Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rangel Brings Home Bacon To CCNY

Imagine a politician managing to get $3 million in grant money for a program that the Pentagon doesn't even want. Now, imagine the uproar over such wasteful spending.

Where's the outrage when this politician happens to be none other than Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who happened to steer the $3 million grant to the City College of New York (CCNY), where he's already directed millions of dollars to his namesake program:
Two years after creating a center in his own name at City College, Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel has come through with a $3 million defense grant for the school -- for a project the Pentagon doesn't even want, The Post has learned.

The $3 million cash infusion is going to an existing academic department, rather than to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at CCNY, a $30 million project that will immortalize Rangel's name and house his papers when he retires. Rangel had previously arranged $2 million in taxpayer funds for the center.

The latest piece of congressional pork is to fund research into new composite materials that could be used to protect Army trucks from attack. The grant is tucked into the massive Defense Appropriations Bill moving through Congress.

Word of the funding comes as the House is set to vote today on a Republican-backed resolution to strip Rangel of his Ways and Means Committee chair pending an ethics investigation, after revelations that he didn't disclose income on multiple properties, as well as failure to pay taxes and other issues.

The Pentagon doesn't want the research money, but Rangel got the funding anyway by getting the Appropriations Committee to direct the cash to CCNY.
A Long Island company hired a lobbyist to push for this spending, and Rangel obliged, even though the Pentagon wasn't interested.

How exactly is that fiscally responsible?

House Republicans again attempted to get rid of Rangel as chairman of the Ways and Means committee, but fell short in their latest effort.
Despite the expected defeat Wednesday, the GOP did keep the spotlight on the New York Democrat's ethical problems, although the matter will be turned over to the House ethics committee for a long-term investigation. The House voted 246-153 to refer the resolution to remove him to that panel in a partisan vote that had no meaning except to revisit Rangel's problems.
This whole mess has been in the hands of the ethics committee for months now. They've dragged their feet on the matter, and Pelosi has demurred in taking action.

House Democrats are protecting a corrupt fellow Democrat; they'd much prefer swimming in the corruption instead of draining the swamp.

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