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Entries in Charles Rangel (13)

Friday
Jul062012

Rep. Charlie Rangel Has a 957-Vote Lead, But Still No Primary Win

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- After two days and roughly 2,000 hand-counted paper ballots, Rep. Charlie Rangel’s lead in the New York primary has widened to 951 votes, four times the half-a-percentage-point margin of victory necessary to trigger a recount.

But 10 days after Rangel, 82, was prematurely declared the winner in the June 26 Democratic primary, his win was still unofficial and what may be his last election to Congress was still in question.

New York State Board of Elections officials were wading through more than 2,000 ballots that were originally deemed invalid.

As Rangel’s lead grew, his opponent, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, turned to the courts to block the 21-term congressman from heading back to Washington in January.

Espaillat’s campaign filed a lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court this week alleging that many of the ballots deemed invalid at the polling sites should not be discarded and that those invalid ballots came disproportionately from Latino districts that supported Espaillat.

“We’ve found 192 people in Manhattan whose affidavit ballots were disqualified but who show up as Democratic voters on the rolls,” Aneiry Batista, coordinator of the recount operation for the Espaillat campaign, told the New York Daily News. “And we’re not even halfway through those that were disqualified.”

Despite completing the hand count of all mail-in absentee ballots and affidavit ballots, which are from people who were not listed on the registration rolls when they went to cast their vote, the board cannot certify the election results until the court signs off on the count.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure every vote is counted,” Espaillat’s campaign spokesman, Ibrahim Khan, told ABC News.

Khan said “there is a real concern” that many of the discarded ballots are valid and should be counted.

But Rangel’s campaign manager, Moises Perez, said Rangel’s “lead, quite frankly, appears to be insurmountable,” and that he is confident any court challenges will not stop Rangel from winning the primary.

“It will more than likely not change the outcome at all,” Perez told ABC News. “The lead will be so much bigger than what they can put on the table.”

Espaillat’s court challenge alleged that there was voter suppression at the polls and has asked the court to order a recount or possibly a re-do election.

Perez said he has not seen “any evidence of voter suppression,” as Espaillat charged in his lawsuit. Instead, Perez added, the controversy over some of the invalidated ballots stems from voters being confused about where to vote in their newly re-drawn districts.

“Every election is like that, particularly when you have a brand-new district,” Perez said. “Everyone who lives in the fringe of the new district, many people around the fringes are confused.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul062012

NY Primary, Like Rep. Charlie Rangel, Won't Quit

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nine days ago, 82-year-old Rep. Charlie Rangel was giving his 22nd primary election victory speech after preliminary results of New York's June 26 Democratic primary election showed Rangel beating challenger state Sen. Adriano Espaillat by more than 1,000 votes.

But as the full results rolled in, the representative from Harlem's lead shrank, to 802 votes, prompting a manual count of every remaining absentee and affidavit ballot.  On Thursday, New York Board of Elections officials began painstakingly tallying roughly 2,000 paper ballots to determine if Rangel will, in fact, be headed back to Congress next year.

As of Thursday evening, seven of the disputed assembly districts' ballots had been counted and Rangel's lead had grown to 945 votes, or about 2.4 percent of the 40,000 ballots cast, according to the Board of Elections.

It's highly unlikely the remaining ballots will strip Rangel of his ever-growing lead, but as long as the count drags on, his victory can't be certified.

Espaillat, Rangel's opponent, has called for a full recount and even a possible re-do election, but Rangel's margin of victory would have to shrink to one half of one percent to trigger a recount.  A re-do election would require court intervention, which Espaillat filed for on Tuesday.

Espaillat's charges allege voter suppression and claim that many of the ballots that were deemed invalid are from Latino voters who supported him.  As a Dominican-American, he was counting on support from the Hispanic community to oust long-time incumbent Rangel.

New York Judge John Carter ruled Thursday morning that after the hand count is complete, the Board of Elections could not certify a winner without the court's approval, leaving the door ever-so-slightly open that the court could mandate a recount or re-do election.

