Seems as though even being presented with the question by a bright, youthful face won’t inspire John Hall to say the right thing about Charles Rangel’s fitness to remain in the House. 13 ethics violations apparently aren’t enough to move a man who prefers to sit on the sidelines. This time, some Young Voters caught Mr. Hall’s latest dodge on video.
Hall first punted on the question two weeks ago when asked by a WGRZ reporter about what should happen to Rep. Rangel, who faces anything from a mild reprimand to outright expulsion: “[Rangel] should do what he thinks is right.”
What he thinks is right? This is a man whose standard operating procedure is blithely to ignore his own tax obligations, while gleefully piling ever more burdens onto the backs of fellow citizens who actually follow the rules, report their income, and have the conscience not to exploit a system (created in large part by Rangel himself) rife with opportunities for fraud. Does this sound like a man you could entrust with determining his own penalty?
During the two weeks since Mr. Hall’s comment to WGRZ, Rangel has made fairly cringeworthy news more than once. John Hall’s bold solution of leaving the consequences up to the wrongdoer has faded in public memory, and some Young Voters caught up with him Wednesday in South Salem. After friendly introductions, one of them asked him if he was ready to call on Rep. Rangel to resign, sparing him and his colleagues, district, state, and country a great deal of shame and agony. Alas, evidently not:
In the face of refusing to answer such a painfully obvious question, it’s no wonder Mr. Hall was eager to change the subject by asking whether Nan Hayworth would be agreeing to a debate with her GOP primary opponent. (Of all people to shake a finger at Nan about not debating opponents, John Hall certainly is an amusing choice.) When told that arrangements for such a debate were already being discussed, Hall began edging away looking for exits while muttering about his own past primary debates. Our Young Voters did Mr. Hall the courtesy of not asking when he would stop ducking the multiple debate challenges coming from the Hayworth campaign.
Although Mr. Hall dug in his heels and remained mum in South Salem, he has answered with his checkbook, we now know: he’s given $1000 to the Rangel re-election fund. Good to know what kind of behavior John Hall supports in a Congressional leader, and to have further proof of how out of touch he is with constituents desperate for relief from ever-heavier taxes and for revival of the private sector.