Poll question: Are ethics charges against Rangel & Waters purge of progressives?
Of all the people to pick on in the House, it seems odd that they would go after two of the more progressive members, when corruption is the bread and butter of the GOP and so-called moderate Democrats.
A similar purge happened in the GOP in the 90's, and the targets were the moderate to liberal Republicans, which left only the far right, lockstep drones.
Maxine Waters has been a consistent anti-war, anti-corporate, pro-middle class Democrat, which would make her anathema to the DLC types at the top of party leadership.
Are these two really so dirty, or is this part of the push to make the Democratic Party the go-to corporate waterboy party?
The next election we will have a choice between voting for the Right or the Far Right, your choice. Any errors in the way we vote will be corrected by the No Audit Possible Electronic Touch Screen Voting Machines (NAPETSVM).
No need to worry, everything will turn out All Right.
Politicians may start of doing good, but as time goes by they tend to become corrupt, not all of them, but a majority seem to. The more power they get the more bribes are offered and sooner or later "greed" takes over! I don't know the whole story with Waters, but Rangel seems to be in deep trouble, and I really think he should resign. If he doesn't it's going to go against the rest of the democrats come election time, and will be used by the republicans to change the subject from how they are the party of NO, for big corporations and the rich, to the "ethics" problems of the democrats. Democrats don't need to be defending themselves or Rangel, they need to be making he republicans do the defending of their record!
By the time a pol figures out how things work, they're termed out.
Better to have ironclad ethics rules like buy yur own lunch, plane ticket, etc., and no jobs as corporate lobbyists, CEO's, or board members after they leave office. (And no jobs like that for family members while in office).
36. you're kidding, right? California's legislature is paralyzed by the Republican minority
because of the 2/3 vote requirement to pass a budget or raise taxes.
The Dems in the legislature turn over so quickly, they don't have time to learn the ropes, and some very good state legislators like Sheila Kuehl who repeatedly introduced a single payer bill that made it all the way to the governor's desk, have been termed out.
40. The paralysis has nothing to do with term limits, the repukes term out just as fast
It just seems that long term incumbency is a sure fire way for pols to get lazy/corrupt or both. Doesn't seem to matter at what level of government. Every time the rules are tightened up, some where some how someone finds a loophole or just ignores it. It plagues both parties. We seem as a people or even as the human race unable to deal with it.
38. term limits encourage corruption by making pols audition for their after elected office job
They have less time to do political favors for campaign donors who will be their potential employers as lobbyists, CEO's, or board members when they leave office, so they have to do those favors fast and furious to sell themselves.
44. wotta surprise, the progressive professor endorsing term limits
Edited on Sun Aug-01-10 03:27 AM by Hannah Bell
Thereafter, during the 1st one hundred days of the 104th Congress, the Republicans pledged "to bring to the floor the following bills, each to be given a full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote, and each to be immediately available for public inspection."
The text of the proposed bills was included in the Contract, which was released prior to the election. These bills were not governmental operational reforms, as the previous promises were; rather, they represented significant changes to policy.
The main included a balanced budget requirement, tax cuts for small businesses, families and seniors, term limits for legislators, social security reform, tort reform, and welfare reform.
5. I see your "purge" and raise you a "racially motivated"
There's just been too many hits on black politicians & organizations lately to believe it's anything but deliberate.
I'm not saying Rangel didn't fuck up - he did. It's about the choices made of what to do about it, and how much hay the media chooses to make of it adds to the pressure. I'm not suggesting look the other way, either - just apply ethical standards equally for everyone.
8. For folks looking for info (like me) here's a WaHo article that might be helpful:
Rangel says colleagues who similarly sought donations were not punished
By R. Jeffrey Smith Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, July 31, 2010; A01
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) has chosen a less-than-collegial defense to charges that he violated House ethics rules when he asked corporate donors with legislative interests to give to an academic center bearing his name.
He was not the only lawmaker to solicit donations in this manner, his lawyers argue, saying that peers who did the same thing were not punished.
With a trial of Rangel by the House ethics committee possible by mid-September, his legal team reached across the Capitol to point a finger at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who helped raise money for a center named for him at the University of Louisville. Rangel's team cited similarities with the recently deceased Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and with former Republican senators Trent Lott (Miss.) and Jesse Helms (N.C.).
"These activities have never been regarded as creating an improper benefit to a Member," the lawyers said in their 32-page rebuttal. The logic apparently figured heavily in Rangel's reluctance to negotiate a settlement to 13 charges of ethical misconduct, even when colleagues said Friday they had been ready to impose only a reprimand: Why should he be singled out when others haven't?
The practice of influential lawmakers asking monied donors to give to a charity in which they play a key role, which lies at the heart of 10 of the allegations against Rangel, has long troubled ethics advocates. By taking part in fundraising for such charities, they inevitably arouse suspicion that the donor is getting some legislative favor, even when there is no evidence of a quid pro quo.
One aspect of law enforcement is that it is not supposed to single people out. Certainly if a jurisidiction had only sited black drivers for speeding and there was massive evidence of them ignoring white speeders a case of singling out on the basis of race would be made.
11. And here's a WaHo article about Maxine's case:
Maxine Waters will go to trial rather than settling potential ethics charges
By Ben Pershing and Paul Kane Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, July 31, 2010
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has decided against settling potential House ethics charges for her role in helping to steer federal funds to a bank, choosing instead to proceed to a trial, a source familiar with the process said Friday night.
