NOW ASKING PANEL TO CHECK VILLA
"Old Slick Charlie Rangel is sure keeping congressional ethicists busy these days ":D
The embattled Harlem lawmaker said yesterday that he made his third complaint to the House Ethics Committee against himself in as many months - this time to look at his beachfront dream home in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel purchased the villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club with a no-interest loan 20 years ago and has failed to report rental income on the property, which rents for $1,100 a night during the peak season.
"This question will be forwarded to the ethics committee," Rangel said after speaking at the opening of the Dream Charter School in East Harlem.
The Democratic lawmaker has also sought rulings from the committee over his keeping four rent-stabilized apartments, including one used for a campaign office, and over his use of congressional letterhead to solicit support for City College's planned Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
House sources say Republicans are angling to ask Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to demand Rangel step down as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the powerful body that writes the nation's tax laws.
They will use the precedent of Rep. William Jefferson (DLa.), who was kicked off the committee in 2006 over corruption allegations before he was formally indicted by the feds for bribe receiving.
The move by the Republicans could force Pelosi to take a politically dangerous stand on Rangel less than two months before a crucial election for Democrats.
Rangel had tried to persuade Jefferson to step down two years ago, though the Congressional Black Caucus defended Jefferson's attempt to keep his seat.