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Charles Rangel on Principles & Values

Dem./Lib./Working-Families


Attitude of gratitude: I haven't had a bad day since

The idea behind "and I haven't had a bad day since" is that no matter what obstacles you come across in life, if you can pause and count your blessings, or recall difficulties that were far more serious, you can avoid viewing present circumstances as unbearable. The attitude of gratitude is a gift that truly keeps on giving. It affords me the opportunity to take a better, clearer look at the obstacles in front of me. You don't have to be in fear for your life, as I have been, to have your mind concentrated in this way, every day.

I believe I got this attitude of "and I haven't had a bad day since" from that night in the mountain pass in North Korea [when I got shot]. I know how lucky I am to have my children, to be in Congress, and to be participating in matters of such importance for such a long, healthy lifetime. There's no better attitude to have than gratitude for going thru life.

I just don't think I should have had to get shot in Korea to get it, but I haven't had a bad day since

Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p. xix & 51 , Aug 5, 2008

Initiated idea of Hillary running for Senate in New York

I was in Chicago, at a 1999 rally supporting the re-election of Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. Hillary Clinton was the big draw, and she was good, as she always is. Afterward, I was telling people how good she was, & someone said that she should be running for senator--from Illinois. They allowed me to believe that Hillary had political ambitions, and I immediately jumped on it.

"I hear that you're interested in running for Senator," I said to her.

"What are you talking about?"

"Some people tell me that they were thinking about drafting you here. Well, let me just tell you this: You can be the Senator from Illinois, but the REAL senators are from New York--that's where you should be running from."

And I could tell then, from the awkwardness of th smile on her face, that there was some interest. Hillary turned me over to her chief of staff. "Why don't you let me start filling you in on what's there for her."

"That would be great," she said, enthusiastically. And that's where it began.

Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.245-6 , Aug 5, 2008

Black folks are very conservative in some ways

People forget, but back then, and to this day, black folks are very conservative in some ways. We're always hearing this garbage about moral values, and how Democrats and urbanites don't have them, but most parties to this debate have no idea how conservative black folks are. I think it has more to do with being from the South, especially back then, than being black. When I was in the army I remember so many Southerners complaining about constipation problems, because they just couldn't bring themselves to squat alongside other men on the rows of open toilets in the latrines. Some of them would wait until the middle of the night to catch a shower alone, rather than be naked in a group.
Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p. 13-14 , Aug 5, 2008

1970s: Ran for Congress on both Republican & Democrat lines

I was facing my first re-election campaign in 1968. Although running as a Democrat, [Governor Rockefeller, a Republican, used his influence.] "What the heck did you just do?", I asked. "You just got the Republican endorsement," he says. I was stunned, and tried to insist on at least visiting each and every Republican club in the district. Two years later, when I was getting ready to run for Congress, I knew I would have a good shot at getting the Republican nomination because Rocky made that call.

Bipartisan love does have it awkward moments, though. In 1972 there was a huge campaign billboard on Broadway that read: "Elect President Nixon and Congressman Charles Rangel--both Republican. Paid for by the Committee to Re-elect the President." I could have died on the spot when I first saw it. And soon after when I was sitting on the House committee looking into Watergate, I REALLY prayed that no one would bring that thing up. They were doing that to pull in votes, and I was being used.

Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.138-140 , Aug 5, 2008

Prefers small constituency of House seat

Before I bonded with NY Assemblyman Percy Sutton I had no political direction, just a drive to be against whoever was "in," because I wanted to be in their place. After I succeeded Percy in the Assembly, and became a trusted son in Ray Jones's political family, I wanted nothing more than the most that being in that body had to offer: a lucrative law practice and eventual speakership. Now, you might think that representing a larger chunk of Harlem as a state senator would be my next political objective. But you would be wrong. I had one of my best legislative periods in the Assembly when Basil Patterson was in the state senate from Harlem. We formed a great legislative team and a great friendship. I never envied any of my colleagues in the state senate, just as I have never aspired to be a US senator. It always seemed to me that the smaller my political base, the better I could serve it, while retaining my ability to get involved in matters outside of my narrow district.
Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.152 , Aug 5, 2008

Early ambition to chair Ways & Means Committee

It was anything but downhill after getting elected to Congress. Far from an anticlimax, becoming a member of the House of Representatives was like a booster rocket igniting under me. My getting on the Ways and Means Committee in December 1974 at the end of my 2nd term was like entering orbit. What after all, is the world all about if it's not about taxes and health care and trade? Some 30% of all the legislation in Congress comes through Ways and Means; everything we're talking about today that really matters tends to be the jurisdiction of my committee. I may have hit Washington without a plan, but I still had Sergeant Rangel's old clipboard-wielding ambition: I wasn't there 5 minutes before I set my cap for an appointment to Ways and Means, with the hope of rising from there into the House Democratic leadership.
Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.176 , Aug 5, 2008

1971: Co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus

In 1971, we formally constituted the Congressional Black Caucus. Over the years there have been periodic tensions around how much the caucus speaks for any single black representative. But the thing we were clear about was not wanting to be seen [as speaking] for all of black America.

