Charlie Rangel Slapped with $23,000 FEC Fine

Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has been slapped with a $23,000 fine by the FEC. He’s been in congress for 21 terms. What’s that, about four and a half decades? You’d think he’d be fully aware of election laws by now, but I’m sure he’ll just claim ignorance over his failure to report discounted rent for an apartment used as his campaign office.

Rep. Charlie Rangel has agreed to pay a $23,000 civil fine for effectively taking campaign contributions in the form of a rent-regulated apartment turned campaign office, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

An FEC letter dated Friday says that Rangel, a 21-term New York Democrat, accepted “excessive in-kind contributions” in the form of leasing a rent-stabilized Harlem apartment at a price below market rate from the property owner.

Four years ago, Rangel faced scrutiny over living in three neighboring rent-stabilized apartments on the 16th floor of a luxury building in Harlem. But the new FEC findings were instead related to a one-bedroom apartment on the 10th floor of the same building that he used as a campaign office for two of his political committees without reporting the discounted rent as a contribution. (Read More)

Not only did he violate election laws, Rangel also violated the terms of his lease, which required the apartment to be used for living purposes only. I guess he figures that since he’s a part of the ruling class, the rules don’t apply to him.

Update: My math error was corrected – long day. Thanks to Zorro in the comments for pointing it out.