Sunday, August 31, 2008

Charlie Rangel, Living Large

When we last visited Charlie Rangel, the hulking Harlem hypocrite and Democrat Party albatross was lawyering up and receiving the coveted Narcissus Award for scamming four apartments all to himself in a rent-controlled building.

Well now the New York Post has discovered Rangel has a cozy beachfront Dominican hideaway and has been playing some shady tax reporting games with the IRS.

Stunning, isn't it, that a Democrat would preach taxing the rest of us into submission but hides his own income?

I'm, shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Not sure what he's going to be more upset by. Facing more heat from the IRS or the embarrassing photos the Post got of him, like the one above.
For 20 years, Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel has owned a beachfront villa in a sun-drenched Dominican Republic resort, yet has only sporadically declared income on the property in federal filings.

While the villa was rented to paying guests for the past two years, for instance, Rangel reported no income from it in 2006 and 2007, The Post has learned. As a congressman, failure to fully list all income and investments can result in civil penalties or criminal charges.

The powerful Ways and Means Committee chairman, a Democrat, owns "casita" No. 412 on the Caribbean Sea at the Punta Cana Hotel, on the lush eastern tip of the country, where he is affectionately known as "el senador."

His three-bedroom, three-bath villa, which can accommodate three couples, is rented for between $500 in the low season to $1,100 a night in the busiest tourist season and is one of the resort's most popular, managers and staff say.

"You are requesting the best casita on the beach," a reservations manager told a Post reporter posing as a customer.

"We are always booked solid on that one between December 15 and April 15. It is always the first one to go," he said.

The 78-year-old Rangel's stone-covered cottage - which boasts flat-screen TVs and a panoramic ocean view - was open to hotel guests in the past two years, General Manager Carolina Jones told The Post.

"It's part of the hotel operation. It's available to customers at all times," Jones said of No. 412. Typically, the owners of the casitas earn 80 percent of any rental income, staff said.

But Rangel's financial disclosure forms, which members of Congress must file annually to the clerk of the House of Representatives, checks "none" for income from the property in 2006 and 2007.

"I have not received any rental income," Rangel said when asked about the villa last week. "There wasn't any income."

In some previous years, Rangel has reported earnings from the cottage. For both 2004 and 2005, he listed rental income of $2,500 to $5,000 a year. For 2001, 2002 and 2003, he reported rental income of $5,000 to $15,000 a year. And in 1990, 1991 and 1992, he reported that he earned up to $5,000 per year in rent. For some years, benefactors such as American Airlines paid for Rangel's trip to the resort.

Rangel refused to answer further questions about his investment, saying, "I think that's a private matter."
Uh, no, Charlie, it's very much a public matter.

Read the rest of the story. It gets even murkier.

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