October 18, 2007

Monument To Me Amendment Today

In the world of pork-barrel politics, some porkers are pikers -- compared to Charlie Rangel.

Charles Rangel has built himself a name in his long years representing Harlem in Congress — and now he wants to put that name on a few buildings at taxpayer expense. Rangel has proposed earmarks to fund the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service, the Rangel Conference Center, and the Charles Rangel Library at CCNY, which amount to $2 million in self-aggrandizement. The ultimate in vanity projects might get torpedoed today by a Senate amendment, if Jim DeMint gets his way.

At Heading Right, I note that DeMint will likely get a vote on an amendment today that would strip the $2 million in earmarks for Charlie's "Monument to Me". Passage of the amendment would send a message to Congress that our tax money is not meant for the self-aggrandizement of the public servants on Capitol Hill. If Rangel wants a plush office at CCNY, then let him find his own money for it, and not mine.

Here's a CBS report on the Monument to Me from last month:


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Comments (14)

Posted by I R A Darth Aggie | October 18, 2007 8:40 AM

How many "Robert C. Byrd (insert building/highway/bridge)" items exist? Rep. Rangel may be audacious, but he is playing catchup.

Posted by NoDonkey | October 18, 2007 8:43 AM

How about the Charles B. Rangel Memorial Outhouse and Stinkpit?

That's a project worthy of the name "Rangel". When one thinks of places to deposit human waste and other stinky refuse, one thinks "Rangel".

This is an effort both sides of the aisle should be able to back.

Posted by obladioblada | October 18, 2007 8:52 AM

Byrd has at least 30 public works projects named after him in WVA. Just driving through the state is nauseating.


Posted by John Wilson | October 18, 2007 8:59 AM

Rangel's real issue is that he wants to raise taxes in a ginormous way. I'm smelling a little "Get Whitey" in it and I hope he can be derailed in all of his dreams.

Posted by rbj | October 18, 2007 10:10 AM

I'd be in favor of a rule that you have to be dead for ten years before you get anything named after you. Not gonna hold my breath on that one though.

Posted by quickjustice | October 18, 2007 10:14 AM

As a New Yorker, I can tell you that Charlie Rangel is mostly remembered here in NYC as an accessory after the fact to the 1972 murder of police officer Philip Cardillo at a Nation of Islam mosque in Harlem. From Fred Siegel's "The Prince of the City": Together with Louis Farrakhan, Rangel "used the threat of riot to force the police to back off and release the prisoners who had been taken into custody for Cardillo's murder".

He also is remembered for creating and operating the "Harlem Machine" (Harlem Urban Development Corporation) by controlling the antipoverty funds coming into Harlem. From Fred Siegel at 197: "Over time, " explains veteran nonprofit investor Kathryn Wylde, "The government displaced the private sector [in Harlem] and destroyed any semblance of a free market economy."

Finally, Rangel is known for a "high profile scandal in which Rangel and his cronies had mismanaged Harlem's famed Apollo Theater into near bankruptcy." Siegel at 232.

Compared to Rangel's earlier scams, this is small change.

Posted by NoDonkey | October 18, 2007 10:23 AM

"I'd be in favor of a rule that you have to be dead for ten years before you get anything named after you."

So how would this disqualify the Byrd monuments?

And it seems the monuments to Harry Reid have been delayed for a decade. Those Nevadians better get on the ball.

Posted by Jazz | October 18, 2007 10:48 AM

Well, your timing certainly stinks. Now you tell us. Between all the money I sank into Enron stock this summer and, now, my donations to the Charles Rangel Institute for the Advancement of Charles Rangel, the wife is going to skin me alive.

Posted by Howard Hirsch | October 18, 2007 11:29 AM

Figures there would be a Charles Rangel Library at CCNY. My alma mater has so soiled itself over the years that one more insult won't really make a difference. I try to avoid telling anyone I went there as an undergrad and focus on my grad school experience instead.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | October 18, 2007 12:36 PM

Great article by David Freddoso in NRO.


He contends that Republicans should show the discipline to force the retirement of ethically challenged incumbents and make way for new, more viable candidates. Specifically, the names Reps. Don Young (R., Alaska) and John Doolittle (R., Calif.) are front and foremost. I would add Sen. Ted Stevens to the list because it is time to retire the strongest supporter of the "Bridge to Nowhere" and his tacky Incredible Hulk tie.

There are few defenders of the likes of Young, Doolittle or Stevens, so why not send them home with a set of new golf clubs and a kick in the rear?

Posted by FedUp | October 18, 2007 12:48 PM

Did anyone tell Nancy about this? I'm sure she'd be anxious to correct this travesty under the new 'transparency' regime or 'reducing earmarks' program. Geez! Make a rule that in order to have something named after you, you have to be buried in the foundation!

Posted by Sharpshooter | October 18, 2007 5:54 PM

Re: Quickjustice's post and adding Ray Nagin to the equation:

I find it amusing that his constituents and their ilk remain mired in poverty and crime and just can't fathom WHY.

No wonder so much of Harlem and the parts of Africa that they still run is a world class s&$@hole.

Rascist? No. There are too many exceptions. Culture? Yes, that vacuum between their ears.

Posted by Ray in Mpls | October 18, 2007 7:18 PM

Has anyone noticed the irony here? The same people who want to spend millions of dollars trying to get more minorities into politics will also spend millions, and even tens of millions, more trying to prevent those newcomers from unseating them in an election.

Posted by Googootz | October 19, 2007 6:54 AM

Perhaps the savings from scrapping those earmarks could go toward funding for the expanded SCHIP.

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