With a deal between Charlie Rangel and the House Ethics Committee apparently in the offing (or, perhaps, not), the campaign of challenger Adam Clayton Powell is weighing in on what it thinks the terms ought to be.
“There should be no deal where the terms include Rangel having the opportunity to run,” said Daniel Serrano, the campaign manager of the Powell ’10 effort. “And a sweeping under the rug of any details of [the House Ethics Committee’s] report. If he is going to stand for re-election in a Democratic Primary, then the details in the report must be made public.”
For a deal to be reached, Rangel would likely have to admit some ethical misconduct, something he has refrained from doing so far. Nervous Democrats however have been publicly and privately urging the congressman to reach a settlement in order to avoid a lengthy and public trial.
The Powell campaign however fears that such a deal would permit the exact nature of the charges against Rangel to remain sealed.
“Letting him cop a plea to one or two charges and allow him to stand for relection is unfair,” Serrano said. “The only circumstance where it would could even be remotely acceptable for details in report to be kept quiet is if he is not running in the primary.”
Serrano also raised the spectre of Rangel running again only run in order to have a bargaining chip in case of a federal investigation, or in order to pick a successor should he not complete his term.
“This is about the last vestiges of power for Central Harlem,” he said.