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March 2, 2010 / J. Shaw

Pelosi and Sir Charles Rangel

NOTE : NEW AL GORE article on Bobs Place Page of this blog. CLICK above.

Pelosi Has Failed to Clean House

By Rich Lowry

It may have been the shrewdest thing Nancy Pelosi ever said: In the fall of 2006, riding a wave of popular disgust at the ethical lapses of the then-Republican congressional majority, she mused, “Maybe it will take a woman to clean up the House.”

Cheeky and pointed, the line captured the sense that the House had run out of control and it was time for something different — a Democratic House run by the first-ever woman speaker, wielding an exacting broom.

According to exit polls, 41 percent of voters said “corruption and scandals in government” were extremely important to their vote in 2006 — more than said that about the Iraq War, the economy or illegal immigration. More than anything else, Democrats had a mandate for clean government untainted by lifestyle-enhancing freebies and the lobbyist-driven “favor factory.”

Enter Charlie Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Allegedly unbeknownst to him, he had the misfortune to have his Caribbean vacations paid for by corporations. After an admonishment by the House’s ethics committee, Rangel lamented that this was just his rotten luck — undone by unscrupulous staffers conniving to get him free beach time on Antigua and St. Maarten.

Rangel missed all the correspondence about the trips, just like he missed the half of his net worth he failed to note on financial-disclosure forms. Such a careless person typically doesn’t become rich (or the chairman of a major congressional committee), but Rangel amassed up to $500,000 each in two undisclosed checking accounts.

Poor Charlie, bumbling his way into a lifestyle of the rich and famous.



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