Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel has been admonished by the House ethics committee for accepting trips to the Caribbean funded by corporate interests. For his part, Rangel blames the trip on his aides. In the coming weeks Democrats will have to decide what to do about Rangel, who chairs the powerful Committee on Ways and Means. How will this unfold?
- The Investigation Continues, writes Mark Silva at the Chicago Tribune: "The committee still is looking at the congressman's use of official stationery to raise money for a college center in his name as well as his belated financial disclosure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unreported assets and income. Those included a federal credit union account worth between $250,001 and $500,000; a Merrill Lynch account between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds and $30,000 to $100,000 in rent from a residential building in New York."
- Pelosi Has a Decision to Make, writes Allahpundit at Hot Air: "The true glory of this story is that it’s a total clusterfark for Pelosi, who’ll now be squeezed on one side by Republicans demanding his removal from the Ways and Means Committee and on the other by the Congressional Black Caucus demanding that he remain in office. What’s a racially 'progressive' Speaker who’s worried about her party’s image ahead of the midterms to do?"
- Dems Could Lose the House, writes Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic:
One Democratic House strategist, who consults with the leadership and works directly with several candidates, said that the Rangel news "loses us the House" because it provides Republicans with an effective talking point. This strategist has complained for months that the longer it took Pelosi to lance the boil, the more unshaky the House majority would become.
- Don't Forget the Swank Apartment, writes Politico's staff writers: "The committee is continuing to investigate several other matters involving Rangel, including one involving his use of a rent-controlled apartment in New York and another involving allegations that he used his congressional office to raise funds for a New York research center that bears his name."