More House Democrats join the Footsteps Caucus

posted at 8:45 am on July 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday I wrote about the common thread between the first three House Democrats to call for Charlie Rangel’s resignation after the release of charges from the Ethics Committee.  All three are hearing footsteps from Republican rivals, and all three need to distance themselves from Democratic leadership in the House.  This morning, the count of the Footsteps Caucus has reached eight, including the first from Rangel’s home state of New York, and The Hill notices the same common thread:

The calls for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign are piling up as the congressman’s ethics trial threatens to loom large over campaign season.

The tally of House Democrats calling on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign his seat in Congress stood at eight as members adjourned for the August recess late Friday. That number includes Rep. Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.), the first Democrat from Rangel’s home state to call for his ouster.

And so far, every House Democrat who has called for Rangel’s ouster faces a viable Republican challenger this fall.

Read my previous post for the rundowns on the electoral predicaments of Betty Sutton (D-OH), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), and Walt Minnick (D-ID).  Let’s take a look at the five new members of the Footsteps Caucus:

  • Michael Arcuri, NY-24 – Arcuri came into office in the 2006 Democratic sweep, and his district is rated an R+2.  Republicans have a primary coming up in September to pick a challenger, but Arcuri is already sweating.
  • Ann Kirkpatrick, AZ-1 – Kirkpatrick only holds this seat because of the ethics problems of her Republican predecessor, Rick Renzi.  This is an R+6 district that’s already furious about federal inaction and obstruction on illegal immigration, and Kirkpatrick is desperate to distance herself from her party.
  • Mary Jo Kilroy, OH-15 – Barely won her 2008 freshman election in this D+1 district despite Barack Obama being on the top of the ticket.  She squares off against the man she edged out the first time, Steve Stivers, who thinks he can make up the 2400-vote gap in this environment.
  • John Yarmuth, KY-3 – Another of the class of 2006, he ended a 10-year GOP grip on the seat in the D+2 district.  He’s losing the fundraising war with Todd Lally, and his out-front defense of ObamaCare is not likely to help. Lally claims an internal poll in June put him into a tie with the incumbent, and an ethics trial is not likely to boost Yarmuth’s chances.
  • Zack Space, OH-18 – Space is Ohio’s third member of the Footsteps Caucus, and that’s no accident.  The state was key to Obama’s election, but has been moving back to Republicans in the aftermath of the radical agenda launched by Democrats.  Space won this seat after disgust with former Rep. Bob Ney, one of the GOP Representatives to disgrace his office, taking it in the 2006 Democratic sweep.  The district is R+7, though, and mainly represents small towns and rural areas.  His opponent, Bob Gibbs, beat Space to the demand for Rangel’s resignation, quoting Space himself on corruption in doing so while noting Space’s silence on Democratic corruption.

So far, we have eight Democrats who need to save themselves a lot more than they need to save Rangel.  I’d be surprised if that number doesn’t grow to 60 or 70 by the time the House resumes its session after Democrats face voters on the campaign trail in August.


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No honor among thieves, eh?

Wethal on July 31, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Charlie Rangel looks like Don King with slicked back hair.

Alden Pyle on July 31, 2010 at 8:49 AM

This is just racism of the worst kind.

tomas on July 31, 2010 at 8:50 AM

I’d be surprised if that number doesn’t grow to 60 or 70 by the time the House resumes its session after Democrats face voters on the campaign trail in August.

agree, especially with waters in the mix now too…the voters will bring up ‘drain the swamp’, I’m sure…

cmsinaz on July 31, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Raaaccciiissstttsss!

Fight them Charlie…fight them with every ounce of energy you have!

trs on July 31, 2010 at 8:51 AM

and The Hill notices the same common thread

they must be HA readers,eh?

cmsinaz on July 31, 2010 at 8:52 AM

I just get the impression that if there is anything here that is going to do in Charlie Rangel, it will be Charlie Rangel’s own blatant stubborness in his refusal to admit that he did nothing wrong.

Just seems ironic that after the number of years he has been in office, he would be done in while serving in THE MOST ETHICAL, MORALLY TRANSPARENT CONGRESS….EVUH!

pilamaye on July 31, 2010 at 9:01 AM

If they let Rangel and Waters off with a hand slap, this country is going to take it to the streets big time. The days of law makers being above the very laws they enforce upon the masses are over.

