Who’s in the HOT SEAT?
Charlie Rangel - New York 13
Charlie Rangel’s been in his seat for 44 years. He’s only the second congressman to represent Harlem – he defeated the first one, Civil Rights icon Adam Clayton Powell, in a primary by a few hundred votes. Now, Hispanics outnumber African Americans in a district that takes in parts of the Bronx and the Upper West Side as well as the traditional Harlem base.
Charlie’s grown quite comfortable among the Washington insiders - after 44 years, he IS the ultimate insider.
As chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie rewrote the tax code to make sure GE paid no taxes on billions in profits. GE rewarded him by donating millions to one of his favorite causes. Charlie has a habit of soliciting donations from companies with business before his committee. He was found guilty of 11 ethics violations, censured and had to step down from his powerful committee post.
Charlie also failed to report $75,000 in rental income from his luxury beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic, and skipped paying taxes on it for 9 years.
Continuing his violations of the law, Charlie kept 4 rent controlled apartments in Harlem as residences and a campaign office, even as the shortage of affordable housing in his district reached crisis levels.
It’s really no wonder Charlie’s missed 2,200 Congressional votes – he was too busy shaking down corporations, hiding bank accounts from the IRS and warehousing rent-controlled apartments.
In 2012, Charlie’s Reign of Error almost came to an end the same way it began – with a primary challenge. Despite being outspent 5 to 1, State Senator Adriano Espaillat came within several hundred votes of ousting old Charlie. Rangel earned just 43% of the vote in a five-way race, the narrowest of wins further diminished by charges of rampant voter suppression by his notorious political machine and Board of Elections cronies.
Only 40,000 voted in the 2012 primary - and only 18,940 for Rangel. Next year should be Charlie’s last as a Congressman – if more people cast a ballot and the opposition unites behind a primary challenger.
You can make it happen – it’s simple as 1, 2, 3:
- Register to vote – if you have ID from the New York DMV you can register online. Or, download a registration from and register by mail, or register in-person at the NYC Board of Elections offices.
- Take the Primary Pledge and vote in the 2014 primary.
- Put a few dollars in the “Retire Rangel” kitty to retire the ethically challenged congressman, and CPA will run a campaign against him in 2014.