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What punishment would you have given Rep. Rangel?

The House of Representatives voted 333-79 to censure Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) today. This is the first time in nearly 30 years that the House considered a motion to punish one of its own with censure.

By Ryan Kellett  |  December 2, 2010; 5:51 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Rangel makes the claim that he didn't enrich himself with his illegal actions. What exactly does he think failure to declare income and pay taxes on that income is? Any of the rest of us would be standing in a federal court with the charge of tax evasion. This slim ball should be kicked out of the House.

Posted by: mtrobt | December 2, 2010 6:35 PM

He's not a slime ball, he is a war hero. The IRS is not litigating any of the tax issues. These were infractions of due diligence and he deserves at least a reprimand and at most a censure.

Posted by: astroland | December 2, 2010 6:41 PM

The 79 who voted against must think that his conduct was ok. I would immediately begin an investigation into their financial affairs also! Long term law makers seem to get the idea that the laws do not pertain to their own conduct.

Posted by: roger26 | December 2, 2010 7:05 PM

Reprimand should have been an option in your survey. That possibility would have been my vote.

Posted by: LocalReader1 | December 2, 2010 9:29 PM

Rangle is a war hero by his own staff biography. There is no official evidence that he did anything more than serve in the army.

He should have been ejected -- but Congress is very loathe to punish a colleague.

Posted by: JPMcC | December 2, 2010 9:35 PM

A criminal is a criminal. Rangel should be tried in a court of law, and then the other 400 plus criminals in Congress should be tried.

Posted by: shred11 | December 2, 2010 9:46 PM

So,what Corrupt Crooked Criminal Democrat
Congressman Charlie Rangel and others like
him in Congress deserve is Expulsion from
Congress and nice long jail terms. And it
is high time Democrat House Minority Leader
and Big Time Illegal Alien Employer Federal
Immigration Law Violator Nancy Pelosi face
Expulsion from Congress and jail time as well. Vote These Dirtbags Out in 2012!

Posted by: TammyLong1985 | December 2, 2010 11:48 PM

Rangel is a practiced long term cheat, crook, fraud, liar and a swindler. He is a mirror of the District which elected him. He belongs in prison.

Posted by: npsilver | December 3, 2010 12:38 AM

I would ask for the same punishment that would apply to me or the average citizen; Jail time and monetary punishment. Congress however has long felt themselves above the law and not responsible to the public or the law. How can the people continue to reelect people who claim they are too incompetent to take care of their own business but claim to know what is needed to run the country; Politicians who regulate the economy of this country but can't seem to balance their own checkbook or do their own taxes. So Rangel is a "war hero",(If he actually was one) so what. One of the greatest fighter pilots of this country (a Republican, Randy Cunningham, a congressman) went to jail for his criminal tax acts. Being a citizen requires you to obey the laws and pay your taxes; unless of course you are a politician or one of the presidents cabinet. Try telling the IRS you're too stupid to fill out your tax forms.

Posted by: adamsleretired | December 3, 2010 6:43 AM

Force him to listen to the collected speeches of Fidel Castro (average for each one: 3 to 4 hours), for a taste of his own endless, rambling medicine. Then the Complete Series of Jersey Shore DVD's, for the punishment angle, to make sure he never does it again.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | December 3, 2010 7:57 AM

This is nothing new under the sun, all throughout history Congress cheat, steal and lie. TammyLong you reek of Republican, the bible says he without sin cast the first stone. Are you so above everybody that you can judge. We didn't tar and feather the Bushs and they ran the country economically into the ground not to mention the latter Bush stole the presidencey we didn't hold that against them. Just pray for your government instead of backlashing them.

Posted by: marian_dunn | December 3, 2010 8:40 AM

The appropriate punishment would have been a reprimand. It is pathetic that the Post didn't put that as an option in this poll.

Posted by: bobmoses | December 3, 2010 9:06 AM

Imprisonment for hiding income, tax evasion, lying, and changing his Puerto Rican name...

