News | West Harlem

Charles Rangel celebrates re-election weeks before ethics trial

Staffers purchased a dozen bottles of champagne weeks ago to celebrate Representative Charles Rangel’s victory Tuesday night. But the short celebration at the Martin Luther King Jr. Democratic Club on 128th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard did not pass without mention of the 40-year incumbent’s upcoming public trial for ethics charges.

Rangel won another term by a wide margin Tuesday despite lingering concerns over ethics allegations related to failing to pay income taxes and not properly disclosing personal assets.

Rangel—who won a crowded primary race in September and earned nearly 80 percent of the vote Tuesday—has, it seems, developed strong loyalties in Harlem.

When reporters at the victory press conference asked about the upcoming Nov. 15 trial, Rangel replied, “I’m glad you brought that up. I’m really not thinking about that tonight.”

Campaign volunteer Desiree Thompkins-Harris said Rangel’s landslide victory against Republican Michael Faulkner and Independent Craig Schley—both considered longshots in the heavily-Democratic neighborhoods of Harlem and the Upper West Side—shows that the charges brought against Rangel do not hold weight with his constituents.

“They’re gonna open the door and let you back home. That’s all they can do!” Thompkins-Harris said, after Rangel asked what Congress would do to him next month.

Rangel told the Spectator that Harlem hasn’t “seen nothing yet.”

“We have to join in the recovery, and I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that so far…We just have to make certain we get our small businesses moving and our education continuing to grow,” he said in an interview.

When reporters asked him why the Democrats lost the House, Rangel replied, “because they didn’t get enough votes.”

Anthony Guzman, a resident of East Harlem who attended the victory celebration, said the charges against Rangel were not important to him.

“There’s always going to be a smear campaign here and there,” he said. “That’s politics.”

Inez Dickens, a local City Council member, said Rangel’s victory was one of the few things to celebrate in this year’s elections.

Dickens told the Spectator that the celebration was more subdued than in year’s past, because of the loss of the House.

“Everybody’s blaming the Democrats,” Dickens said, adding, “Congressman Rangel will continue to be a force. The Republicans will try to take him down but Harlem will let them know ... you don’t mess with Charlie Rangel.”

For Gloria Frasier, a local independent voter, the choices on all fronts felt slim. “I just wish I had better choices. … I just have to hold my nose and vote,” she said.

Local resident Madeline Falk said she still hadn’t made up her mind about Rangel as she stood in line to get her ballot. “It really is a tough one. He’s good, but he became too sure that he was not going to be challenged.”

For other voters, Rangel’s track record was no longer enough.

Candace Stuart said she’d been a longtime Rangel supporter, who had voted for him probably 20 times and even gone to see him speak. “He’s a crook—what can I say?” she said, before she went to vote Tuesday evening.

“I’ll always love Charlie Rangel,” Upper West Side voter Sandra Lea said, “but he’s probably going to be ineffectual with the charges. It’s a shadow hanging over him.”

During the day, the campaigns of Rangel’s challengers remained optimistic.

Joy Carol spent most of Election Day campaigning for Faulkner outside of PS 165 on 109th Street. As the polls neared closing, she said she was still confident about Faulkner’s chances.

“Some people are diehard Democrats, but others are more open for change. I can’t say I’m totally discouraged,” she said.

Schley’s campaign expressed similar optimism. “We’re very, very excited. His chances of winning are very high. Voters are not very happy with the Democrats or the Republicans, so the Independent line is an option,” campaign manager Adriane Mack said early Tuesday evening.

“Either way, we’re all going to win because he’s going to continue working for the community,” she added.

For Morningside Heights voter Thomas Gonzalez said, the choice was simple. “Rangel, I vote for as the lesser of two evils.”

news@columbiaspectator.com

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Anonymous posted on

The Honorable Mr. Rangel must now from a legal standpoint, be very careful not to be too confident, and that is to say for him not to say too much, which may fuel a federal or state prosecution. As far as him representing himself, well that his right, but, the old adage still holds in a criminal case, "he who has himself as a lawyer, has a fool as a client." Be careful Charlie, you may put Mr. Holder or the new NY Attorney General in a bad position.

