[Charles Rangel is my Congressman and I have known him since he first ran for political office in the mid 1960s.  We last met when we were both buying a fried fish sandwich at our neighborhood fish store!

Rangel is a smart guy.  He was first brought into politics by the most powerful behind the scenes politician back then — J. Raymond Jones, the “Harlem Fox.”  Ray had defeated Carmine DeSapio for control of the NYC Democratic party.  Bobby Kennedy came to him to ask support for his brother’s run for president and he launched the opening up of the City University of NY to any willing and able to take the opportunity by expanding vastly the number of colleges available for students to enter.

Ray also was determined to “get Harlem off the plantation!”  By this he meant that Harlem should no longer be represented by sellouts for crumbs off the table, but rather by the best that Ray could bring into office.  David Dinkins, later Mayor, was one of these, and Charlie.

I recall Charlie’s first race for office.  Some source, we never did determine who, had put out a scurrilous attack on Charlie’s opponent and Charlie came racing into Ray’s office in great distress.  I recall Ray making one of his characteristic comments along the lines of “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”  Charlie then went on to the career which is reaching its pinnacle now.  I don’t always agree with the stands that he takes.  But he brings now nearly a half century of political experience to bear on his central role and I think the American public — apart from the CEO greedies will like what he produces.  Hopefully taxes will be properly reassigned to these greedies and lifted from the backs of those of us who work for a living!

Watch and see.

Ed Kent, former aide to J. Raymond Jones back when]

…………………………………….

THE COMMITTEE
After Many Years, It’s Rangel’s Turn at the Helm
By ROBIN TONER
Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York,
has, at 76, arrived at the top of the Ways and Means
Committee.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08rangel.html?th&emc=th


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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