Yesterday David Paterson was asked about Charlie Rangel, and he had some harsh words for somebody who he has known practically his entire life:
Said Paterson: “The committee has spoken. The violations have been noted. I would expect a severe reprimand, and, inevitably, an apology from Congressman Rangel. And then we’ll move on.”
Last night, the governor clarified his remarks, and reiterated the congressman’s line that the process was rigged against him.
“Congressman Charlie Rangel has served the people of New York with distinction for 40 years. He is a Korean War hero and a longtime friend – both to me and to the people of this great State.
“As he has noted, Congressman Rangel has been motivated throughout these decades solely by a desire to serve. And he has acted with the best intentions at the heart of his service to the people of New York.
“I sincerely hope that as it completes its proceedings on this matter, the Ethics Committee ensures that political expediency does not interfere with the carriage of justice. I stand in support of Congressman Rangel today and in the future and wish him well throughout this difficult process, a process that has been as unfair as the charges against him.”
Paterson’s father of course was one of the original members of the Gang of Four, the politicos who wrested Harlem from the old guard and then presided over New York politics for a generation.