MIDTERM MADNESS

GOP Pounces on Rangel Case

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has vowed to stick it out through his ethics trial, a promise that delights Republicans looking for campaign fodder for this fall’s midterm elections. Seeking to hang Democrats for their “culture of corruption,” the GOP will try to tie Rangel’s case (a trial that could last months by a special eight-member ethics panel) to the sexual harassment charges against former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY). It’s a tactic with that’s proven to bring results—the Democrats used the same tack in 2006 to retake Congress from Republicans. The National Republican Congressional Committee plans to target lawmakers who took campaign donations from Rangel as well as those elected on a “change” platform in 2006, saying they didn’t live up to their promises. Democrats have returned $500,000 in donations from Rangel, but New York Democrats are especially concerned about the impact Rangel’s trial will have on their races.