Of the people, by the people, for the people will once again rule this country. Might take a decade or so to clean the sewer in DC, but it’s going to happen. Those criminals can have their laugh (all the way to the bank) today; the day will come when they all see their wealth taken back from them by the people while they await answer on which state prison will be their new home.

Without laws that effect all citizens, we have no Republic.

Keemo on July 31, 2010 at 9:01 AM

It’s always easy to stand up & make the impression you’re doing the right thing when others have already done it.
Interesting that these people, & more, have not stood up against Charlie’s corruption, as well as others’, before this.
Rats.Sinking ship.
Nuff said.

Badger40 on July 31, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I think I will call my Blue Dog rep on Monday and find out why he hasn’t spoken out on Charlie. If a lot of us were to call Democrats and complain it might add some pressure.

flyfisher on July 31, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Maybe, he can make a criminal turned buddy movie with Russell Crowe

tomas on July 31, 2010 at 9:08 AM

“Footsteps Caucus”.

I am in awe, Mr. Morrissey. That coinage isn’t just brilliant, it’s downright poetic.

leilani on July 31, 2010 at 9:10 AM

It is a planned attack on members of the CBC. Are you saying there are NO other members of congress that have done anything wrong except Waters and Rangel?

I think we need an investigation into Pelosi’s actions!!!
/s

barnone on July 31, 2010 at 9:11 AM

It’s OK, they can still be friends outside Capitol hill.

But buisness, is buisness!

listens2glenn on July 31, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I honestly cannot figure out all the angles to the situations involving Rangel and Waters. With Rangel, in particular, the Dems have dragged their feet so long in bringing “the hammer” down, I can’t see why they decided to do this now. From things I’ve read, maybe Dems (and Rangel) are terrified of allowing this to spill over to January 2010. In the meantime, Dems can look “tough” on corruption, when it relates to a member who will never lose his seat unless he’s expelled. At the same time, the CBC can run around screaming about some monolithic racial bogeyman.

Likewise, Waters, though on a lesser scale, may prefer taking her dose of medicine while the Dems still hold the House. And in the next few months, she can try to do her best Joan of Arc routine.

Whatever the case, I think the GOP should just keep a scorecard, much as Ed has, and periodically point out the hypocrisy while the Democrat-controlled House deals with its unethical, POS members–who happen to be card-carrying members of the racist CBC.

Let the Dems tie themselves into knots.

BuckeyeSam on July 31, 2010 at 9:14 AM

If what he’s allegedly done only warrents a reprimand this piling on by his fellow Dems can only be due to racism. /s

katiejane on July 31, 2010 at 9:14 AM

It’s because it’s black, isn’t it?!?

blatantblue on July 31, 2010 at 9:15 AM

I meant “he’s black,” not “it’s black.”

Oh well.

I guess Rangel could be considered an “it.”

blatantblue on July 31, 2010 at 9:16 AM

What would add some whip cream on the top of this is if to all his non-friend in Congress, Rangel would call them “Racists”.

albill on July 31, 2010 at 9:19 AM

blatantblue on July 31, 2010 at 9:16 AM

You had it right the first time blue. That thing is an it rather than a he; for sure… That thing also had better hope the entire “GOD” thing is a myth, at 80 years of age, judgement day is a-coming…

Keemo on July 31, 2010 at 9:20 AM

These ‘representatives’ are stomach-turningly disgusting in their ability to ignore criminal behavior. How long did Murtha avoid condemnation? How long has the ‘Friends of Angelo’ scandal been public? And how long has Rangel’s tax evasion been reported?

Too damn long.

These people are members of the club and their only concern is getting shown the door.

Peri Winkle on July 31, 2010 at 9:21 AM

“Yaaaa know theeese ethics chaahjes ahhh vehhryy frivahlus. I reeeeeelly hope dat tha — my fellow congrissmin and womin deside tooo ummm, ya know — just drop tha whole ting! I didn’t do anything wrooong! Besides, I soived in Korea. How COULD I do anyting wrong?!?!

….Korea!!!”

-Charlie

blatantblue on July 31, 2010 at 9:22 AM

“I really caaan’t remembah being accawsted like dis by people at any othuh time in my life, besides when I soived in Korea and killed maaaany orientals. Did I just say oriental? I meant asians.”