Our biggest fear was that, by virtue of holding office in the national government, we would mislead people into thinking that we were the nation's black leaders in every area from civil rights to economics to local politics. We didn't want to become the custodians of all black American aspiration, because we knew that meant being responsible for all of black America's problems. We didn't want to create expectations that would far exceed our ability to perform. It was important not to be seen as usurping the surviving civil rights leadership organizations like the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, and the Urban League. My vision was that we were part of the black leadership, but not THE leadership.

Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.185-186 , Aug 5, 2008

Member of Congressional Black Caucus.

Rangel is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus:

On January 2, 1969, [three newly elected and six previously elected] African-American Members of Congress met as the Democratic Select Committee. On February 2, 1971 the group agreed to be known as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

The goals of the CBC are to positively influence the course of events pertinent to African-Americans and others of similar experience and situation, and to achieve greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services. The Caucus has not only been at the forefont of issues affecting African-Americans, but has garnered international acclaim for advancing agendas aimed at protecting human rights and civil rights for all people. Today, the Congressional Black Caucus stands 38 members strong.

Upon her election as Chair of the CBC for the 107th Congress, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson expounded: “Whether the issue is popular or unpopular, simple or complex, the CBC has fought for thirty years to protect the fundamentals of democracy. The Caucus is committed to ensuring that the standard of living for minorities in America does not retrogress, but instead rises to meet the expectations of both our ancestors and our children. The Congressional Black Caucus is probably the closest group of legislators on the Hill. We work together almost incessantly, we are friends and, more importantly, a family of freedom fighters. Our diversity makes us stronger, and the expertise of all of our members has helped us be effective beyond our numbers.”

Source: Congressional Black Caucus web site 01-CBC0 on Jan 6, 2001

Reject Bush's Florida electors due to election fraud.

Rangel adopted the CBC press release:

There is overwhelming evidence of official misconduct, deliberate fraud and an attempt to suppress voter turnout by unlawful means that were used to produce George W. Bush’s false victory. The preponderance of the available evidence points to Vice President Al Gore as the actual winner of the most votes in Florida and he should have been awarded the state’s electoral votes.

Vice President Al Gore may have conceded his judicial contest, but that is irrelevant. There is not provision for the concession of candidates in the Constitution. There is, however, a process set out in law for Congress to consider challenges to electoral votes. The Congress, on behalf of all Americans, is the final judge of how much election fraud to accept.

The hearings held by the NAACP clearly showed that there were massive violations of the Voting Rights Act, and that tens of thousands of Floridians were denied due process when they were removed from the voter rolls without notice. Still others were intimidated by police checkpoints set up near polling places. In Miami-Dade and Broward, investigations by independent news organizations have found hundreds of ineligible persons who were allowed to vote. There clearly were significant inequities in assigning what turned out to be non-working voting machines to precincts that were heavily African-American in Miami-Dade. We would not tolerate any of these errors if they took place in some other country. Is our duty to our own country any less?

Millions of Americans have already expressed their public outrage at the myriad injustices which occurred in the making of George W. Bush’s mistaken victory. But public outrage is not enough. The laws of this country provide for the objection which we herein make on behalf of freedom, justice and democracy. We, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, therefore wholeheartedly object to the acceptance of the presidential electors from Florida.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC4 on Jan 6, 2001

Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Rangel is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

The members of the Progressive Caucus share a common belief in the principles of social and economic justice, non-discrimination, and tolerance in America and in our relationships with other countries. We also seek to embody and give voice to national priorities which reflect the interests and needs of all the American people, not just the wealthy and the powerful. Our purpose is to present thoughtful, positive, practical solutions to the problems confronting America and the world. In the post-Cold War era, we believe our nation’s priorities must change with the times and reflect new realities. Accordingly, we support curbs on wasteful, inefficient government spending at the Pentagon and elsewhere, a more progressive tax system in which wealthier taxpayers and corporations pay their fair share, adequate funding for social programs that are designed to extend help to low and middle-income Americans in need, and trade policies that increase the exports of more American products and encourage the creation of jobs and investment in America.