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Anonymous posted on

There is some truth in what you say but that really applies to all people. There are a lot of people in this country that do not care about the facts, vote without information/research, and sadly there are people that don't even vote. As a nation we all need to be more informed, more aware of what is going on in the world and actually get invested in things we care about... and I don't mean just from a financial perspective. We have to take time and commit to things: care about our children's education, care about our government and care about each other.

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Anonymous posted on

lets hope justice will be served . I just cant believe that people of color act so blind to truth . It doesnt matter to them . If you look at the supporters of Obama and Rangle they believe the same thing . That a mans actions do not mean as much as the empty broken promises of welfare hustlers.

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Anonymous posted on

I have heard some very bad things about white people. Would you like to hear them?

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Anonymous posted on

yes I would

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Anonymous posted on

Just take all the negative stuff you have heard about black people and apply it to white people. Same stuff!

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Anonymous posted on

I accidentally posted this as a reply to someone else... There is some truth in what you say but that really applies to all people. There are a lot of people in this country that do not care about the facts, vote without information/research, and sadly there are people that don't even vote. As a nation we all need to be more informed, more aware of what is going on in the world and actually get invested in things we care about... and I don't mean just from a financial perspective. We have to take time and commit to things: care about our children's education, care about our government and ultimately care more about each other. Frankly as a person of color I do not support Charles Rangel because he is dishonest. For a person to be on the Ways & Means Committee as a representative of the people to be evading taxes is egregious. I find the fact that he used rent control apartments to conduct his personal business absolutely atrocious. I hope he is ultimately found guilty and forced to resign his post. How can we judge business executives and bankers on Wall Street when we have the same type of scum running a muck in Washington D.C.?

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Anonymous posted on

RACISM : It seems some black people will support another simply because of the fact that he/she is black no matter what damage they have caused in the past . Even when the man has exposed himself to be manipulating and exploiting the poor, they still support him . I asked my neighbor what he thought as a black man in america and he told me this : "You gotta support the broth'a ". I said " even if he is the worse choice for poor people ? " He replied, "black people have always felt they were on their own and the only people they trust are each other ." . I asked then , "what about when that trust is broken or if it's found out that he's a crook ." His answer... " you have to care about that enough to pay attention to even know about it and the getto dont watch the news . Besides maaad people have been arrested or done something illeagle to get by . "
-- WOW ! He was actually justifyng crime as being ok if your black . If you are Rangle and you line your pockets with corrupt money . It's OK he's simply a RICH black man trying to get by . Good God . Usefull idiots good for one thing, keeping the progressives and socialist in power . .

THIS IS A RACIST MENTALLITY

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Anonymous posted on

What a shame! Is life of people of color so disfunctional that they refuse to see truth as it stares them in the face? (Possibly) causing them long term harm. My GOD wake up!

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CindyBP posted on

Apparently being black trumps thievery, lying, stealing, and cheating the tax payers.

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Anonymous posted on

Cindy, race trumps gender. That's why white men call a black woman a double banger. If she's a lesbian, she's hit the trifecta.

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Anonymous posted on

the US educational system is to blame, educated people are not decived or hoodwinked. The dems need uneducated people to maintain there base

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Anonymous posted on

This wasn't a question of race simply because Rangel represents Harlem. And even those who voted for rangel such as myself, feels he's a crook---but he was the lesser of the list of not so promising candidates. He's 80. maybe he won't even last longer. Maybe he'll end up having to resign following the results of the upcoming rendezvous with the Ethics Committee.

The Republican candidate who ran against Rangel was Michel Faulkner, who is also African American. It was not a question of race in the election to select the representative for the 15th Congressional District. The 15th Congressional District has always been historically a stronghold for democrats.
I wanted to cross party lines because I didn't want to vote for Rangel. And I would have done so if the Republican candidate was more moderate....if Faulker's political platform contained issues where he was willing to meet the positions of the mostly Democratic constituents he is expected to represent if he had won. (or not mention touchy topics at all like all politicians), he would have been representing in his district. It's also important for a Republican running in what is known as "the stronghold of democrat voters" to ensure he keeps a low profile of those Republicans endorsing him who would cause democratic voters to hit the roof....and instead, he should have selected supporters on the moderate side. I would have been fine with Giuliani, who he worked for. But Newt Gingrich? Come on.
I liked Faulkner's role as a community church pastor and his work in youth empowerment. I liked his position on stax cuts and strengthening capacity of small businesses in the community for ecnomic recovery. I liked his healthcare position. I liked his spiel on fical spending. I like his directness. But he seems completely set on his convictions, which is great in theory but in practice, as a politician, there needs to be negotiation room on key issues, particularly in a renown Democratic stronghold, there has to be some compromises on other positions. But in terms of tangible plans and proposals for economic invigoration of the area, neither has direct plans but at least Rangel has the years of networks and experience while Faulkner is still a new player.

