Princeton, August 3, 2010 – Calling incumbent Congressman Rush Holt’s continued silence on the serious ethical scandal swirling around Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) “deafening,” Republican challenger Scott Sipprelle today challenged Holt to speak publicly about Rangel and join a growing bipartisan chorus calling for his resignation from the United States House of Representatives.
Sipprelle pointed out that even President Obama has called the charges against Rangel “very troubling,” and clearly implied Rangel should resign his seat during an interview with Katie Couric of CBS News.
“A major thrust of my campaign against Congressman Holt is that he tries to pass himself off as a moderate at home, while in reality he has become a hyper-partisan rubber stamp for his party bosses in Washington,” said Sipprelle, referring to a National Journal report that ranks Holt as having the most extreme liberal voting record in all of Congress.
“Sadly, in the wake of his continued silence on the ethics scandal surrounding Congressman Rangel, it appears his partisan streak even extends to looking the other way when a member of his own party has clearly violated the public trust. This extraordinary lack of leadership is indicative of why the American people have lost faith in our government and their elected officials in Washington,” said Sipprelle. “Today, I challenge Mr. Holt to speak publicly on this matter and join a growing bipartisan chorus calling for Mr. Rangel’s resignation immediately.”
House investigators accused Rangel of 13 violations of congressional ethics standards, including allegations of failure to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic, hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income and assets on his financial disclosure statements, questionable use of congressional staff and stationery to raise money for a college center in New York named after him, accepting favors and benefits from the donors that may have influenced his congressional actions, use of a subsidized New York apartment as a campaign office instead of a residence, and misuse of the congressional free mail privilege.
“It is time for Mr. Holt to put service to his constituents ahead of his partisan loyalties,” said Sipprelle, who questioned whether Holt’s hesitancy to speak out on the issue was due to Rangel’s strong financial support - $24,000 in campaign contributions – during Holt’s congressional career. “His failure to call on Mr. Rangel’s resignation speaks volumes about how out-of-touch Mr. Holt has become in recent years.” (Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/10/charles-rangels-support-wanes.html)