Monday, June 22, 2009

PE and Hedge Funds Still at Work on Charlie Rangel

Wall Street sure took care of Eliot Spitzer. And they continue to have their sights on Charlie Rangel. Back in September '08 I wrote:

After 38 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, suddenly Congressman Charlie Rangel wakes up to almost a hit piece a week in New York City newspapers....Wall Street friends tell us that it is the hedge fund and private equity industries.The hedge fund and private equity industries have targeted Rangel because of his legislation in the House that would have taxed the earnings of hedge fund and PE managers at a 35% income tax rate, instead of the current capital gains rate they pay of 15%. Rangel's legislation for a tax increase on the fund managers passed the House 233-189, but it was blocked in the Senate. Now it's time for Rangel to experience payback..
Obviously nothing has changed since September.

Today NyPo reported
A Port Authority police lieutenant who officials believe is the niece of Rep. Charles Rangel helped spring a trio of suspected pot smugglers from jail -- just a month after trying to get a mentally ill, gun-toting Navy castoff on a flight out of JFK, The Post has learned...Smith has so far been spared serious charges from the airport shenanigans. Insiders believe she is getting lenient treatment because of her high-powered uncle, who has great influence over federal grants to the agency as dean of the New York congressional delegation, the sources said.
Charlie is fuming at this report. Elizabeth Benjamin at the Daily News takes over the story:
Rangel told the DN yesterday that not only is he not related to Smith, he’s never even heard of her. And he offered to give $1,000 of his own money to the favored charity of anyone who can prove he is related to Smith.

“It is going to be difficult for you to print this, but the only connection between that woman and me is she is a person of color,” Rangel said. “I have never heard of her, I don’t know anybody that knows her, and I don’t know why The Post would do this, except that I am a public official.”

“But...I am prepared to give a charity $1,000 if they can find any connection between this lady and me. I don’t know the woman.”

Asked a second time if he might be distantly related to Smith through blood or marriage, the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee denied any and all ties to her.

“Blood, marriage, fraternity, neighborhood - it is just as though (the Post editors) are drunk with ignorance and they wake up in the morning and say, ‘What can we make up?’” he said.

“And I don’t know how to be more forceful in saying not just how untrue it is, but how vicious it is.”
Rangel knows full well what is going on. He's a tough fish to beach, but PE and hedge funds have plenty of money to spend on this "project." It's sport to them. They really don't care if the stories are true or not.

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