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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Rangel refund

Looks like Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. 's recent appointment to the House Ethics Committee is going to cost him $19,000 in old campaign contributions.

The Hill, the authoritative journal for the Washington D.C. political establishment, is reporting that Welch has decided to return $19,000 in donations to his campaign to political fundraising committees run by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. Check out the story HERE.

“Since Chairman Rangel requested that the committee investigate matters related to him, Congressman Welch has, in an abundance of caution, returned all prior campaign contributions from Mr. Rangel,” Bob Rogan, Welch's chief of staff, said in a statement quoted by The Hill. Let the record show, however, that Welch's Web site contains no mention of the Rangle refund.

What the Ethics Committee is gearing to look into are claims Rangel was living in rent-subsidized apartments in NYC that he owns, didn't report rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic that he owns and used his Congressional stationery to write fundraising letters for an education center that bears his name.

Federal Election Commission records show that Welch got three $5,000 donations from Rangel's National Leadership PAC in 2006 and 2007, and two $2,000 donations from his Rangel for Congress group in 2006 and 2007.

Sending back $19,000 to Rangel will hardly break the bank for Welch, who finished up his 2008 non-campaign for re-election with $663,313 in cash on hand.

It's the right thing for Welch to do, even if it is a bit tardy. After all, some of the claims involving Rangel have been out there for months, and the Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean's leadership sent back $100,000 to Rangel last summer.

-- Sam Hemingway

PS: Neither Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., or Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., were ever recipients of Rangel committee money.

Rangel is just another big-city dimo crook. After 8 years of a Republican President, the dims are realizing that the bank doors are wide open again, and of course nothing will ever come of their malfeasance because they now head the committees! (Look at that idiot John Conyers, head of house judiciary - with all of the white collar crime abounding in the country right now, all he is doing is continue to "investigate" the firing of 8 attorneys - not the 93 under Clinton!)Oh well, happy days are here again!
That's right the bank doors are wide open --left that way by the Repubs and their cronies as they made one last raid on the Treasury on their way out.
And who might that be? Former Clinton Treasury Sec. Robert Rubin of Citibank? Franklin Raines? Barney Frank's boyfriend over at Fanny Mae? Sen. Chris Dodd with his sweetheart loan from Nationwide? Marc Rich? Bernie Madoff? Gov. Richardson? You'll have to be more specific.
How about teh GOP mantra that we need no regulation or oversite - just let the market work!

Well, it worked great - teh big shots in all these financial companies rec'd big bonuses while the middle class is being squeezed out of existence.

I really question how anyone in the middle class could support a GOP candidate.
When John McCain tried to get some "oversight" over Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac he was rebuffed by Barny Frank who claimed there was no problems there. Result: collapse of the lending industry. (Hint - Barny is NOT a Republican)
Barney Frank holds ultimate power in Washington. Frank is more powerful than President Bush ever was.

Bush tried to stop Frank but Bush was just the President of the United States and Frank was an almighty minority Congressman. There was nothing the GOP could do to stop Barney Frank.

Whatever Barney Frank says, goes.

Obviously, all responsibility for the mortgage crisis rests with him.
Bubba can't see the forest for the trees.
Do you not think that a head of a House Committee whose party controls Congress has the power to block oversight? Interesting that EVEN NOW Frank is trying to hand $12 million to a corrupt, under-investigation bank in Boston under the guise of "bailout"! Of course it is a black-owned bank and Frank is a homosexual in an ultra-liberal administration, so I would imagine the "bailout" should have smooth sailing!
When was this control of congress you speak about? When Gingrich and his buddies were in? Through the first 6 years of the Bush administration? Thru the filibuster happy Republican minority of the last 2 years? Open your eyes and see the truth for a change. Kellogg Brown and Root, Enron, Blackwater,
corporate heads in Financial Services sector...the list goes on and on.....
As for the bailout it was Bush's Secretary of the Treasury Paulson who sold the Congress the bill of goods that they had to vote immediately on a bailout or the economy was going to collapse at 8 o'clock the following morning.Now the same people want to stop the continuation of it.
Most of the scandals like ENRON occurred during the Clinton admin. It took the Bush admin. to start prosecuting the guilty. (Ken Lay, etc.)As for "the same people that want to stop the continuation...etc.", those "same" people voted for immediate and TEMPORARY economic fixes, not trash like Harry Reid's Mobster museum or millions to ACORN or Nancy Pelosi's plan to step up the killing of babies as an "economic" device (ala Josef Mengele). Apples and Oranges.
What world do you live in? Ken Lay was Bush's personal buddy. Dems discovered the Enron scandal when he virtually broke CA on the energy scandal out there. Grey Davis lost his job as a result (unfairly) to the current governor. Bush and Co did all they could to prevent Lay from being held accountable. The stuff above about Reid and Pelosi won't be dignified with an answer it is such sick nonsense. Again what world do you live in? Certainly not in reality.
Oh I see the "temporary fix" money that was so desperately needed that Bush refused to release it without Obama asking him to do it so they could attempt to hold him responsible for the policy of Bush's Secretary of State. That temporary fix money? Or the money that went for a billion in bonuses for corporate heads and new jets for Citicorps--those emergency funds?
You are right - the Mobster museum and the plan to abort more babies as a "stimulus" for the economy ARE SICK....and also DEMOCRAT proposals! And so is the millions proposed for ACORN! Wake up, fools.
Where do you get your "news" National Inquirer or Faux News?
Read the AP. Watch CBS, ABC, or NBC. Then tell me what I have mentioned is incorrect.
Ha Ha Ha!!! Your source for the Acorn inaccuracy is Rush Limbaugh!!!
It figures.
President Bush WANTED more government oversight. He really did.

And for the 6 years that he was President and the Republicans ran the House and Senate he really wanted to put that oversight in place ... but see ... Barney Frank was just so much more powerful than the President and the Speaker of the House and the Senate leadership – more powerful than all of them COMBINED!

Barney Frank can literally do ANYTHING that he wants to do. He pretty much runs all of Washington D.C.
Uh . . . back to the topic of this thread, Charles Rangel and his PAC's donations to Welch and other politicians?

Washington DC is a disgusting cesspool of pigs feeding on intertwined private, congressional, and senatorial PACs.

Blow up Washington and start again with a rule that money DOES NOT equal speech and put severe limits on raising and spending campaign money, and impose term limits.

Oh, and kill jw.
It is interesting to see the Washington swine try to disguise their pet earmarks as necessary to bailout the economy, particularly after their messiah "promised" no earmarks in the bailout! Business as usual.
Yea, because Republican savior George Bush and the Republican Congress NEVER used earmarks.

Of course they did and it went against the grain of conservative principles. This is what happens to a party in power too long. Oh well, only 1,453 days to go and hopefully Americans will have learned a lesson THIS time!
Bubba's right. The Republicans are liars and they can't be trusted.
It's hard to argue that point.
But the Republicans have not had any power for the last 8 years.

Barney Frank has had all of the power.

So the Republicans have not lied. They were just under the thumb of Barney Frank.
Barney Frank made IBM layoff workers in Essex yesterday.
The point is......your anointed messiah has promised "no earmarks" in the big dimo bailout bill. I'm sure all of you lefties will take any of the three stooges that "represent" Vermont in Washington to task if there is even a HINT of pork or earmark sent to Vermont!

Oh yeah, has anyone seen anything from Bernie and Pat about refusing their $4,700 raise in pay yet?
Jim Douglas's pay increase is far more than $4,700.

I haven't heard you complain about that.
Douglas gets 14k for lunch.
That's Barney Frank's fault.
Signs of the times - chairman Rangel of House Ways and Means doesn't pay his taxes - gee, do you REALLY think the House is "gearing to look into" his actions? After all, Michael Moore tool and favorite Stepin' Fetchit congressman John Conyers is too busy trying to convict SOMEBODY for the selection of 8 fed attorneys (as opposed to Clinton's 93) to be bothered with a criminal like Rangel. After all, we just put another tax cheat in as TREASURY Secretary! And we now have an attorney general that pardoned FALN terrorists plus the FBI's no. 2 felon, Marc Rich! Stay tuned.
Rangel wanted to pay his taxes but Barney Frank wouldn't let him.
Guess Rangel doesn't understand the tax codes in this country. He'll make a good dimocrat Ways and Means Chairman. What next? Bernie on the Senate "Intelligence" committee? Talk about your oxyMORONS!
Markowitz for Governor
Anyone want to guess why that Denise Casey woman is so very angry? Yeah. It's that first thing that popped into your head.
Dennise Casey is always angry!
Judging from the comments on this site, that's pretty typical of Republicans in general.
Notice the deafening silence from the lefties when another one of their heros is found to be just another crook? jw? still there?
Markowitz for Governor
Racine for Lt. Gov
Charlie Rangel is still being protected by his fellow dims - as was William ("refrigerator") Jefferson for some time. He will probably be safe from any House problems as long as his fellow fool John Conyers is still spending all of his time tilting at Karl Rove windmills. Not to mention the fact that there is so much malfeasance out there now, what with Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner, Blogojevich, and the other criminals-of-the-day popping up! So many crooks, so little time!
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