Hit by Ethics Charges, Charlie Rangel Faces a New Challenge

Charles-Rangel-NY-Harlem-Congressman.jpgOne thing you can say for sure about New York Congressman Charles Rangel.  He is no quitter.

"I am not going away," the 80-year-old politician recently told House colleagues.

"You're not going to tell me to resign (just) to make you feel comfortable."

Rangel's remarks came as he once again defended himself against the House Ethics Committee's 13 charges. The charges call Rangel's "pattern of indifference or disregard for the laws, rules, and regulations of the United States and the House of Representatives...a serious violation."

Among the charges is one that Rangel allegedly failed to declare "his ownership of vacant lots in New Jersey" and neither disclosed nor paid taxes on rental income from a Dominican condo. All told, the Committee stated, Rangel "brought discredit to the House."

Michel-J-Faulkner.jpgRangel has represented his Harlem constituency for 40 years. Many have tried to unseat him over that span and all have failed.

Now comes Michel J. Faulkner, a 53-year-old ordained Baptist minister and former Virginia Tech All-American footballer  who seeks to unseat Rangel - as a Republican.

If elected, Faulkner told a press conference he would gather entrepreneurs and ask them for their advice on reinvigorating the economy. "The problem is that bureaucrats are trying to create jobs," Faulkner says. "They know nothing about creating jobs."

"Wouldn't it be nice if the poor kicked the liberals out of their lives?" Faulkner quips. "Imagine if they told them: 'We don't want you to be our pimps anymore."'

Faulkner wants to reverse four decades of Rangel's big-government activism. Faulkner signed Americans for Tax Reform's "no new taxes" pledge. He also decried the death tax, which is set to skyrocket from 0 to 55 percent in 2011.

George-Steinbrenner.jpg"If the late (New York Yankees owner) George Steinbrenner had died next January," Faulkner says, "his family would have to sell the Yankees just to pay the death tax."

"Friends of mine have told me, 'I love you. I believe in you. But I just cannot vote Republican,'"  the six-foot-three Faulkner is quoted as saying in The Huffington Post.

If these and his Republican and Conservative Party votes compose a plurality, he becomes Harlem's new pro-market conservative congressman, The Post notes.

Come Nov. 2, can Faulkner, a Republican, depose Rangel, a Democrat, in one of the country's heaviest roost of Democratic voters?

We think not.  What do you think?

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