Saturday, September 5, 2009

Live From New York, It's...

Okay, I can't go on any longer letting LawHawkSF have all the fun. And, well, let’s face it, California will probably have to be forfeited to the Chinese to pay off our National debt. So I thought I could give you a taste of what's happening on the Atlantic Coast for a change…

Everything you have heard about life in New York City is true. The real estate is outrageously expensive, the subway is smelly in the summertime, and what passes for “hospitality” is at best surly. As of September 16, 2009, I have lived in NYC for 20 years. As most of you know by now, I originally hail from the Great State of Texas and am proud of it. But, as a die-hard “Manhattanite”, I now occupy my tiny bit of the Upper East Side. Through career changes, a few riots, a transit strike, a blackout, and two terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, I’ve stuck it out. Once you get the hang of living here, it can turn into a very entertaining place to live. Hey, there is no better live theatre in the world than New York City and I don’t mean just on Broadway. Just walking around and watching the people is worth the price of admission. Well, it is “the city that never sleeps”! And never to be outdone by our counterparts on the Left Coast, we have our own wonderful assortment of politicians, pundits, and "community organizers" – Local, State, and Federal – to keep us on our toes and constantly entertained. In the coming weeks I will try to explain them. Let’s start with Exhibit A:

Exhibit A – Charles Bernard Rangel (D/NY) - US Representative from District 15 in New York. His district encompasses parts of the Upper West Side and all of Upper Manhattan. Congressman Rangel (D/NY) has represented his constituents for nearly 40 years after defeating Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in 1970. Among his many accomplishments and committees, Congressman Rangel (D/NY) was elevated to Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D/CA) in January of 2007. This committee is considered to be the most powerful and influential committee in Congress. Just so you will understand how important he (D/NY) is, the following is taken directly from Congressman Rangel’s (D/NY) own Congressional website:
As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the first African American to reach that post, Congressman Charles Rangel presides over tax revenue legislation and commands oversight authority over the major issues of the day – economic policy, international trade, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and health care. He serves as the vice chairman for the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The reason this is so important is, well, Chairman Rangel (D/NY) has run into a little tax trouble himself lately. I guess true to form for many Democrats these days, he failed to read his own legislation. It did not seem so bad last summer when the New York Post broke the story that Congressman Rangel (D/NY) would be investigated for allegedly sending out correspondence from his Congressional offices on Congressional stationary soliciting donation for a charity to be named after himself (D/NY). This is a big ethics no-no. But while being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for this violation, the Post reported that it was discovered Congressman Rangel (D/NY) allegedly failed to pay taxes on vacation property he owns and rents out in the Dominican Republic. This came to be about $75,000 worth of unreported income which Congressman Rangel (D/NY) paid back taxes owed, but (maybe) without any penalties.

On further investigation, the Post discovered four rent stabilized apartments that Congressman Rangel (D/NY) occupies in a fancy Harlem hi-rise for which one was being used as an Congressional office. Then came the unreported sale of property in New Jersey, the unreported sale of property in Florida, the unreported sale of the Harlem Brownstone that he claimed as his primary residence even though he occupied four rent stabilized Harlem hi-rise apartments, the recently discovered bank accounts, the old Mercedes stored in the Congressional parking lot for years, the donations to campaigns to Congresspersons (D/USA) who are on the Ethics committee - the list goes on and on.

Just last month, Congressman Rangel (D/NY) finally got around to filing his amended Congressional Disclosures for 2002 to 2006. and it was reported by the New York Post that he (D/NY) failed to report income of not $75,000, but closer to $3,000,000 in business and personal income. Now, I can buy forgetting to report rental property in DR as a mistake. I mean, he explained that they were speaking Spanish when the topic of renting his condo out came up. However, I find it inconceivable that the Chairman (D/NY) of the House Ways & Means Committee can accidentally misplace over $3,000,000 in income. But what do I know.

In late 2008, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D/CA) promised that Charlie Rangel’s (D/NY) alleged ethics violations would be investigated and cleared up by January 3, 2009 so it would not interfere with the very important work of the newly mandated Democratic-lead Congress and the newly elected President Barack Obama. Of course, this was when it was just the stationary-rent stabilized apartments-and-resort rental issues. Now with each passing day, comes new and more alleged egregious ethics violations, but Speaker Pelosi (D/CA) does nothing. But to her great credit, Pelosi (D/CA) stated that she is committed to standing by her man and she will not take any action until she is issued a full report. She will not be pressured by "media reports" or pushy Republicans.

But, as we say in Texas, here’s the real kicker –Ol’Forgetful Charlie (D/NY) and his cohorts on Ways & Means have approved and added a new provision to the every changing healthcare bill that “...would strip away legal defenses and pile higher penalties on corporate and individual taxpayers facing IRS proceedings for what they claim are unintentional mistakes”. I would call him a hypocrite, but that might be pushy. Oh, and this just in - we are all racists too.

