Rep. Rangel Compares Ethics Violations to “Spitting on the Street”

Written by City & State on . Posted in Politics.


In an endorsement interview yesterday with the West Side Spirit (which is part of the same company as City & State), Manhattan Congressman Charlie Rangel gave an impassioned, 10-minute defense outlining the unfairness of the thirteen ethics charges that in 2010 led him to become first lawmaker censured since 1983.

One particularly striking part of the tape, which the West Side Spirit was kind enough to provide, came when Rangel was asked whether he had actually done anything wrong.

“Oh, hell yes,” Rangel said. “I spit on the sidewalk, and I get busted. You’re damn right I shouldn’t be spitting on the sidewalk. But I didn’t break any laws. I mean, people talk about taxes, and they should, because no one likes anyone to evade taxes.”

Rangel specifically addressed one of the 11 charges that he was convicted of – that he had failed to pay taxes on a Dominican Republic Villa for 17 years.

“But if I was evading taxes, don’t you think I would be indicted! I paid the goddamn taxes on that property. The problem is I paid too goddamn long ago,” Rangel said.

Rangel is facing a fierce five-way Democratic primary in a district made far more heavily Latino in the redistricting process.

Asked whether President Obama was not backing Rangel this year because he would be a political liability, Rangel transitioned to talking about his 2010 censure — and the problems his political situation had caused his House Democratic colleagues.

To read the full article at City & State click here.

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