Faulkner had a connection with Jerry Fallwell. Additionally, if you've got the Chairs of both the National and NYS GOP committee standing in Harlem campaigning for you, and you've got conservative talk radio people and major Republicans like Gingrich, and possibly Rove as well---it's more than a bit of a risk that Faulkner was isolating the many Democrats who would have crossed party lines to vote for someone better than Rangel. If he came with Giuliani (who he has worked for), for Republicans who wouldn't be a turn off for the demographic of voters, and keeping a lid on his deep connections to the far right, maybe results would have been different.

So it's the same parties divided rhetoric. Not a black issue.


And if you want to play the race card, his preachings on black empowerment be controversial or downright insulting depending on your interpretation whether you are black or not. I'm not and I voted from the standpoint of a far left female voter. So the big draw was his very vocal pro-life position.

Here was a good profile of him: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10...

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Anonymous posted on

Thank You Voyager for pointing out that Charlie Rangels re election was not really about race.
For people outside of Harlem it may be hard to understand how Charles Rangel could win the election after his charges became public.

The reality though is that Charlie Rangel is Harlem. Hosting one of the longest careers in political history. Charlie Rangel good or bad is a a part of the Harlem tradition. Young people know the name as some one who has been there and older people know him from his career. The people of Harlem value his presence. To them its bigger than politics. They would much rather be disappointed politically by someone who has been there then by taking a chance with a new incumbent.

Take it how you want, these are complexities in the political system that can only be changed with greater interest in economic development, education and civic engagement.

Lets hope that the Mr. Charlie Rangel gives us a good run and doesn't get to comfortable this time around..

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Anonymous posted on

To NY dems, don't let the reps. make you feel bad about re-electing Charles Rangel. The reps. are a big bunch of liars and thieves. In Florida they just elected a governor who had to pay Medicaid $1.7 billion that he and his company stole. And almost every day, right here in Fla. they are arresting and charging people with defrauding and stealing from Medicaid. Let those congressmen prosecute and charge their own alongside with Rangel. At least Rangel worked hard for the people of NY. I know, I lived in NY 32 years before moving to Fl.

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Anonymous posted on

YOU KNOW BECAUSE YOU LIVED THERE, SO DID I.
IF YOU THINK HE WORKED SO HARD FOR THE PEOPLE, WHY DID YOU LEAVE ?
I LEFT BECAUSE MY FAMILY WAS IN FLORIDA . CHILDREN, GRAND CHILDREN AND GREAT GRAND CHILDREN, AND ALTHOUGH I MISS MY OLD FRIENDS I AM VERY HAPPY HERE.

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Anonymous posted on

The people of Mr. Rangel's district should be embarrassed and ashamed at the way this man has handled the public trust. That this isn't the case says more about them than it does about Mr. Rangel. Everyone EXCEPT his constituents seem to know what this guy is - he will come up for trial and be shown for what he is. His constituents won't be able to do a thing about that, no matter how much they love their dishonest, bottom-feeder representative. May his return to the bosom of his constituency and out of the public trough be hastened by whatever means available.

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Anonymous posted on

I am ashamed of Rangel, not only because of his malfeasance, but mostly by the way he sold out Harlem to the real estate developers. He claims that his empowerment zone improved Harlem. He improved the buildings and the infrastructure but he did nothing to improve the lot of the residents who give their loyal-to-a-fault support to him. I don't see the inclusion of local businesses and opportunities for the life-long residents who can no longer afford to live in Harlem. The schools are still failing, job prospects are non-existent and young men are stopped and frisked by the police for carrying a backpack. Empowerment to me is closely related to Cicero's definition of freedom and it involves participation in civic affairs. Who was empowered by the so called "Empowerment Zone?" It certainly wasn't the residents of Harlem.

