Rightwing group targeted Rangel
Herb Boyd | 4/12/2011, 4:37 p.m.
Earlier this year when the New York Post launched its vicious attack on Congressman Charles Rangel, this paper sensed there was more to it than just a random investigation by the Post.
That some organization and/or individuals were fueling and possibly funding the nefarious pursuit was recently confirmed. Accompanying this article is parts of a letter from the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) disclosing its intentions to "finish off" Rangel.
The NLPC and its two chief officers, Chairman Ken Boehm and President Peter Flaherty, would have readers believe that they began their investigation only after Rangel's problems with rent-controlled apartments hit the news. But elected officials on the Left and others have long been in the crosshairs of the NLPC and its main financial backer Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire heir to the Mellon fortune.
In a story from The Hill, a paper that covers Capitol Hill, Flaherty said that Scaife's donations make up less than 10 percent of the center's $1.4 million annual budget. He said the lion's share of the rest comes from individuals with average donations of $200.
"The media is hungry," the NLPC said in the fundraising appeal. "Please help us bring some fresh meat. We've worked most closely with the New York Post, but we have good relationships with all the other reporters working on this."
Also on the group's hit list is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "By exposing Rangel, we expose Pelosi," one subtitle of the letter boldly declared.
Other notable politicians who have been targeted by the NLPC and Scaife's stealth financing beyond the Clintons is rumored to include the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
Busy with work on universal health care reform, Rangel had no comment on the disclosure, but, according to his aids, none of this comes as a surprise.
At the end of the NLPC's appeal for donations, it states: "Your gift will allow us to show that the Empress Pelosi has no clothes! And soon Barack Obama will have to take a stand."
Meanwhile, the yearlong investigation of Rangel's tax and financial records by the House Ethics Committee, an investigation called for by Rangel, continues.