Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Sorry Charlie, Only the Best Tuna..."

We all remember-at least those of us who are old enough, and Charlie Rangel certainly is-the Starkist Charlie the Tuna ads-the ones where poor Charlie is thrown back into the sea with the tag line: "Only the best tuna is good enough for Starkist." Now we are having a reprise of those good old days with the Democrats in the Starkist role-looking to throw Charlie back into the sea. The NY Times picks up the latest: "The House ethics committee laid out 13 charges of House rules violations against Representative Charles B. Rangel on Thursday, and began the process for a public trial on the charges. The move came after Mr. Rangel, a veteran congressman, failed to reach a settlement to avoid the rare and potentially embarrassing proceeding before the committee gathered at 1 p.m."

And House Dems are really worried: "With Democrats worried that they might lose control of the House during elections this fall, many party officials urged Mr. Rangel to spare them the public ordeal of a trial. Three Democratic members have called for his resignation and dozens have returned his campaign contributions. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has declined to speak out in support of Mr. Rangel, who has been a friend and ally for years, saying only that the ethics process should be allowed to run its course."

And what's the bill of particulars for the trial that Rangel will have to sit through? The NY Post has the details, and they aren't pretty: "House investigators accused veteran New York Rep. Charles Rangel of 13 violations of congressional ethics standards on Thursday, throwing a cloud over his four-decade political career and raising worries for fellow Democrats about the fall elections.The allegations — which include failure to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic and to report more than $600,000 in assets on his congressional financial disclosure statements — came as lawyers for Rangel and the House ethics committee worked on a plea deal."

But not all Democrats are ready to give Rangel the heave ho-and Council Speaker Quinn gave Charlie a loving shout out: "You know Congressman Rangel is somebody with whom I've worked since I was elected speaker, before that when I was Health Committee chair. He worked with me on a number of different issues, particularly around needs and concerns at Harlem Hospital. He's somebody who I believe is an outstanding New Yorker, who has done a lot to help the city. Obviously, this is the chapter he would prefer not to be a part of his political career, but I have a lot of tremendous respect and gratitude to Charlie Rangel for the work he has done for our city, and wish him and his family only the best."

As my Hispanic friends would say, "Pajaros de las mismas plumas." Roughing up your girl friend is heinous, (and it isn't appropriate in any way), but apparently raping and pillaging the tax payers is a lesser offense in Quinn World. Rangel needs to exit stage left before he gets unceremoniously dumped back into the Harlem River like poor Charlie Tuna.