NOVEMBER 08, 2007
A veteran U.S. congressman who violated House ethics rules for secretly accepting an all-expense paid family trip from a terrorist government has proposed tax legislation that will greatly benefit his campaign contributors.
Democrat New York Representative Charles Rangel, chairman of the powerful House and Ways Committee, has slipped a crucial provision into a broad tax relief bill that will halt current tax audits of Americans who get breaks for living and operating businesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Not coincidentally, many of those who will directly benefit from the new law are big time Rangel campaign donors. At least one of them, a businessman named Richard Vento, is currently under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit. Two others who will benefit from Rangel’s measure are money managers who donated thousands to the congressman last year alone.
A member of the House since 1971, Rangel has a controversial history that includes requesting millions of taxpayer dollars to name a university complex after him because having his name on the project “will bring more private donations” to existing facilities (a public service center, a conference center and library) already named after the Harlem legislator.
Last year Rangel was exposed for lying about a family trip financed by a government that for years has appeared on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist-sponsoring nations, a violation of House ethics rules. Rangel actually lied on his congressional travel disclosure forms to conceal that the Cuban government had paid for him and his family to visit the island to meet with Dictator Fidel Castro to discuss lifting U.S. trade restrictions on Havana.
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