Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), in a campaign speech today in which he (again) defended himself against charges by the House ethics committee, said a middle finger well represents how he feels about the charges, the press and, indeed, the whole process.
And Rangel liked it. Today, while excoriating both the ethics committee for not setting a date for his hearing and the press for how they’ve covered the charges, Rangel said Dinkins’ gesture “really expressed my view of the whole mess.”
“I cannot imagine who is not entitled to a hearing of the vicious charges of corruption that have been — ” he began. “As a matter of fact, I think Mayor Dinkins really expressed my view of the mess last night, in sharing with the people that said, ‘Resign,’ ‘Corrupt,’ and all of those things. I can’t find a better way to say it.”
The ethics committee has charged the Harlem Democrat with 13 violations, alleging that he improperly raised money for an educational center and inappropriately used four rent-controlled apartments in New York, in addition to failing to report certain income.
Rangel maintains that he did nothing corrupt, and has become increasingly vocal in his own defense. Yesterday, he spoke on the House floor for half an hour in a rambling speech during the body’s special session to pass a state aid package.
Ed. note: This post and its headline have been revised from the original.