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|Sujet: Ofisyèl ou pa, respekte lalwa. Lun 22 Nov 2010 - 8:54|| |
Congressman deserves the censure
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., appears on Capitol Hill. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / Associated Press file
By World's Editorial Writers
Published: 11/22/2010 2:21 AM
Last Modified: 11/22/2010 4:03 AM
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel has had a long, successful career. It's too bad that it will be ending on such a sour note. On the other hand, Rangel has no one to blame but himself.
Last week, the House Ethics Committee found enough evidence in 11 charges to vote to censure the New York Democrat. Rangel pleaded with the panel to show him "a drop of fairness and mercy" out of recognition of his lengthy public service.
That public service, however, is what demands the censure, the most severe punishment the House can deal other than expulsion.
Among the charges on which an ethics subcommittee found "clear and convincing" evidence were failing to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic, misuse of a rent-controlled apartment for political purposes and improper use of his office to raise funds for a public policy center named for him.
The 80-year-old, 20-term congressman, who was re-elected Nov. 2 with an overwhelming majority, could be forced to stand before the full House for a public and embarrassing censure proceeding.
"I truly believe public officials have a higher responsibility than most Americans to obey the rules because we write them," Rangel told the ethics panel. "There can be no excuse for my acts of omission. I've failed in carrying out my responsibilities. I made numerous mistakes."
With that we agree. Public officials ought to be held to a higher standard. Some will contend that Rangel got off easy. Some will say he should be put in prison. Others, most likely his constituents, will stand by him.
Rangel broke the rules. He got caught. The censure is deserved. By World's Editorial Writers