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Markey and Salazar giving up Rangel bucks

By | July 31st, 2010

Congressional Democrats have reportedly “returned or donated to charity” $588,000 that had been given to their campaigns over the years by former House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

Why the philanthropic urge? Rangel is “facing 13 counts of wrongdoing, including providing official favors in return for donations, hiding income and assets, and failing to pay taxes,” reports The Associated Press.

Among those giving away Rangel’s money are U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., totaling $7,000, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan; and U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., totaling $4,000, according to the Grand Junction Sentinel.

Rangel’s colleagues took their time distancing themselves, given that Time magazine had reported 19 MONTHS AGO that “Rangel’s Troubles Create a Problem for the Democrats.”

Well, nothing quite focuses the mind as formal charges, announced Thursday by a House ethics committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously promised to “drain the swamp” if Democrats won back the House in the 2006 elections. She defended Rangel earlier this year in a lesser ethics inquiry, but now says, “Let the political chips fall where they may.”

At least eight House Democrats have called for Rangel to resign. Rangel maintains his innocence. Meanwhile, Politico reports that President Obama is suggesting that Rangel take an exit. That would save the Democrats a lot of grief heading into the November elections.

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  1. [...] House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) is facing 13 counts of wrong doing including providing official favors in return for donations, hiding income and assets, and failing [...]