Rangel Violated Ethics Rules with Trip to Caribbean Conference Sponsored by Lobbyists
NY Rep. Charlie Rangel said today that the House ethics panel (the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct) had concluded that Caribbean trips in 2007 and 2008 violated House ethics rules. See Rangel Says Ethics Panel Ruled Against Him, New York Times, Feb. 25, 2010. See also the release from the Chair Zoe Lofgren and Republican ranking member Jo Bonner, here (available on BNA, with Feb. 26 date). Rangel accepted the trips from the Carib News Foundation, an organization that also accepts funding from lobbyists. While the Standards committee found that Rangel wasn't aware of the lobby funding for the foundation, it concluded that two of his staffers were and that Rangel was responsible for their actions. Other representatives who went on the trip (Bennie Thomson, Yvette Clark, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and Donald Payne , as well as Delegate Donna Christensen) are required to pay back the funding, as is Rangel. But Rangel is being "publicly admonished" because of his staff's knowledge of the problematic nature of the trip.