The eight members of the House Ethics Committee sit in judgment on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), but it is hard to see how at least two of them can be impartial when they have received campaign funds from Rangel’s National Leadership PAC.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY), in photo, received two contributions of $5,000 each during the 2004 election cycle, on 12/15/03 and 1/20/04. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) received contributions of $1,000 and $2,000 during the 2004 cycle, on 6/29/04 and 7/13/04 respectively.
A third member of the Ethics Committee, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), recognized the inherent conflict of investigating Rangel and accepting campaign money from him. He received two contributions of $5,000 each during the 2006 cycle, on 3/30/06 and 10/24/06. He also accepted $5,000 during the 2008 cycle, on 9/25/07. He returned all $15,000 on May 1, 2009.
Welch has refunded not only $15,000 in contributions back to Rangel’s leadership PAC as we identified, but also $4,000 in contributions back to Rangel’s candidate committee, which was missing from the FEC data.
Chandler and Butterfield should do the same or they should recuse themselves from the Rangel probe.
The members of the Ethics Committee are:
Chair, California D
Ranking Republican Member, Alabama R
Ben Chandler, Kentucky D
Mike Conaway, Texas R
G.K. Butterfield, North Carolina D
Charles Dent, Pennsylvania R
Kathy Castor, Florida D
Gregg Harper, Mississippi R
Peter Welch, Vermont D
Michael McCaul, Texas R
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