-Charlie Rangel

blatantblue on July 31, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Re Mike Arcuri and Rangel, here’s where he stood last October:

“As a former prosecutor, I am trained not to take action based on allegations but rather on facts. Until the Ethics Committee completes its investigation, all that Congress has before it now are allegations,” Arcuri said in a statement.

and

Arcuri’s statement did call for a quick resolution to the investigation into Rangel.

“However, I join many other concerned Americans in saying that I want to see a thorough and swift resolution to this issue with the proper action taken based on the facts as quickly as possible,” he said.

Quickly?? This statement was ten months ago.

Peri Winkle on July 31, 2010 at 9:32 AM

What would add some whip cream on the top of this is if to all his non-friend in Congress, Rangel would call them “Racists”.

albill on July 31, 2010 at 9:19 AM

The CBC will handle that part, although they must be a bit conflicted. If Charlie is only getting a reprimand, they might want to stand down on that. A few mutterings perhaps. Clyburn, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Barbara Lee won’t be able to stay quiet completely.

a capella on July 31, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Sorry charlie, you go under the bus now, and take maxine with you.

I hope they both fight it, get all the dirt out into the open.

afterall the most transparent blah blah blah……….

RealMc on July 31, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Democrat party, the crooks and liars party of choice.

tarpon on July 31, 2010 at 9:34 AM

OT: Ed & Allah, the GR has really filled up with really talented bloggers who are all putting out great work. Just wanted to say “thanks” to all of the GR authors who provide their great work with little or no expectations or pats on the back. It’s nice that you two headline the GR on weekends now so that we all can enjoy this work, and give these good people additional exposure.

Keemo on July 31, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Except for Arizona, these are all contiguous states. Ohio borders all of the others except for NY which is only a few miles away. The rust belt rebelion.

burt on July 31, 2010 at 9:40 AM

A sincere (I think) attempt by a Korean editorial to defend Rangel (who served in Korea):

For a member of Congress to travel abroad with tax money or money from a company is unimaginable, yet this practice is common for a Korean lawmaker.

and

Korean politicians ranked among the top in global corruption indices. The term of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is two years, and Rangel has served for 40 years. Korean lawmakers should feel a sense of shame over the fall of Rangel.

English translation: He’s not that bad, as politicians go.

Peri Winkle on July 31, 2010 at 9:46 AM

As time ticks by, I am becoming more and more convinced that the financial meltdown was the Democrats’ October Surprised. McCain and Palin were beginning to gain traction and Wham! McCain couldn’t do anything because he’s never had a command of economics anyway. One of the talking points that Sarah was pushing was to expose corruption and deal with it.
The Democrats’ problem is they thought they could manage the financial problem. But, because they are Democrats that would never happen. I think they think they can manage this, too, but the corruption is spinning out of control. They can’t operate under the radar anymore. They are struggling under the fact that their corruption is now out there for every one to see. Their president is inept and a thug. Their party leaders are obnoxious, corrupt and arrogant. There isn’t much to like about that party, and race has nothing much to do with it except that minorities have associated themselves with the corruptocrats for years.

BetseyRoss on July 31, 2010 at 9:47 AM

There are 255 Democrats in the House and only 8 of them think that Rangel should go. I think that is very telling and is something voters should keep in mind in November.

SoulGlo on July 31, 2010 at 9:56 AM

It won’t matter till one of the CBC members comes out against him/them.

lizzie beth on July 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Drudge has an article that says now Obama has said it is time for Charlie to retire. He is 80 and has served his country well. So it looks like bye, bye Charlie and let’s hope bye, bye Maxine very soon.

Herb on July 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM

I hope the cantankerous Rangel gives speaks his mind openly and freely starting at the top of the swamp (Obama, Pelosi, Reid) and works his way down.

What does he have to lose? He’s 80 years old and has lied, cheated, and stolen from his fellow countrymen in the name of “serving his country“.

I don’t think the old bull intends to be bullied by the young’uns, but I could be wrong.

Pass the popcorn.

VibrioCocci on July 31, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Footsteps Caucus–the images it inspires!

Makes me wish I were a cartoonist.