After all of the absentee and affidavit ballots are counted, election officials will re-examine the ballots that were originally discarded.  Both Espaillat and Rangel can challenge each of the ballots that the election's board deems invalid, sparking court proceedings that could further delay a final election result.

Espaillat spokesman Ibrahim Khan said it was "hard to say" whether Espaillat will be able to overturn Rangel's preliminary win.

"We want to make sure that this is a process where we count every single vote," Khan told ABC News.

In a fundraising email to supporters on Monday, Rangel sounded confident that his win would stand.

"To my surprise, my opponent's campaign pounced on me on Friday, saying that I had somehow stolen their votes! I'm completely baffled by the situation and the way my opponent has been reacting," Rangel wrote in the email.  "I don't know what will transpire in the coming days, but one thing is clear: I need your help to prepare myself for another battle -- whether it's a legal battle with the Board of Elections or with my opponent."

A Rangel campaign spokeswoman declined to comment for this story.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun272012

Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Charlie Rangel Survive Primary Challenges

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two Capitol Hill stalwarts -- a conservative senator and a liberal congressman -- easily won their respective primaries on Tuesday, fending off what were viewed as the toughest challenges of their careers.

In Utah, Republican Orrin Hatch, a U.S. senator for six terms, defeated the Tea Party-supported Dan Liljenquist by a two-to-one margin.

There were questions earlier this year about whether Hatch would win the GOP nomination, as the Tea Party seemed intent on replacing him with a candidate to the far right even though Hatch's conservative credentials were impeccable.

However, Hatch's base rallied for him and the senator's war chest of $7 million was no match for Liljenquist, who had less than $1 million to spend.  Hatch is expected to cruise to re-election in November.

Meanwhile in New York City, Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel had no problem beating state Sen. Adriano Espaillat even as his 15th District in Harlem was melded into the mostly Latino 13th District.

Rangel, seeking his 22nd term in the House, is normally considered a lock to win the Democratic primary but this redistricting, along with ethics issues, posed a threat to his long tenure.

In December 2010, Rangel became the first congressman in nearly three decades to be censured after an ethics committee found him guilty of 11 charges, including improperly raising money for a college, failing to disclose investments and failing to pay taxes on his villa in the Dominican Republic, among other things.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Will Orrin Hatch, Charlie Rangel Survive Tuesday's Contests?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Utah holds its state and presidential GOP primary on Tuesday, while New York, Colorado and Oklahoma hold state and congressional contests.

Of these primaries, there are two big contests to keep an eye on: the Utah Republican Senate primary between six-term incumbent Orrin Hatch and Tea Party-challenger Dan Liljenquist, and the Democratic primary in New York’s 13th Congressional District, where longtime incumbent Charlie Rangel faces a tough primary challenge.

In Utah, senior Sen. Orrin Hatch looks to be well-positioned to win his party’s nomination and, given the strong Republican leaning of the state, reclaim his seat in the fall.  Nevertheless, Hatch, 78, has faced something he hasn’t had to endure in more than 30 years: a primary challenge.

Hatch is being challenged by former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, who, at age 37, was just 1 year old when the longtime Congress member was first elected to represent the people of Utah in the Senate.  Polling shows Hatch with a strong lead going into Tuesday.

In New York, Charlie Rangel, the third longest-serving member of Congress, faces an in-party challenge as well, from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, along with several others.  Rangel has had his share of problems in recent years; the congressman who has served in the House for 42 years was found guilty on 11 out of 12 ethics violations in 2010 and was censured by the House of Representatives.  He was forced to step down from a leadership position on the Ways and Means committee, where he had previously served as chairman.

Rangel, 82, was also slowed down recently after undergoing back surgery in the spring.

But the ethics issues surrounding the congressman were known during his last re-election campaign in 2010 as well (though he had not yet been found guilty and censured) and ultimately, most political observers agree, they won’t be his downfall.  

Rangel faces a new constituency as a result of redistricting in this election and his new district expands to several Hispanic areas of the Bronx, which boosts the Dominican-American Espaillat, who is viewed as Rangel’s strongest challenger.

