Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Rangel’

Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • 69: Number of preliminary reviews conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics over the past two years
  • 11: Number of disciplinary actions meted out by the House ethics committee during that time
  • 10: Number of disciplinary actions meted out by the House ethics committee between 1997 and 2008, before the Office of Congressional Ethics was created

U.S. Supreme Court takes aim at Arizona clean elections law
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging Arizona’s clean elections law. Under the system, if candidates forgo private fundraising and adhere to spending limits, they can receive public money after raising a set number of $5 donations. The law permits candidates to receive extra money if their opponent spends more than a certain amount. Good government advocates worry that the Supreme Court is gearing up to once again erode laws designed to curb corporate influence of elections.

U.S. Chamber’s election spending raises eyebrows among shareholders
Investors in four corporations that sit on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – IBM, Pfizer, Pepsi and Accenture – are raising concerns about the Chamber’s political spending and agenda. Through the shareholder resolutions, investors challenged their corporate boards to review their policies relating to political expenditures. One of the resolution’s filers said in a press release that “[t]he Chamber of Commerce is an aggressively (more…)

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By Lisa Gilbert


Today’s events have put a spotlight on congressional ethics.

The same day that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to censure one if its most senior members over ethics violations, it also heard entreaties from 10 reform groups, including Public Citizen, to maintain an important ethics safeguard in the House: the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

The events highlight a broader drama unfolding in Congress. Despite some shortcomings, the OCE is vastly improving compliance to the ethics rules in Congress – and for that reason the OCE is coming under attack. The agency is in danger of being critically weakened, or even eliminated, when the new Republican majority rewrites the House ethics rules on Jan. 5.

A new Public Citizen analysis (pdf) shows a marked increase in activity by the House ethics committee in just the past two years. This activity stems in large part from the good work of the OCE, and that is why some in Congress want to shut it down. (more…)

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Charlie Rangel

Charlie Rangel from a July, 2010 photo. Flickr photo by azipayborah.

Today, a special panel of the House ethics committee has found Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) guilty on 11 of 13 ethics charges, ranging from improper solicitations of money from lobbyists and corporate officials, to illegally accepting gifts of rent-stabilized luxury apartments, to failure to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in income on congressional financial disclosure forms.

Though the ethics investigation and verdict has taken entirely too long and should have been concluded long ago, the special panel of the House ethics committee is to be applauded for finally carrying through with its mission. The committee has been under tremendous conflicting pressures from both Democrats and Republicans, as well as conflicting pressures from Rangel himself, but in the end, Chairman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and the panel decided there would be no more delays and reached a verdict. (more…)

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