Editorial: A Culture of Corruption

Posted by Web Staff - email | Facebook | Twitter

(WOIO) - The ethics charges against legendary New York Congressman Charlie Rangel are an echo of what is at the heart of the corruption investigation here in Cuyahoga County.

Rangel, a democrat and a 40-year veteran of the house is accused of 13 ethics violations involving income tax evasion and accepting favors from wealthy companies doing business before his powerful ways and means committee.

Those favors involving money to finance a library that's dedicated to his career could easily be viewed as bribes.

Rangel has been a major African-American political leader and an effective lawmaker for his district and he is, by the measure of his colleagues throughout congress, an all-around good guy.

But he is a relic of another era, an era where politicians routinely operated outside the margins of what was ethical or sometimes lawful.

Friends say Rangel really didn't believe he was doing anything that everyone else in political power wasn't doing as well. Sound familiar?

In June of last year, long-time democratic party boss Jimmy Dimora, reacting to the ongoing FBI probe targeting him said at a news conference, "I have not done anything that any other public official hasn't done."

©2010 WOIO. All rights reserved.