Monday, December 01, 2008

Rangel's Secret 'Workout' Room

Judging by his immense girth, I doubt Charlie Rangel's secret workout room is getting much use.
Welcome to Charlie Rangel's personal gym.

It may look cramped, but while members of Congress are forced to shoehorn office staff and equipment into windowless closets and other tiny corners of the Capitol complex, Rep. Rangel's taxpayer-funded workout room is just another example of the trappings of his power and seniority in Washington.

The tiny office space holds everything a busy chairman needs to shed a few pounds in comfort - a flat-screen television, an exercise machine, a mirror, a small refrigerator and a telephone.

The room is just steps away from Rangel's well-appointed suite of offices, and staffers have observed the powerful Ways and Means chairman and his staff using the office multiple times over the last two months.

Most recently, the Harlem Democrat was spotted locking up the room at 5 p.m. on Sept. 19, when Congress was in session to address the financial crisis.

The room is officially listed as belonging to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose position affords her control of valuable real estate in the Capitol and several office buildings that she can dole out as she sees fit.

A Pelosi spokesman said today that she does not know how the space is being used.
But of course. She never seems to know anything.

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