Gang-of-One on July 31, 2010 at 10:12 AM

For a moment, I thought Footsteps Caucus referred to those who were under investigation and they were becoming more aware that charges were on the rails and headed their way. One can hope, no?

ya2daup on July 31, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Good Time Charlie’s got the blues.

kingsjester on July 31, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Waiting for one of them to say, It’s time for my good friend Charlie to retire. Gotta stay on the safe side of the race card.

Kissmygrits on July 31, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Damned DEMOCRATIC Racists! Just tryin’ to put the Black man down.

GarandFan on July 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Pelosi drains the swamp, inadvertantly flushes toilet instead, and all the Democrats get flushed down the drain.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on July 31, 2010 at 10:35 AM

and two of the biggest pieces of fecal matter get flushed

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on July 31, 2010 at 10:35 AM

It’s sad and pitiful when someone doesn’t know it’s their time to go. Rangel is like one of those old boxers that want to come back and win just one more time. Their bloated exit ends up marking their long career. They become a joke.

slickwillie2001 on July 31, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Congress has a problem dealing with internal corruption.

How do you locate a forest in a sea of trees?

For these bottom feeders to act on a fellow bottom feeder you have to bring some prrof their fellow carp was crooked.

The only proof that registers is poll numbers.

Bribes, tax evasion, patronage, abuse of power, abuse of franking, fraud, filing false statements etc are evidence of good business practice against a sea of voter interference. Here they are trying to make a (very very good) living and transform the nation doing battle against cadres of citizen goons who cannot accept change

entagor on July 31, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Drudge has an article that says now Obama has said it is time for Charlie to retire. He is 80 and has served his country well. So it looks like bye, bye Charlie and let’s hope bye, bye Maxine very soon.

Herb on July 31, 2010

Given their districts, what are the odds they will be replaced with honest representatives or would they simply be making room for a new generation of criminal politicians? I will put my money on a new generation of criminals.

Extrafishy on July 31, 2010 at 11:40 AM

And so far, every House Democrat who has called for Rangel’s ouster faces a viable Republican challenger this fall.

Oh Dear,

Do you mean to tell us,

cockroaches abandon their beloved colleagues, and esteemed brethren, FOR POLITICS ???

No-o-o-o-o-ooooooo

franksalterego on July 31, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I think Don King is an honest guy and loves this country more than Charlie R ..

wheels on July 31, 2010 at 12:03 PM

blatantblue on July 31, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Freud would be proud.

ladyingray on July 31, 2010 at 12:25 PM

If the Republicans and RNC especially had someone with a spine and a pair, they’d be taking full advantage of this.

“Representative … has served in congress for …. years. Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters have had ethics issues for years. Only now, when [Republican Challenger] is shown to be a viable challenger for his/her seat does Representative … call for the resignation of these corrupt politicians. [Republican Challenger] believes that ethics and ethical conduct are for all time, not just when the political heat is on”. I’m sure a real PR person could do a much better job with this, but you get the gist.

/of course, that would require someone at the RNC with a pair, we know that none of the ruling class RNC have one, so this is just a nice dream on my part.

AZfederalist on July 31, 2010 at 1:08 PM

EIGHT? Rangel is a liar and a cheat and a disgrace and as a taxpayer I want him out. The office he holds belongs to the people, and we should demand he turn in the keys and go if his spineless colleagues won’t.

scalleywag on July 31, 2010 at 1:35 PM

@AZfederalist on July 31, 2010 at 1:08 PM:

I think I disagree. The Repubs are getting much more effective anti-Dem PR right now by merely stepping aside & letting all those crooks %&%$ all over themselves, rather than giving the Dems the opening to divert attention from their own rampant corruption by squealing about all Those Wacist Wepublicans piling on people of color.

Sometimes it’s smart to keep your powder dry. It’d be best to deploy your strategy after the opposition’s been allowed to do as much damage to themselves as they possibly can first.

leilani on July 31, 2010 at 1:54 PM

leilani on July 31, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Perhaps I should have been more clear, I agree that we should let the Dems destroy themselves right now. What I was advocating is that what is happening now should be used in political ads as the elections draw closer. However, some of this could also be used to good effect right now by candidates running against entrenched dems in those specific districts.

AZfederalist on July 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I’d like to give Walt Minnick the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard to do. Just saw an article here about this. Seems these guys all have links to Rangel – can you say “CYA”?

jdawg on July 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM