Dems Ditching Rangel's Hot Dirty Money

March 2, 2010

At least three Democratic congressmen have given to charities $26,000 in campaign contributions they received from embattled House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel of New York following inquiries by this newspaper.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., appeared Feb. 23 in The Washington Examiner’s “Dirty Money Watch” but had declined to say what he would do with $2,000 he’d received from Rangel for the 2010 campaign cycle.

Two days later, the Connecticut Post published a letter citing The Examiner and calling on Himes to return the Rangel contribution. The same day, Himes’ prospective Republican opponent, Rob Russo, also called on Himes to return the money.

The next day, Rangel was admonished by the House ethics committee for accepting trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by a nonprofit foundation funded in part by corporations with business before Rangel’s committee.

And Himes announced that he was giving the $2,000 to a charity.

Rangel is under investigation for multiple allegations of ethical improprieties, including failure to pay income taxes, misuse of official property in fundraising and getting tax advantages for favored donors.

On Monday, Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., announced that he is giving $14,000 he received from Rangel to an Illinois food bank. Foster’s announcement came after The Examiner’s query earlier in the day.

Also on Monday, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., told The Examiner that he is giving $10,000 he received from Rangel to charity.

Following Rangel’s admonishment by the ethics panel, The Examiner recontacted dozens of senators and representatives featured in “Dirty Money Watch” since last November who either had declined to comment or said they would not return the money.

Those who either did not return a reporter’s telephone call seeking comment or did not provide a response included:

Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Va.; Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa; Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.; Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio; Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz.; Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas; Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C.; Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.; Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill.; Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla.; Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa.; Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, D-Pa.; Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.; and Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa.

Read more: (Mark Hemingway, “Representatives Ditching Rangel’s Hot Dirty Money,” The Washington Examiner, 03/02/10)