He’s a powerful Congressman from a different state, but House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Chares Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the issue du jour in New Jersey’s two competitive House races.
Rangel helped raise a lot of money for Democrats Linda Stender and John Adler with a fundraiser and PAC donations. Now that he’s under fire for several allegedly unethical practices, cash strapped Republicans Leonard Lance and Chris Myers think their more well-off Democratic counterparts should give the Rangel-related money back.
This isn’t the first time that Republicans have raised Rangel as a campaign issue. But the recent editorial by the New York Times calling for Rangel to step down from his committee chairmanship has made it relevant once again to the Myers and Lance campaigns.
“In 2006, Stender called on her opponent to return campaign contributions from members of Congress under ethical clouds. Yet despite reports of Rangel’s tax evasion and ethical woes, Linda Stender refuses to comment and continues to keep Rangel’s more than $71,000 in dirty campaign contributions,” said Lance for Campaign Manager Amanda Woloshen. “Voters want to know how many ethics investigations against Charlie Rangel will it take before Linda Stender condemns his actions and gives back his dirty money?”
Rangel’s National Leadership PAC has donated about $10,000 to Stender during this election cycle, while his campaign committee has tossed $4,000 her way. Rangel also hosted a New York City fundraiser last month that Lance’s campaign claims raised over $50,000 for Stender
Adler has also received $10,000 from Rangel’s PAC and $4,000 from his campaign committee.
A Myers campaign press release also said that Adler should return Rangel's money.
Stender and Adler each have well over $1 million in the bank. Returning Rangel’s money wouldn’t make much of a dent.
The Stender campaign responded with the tried and true anti-Bush attack, noting that the President is coming to the Garden State to help bail Lance and Myers out of their fundraising ruts.
“It's outrageous that Leonard Lance would have the audacity to attack us when he is proudly welcoming George Bush, arguably the worst President in American history, to New Jersey," said Stender spokeswoman Irene Lin. "Bush and Lance’s policies have helped create the energy crisis, our current economic crisis and the war in Iraq. Before Lance criticizes anyone, he should explain why he supports Bush’s failed policies and why he is taking his Big Oil money.”