Sharpton actually makes a very good, and unexpected point here – questioning why the House Ethics panel is going after Waters and Rangel, when Rangel was finished this term, and 80% of Congress is guilty of what Waters is accused of doing.
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Indeed, if you apply the standard being set for Rangel and Waters – then there would be a rather long line headed out the door before the next Congressional Session.
Now “Dollar Bill” Jefferson isn’t the only black Congressman to have business relationships with the leaders of (principally) black countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Black Congressmen have attempted to build the same sort of relationships enjoyed by their brethren with 1st and 2nd world countries. Some of those countries have run afoul of our foreign policy goals. Some of those governments are utterly corrupt.
Noticed lately how quiet the CBC has been on Haiti?
Second, there has been a growing feeling that the CBC itself is corrupt.
From 2004 to 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus’s political and charitable wings took in at least $55 million in corporate and union contributions, according to an analysis by The New York Times, an impressive amount even by the standards of a Washington awash in cash. Only $1 million of that went to the caucus’s political action committee; the rest poured into the largely unregulated nonprofit network. (Data for 2009 is not available.)
The caucus says its nonprofit groups are intended to help disadvantaged African-Americans by providing scholarships and internships to students, researching policy and holding seminars on topics like healthy living.
But the bulk of the money has been spent on elaborate conventions that have become a high point of the Washington social season, as well as the headquarters building, golf outings by members of Congress and an annual visit to a Mississippi casino resort.
In 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation spent more on the caterer for its signature legislative dinner and conference — nearly $700,000 for an event one organizer called “Hollywood on the Potomac” — than it gave out in scholarships, federal tax records show.
And – despite being 20% of the Democrats in the House – the organization doesn’t seem to wield much political weight – although a big Thank You is due to Maxine Waters for putting some teeth into the Financial Reform Bill.
But the dead elephant in the room is really…
WTF haven’t the Democrats gone after the Republican crooks who were so deeply in bed with people like the Iraq Contractors who have stolen HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of American Taxpayer dollars?
Or the guys wrapped around the Health Care companies penises?
I understand the need to remake the CBC into something more responsible to it’s constituency…
But in such a “Target Rich” environment – I find it hard to believe that is the only thing the House Ethics Committee can do is go after the members of the CBC.
Makes you wonder if these guys find walking and chewing gum at the same time difficult.