Posted by: marcnmmi | December 3, 2010 9:10 AM

To paraphrase Mark Twain, "using facts and figures it probably could be shown there is no distinct American criminal class except for Congress".

Posted by: jckdoors | December 3, 2010 9:15 AM

Seriously! Why is the man still representing our nation?

Posted by: forgetthis | December 3, 2010 10:19 AM

Whether Rangel got favored treatment by the IRS from his tax evasion is an open question and the media doesn't even address the issue.

Perhaps they do deserve the "lamestream media" sobriquet.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 3, 2010 10:35 AM

Failure to include "Reprimand" which is by far the most common sanction imposed on house members betrays the lack of objectivity on the part of Washington Post on the issue.

Posted by: sebe | December 3, 2010 10:58 AM

Given the nature of political crimes; this is extremely small potatoes! Every Senator is more guilty on a daily basis and every Congress person is slimy by nature! Just because his crimes are in the thousands that we can actually envision rather the typical Millions and even Billions is no reason to murder the poor guy! He is a petty crook in the land of crooks like the Hammer, the Bushes, the Cheney's, the "K" street crowd, the McShame and Lieberman! Let him keep his pennies!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | December 3, 2010 11:13 AM

Reprimand should have been included in choices. When we compare Rangel's to criminal activity of Tom Delay it's ludicrous for the House to impose censure.

Posted by: jburik | December 3, 2010 11:18 AM

If by impeachment you mean removal from office, you should have phrased it as such. "Impeachment" means simply an accusation.

Removal from office is the choice I was looking for. Rangel is 80 and has a reputation for corruption. It's time for him to go home and enjoy retirement.

Posted by: bucinka8 | December 3, 2010 11:44 AM

He needs to join the ranks of the unemployed.

Posted by: whocares666 | December 3, 2010 12:10 PM

Seriously! Why is the man still representing our nation?
I've wondered the same thing about Marion Barry. Those two are still in office for the same reason: despite being scumballs, their constituency loves them. I don't get it.

Posted by: bucinka8 | December 3, 2010 12:32 PM

I'd be more interested in leniency if he had shown even a shred of remorse - or even any recognition that he had done wrong.

I accept that investigations are not always reliable. But here he seems not to dispute the facts - just their propriety.

Posted by: EvilOverlord | December 3, 2010 1:06 PM

I would have given him a spanking, tied him to a chair, and forced him to listen to Justin Bieber music for 4 or 5 hours.

He'd emerge a new man.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | December 3, 2010 2:41 PM

"Failure to include 'Reprimand' which is by far the most common sanction imposed on House members betrays the lack of objectivity on the part of Washington Post on the issue."
Amen, Sebe.
Notice nothing happened to Ensign, who paid off the husband of his mistress with a job which violated the rules of the Senate regarding lobbying jobs; notice nothing has happened to Vitter, who frequents prostitutes like a drug addict frequents his supplier.
No action on either of above.
What Charlie Rangel did does not rise to that level.
Thank you for making that point.
Yes, he's 80; he needs to retire now, but his voters reelect him because he continues to serve Harlem as a strong voice for the people.
This censure vote was entirely too harsh.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 3, 2010 6:12 PM

Steal a little they throw you in jail, steal a lot they make you a king.
King Charles continue to reign.

Posted by: michaelhunt277 | December 3, 2010 6:15 PM

"To paraphrase Mark Twain:
'Using facts and figures it probably could be shown there is no distinct American criminal class except for Congress' ".
Rangel committed no crime.
Otherwise, he would have been prosecuted.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 3, 2010 6:18 PM

"Rangel is a practiced long term cheat, crook, fraud, liar and a swindler.
He is a mirror of the District which elected him.
He belongs in prison."
Oh, really?
Prove it.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 3, 2010 6:47 PM

Please tell me what does "censure" actually do to or for Rep Rangel? Seems to me nothing that prevents him from doing what he did again. this is a joke!

Posted by: calkid1 | December 3, 2010 9:36 PM

censure, so what? A cheat, crook or criminal lets this roll off his back. Why waste taxpayer time and money with this grandstanding facade by all concerned?

