Friday, June 09, 2006

Congressman Rangel Takes Trip Sponsored by Cuban Government

From the Center for Public Integrity's Power Trips investigation:

Rep. Charles B. Rangel,
D-New York

Four years after taking a privately funded trip to Cuba with his wife and son, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., has acknowledged a violation of House ethics rules and reimbursed two of the sponsors.

After inquiries from the Center for Public Integrity, Rangel amended his travel disclosure form for the April 2002 trip and reimbursed the Cuban government and New York grocery magnate John Catsimatidis for $1,922 in expenses incurred by the congressman's son Steven. House rules allow private sponsors of lawmakers' trips to cover only the costs of one accompanying relative — in Rangel's case, his wife Alma.

In an April 27 letter to the House Office of the Clerk, Rangel wrote, "I was recently advised that under the rules of the House [his son's] expenses were not allowable for payment by the trip's sponsors … Therefore I am filing an amended travel disclosure report reflecting my reimbursement to the sponsors for the relevant amounts."

He wrote a similar letter to the chief of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., which represents the Cuban government.

Rangel's amendment and reimbursements are the latest developments in a Center investigation into the trip to Havana, which was designed to raise awareness about endangered birds. As it turns out, for Rangel it was also about meeting with President Fidel Castro to discuss the uneasy U.S.-Cuba relationship...
Links to C-SPAN's and Center for Public Integrity video coverage of the investigation.


Blogger Ben said...

who would even want to hear Rangel speak? he is crazy.

June 11, 2006 at 11:48 PM  

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