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Anonymous posted on

OBAMA & RANGLE ARE TWO OF A KIND, AND I DON'T REFER TO COLOR .
THEY LIE, CHEAT, STEAL AND ITS ALL ABOUT THEMI IF I DID AS THEY DO I WOULD BE SERVING HARD TIME IN PRISON. GET RID OF THEM.
AS MALCOM X ONCE STATED "BY ANY MEANS NESERSARY. I DON'T MEAN VIOLANCE.
IMPEACHMENT WILL DO IT.

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Anonymous posted on

the lesson ive learned from new yorkers. if a man is black he can lie, cheat and steal and still be re elected because his constituents have no moral compass and they deserve the corrupt leadership they embrace. shame on you new yorkers

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Anonymous posted on

African Americans.. the biggest racists I know... they would vote for a pedophile if he was black... Harlem, you are a bunch of chumps.

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Anonymous posted on

I dread to think that all the anti-black racists - who won't identify themselves it seems - are members of the Columbia community. I hope they are all from somewhere else. It looks bad.

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Anonymous posted on

I hope he's found guilty and his punishment is that he has to sleep w/Nancy Pelosi. What a treat for both of them?
Oh yeah..in addition...they have to provide pictures of them both in a reclining position. That would do it for me!

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Anonymous posted on

I am from where the tea party respondent [texas- tea- man] is, and now consider myself an independent (could be in that umbrella if I wanted to be).

I became aware of Charles Rangel about 1990; I was a yellow dog democrat, and he was part of a group I was interested in studying. And I remember his concern for Haitians....many locked away without a fast way to be heard. But Haitian aliens can't support Rangel.
I remember him as one who wanted more proof of why we were entangling ourselves and our economy in the time of the Gulf War..a time when we helped place Saddam in power but got tired of his egocentric believe that he was invincible before we had another plan firmly in place.
But Captain Hindsight can't support Rangel.

One day I was listening, a couple of years ago, to just exactly 'what' his so-called questionable rental was pock-marked for: a pet charity cause. And the tax problem stemmed from an analyst or accountant guess-timating what proceeds would be before the end of the year..because they had to file quarterly.

There is the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. He would have done better to fall more within the letter of it-- as he humbly states when he says he was was careless.

But Nation, look at all of the people and corporations who are actively bilking retirement funds, transportation trusts, banking interests.

Charles Rangel is not one of these.
And untill we can judge the difference, we will be lead around and duped.

I'm not black by the way, not male, not from Harlem. I am someone who will cite a well known quote, which to paraphrase is I'd rather know someone who burns the flag and wraps himself in the constitution than the opposite..to burn the constitution and wrap in the flag.

All of this non-specific political hatred [that goes on] is nonproductive and frequently orchestrated by others for specific political gains. I feel Rangel has a lot of good in him; he should be made aware of what will be tolerated or not, sternly perhaps, then lets get back to the very real business of straightening out the mess we are currently in.

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Anonymous posted on

Rangel and Obama are what happens when you allow stupid and uneducated people to vote.........

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Anonymous posted on

Rangel is not the problem, He is but a bi-product of it, The problem is that we all have been working our skins to the bone, trying to keep food on our tables and a roof over our heads, So busy that we just could not pay attention to all the corruption and fraud going on.That's exatly where our elected leaders want us. Every last one of them,to some degree,are bought and paid for by corporate America. We are no longer a country "of the people,by the people, for the people".We have, in fact, been incorporated. Our constitutional rights have been chipped away at for so long that we will never know exactly what we lost until we reach for it in a time of need only to find out it no longer exists.There is no remedy for the mess we are in. That's the sad part. Having fought and bled for my Country, this truly hurts me. They will continue to go through our pockets, pushing away the lint, until they find and take that last penny. What to do? Maybe not in my lifetime,[I'm 63] but sooner or later, Joe Citizen is going to realize that no matter how hard he works, how much he sacrifices, he will never be able to realize the American dream. The basic right of feeding and sheltering our loved ones will be but a fantasy. Then Joe Citizen will have nothing to lose and stand up and fight back. Then God help us all becouse this will be the longest and most violent confrontation in our nations history. It will make the Civil War look like jamboree. It will pit father against son, brother against brother. It could be the start of our end. All because comparitive few had to have it all......

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