Posted by: calkid1 | December 3, 2010 9:40 PM

To Judy in Texas:

It doesn't have to be proven. The ethics committee already said so in their report. If the common citizen had done what Rangel did they would be in prison. Being in Congress shouldn't change that.

Also, it isn't nice to call people names. Grow up and act like an adult or don't post at all if you can't be civil.

Posted by: Janice11 | December 4, 2010 3:15 PM

Rangel is a practiced long term cheat, crook, fraud, liar and a swindler. He is a mirror of the District which elected him. He belongs in prison.

Posted by: npsilver | December 3, 2010 12:38 AM


Insert all of 434 (heck, let's make it 534 - add the Senate too) other names for the first word, and that comment would be as equally 100% true.

Posted by: mssnatchquatch | December 5, 2010 2:45 PM

One hopes that the City University of New York will take note of what Rangel's own colleagues think of him. The "papers" of this liar and thief have about as much value as those bearing the "Charmin" label.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou414 | December 5, 2010 10:55 PM

I would make Rangel watch Sarah Palin interviews. No wait....that would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Posted by: JimZ1 | December 6, 2010 4:11 AM

He should have his rank reduced to private as if he was a freshman representative and no chairmanships

Posted by: amielu | December 6, 2010 4:15 AM

Free Wesley Snipes!

He’s paid his tax, the interest, the penalty. What is the point of putting him in jail? Wesley Snipes poses no threat to society. He committed no act of violence.

He did not steal anyone's money or property. He simply got a little over aggressive trying to keep the fruits of his own labor. Let’s have some perspective here.

Clueless Comrade Barry’s Chicago mansion has an $800,000 side yard courtesy of convicted felon Tony Resko. Now if this wasn't a political payoff, how else could Resko possibly benefit after deeding Comrade Barry a strip of land just large enough to make the remaining parcel too small to obtain a permit to build on? You tell me.

Comrade Barry gets a side yard, doesn’t even have to pay the property tax. I can see that benefit. But where is the benefit to Resko? Who buys an $800,000 building lot they can’t build on? Why would anyone do that? There is only one answer: It was a payoff for political favors past, present or future.

Comrade Barry should be wearing the orange jumpsuit, not Wesley Snipes.

And just why is Charlie Rangel complaining? He’s still drawing a salary and will soon draw a pension for life for his “service” in Congress while Wesley Snipes goes to jail – for lesser violations of the tax code.

One set of laws for politicians… another for the rest of us… whatever happened to liberty and justice for all?

Posted by: LePauvrePapillon | December 6, 2010 4:25 AM

Why does someone always resort to comparing a person's wrongdoing to another individual. An individual who commits a wrong or wrongs must stand on their own two feet and be judged accordingly. This should apply to all people and preferential treatment should play absolutely no part in deciding what,if any, punishment is deserved. This applies to members of congress as well as to any ordinary individual in our society. Members of congress and other elected officials at the federal, state and local level should maintain the highest level of integrity possible. Based on what has been reported that Rangel committed, he should have been removed from office. It is an insult to what little intelligence I have for someone in his position to claim he did not know he was violating the laws established. I have always been taught that ignorance of the law is not excuse.

Posted by: thejohndeerman | December 6, 2010 5:15 AM

Shame on those who didn't vote to censure Rangel. Rangel is a criminal. When is he going to prison?

Posted by: t1123 | December 6, 2010 6:38 AM

Given that Chuck Rangel is a black man, I think he should be made to apologize incessantly with acts a attrition like Michael Vick has been made to do over his "dog fighting" incident. He should be made to grovel on hands and knees and confess his misdeeds over and over again and give speeches to young black kids about doing things that upset those who practice white supremacy. Rangel should not be treated like politicians who do the same or worse than he's done.

Posted by: demtse | December 6, 2010 7:24 AM

Seventeen years not reporting income. Hmm, maybe he should join Snipes in jail for the same offense. Nothing will happen..his district will still be electing him after he is dead.Congress, what a joke!

Posted by: dhinds2 | December 6, 2010 11:10 AM

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