A humiliating censure for Rep. Charles Rangel will raise the bar on House ethical standards - and set a new precedent for misbehaving members.How on earth is it possible to not benefit him when he "saved" money on taxes?
The Harlem Democrat, who would be the first congressman censured in 27 years, was hit with 11 ethical charges for not paying taxes on rental income, improperly raising money for a City College center bearing his name and misusing rent-stablized apartments.
The House ethics panel deemed that none of his misdeeds benefited him directly - or lined his pockets - but still meted out a tougher-than-expected penalty.
Until now, censured members had either faced criminal investigations for financial wrongdoing or committed sexual shenanigans.So until now these thieves and tax cheats would face criminal prosecution, but now they're in for far rougher treatment.
"It does mark a new standard in terms of judging members," one insider said.Raising the bar. Marking a new standard. Surely this must mean some really harsh time, forfeiture of assets, and substantial financial penalties, right?
"They're definitely raising the bar," added a source.
Censured lawmakers are subjected to an embarrassing public dressing-down by the House speaker.Gee, that ought to really terrify poor Charlie. We hope a man so shameless can somehow avoid the horrible humiliation that awaits him.