Representative Charles Rangel is making news in Washington as the most embarrassed political figure of 2010. Rangel is a democrat from New York and he has recently been busted for impropriety and misconduct in his financial dealings through fundraising. The ethics committee has pushed for censure, which is the worst consequence Rangel could encounter except for total expulsion. In Washington, censure is synonymous with a public tongue lashing from those in the top of the nation’s chain of command.
When the ethics committee convened to determine the severity of Rangel’s misconduct, nine out of ten members voted for censure as the consequence. They also suggested that he pay the taxes he had avoided paying. The debate lasted three hours before the censure recommendation was presented.
Prior to these events, Rangel issued a public apology for his actions and insisted that he was not simply a dirty politician. He defended his character while admitting to his poor choices. Still, the committee was confident in their decision to hold him to the worst possible consequence beyond expulsion. Rather than a fine or a reprimand, censure will make an example out of his dishonest gain.
Upon hearing the news, Charles Rangel needed a few minutes to regain his composure before speaking out. Again, he asked for the mercy of the committee in recognizing his motives as pure. The decision was not wavered as seventeen years of avoided taxes points to a bit more than an oversight, but blatant dishonesty and unpatriotic avoidance of personal responsibility.