Source: Congressional Progressive Caucus website 01-CPC0 on Oct 9, 2001

Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Rangel is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

The members of the Progressive Caucus share a common belief in the principles of social and economic justice, non-discrimination, and tolerance in America and in our relationships with other countries. We also seek to embody and give voice to national priorities which reflect the interests and needs of all the American people, not just the wealthy and the powerful. Our purpose is to present thoughtful, positive, practical solutions to the problems confronting America and the world. In the post-Cold War era, we believe our nation’s priorities must change with the times and reflect new realities. Accordingly, we support curbs on wasteful, inefficient government spending at the Pentagon and elsewhere, a more progressive tax system in which wealthier taxpayers and corporations pay their fair share, adequate funding for social programs that are designed to extend help to low and middle-income Americans in need, and trade policies that increase the exports of more American products and encourage the creation of jobs and investment in America.

Source: Congressional Progressive Caucus website 07-CPC0 on Nov 6, 2007

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Principles & Values: Charles Rangel on other issues:
[Title7]



Lame-duck session 2012:
KY-4: Thomas Massie(R)
MI-11:Dave Curson(D)
NJ-9: Donald Payne Jr.(D)
WA-1: Suzan DelBene(D)

Re-seated Former Reps:
AZ-1: Ann Kirkpatrick(D)
AZ-5: Matt Salmon(R)
FL-8: Alan Grayson(D)
IL-11:Bill Foster(D)
NH-1: Carol Shea-Porter(D)
NV-3: Dina Titus(D)
NY-24:Dan Maffei(D)
TX-36:Steve Stockman(R)

2013 Resignations and Replacements:
AL-1:Jo Bonner(R,resigned)
IL-2:Jesse Louis Jackson(D,resigned)
IL-2:Robin Kelly(D)
MA-5:Ed Markey(D,to Senate)
MA-8:Stephen Lynch(D)
MO-8:Jo Ann Emerson(R,resigned)
MO-8:Jason Smith(R,elected June 2013)
SC-1:Tim Scott(R,resigned)
SC-1:Mark Sanford(R)
SC-1:Elizabeth Colbert-Busch(D)
Newly-elected Democrats:
AZ-9: Kyrsten Sinema
CA-2: Jared Huffman
CA-7: Ami Bera
CA-15:Eric Swalwell
CA-24:Julia Brownley
CA-29:Tony Cardenas
CA-35:Gloria Negrete McLeod
CA-36:Raul Ruiz
CA-41:Mark Takano
CA-47:Alan Lowenthal
CA-51:Juan Vargas
CA-52:Scott Peters
CT-5: Elizabeth Esty
FL-18:Patrick Murphy
FL-22:Lois Frankel
FL-26:Joe Garcia
HI-2: Tulsi Gabbard
IL-8: Tammy Duckworth
IL-10:Brad Schneider
IL-12:Bill Enyart
IL-17:Cheri Bustos
MD-6: John Delaney
MA-4: Joe Kennedy III
MI-5: Dan Kildee
MN-8: Rick Nolan
NV-4: Steven Horsford
NH-2: Annie Kuster
NM-1: Michelle Lujan-Grisham
NY-5: Grace Meng
NY-10:Hakeem Jeffries
NY-18:Sean Maloney
OH-10:Joyce Beatty
PA-17:Matt Cartwright
TX-16:Beto O`Rourke
TX-20:Joaquin Castro
TX-23:Pete Gallego
TX-33:Marc Veasey
TX-34:Filemon Vela
WA-6: Derek Kilmer
WA-10:Denny Heck
WI-2: Mark Pocan
Newly-elected Republicans:
AR-4: Tom Cotton
CA-1: Doug LaMalfa
CA-21:David Valadao
CA-41:Paul Cook
FL-3: Ted Yoho
FL-6: Ron DeSantis
FL-19:Trey Radel
GA-9: Doug Collins
IL-15:Rodney Davis
IN-2: Jackie Walorski
IN-5: Susan Brooks
IN-6: Luke Messer
KY-6: Andy Barr
MI-11:Kerry Bentivolio
MO-2: Ann Wagner
MT-0: Steve Daines
NY-26:Chris Collins
NC-8: Richard Hudson
NC-9: Robert Pittenger
NC-11:Mark Meadows
NC-13:George Holding
ND-0: Kevin Cramer
OH-2: Brad Wenstrup
OH-14:Dave Joyce
OK-1: Jim Bridenstine
OK-2: Markwayne Mullin
PA-4: Scott Perry
PA-12:Keith Rothfus
SC-7: Tom Rice
TX-14:Randy Weber
TX-25:Roger Williams
UT-2: Chris Stewart
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Page last updated: Jun 14, 2013