Rangel has a large cash advantage over Espaillat, raising $1 million to Espaillat’s $300,000.  There are several other challengers in the field as well, including Clyde Williams, a former Democratic National Committee staffer.

Rangel is expected to survive, but the outcome is far from certain.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec022010

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel Censured: 'I'm Not Going to Be Judged by This Congress'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Veteran Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Thursday became the first U.S. House member in 27 years to be censured after a long trial that resulted in him being convicted on 11 counts of ethics violations.

The censure, the highest punishment short of expulsion, is reserved for serious offenses and requires the member in question to stand before his or her colleagues while a censure resolution is read.

An amendment reducing the punishment to reprimand prior to the final vote failed overwhelmingly.

The censure has been used only 23 times in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives. The last time a member of Congress was censured was 1983, when then-Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., and Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., faced the penalty for having sexual relationships with minors.

Rangel, a veteran who has served in the House since 1971, stood Thursday in the front of members of Congress on Thursday afternoon flanked by his supporters while a somber Speaker Nancy Pelosi read the resolution rebuking his conduct.

The 80-year-old congressman apologized for the "awkward position" he's put his family and friends in, but reiterated that he did not commit the violations for personal gains.

"In my heart I truly feel good," he said. "I know in my heart that I'm not going to be judged by this Congress, that I'm going to be judged by my life, my activities, my contributions to society, and I apologize for the awkward position that some of you are in."

The 80-year-old, who was recently the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, earlier Thursday argued for a lesser punishment. He made his case again on the House floor, saying he shouldn't be given a penalty that is reserved for corrupt politicians.

Last month, the House ethics committee found Rangel guilty of 11 of 13 violations of House rules, including using official resources improperly to raise funds from businesses and foundations for a center at the City College of New York that's named after him.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov292010

Ethics Committee Refers Rangel Resolution to House

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the chair of the House Committee on Standards on Official Conduct, told reporters late Monday evening that the ethics committee has submitted a resolution to the House of Representatives regarding the matter with Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

A senior aide from the Speaker's office had not heard the news about the resolution, but suggested if it was true that the full House of Representatives could consider the ethics committee's recommendations as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.

By a vote of nine to one, the panel of five Republicans and five Democrats earlier this month agreed with chief committee counsel R. Blake Chisam, who had recommended the penalty. It also recommended that Rangel be required to pay restitution on unpaid taxes.

The full House must now vote on whether to approve the penalty or impose a different one. If the House votes to approve the sanction -- a simple majority is needed -- the 40-year incumbent lawmaker would likely go to the House to immediately hear a rebuke from the Speaker.

The censure recommendation could be brought to the floor by a point of privilege at any moment this week or brought to the floor through the Rules committee.  It's possible the Rules committee could orchestrate the rules to keep Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from reading a potential rebuke of Rangel and rather have the Speaker Pro Tempore read it, but precedence suggests that the Speaker of the House might actually have to read it.

The ethics committee found Rangel guilty of 11 of 13 ethics charges, ranging from improper fundraising, inappropriate possession of multiple rent-controlled apartments and failure to pay taxes on a vacation home.

Rangel's censure by the ethics committee is only the fourth time such a penalty has been imposed in the history of the House of Representatives. The House has also rendered four expulsions, three censures and nine reprimands.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov192010

Rep. Maxine Waters House Ethics Case Delayed

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The House Ethics Committee Friday cancelled the upcoming public trial set for Nov. 29 of California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, saying the discovery of "new materials" in the case means further investigation is required.

Waters, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, stands accused of improperly using her influence in 2008 to help secure $12 million in TARP funds for a struggling bank with financial ties to her husband. She has denied any wrongdoing.

It's unclear what new information the committee will consider and how it could affect the charges or the need for a public trial. However, it's likely that resolution of the Waters case will not occur before the next Congress is seated in January.