I am not sure how long it will ultimately take to investigate Congressman Rangel (D/NY), but I am thinking when icicles form in Hell should probably be about right. In the mean time, at least he's very entertaining.

Next week: “Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC’s Own Little Hugo Chavez”.

13 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, great article! I've been watching this tangentially and I was floored when I heard that he had forgotten to declare $3 million in taxes!!! Holy cow!

I have a mistake worth a couple hundred dollars and the IRS zeroed in on me in nothing flat! And he's been getting away with this for how long? He needs to go to jail for this. . . right next to all the other Democrats who didn't pay their taxes before the newspapers figured it out!

P.S. I hope this becomes a regular feature, like Lawhawk's SFDiary. :-)

MegaTroll said...

Bev, This was a fun article. Please keep them coming. I don't live in NY or CA, but I like the glimpses that you and Lawhawk are providing! Another useful service from the great people of Commentarama!

BevfromNYC said...

Thanks Andrew and MT - I've been planning this for some time, but life just keeps getting in the way!

As for Rangel, some of his "forgetfulness" allegedly goes back at least 15 years. I must give credit to the NY Post. They have done an excellent job of investigative reporting and not letting up on Rangel one bit. It's getting harder and harder for Rangel AND Pelosi to ignore this.

What I didn't add was that Minority Leader Boehner today issued a challenge for Rangel to step down as Chairman until this is all resolved - "Show the American people that having their confidence in your leadership means more to you than having the opportunity to wield power..." and he considers Rangel a friend. We will see what will happen as a result.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I heard there were calls for him to step down. I also heard he had given money to a majority of the people investigating him? No wonder he's starting to scream racism.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: I love it (but that's probably because misery loves company). There won't be any lack of material for either of us, and I would also love to see you make this a regular feature. In a couple of years we could put together a compendium called "We Cover the Coasts." Our two cities have so much greatness going for them that it's criminal to see what the cuckoos in power can do to them, with the support of their own sheeple. Keep 'em coming!

BevfromNYC said...

When in real trouble claim racism.

Maybe this is getting as old as "Blame Bush" mantra, but if he were a Republican, he would have been in jail by now or least forced to resign from Congress - just on the mounting accusations alone.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk - You are so right about no lack of material. Just wait until I get to the The United Nations! Khadafy is coming to town and bringing his tents with him! As Cindy Adams always says' "Only in NY, kids!"

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: Stick with me, kid. You'll be wearing cabbages as big as diamonds. My article tomorrow will address the Obamafest at the U.N. coming up on September 24. Maybe we could build a barrier around Turtle Bay and keep Qaddafi and Obama trapped like rats.

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - A girl can't have to many cabbages!

I can't wait, however I am afraid that the entire state of New Jersey might attack Manhattan and the UN - 38 people from NJ were on the Lockerbie Pan Am flight. The K-beast wanted to set his tents up in Englewood NJ, but they said "No!" Then he requested Central Park and we said "No!" Then, there's Switzerland - he wants the UN to abolish them as a nation. It's gonna be fun! It could only be better if Guiliani were still Mayor.

StanH said...

Charlie Rangel is the classic example of a politician staying around to long and making a career out of, “public service,” puuuulease… These Washington politicians are nothing more than wannabe lords and their districts become their fiefdoms and you guessed it, we are their serfs. This is not what was intended by the Founders. New York is famous for political corruption, Tammany Hall hung around into the ‘60s, Charlie Rangel would fit right in. The bad news is that you find politicians throughout America who have worn out their usefulness to the voters. Good read Bev!

Tennessee Jed said...

Bev - thanks for the article. I give you all the credit in the world for putting up with it. I think between where you and Lawhawk live, most of the people I completely disagree with politically are located in one of those two places. At least it seems like it.

Writer X said...

Is there anyone running against this crook that has a reasonable chance of winning in the next election? Please say yes.

BevfromNYC said...

Writer X - Unfortunately in his district, there is no one willing to run against him and his constituents will keep reelecting him as long as he runs.

Stan - You are right, the longer politicians are in power, the more emboldened they seem to get, but I also do not think limiting the number of terms is the answer either. We already have "term limits" simply by voting. It is up to the people to demand their representatives stay honest. I think for the first time in my life, I finally see people doing that - tea parties, attending "townhalls" and flooding the Congressional email system with emails to their representative.

Tennessee - I don't agree with most of the people I live around, but honestly, since I am a natural born contrarian anyway, I thrive on it. But I find I have to couch my opinion carefully so as not to offend my "open-minded" liberal friends. I am thrilled with sites like BH and this one (of course) because I can voice my opinion with abandon.

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