New York Rep. Charles Rangel insists he failed to pay taxes on rental income and improperly solicited donations out of ignorance, not corrupt motives.
It’s a question that appears to matter quite a bit to Rep. Rangel (D) of New York himself. And well it might – if the public at large begins to think of him as corrupt and sleazy, as opposed to sloppy and careless, his legacy will be even more diminished after decades of public service.
And it perhaps he would find it harder to look at himself in the mirror in the morning.
That is why at his punishment hearing on Tuesday Rangel admitted that he had done wrong in such matters as failing to pay taxes on rental income earned from his Dominican Republic beach villa, and soliciting donations for the Charles Rangel Center for Public Service – but that his actions had been inadvertent.
“I had no intent to evade or avoid the law,” Rangel told a hearing of the full House Ethics Committee.