The committee's announcement comes one day after the panel of five Democrats and five Republicans concluded its public trial for veteran New York Rep. Charles Rangel. The members recommended Rangel be censured by the full House after what chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren called "wrenching" deliberations.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov182010

Rep. Charles Rangel: House Panel Chooses Censure, Restitution

Photo Courtesy - ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The House Ethics Committee on Thursday voted to recommend the censure of New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, who was found guilty earlier this week of multiple violations of House rules.

By a vote of nine to one, the panel of five Republicans and five Democrats agreed with chief committee counsel R. Blake Chisam, who had recommended the penalty. It also recommended that Rangel be required to pay restitution on unpaid taxes.

The full House must now vote on whether to approve the penalty or impose a different one.

"We have worked hard together in this matter in a way that has been actually quite wrenching," said committee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. "We are satisfied to be concluded."

If the House votes to approve the sanction -- a simple majority is needed -- Rangel would then be forced to appear in the well of the House, where members stand when they address the chamber, and hear the charges against him read by the Speaker of the House.

The penalty of censure is reserved for "more serious" offenses, according to House rules, and is the most stringent punishment Congress can impose short of expulsion.

Rangel, 80, once the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, stood silently before the committee as chairwoman Lofgren read their decision.

He then said again he hoped the committee would make "abundantly clear" in its report to the full House that he hadn't benefitted personally from his wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, the committee found Rangel guilty of 11 of 13 ethics charges, ranging from improper fundraising, inappropriate possession of multiple rent-controlled apartments and failure to pay taxes on a vacation home.

Rangel's censure by the ethics committee is only the fourth time such a penalty has been imposed in committee history. It has rendered four expulsions, three censures and nine reprimands.

The House most recently censured Rep. Gerry Studds in 1983 for inappropriate sexual behavior with a congressional page.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov182010

House Ethics Committee to Vote on Charles Rangel's Punishment

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The legendary, once-powerful New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel will learn his fate Thursday when he is sanctioned by the House Ethics Committee for multiple violations of House rules.

On Tuesday, the committee found Rangel guilty of 11 of 13 ethics charges, ranging from improper fundraising to failing to disclose assets on financial disclosure forms.

The sanction, whatever it might be, will be a stain on the record of a man who has served in the House for 40 years.  The scandal forced him to relinquish his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee in March.

Rangel has blasted the ethics proceeding because the committee was unwilling to delay the trial so that he could explore the creation of a legal defense fund to pay his bills.  He stormed out of the proceeding on the first day, saying he couldn't afford an attorney to represent him, even though the committee chairwoman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, said he had had ample time to explore representation.

Later, Rangel released a statement calling the committee's verdict "unprecedented in view of the fact that they arrived at without rebuttal or counter evidence on my behalf."

At a noon hearing on Thursday, members of the committee will hear from R. Blake Chisam, the chief counsel for the ethics committee, who will lay out the sanction recommendations.

Based on the recommendations, the committee will then consider and vote on a sanction motion and its recommendations of disciplinary action before sending the matter to the full House of Representatives.  The possible sanctions range from expulsion from Congress -- which is highly unlikely -- to censure, reprimand or a formal letter of reproval.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov162010

Rep. Charles Rangel Found Guilty of Violating House Ethics Rules

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Members of the House ethics committee ruled Tuesday that New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel had violated house rules for improperly fundraising for a community center in his name, failing to disclose more than a half million dollars in assets on financial disclosure forms, and failing to disclose financial arrangements for a villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic.

Rangel was found guilty on 11 of 13 counts against him.

The ethics committee is expected to meet Thursday afternoon for the sanctions hearing.

Possible sanctions range from expulsion -- considered highly unlikely -- to reprimand, censure or a monetary fine. According to House ethics rules, a reprimand is reserved for a "serious violation;" censure is for "more serious violations."

Legal experts believe that the committee will suggest either a censure or reprimand. Once the committee agrees on the sanction, it will vote to recommend the sanction to the full House for a vote.

If the House votes to censure Rangel, he will have to stand at the "well" of the House chamber to receive a verbal rebuke and reading of the censure resolution by the Speaker of the House.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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