August 4th, 2010
12:46 PM ET
13 years ago

Their trouble with Charlie

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Ten House Democrats have called for embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel to resign."]Washington (CNN) - The ethical complaints against Rep. Charlie Rangel have caused enough anxiety among House Democrats that ten caucus members have called for his resignation.

Although those ten members come from red states, blue states and swing states, the similarities among them are striking. While Rangel is popular on Capitol Hill, his history with these representatives is short - all rode into Congress on the 2006 and 2008 Democratic tidal waves. Six were elected in 2006, in the wake of Abramoff, DeLay and Foley Republican scandals with the Democratic House leader, future Speaker Nancy Pelosi, promising to "drain the swamp" of corruption.

The four members of the 2008 class came to Congress on the coattails of President Obama, who bragged repeatedly during the campaign about his work to pass "the toughest ethics reform legislation since Watergate" with promises of "transparency and accountability."

But beyond those campaign promises, or perhaps because of those promises, the looming Rangel trial in the fall weighs heavily on their electoral fortunes. According to the CNN 100 list of embattled House seats, eight of the ten members are in electoral trouble. Five were ranked as "Most Vulnerable." Those incumbents include: Rep. Mike Arcuri (New York), Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (Arizona), Rep. Walt Minnick (ID) and Rep. Zack Space (Ohio). Two others, Reps. Debbie Halvorson (Illinois) and Patrick Murphy (Pennsylvania), are on the less perilous "Races to Watch" bottom half of the list.

Additionally, Rep. Paul Hodes (New Hampshire) is in a tight race to fill retiring Republican Senator Judd Gregg's seat.

Only two of the Democratic representatives calling for Rangel's head won re-election in 2008 with large margins and do not appear on CNN's list. They are Reps. Betty Sutton (Ohio) and John Yarmuth (Kentucky).

Filed under: Charlie Rangel
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Margaret Anderson/Boise, Idaho

    If these allegations are indeed true, then Charlie Rangel should do the right thing. If this is purely political, then no. sometimes when these folks are in there too long the truth begins to blur for them. I see a real need for term limits. There is for President, why not for Senators and Representatives?

    August 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. MikeH

    Agreed, Rangel is 'dirty' and should resign.

    The Democrats have set an excellent example of integrity calling for the resignation. Recall if you will how the Republicans tried to (somehow) blame the Democrats for Mark Foley's cyber-molestation of underage male pages, and tried to blame the Democrats for the Jack Abramoff scandal. Both situations were so egregious that even CNN couldn't go along with the cover-up back then.

    Today we have the Vitter, Ensign, Gibbons, and Sanford scandals, all fare dirtier than Rangel's, but all being 'forgiven' or ignored, with the exception of Ensign who is under investigation by the Justice department/FBI.

    If you are Republican Governor, you can illegally spend state funds, abandon your state, wife, and children for a South American mistress, lie about it, and all is forgiven by the Republican party, plus not outrage in the media.

    Pretty cool huh?

    August 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. JES

    Just get out put him in jail where he belongs.

    Don't stop with him get all the bums out.

    August 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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