You might think that for Charlie Rangel, being bestowed an honor — any honor — would come as a welcome respite from the steady stream of bad PR he’s been getting lately. But this might not be an honor that the embattled New York congressman will welcome.
Yesterday, Rangel received the Order of Jamaica, for his for “outstanding contribution in promoting the interests of Jamaica and the Caribbean,” as the Jamaican government put it in a statement.
Rangel, who chairs the House’s top tax-writing body, is under investigation by the House Ethics committee in connection with a slew of financial improprieties. One of those is that he and other lawmakers took trips to the Caribbean that were sponsored by corporate lobbyists. The trips were officially organized by a group called the Carib News Foundation, and may have violated a Congressional ban on corporate-funded travel.
Rangel has frequently been a keynote speaker at an annual Caribbean business conference, organized by Karl Rodney, the Jamaican-born businessman who founded the Carib News, a newspaper catering to Caribbean immigrants in the U.S.
It’s not clear whether Rangel is embracing the honor. A spokesman declined to comment to TPMmuckraker, saying that the office might or might not issue an official statement later this evening.