Friday, July 30, 2010

I don't care what anyone says Charles Rangel did.

I really don't.

Back in the late 1980's I was working on my Masters in Social Welfare from SUNY Stony Brook I interned at the Central American Refugee Center. They were (and are) a legal aid organization. At the time they mainly provided legal aid to people from El Salvador who were applying for political asylum. It was a tough job because the government of El Salvador was being propped up by he CIA. So the people we were helping were fleeing the government that was our ally.

I observed a trial once. I got there early and sat in the observation area. There were two other men in the court room and they were both bemoaning the fact that their copy machine was broken. It turned out they were the judge and the US Attorney. The shared a copy machine. I was only a first year grad student but I knew that was fishy.

Then our client walked in. He was wearing a suit and was accompanied by a translator and his lawyer. He testified that in El Salvador he was a member of a law firm that represented members of the resistance. He said that his live was threatened, he family members and business partners were killed or "disappeared". He lifted up his shirt and showed the court his scars from where he was shot. He further testified that he believed with all his heart that if he returned to El Salvador he would be killed.

The government attorney asked him one question. "What are you doing in the United States to support yourself?" He replied that he was washing dishes. The judge immanently ruled that he was an economic refugee and should be deported.

The bullets that shot him and the paper for that broken copy machine were both paid for by the same organization; The George Herbert Walker Bush Regime. I figured that out too.

Anyway, my job at the Central American Refugee Center was to create a document that summarized what governmental benefits were available to people in various strati of "documentation". For example, if an "illegal alien" is injured while working "illegally" he is still entitled to Workman's Compensation, or if laid off can still get unemployment benefits. I present this information to groups that were providing support to the refugee population. (The yet to be born Tea Party jerks would have really loved me.)

So one Tuesday or Thursday when I came to the Hempstead office I noticed things were a little tidier. Instead of the usually hello, I was greeted with "Oh, we forgot you were coming today, put another chair around the conference table and join us for the meeting. So i sat at the end and still noticed that there were two empty seats. Then in walks Congressman Charles Rangel, and his aid.

Sitting next to Charles Rangel was not the big deal. The BIG DEAL was that the entire meeting happened in SPANISH and when Mr Rangel realized that I did not speak Spanish he kept me in the loop without disrupting the meeting. Yes, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee translated a two hour meeting for me, a lowly intern.

That is why he will get reelected even if he is in jail.


  1. He translated spanish so you love him. The money he stole from you and your children is OK. The tea party people and you coffee are done . Sooner then leter the moderrites and independents will take over.

  2. He did not steal much. It is about not paying taxes, not declaring some contributions and using a rent control apt for the personal reasons. There was no link to him selling is influence or taking bribes. He represents his community well and gets a lot of things done.

  3. "He didn't steal much." So, is that what you are going to teach your children, that it's OK to steal, just don't steal much?

    Your comments sent me searching for concrete information about Rangel. There are 13 charges against him. Included are the charges indicated below, from Friday's "The Hill."

    "The ethics investigatory subcommittee accused Rangel Thursday of improperly using his office to solicit donations for a school of public policy in his name at the City College of New York; of using a rent-stabilized apartment in Harlem for his campaign office; of failing to report more than $600,000 on his financial disclosure report; and of failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic."

    Granted, these are charges, not convictions, and Rangel is entitled to defend himself. But, it's not small change, we're talking about, but serious dollars. And, it's great ammunition for the Republicans in their fall campaigns.

    Defend him if you must, but, please, don't use as a defense that "he didn't steal much."

  4. What I am saying is people (like myself) will look at what he has done for them, and their community. He has played a part in making Harlem a great neighborhood. The people who live in his district will vote for him even if he is in prison. I don't think he was changed with taking money for influence, that would be worse.

  5. I go to the bank for the store that I wokk for. The deposits are small as most are paid by credit card. I don't steal as it is only a few hhundred $ at most. If I had a $1,000,000.00 or more I will think about it.

  6. What did he do for YOU but translate. Did he do any thing for thr NYC schools, transit, hospitals etc.
    They did that here in Florida. The Mayer of a city was convictes, the governor through him out the ididiots who he stole from rereelected him and the Gov. though him out agan.

  7. I just don't expect our elected officials (or our religious leaders) to have better morals than any of us. That would lead to disappointment and frustration.


    He who live in a glass house should not throw rocks.

    and "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." - George Orwell.

  8. That's a cool story, Chicken.

    I am not up with the news at all, living in my little cave. I'll have to read up on what's going on. You've piqued my interest.

  9. you do have talent mike,but when you write anything political,you really are a wacko.ill stick to reading anything you post non political.and for the record,no i wall not be friends with you on,you know who


You do not have to be nice!


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