Why Charlie Rangel Will Likely Survive
Despite facing a thirteen-count ethics complaint, Charlie Rangel probably isn't going anywhere.
While the political media breathlessly reports the details of the ethics charges against Congressman Charlie Rangel and speculate over his fate, Jazz Shaw points out at Pajamas Media that, absent expulsion, Rangel is likely to hold on to his seat:
Don’t count on any significant backlash from the voters. Rangel’s various ethical problems have been well known for a long time now, but he continues to win reelection with astronomical margins. Take a look at the map of New York’s 15th District some time. Unlike many vast, rural districts around the nation, the 15th is one of the most compact you will find. It runs along a roughly seven mile stretch of the Hudson River, taking in Fort George, Harlem, and Marcus Garvey, as well as grabbing a few plots of land out near LaGuardia Airport.
Most people could comfortably walk the length and breadth of this district in a single sunny afternoon, and Charlie has walked it many, many times over the last forty years. He knows residents and business owners on a first name basis. He has followed the tried and true New York political playbook, making sure that every resident is made aware of each bit of federal pork money he brings home. He gets his name plastered all over everything from buildings at City College to bus stops along Broadway. He ensures that the correct wheels — and palms — are greased and that the right people get free tickets to see the Knicks and the Giants. In short, he’s been playing this game a long time and he’s a master of it.
In short, none of this should be taken as an indication that the Republicans are about to pick off an extra House seat in NY-15.
Perhaps not a Republican seat but there might be a possibility that these charges could have an impact on Rangel in the upcoming September Democratic Primary:
(July 22) — Word that Democrat Charlie Rangel will face a trial in the House of Representatives on charges of ethics violations may spell trouble for the veteran New York congressman in his primary contest against New York State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV.
Rangel, who defeated Powell’s famous father, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., in the 1970 Democratic primary, had been expected to win the Sept. 14 contest to become the party nominee. But a poll taken less than a week before today’s announcement by the House shows that support among Democrats may be shifting to Powell.
According to Public Policy Polling, 39 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Rangel in the primary, while 21 percent said they’d vote for Powell. Perhaps more worrisome than the rather tepid showing for the incumbent, however, is the finding that 24 percent of voters remain undecided. A high-publicity trial in the House may not do much to sway those voters toward Rangel.
This is Charlie Rangel we’re talking about, though, and he knows what it takes to win in a district he’s represented since Richard Nixon was President and he’s running in a primary that seems designed to guarantee that he wins:
Right now, five candidates will appear on the primary ballot, and they are all decidedly B-list — at best. Start with Rangel’s chief challenger, Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV. On paper, he’s the perfect choice: His father, for whom a main artery running through the heart of Harlem is named, represented the district for years, before being ousted by Rangel in 1970. In fact, Powell tried to challenge Rangel once before, back in 1994, a race he lost by a two-to-one margin.
Besides Powell, there are three lesser-known candidates: Vincent Morgan, who once worked for Rangel; Joyce Johnson, who has waged losing campaigns for City Council and the state legislature; and Jonathan Tasini, who is best-known for his hopeless challenge to Hillary Clinton in a 2006 U.S. Senate primary. None of them have the resources to break through and win — but all of them, taken together, have the potential to gobble up anti-Rangel votes that would otherwise go to Powell. Their presence lowers the bar for Rangel: He can probably survive with 40 to 45 percent of the vote.
Since the poll referenced above already has him at 39 percent, I’d say Rangel is safe on September 14th.
WASHINGTON – A House investigator says the panel handling Rep. Charlie Rangel’s ethics case has recommended a reprimand by the full House — but that decision could be months away.
Rep. Gene Green, who’s on the subcommittee that investigated the New York Democrat, says that’s the recommended penalty for the 20-term New York Democrat. Rangel is facing 13 charges of wrongdoing.
A reprimand. The same penalty that Joe Wilson got for yelling “You Lie” during a Presidential speech last September. It’s barely even a slap on the wrist