Congressional candidate Richard Hanna today called on Congressman Michael Arcuri to return donations from embattled Congressman Charles Rangel, D-NY, and join him in calling for Rangel to step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel is embroiled in three separate investigations by the House Ethics Committee, and has balked at calls for his resignation as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Hanna said he believes Mr. Rangel's errors have compromised his credibility and he should step down. He challenged Arcuri to join him in calling for Rangel's resignation.
Now the New York Times has echoed that call:
Mounting embarrassment for taxpayers and Congress makes it imperative that Representative Charles Rangel step aside as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee while his ethical problems are investigated.
This recommendation does not come easily, considering the New York Democrat’s four decades of service in Congress. But Mr. Rangel himself has felt obliged to request three separate House ethics inquiries of his behavior. While denying serious improprieties, Mr. Rangel concedes that he has not lived up to the “higher standard” expected of members of Congress.
His latest admission is that as chief of Congress’s tax-writing committee, he was “irresponsible” in failing to disclose $75,000 in rental income and pay federal and state taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic.
Mr. Arcuri has refused to comment on the matter, much less return the thousands of dollars in political contributions he's accepted from the corrupt Rep. Rangel. Earlier this morning he was scheduled to make on appearance on WIBX's "First Look" program to answer questions on the matter, but a "scheduling conflict" prevented his appearance. Oddly enough, as the hosts of the program discovered when they attempted to carry out the interview over the phone, that "conflict" also shut down his cell phone.
Update: An anonymous emailer claims that Mr. Arcuri's "scheduling conflict" happened because he spent part of the morning shooting a political ad with either or both Sen. Clinton and former Congressman Boehlert. Take that for what it's worth.