spoken with Burris three times in October and November 2008 about raising funds for the then-Governor. Initially, Burris stated that he refused to contribute to the campaign. However, a few days later Burris offered yet another version, telling reporters that he had in fact contacted several people about holding a fundraiser, but that he had abandoned the idea. According to this version, it was not until their final conversation that Burris told Robert Blagojevich that his interest in the Senate seat prevented him from raising money for the then-Governor.
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia)
Sanford Bishop is under investigation for allegedly giving a local youth program, where his stepdaughter and her husband work, $200,000 of federal funds in which Bishop earmarked. Bishop did not know of his stepdaughter's, Aayesha Owens Reese, employment with the program and said he immediately asked the marshal to terminate her when he learned of her employment. Bishop claims he learned of his stepdaughter's employment on February 20, 2009, months after the earmark was proposed. An internal audit was performed on the program and revealed more than $7,000 was deposited into Bishop's wife's account on behalf of her son-in-law, Stephen M. Reese. The audit also showed Mrs. Reese received $7,575 from the program. In early 2009, a GBI agent claimed that while the FBI was aware of the situation, currently, there is not a criminal investigation.Del. Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands)
Donna Christensen is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for taking part in a private trip organized by the Carib News Foundation. The trip was to an annual Caribbean business conference held on St. Maartens Island. The trip came under scrutiny after it was revealed that the conference was sponsored by businesses, a violation of new ethics rules passed in the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois)
Jesse Jackson Jr. is under investigation by the Office on Congressional Ethics and the Department of Justice in relation to his bid to fill the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. Jackson was anonymous "Senate Candidates #5" "whose emissaries Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reportedly offered up to $1 million to name him to the U.S. Senate. Both the OCE and the DOJ have asked for documents showing correspondence between former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Jackson. The DOJ has subpoenaed several individuals who have knowledge of possible fundraising efforts by Jackson’s supporters to encourage Gov. Blagojevich to appoint Jackson to the Senate. In December 2008, Jackson stated that he denounces "pay-to-play politics" and that he had "no involvement in any wrongdoing, including authorizing or initiating any promise to Gov. Blagojevich."
Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Michigan)
Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for taking part in a private trip organized by the Carib News Foundation. The trip was to an annual Caribbean business conference held on St. Maartens Island. The trip came under scrutiny after it was revealed that the conference was sponsored by businesses, a violation of new ethics rules passed in the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open
Rep. Donald Payne (D-New Jersey)
Rep. Donald Payne is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for taking part in a private trip organized by the Carib News Foundation. The trip was to an annual Caribbean business conference held on St. Maartens Island. The trip came under scrutiny after it was revealed that the conference was sponsored by businesses, a violation of new ethics rules passed in the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York)
On September 24, 2008, the House Ethics Committee launched an official probe to investigate discrepancies in his finances upon Rangel's request. The investigate subcommittee is looking into the following charges:
* Using official congressional stationery to solicit contributions for an educational center bearing his name.
* His living in four rent-stabilized apartments in his Harlem district while claiming his Washington, DC home as his primary residence for tax purposes.
* Failure to report $75,000 in rental income or pay taxes on a beach property in the Dominican Republic, which included a interest free loan deal.
* Storing his Mercedes-Benz in the House parking lot, contrary to House rules and tax laws.
It was also reported, that from 2004 to 2007,he funneled almost $80,000 in campaign cash to a company run by his son to build a pair of campaign websites that were riddled with misspellings and so poorly designed, an expert estimated the cost for making and operating the site at $1,000.
Since 1978, Rangel has also failed to report assets 28 times on his financial disclosure forms due to an investigation that revealed sums hundreds of thousands of dollars disappearing and appearing without notice from his disclosures.
In December 2008, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, expressed hope that the Rangel investigation would be completed by the end of the 110th Congress’ term on January 4, 2009. Following the defeat of a House GOP resolution to have Rangel removed, on February 10, 2009, the Ethics Committee voted to continue investigations into Rangel. In early 2009, Rangel paid approximately $445,000 in legal fees.Despite Rangel's hope that the investigation would soon clear him, on February 10, 2009, the House Ethics Committee voted to prolong the probe.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-California) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-California)
Loretta Sanchez and Linda Sanchez are currently under investigation by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The Committee is reviewing whether Loretta Sanchez broke House rules when three of her aides were put on the payroll of Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, who also happens to be her sister, in late 2006. This occurred after an embezzlement scandal left Loretta Sanchez's office short on funds. Then-staffer Caroline Valdez embezzled somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 for personal use and pleaded guilty to a felony embezzlement charge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in May 2009. Loretta Sanchez's attorney, Stan Brand, confirmed on May 18, 2009 that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was investigating her and her sister's behavior.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California)
Maxine Waters is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The committee has not yet disclosed why the congresswoman is under investigation, but it is believed to be related to her role in securing funds from the Treasury Department's TARP program for the bank, OneUnited. The congresswoman's husband was a board member and stock holder in OneUnited. The Treasury Department did not initially view OneUnited as eligible for TARP funds until Waters intervened.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi)
Bennie Thompson is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for taking part in a private trip organized by the Carib News Foundation. The trip was to an annual Caribbean business conference held on St. Maartens Island. The trip came under scrutiny after it was revealed that the conference was sponsored by businesses, a violation of new ethics rules passed in the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.
Time to tell the truth and shame the devil. Time to expose the ethics committee for the ethnic cleansing machine they really are. We are not amused, nor are we sucked in by their authoritarian modus operandii. We have been the brunt of the media lies and manipulations for far too long and understand very well how character assassination works.
This has to go out coast to coast - North, South, East, West and Central. Wherever we are, we have to be vigilant about our rights, and have the backs of people who have been backing us. I urge you to pass this on - get the word out.
BY THE WAY, IS THERE A JOHNNY COCHRANE IN THE HOUSE? If so, you're very much needed. In fact, let's groom a series of Johnny Cochrane's; NAACP Legal Defense Council - whereever you are -- time to step out front and center. Your people need you.
Those of us who are not lawyers, remember we still have the right to vote. Thanks to so many who risked their lives in the 60's and before. This is no time to take it for granted. Register, get your 18 year olds registered. Get your neighbors and friends, and acquaintances registered. We have to get them any way we can, and some are no more powerful than the next vote. Check with your local political leaders, but realize that we are linking up nationally.
Don't sleep your upcoming local elections. They are key to the next major thrust - send the Republicans back under the rocks from whence they came.
Stay blessed &