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Interesting that in a week that Charles Rangel delivers his disjointed, but entertaining defense on the House floor (while being feted on his birthday by New York’s (mostly) Democratic political establishment), his almost immediate past Democratic predecessor as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committte Dan Rostenkowki should pass away. Like Rangel, Rosty was forced to relinquish his chairmanship while under investigation in an election year (Rosty by then (in 1994)-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, Rangel by the House Ethics Committee).
They are the only two Democrats to serve a full term as chairman of the powerful committee in almost thirty years.
And this same week, the jury is deliberating in the trial of Rod Blagojevich who, two years after Republican Michael Patrick Flanagan ousted Rosty, won the Chicago pol’s seat back for the Democrats.
Rangel had Rosty’s chairmanship (after 12 years of Republican control) while Blago had his House seat (after 2 years of Republican control). And all three in the news this week.
Reflecting on Rosty at Valley of the Shadow, blogger jsf offers “for Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats, the ghost of Rostenkowski, who represented corruption in his own time, can be used again for all the corruption and heavily partisan, 111th Congress.” Indeed.