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Culture of Corruption Watch: Breaking – Rangel reportedly giving up House chairmanship; Update: Bitterly clinging to his gavel; Update: Taking “leave of absence;” Dems abandoning Rangel’s dirty money

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 2, 2010 07:49 PM

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DLTDHYOTWO

Reports breaking via NBC that corruptocrat Charlie Rangel is “on the verge” of stepping down from his powerful House Ways and Means Committee chairmanship. Stand by for more…

Here’s the NBC News/NY report:

Harlem Democrat Charles Rangel now says he will step down as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, NBC News has learned.

He may make the move as early as tonight and Michigan Democratic Rep Sander Levin will temporarily take over the committee.

Some details still need to be ironed out, but sources said Rangel has been pushed to step down before the House voted on a bill to forcefully strip him of the coveted chairmanship.

Rangel is bitterly clinging to the gavel. Pelosi is, um, tight-lipped.

The move would preempt GOP plans to try and strip him of the chairmanship tomorrow:

FOX Has learned that Rep. John Carter (R-TX) will introduce a special resolution Wednesday that could potentially relieve Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) of his chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

Late last week, the House Ethics Committee “admonished” Rangel for taking two trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by corporate sponsors. The ethics panel approved the trips but still disciplined Rangel, saying his staff tried to brief him on who was footing the bill. The Ethics Committee is still reviewing a host of other allegations against Rangel, ranging from his failure to pay taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic to his use of Congressional stationary to raise donations for his school of public service at City College of New York.

As has been the case when similar measures have come to the House floor, most Republicans are expected to vote for the resolution, with most voting Democrats against it. But things are different this time around for the Harlem Democrat. A handful of Democrats have publicly called for Rangel to give up his gavel on the Ways and Means panel.

“If this was only them (the Republicans), he would be fine,” said a senior Democratic aide who asked not to be identified. “This is the other shoe.”

The GOP effort to oust Rangel is called a “privileged” resolution, meaning it goes to the front of the legislative line. It must be considered immediately or within 48 hours.

Politico: “The dam broke today.”

Examiner: Representatives ditching Rangel’s hot dirty money

Well, gee, why are they doing that? Like Nancy says, it’s not like he’s endangering national security or anything…

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The Culture of Corruption chickens are coming home to roost.

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Update: 3/3 9:05am…Rangel announces he’s taking a “leave of absence”…

Related: NLPC’s Peter Flaherty – Photo Casts More Doubt on Rangel Claims

It’s not over for Rangel by any means. Probes into his many disclosure lapses are still ongoing.

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WaPo: Where’s the enforcement of House ethics rules?

Bookmark: The Rangel scandal timeline.

Via the Examiner: “…that makes five congressmen who have now donated $60,000 in Rangel donations to charity. The Examiner’s “Dirty Money Watch” has been asking members of Congress who received campaign cash from Rangel whether they will return money since November.”

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Via The Hill: House GOP still considering forcing a vote on Rangel. Yes, put them all on record!

Egad: Rangel’s gavel will be handed to nutball Pete Stark Raving Mad.

5:52pm Eastern. NYT’s latest report – Rangel’s ‘Leave’ May Not Be Temporary

On Wednesday afternoon, Representative John R. Carter, Republican of Texas, asked for a clarification on the House floor. The ruling indicated that Mr. Rangel is no longer chairman, and has been replaced as acting chairman by Representative Pete Stark, Democrat of California, who is next in line in seniority on the panel. A permanent replacement must be approved by a House vote.

Still, it was not clear what might happen should Mr. Rangel seek to reclaim the post, given that he has lost quite a bit of support among his fellow Democrats.

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