By Charles Hurt
New York Post
September 18, 2008
THIS was supposed to be the year Democrats could not lose.
But that was before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - in a standoff with Charlie Rangel, one of her most powerful and scandal-scarred chairmen - blinked.
That was before Rangel launched his "Monument to Me - The Rangel Center at CUNY" - with your money and greedily grabbed four rent-stabilized apartments, using a system designed to help less fortunate New Yorkers from getting squeezed out onto the street.
TAX BURDEN: Charles Rangel, chairman of the House tax-writing committee, stared down Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
That was before the most powerful committee chairman in the country got caught hiding from Congress and the public the $75,000 in rental income from his Caribbean slice of beachside paradise.
And, of course, that was before the highest tax-writer in the land got caught cheating on his taxes on that income he now claims he didn't know about.
Try telling people in this economy that you just discovered a loose $75,000 you didn't know you'd made. For most people, that's called the lottery.
Is this "the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history" that Pelosi promised?
Pelosi ordered Rangel to Washington earlier this week, sending out signals that she would lower the boom on him.
At the very least, she would make him step aside until all his ethics inquisitions are finished.
Wrangling Rangel is no small order.
He's immensely popular on the Hill, even among many Republican lawmakers.
He's perhaps Pelosi's highest-profile committee chairman.
And he's one of her very top African-American lieutenants whom she simply cannot cross.
So, she folded like a cheap pantsuit.
And Rangel remains at large and in charge of extracting your hard-earned tax dollars.
After all, snatching $2 million from the Treasury for a temple to himself under the guise of an educational center passes for business as usual here.
Exploiting the city's rent-stabilization laws to make himself a palace worthy of a glossy photo spread in a coffee-table book is just how he rolls.
Lying and cheating on income and taxes? How do you think these people get elected to Congress in the first place?