Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV thinks a primary victory over Congressman Charlie Rangel would save the embattled congressman from himself.
“He’s going to be expelled if he continues to drag these ethical charges, ethical violations on through,” Powell said on ABC’s Top Line this afternoon. “I believe I will be doing him a favor if I win on September 14th.”
Powell is challenging Rangel for the congressional seat once held by Powell’s father, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who had his own ethical troubles. (If you’re scoring at home, Adam Clayton Powell III is an elder half-brother of Adam Clayton Powell IV.)
Asked about Rangel’s birthday bash, Powell said the attendees–which included most of the state’s Democratic leadership–were “so out of touch with the community, with the people.”
Powell said he was campaigning at a subway stop during the fundraiser, talking to the people. “They’re so appalled by a scene of Charlie Rangel dancing on stage, like if nothing had happened, like there is nothing wrong going on,” Powell said.
And he seemed to draw inspiration from his challenge in 1994, when he lost by 20+ points. “The fact is this is now a much more competitive race,” he said.
Rangel’s camp would disagree.
“The bottom line of this election is that it’s between Charlie Rangel and Charlie Rangel,” his spokesman, Bob Liff, told the Observer yesterday.
(Powell begins at the 4:00 mark below.)