Someone must have finally explained to Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) that his subcommittee’s recommendation for punishment against Charles Rangel (D-NY) for 13 counts of ethics violations looked a little … weak. Accordingly, Green is now walking back his written recommendation and apologizing for stepping on the full committee’s toes:
Rep. Gene Green has apologized to the chairwoman of the House ethics panel for revealing how the committee wants to punish Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).
Green, the chairman of the ethics investigative panel looking into charges against Rangel, told The Hill that he “screwed up” on Friday when revealing that his panel wanted to reprimand Rangel.
The Texas Democrat said he intended to call the head of the full ethics committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), to apologize for telling reporters that the subcommittee recommended reprimanding Rangel for allegedly breaking House ethics rules. The revelation was not included in the lengthy documents on the charges faced by Rangel that were released on Thursday.
Green explained that the four-person investigative panel’s recommended punishment “wasn’t supposed to be included” in the 13-count ethics indictment.
Gosh darn it, it was supposed to be a surprise! Perhaps a nice surprise, tied up in a little bow, and delivered on August 11th when Democratic Party leaders throw a big birthday fundraiser — er, party — for the man whose birthday passed two months earlier. Who knows? The combination celebratory good feelings, hard campaign cash, and the softball reprimand might have convinced Charlie to shut the hell up and take a pass on the ethics trial slated now for the middle of the campaign season.
Now Green ruined the surprise. Ah, well. Now they’ll just have to rely on the campaign cash to change Charlie’s mind.