Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Times Conveniently Leaves Out Details

Here's a story about U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel -- seems he has a problem with paying his "fair share" as the Dems keep saying "the rich" should do.

Best part is, the article never mentions that Rangel, under two House ethics investigations, is a Democrat.

In fact, the word "Democrat" never appears in the story.

Odd, how this rich guy keeps refusing to admit what he owns or pay taxes on it, and the fact that his party is the one complaining about the rich not paying enough to cover the poor, and the Times leaves out his affiliation.

I truly believe that if Rangel were a Republican, it would say so somewhere in the story.

Just another example of (a) shoddy writing, (b) left-wing bias or (C) both.

Here's the story:

Rangel Failed to Disclose $500,000 in Assets for ’07


United States Representative Charles B. Rangel, whose personal finances and fund-raising are the subject of two House ethics investigations, failed to report at least $500,000 in assets on his 2007 Congressional disclosure form, according to an amended report he filed this month.

Among the dozen newly disclosed holdings revealed in the amended forms are a checking account at a federal credit union with a balance between $250,0000 and $500,000; three vacant lots in Glassboro, N.J., valued at a total of $1,000 to $15,000; and stock in PepsiCo worth between $15,000 and $50,000.

The updated forms report that Mr. Rangel’s total net worth is between $1,028,024 and $2,495,000 — about twice the amount listed in the original disclosure statement, filed in May 2008, which declared assets totaling between $516,015 and $1,316,000.

Mr. Rangel declined to discuss the matter, saying he did not want to comment publicly while the investigations continue. In the past, he has explained omissions on financial statements, including his failure to declare $75,000 in rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic or pay $10,000 in taxes on it, as unintentional bookkeeping errors. A spokesman for the congressman issued a statement saying the amended disclosure forms were Mr. Rangel’s attempt to rectify recently discovered omissions in his financial reporting.

“Congressman Rangel is confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests,” said the aide, Elbert Garcia.

Republicans said that Mr. Rangel’s inaccuracies in disclosing his assets and income, along with other ethics questions, were so egregious that he should be removed from his powerful position as chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees the tax code.

“This, again, raises serious questions about whether he should continue as chairman, given the multiple ethics investigations,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Representative John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio and the House minority leader.

Two House subcommittees are investigating Mr. Rangel’s financial dealings. One is examining his failure to report, or pay taxes on, the income from the Dominican beach house; whether Mr. Rangel may have violated the ban on taking gifts worth more than $50 by accepting four rent- stabilized apartments from a Manhattan developer at a price thousands of dollars per month under market value; and whether he improperly used his Congressional office to raise money for a charity — the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service — from donors with business interests before his committee.

The other subcommittee is investigating a complaint from an ethics advocacy group that has accused Mr. Rangel and four other members of Congress of violating the restrictions on accepting travel from donors who employ lobbyists by attending a conference last November in St. Maarten. It was sponsored by Citigroup, which received billions in federal bailout money.

In his amended disclosure form, however, Mr. Rangel reported that his trip was paid for by The Carib News Foundation, which had underwritten the congressman’s travels in the past.

Ethics experts say that although members of Congress are required to fully disclose their assets, omissions do not usually result in sanctions unless they are part of an effort to deceive. But Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, said Mr. Rangel’s haphazard approach to his finances had undermined his credibility in Congress.

“Sloppy bookkeeping is not a valid excuse for a sophisticated member of Congress who is chairman of the committee that handles complex financial issues like the tax code,” she said.