Waters's decision means that her case will be heard by an adjudicatory subcommittee of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. She will become the second high-profile Democrat -- and member of the Congressional Black Caucus -- to face such an ordeal in the coming months, along with Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.).
In that case, a House subcommittee has recommended that Rangel face only a "reprimand," a mild form of punishment similar to that given to Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) when he was rebuked in 1997.
Rep. Gene Green (D-Tex.) told reporters Friday that his four-member investigative subcommittee is not seeking the high-level punishments of censure or expulsion against Rangel, opting for a mid-level sanction that requires the approval of the full House but carries no other penalty.
15. My understainding of Maxine's case is that she steered federal funds
to minority banks, one of which her husband has a modest interest in.
How unusual is it for her husband to have a stake in a minority owned bank, which is pretty small pool in the first place? Isn't that what she was elected to do -- represent her district? I'm not seeing a big problem here. The stuff other members have done with defense contracts, etc., makes this look like a very small nail being hit by a very large hammer.
And ditto for Rangel. If they all do it, how is he special?
I get as frustrated as anyone with members who spend more time lining their pockets than they do representing us. But in the larger scheme of things, what these two have done is very small potatoes and it looks like a concerted effort against black members. :shrug:
41. There's a difference between what you and I might call unethical and how the rules are written
The ethics rules of congress are written by congress. There's lots of ways that members of congress can enrich themselves without violating ethics rules. Most of those ways you or I would probably consider unethical, but they aren't necessarily illegal or violate congressional rules.
As far as Charlie Rangel goes, I think it's pretty clear that he violated ethics rules, if not the law. If that's the case, he should be investigated and receive whatever correction that would be administered to any other member of congress in a similar situation. If that happens it will be a pretty sad final chapter to an otherwise brilliant public service career. Water's situation is a little less clear because not as much is known at this point.
Certainly there are a few politicians who genuinely believe in public servitude, but they are few and far between. Many high level political appointees enjoy a revolving door between government service and the very industries they regulate. That's how Cheney and many others became uber rich from modest backgrounds. So not only are they enriching themselves and their family members, but they are enriching their friends, their business associates, and their significant political contributors.
46. Yes, I know and have said that if Charlie Rangel had left
Congress 20 years ago and joined some of his colleagues on Wall St. which he could easily have done, he would be a very rich man today and if like Geithner eg, he had cheated on his taxes and not paid them until he got caught, he would have been praised for paying them, as Geithner was.
Instead Charlie stayed in Harlem, always working to make life better for his constituents and they in turn elected him with 80-90% of their votes time and time again. He screwed up. He should have been more careful, but compared to the crimes that we are told to not look back at, what he did by comparison, was miner. But we have been forced to lower our standards because there is no longer any Rule of Law for the wealthy and connected. Cheney et al roam free and are assured they will never be charged with their crimes. And as long as that is the way it is, I cannot take this little affair too seriously. At least he was a war hero, and did so much good in this world. While all Cheney and his cabal ever did was to destroy people.
47. Certainly from an overall fairness standpoint, there is no case to be made
Charlie Rangel's accomplishments are undoubtedly far greater than his ethical failings, but fair or unfair society always judges people on their fuckups much more greatly than their accomplishments. Unfortunately also, Charlie is not young enough to bounce back from this one as McCain did from his ethical fuckups(which were far worse). I really don't expect much to come from Charlie's ethics investigation. He will be mildly rebuked, but the wingnuts will use it as election year fodder against all Democrats, even though the pool they swim in stinks of raw sewage.
48. Can't disagree with anything you said. He is a survivor though
and his constituents love him and it will up to them. He could go on for another ten years like Byrd eg.
As for the rightwing, they've been after him forever so there's not much left for them to say about him. If anything, they're probably disappointed. They accused him of far more than has been charged with. I know, I've been defending him, among others, for years. And as you said so perfectly, 'the pool they swim in stinks of raw sewage'. We'll just have to keep reminding people of that.
I don't know who is behind this group, but they profess to be unbiased as to political affiliation. The Director is Melanie Sloan, who has worked for John Conyers, Charles Schumer, and Joseph Biden. She is also a member of the Valerie Plame legal team.
23. do you think black progessives should be allowed to break
the law and not be punished? It's seems people in government get a sense of entitlement and believe they can do whatever they want. Well i say "fuck em !! throw them in jail!!" I am tired of these people thinking they are above the law. If you break the law, democrat or republican, they should face the consequences just like you and I do.
35. Its because of the way Congress does business that this is a slam dunk
Edited on Sat Jul-31-10 11:36 PM by ProgressiveProfessor
They take no official action until things are fairly egregious. Even then its mostly reprimands which have no teeth and the loss of committee chairs or membership (the former has already happened to Rangel). Remember that all this is happening with his/our party in charge. The repukes are not doing this, we are. I seriously hate to see this, but its a classic tale of a pol too long in office.
29. Elections in 3 months. Campaign promises should be kept.
Cleaning house, being ethical, ending corruption--campaign promises for the 2006 and 2008 elections.
Now they're supposed to be revised after the fact to, "cleaning house as long as low-ranking, conservative dems or just conservatives are involved, forcing repubs or unimportant dems to be ethical, ending corruption by non-Democratic leaders in Congress."
We liked the policy when it was principle. We seem to dislike how it works out in reality.
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