3:10 pm May. 21, 2012
The anti-incumbent super PAC that's targeting Charlie Rangel is now soliciting small-dollar donations for its campaign to unseat the 42-year incumbent.
"Perhaps no single incumbent politician deserves to be fired more than the ethically-challenged Rangel," wrote Eric O'Keefe, the co-chairman of the Campaign for Primary Accountability in an email to supporters this morning.
The group is mostly funded by some very rich conservative donors, including half a million dollars from Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade and owner of the local news outlet DNAInfo, who was in the news last week for a $10 million proposal to link Barack Obama to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
But the group is asking for help from little donors, too. This morning's email asks for donations of $50, $100 or $250 to help with the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to retire Rangel and his fellow entrenched incumbents."
The group has yet to spend any money on Rangel's race, according to F.E.C. reports, and mentions Rangel as its "next target," after a couple of Texas races that will vote later this month. The group has promised a six-figure campaign against Rangel.
It's unclear how (or whether) the group's involvement will play in the Harlem portion of Rangel's district, especially after Ricketts was linked to the proposed campaign against Obama. Last week, before the Ricketts' revelations, the group's preferred candidate, State Senator Adriano Espaillat dismissed the idea of turning down the group's help.
“I’m not going to say no,” he told the Norwood News.
Interestingly, the group's email this morning echoes one of Espaillat's lines—in a New York Times story about the super PAC's support—in which the senator puts the longevity of Rangel's tenure in the historical context of the moon landing and the New York Jets.
"When Charlie Rangel was first elected to Congress, Neil Armstrong had just walked on the moon and Joe Namath was throwing touchdown passes for the Jets," O'Keefe wrote in today's email.
Here's the full text:
Have you seen the news? While the Campaign for Primary Accountability (CPA) is still forging ahead on our Texas races (challenging longtime incumbents Silvestre Reyes in El Paso and Ralph Hall in Northeast Texas), we’ve already identified our next target—Charlie Rangel of New York.
Perhaps no single incumbent politician deserves to be fired more than the ethically-challenged Rangel. As the poster child of the entrenched incumbent class, Rangel’s forty-two year congressional career is rife with waste, fraud and abuse of power. Rangel was recently found guilty of violating 11 counts of House ethics rules … and he still thinks he’s entitled to his taxpayer-funded job in Washington!
When Charlie Rangel was first elected to Congress, Neil Armstrong had just walked on the moon and Joe Namath was throwing touchdown passes for the Jets. As Rangel himself defiantly stated on the House floor during his latest ethics scandal: “Hey, if I was you I may want me to go away too. I am not going away! I am here!” Well, Rangel is right about one thing – he isn’t going to go away unless we make him go away.
So please follow this link to retire Rangel and his friends by making an immediate contribution of $50, $100, $250 or more to restore real accountability in Washington.
Charlie Rangel and his ilk aren’t entitled to cushy, lifetime tenure at taxpayer expense while the American people are handed pink slips in record numbers. But we can fix this problem now as the Campaign for Primary Accountability has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to retire Rangel and his fellow entrenched incumbents. As Congress’ approval rating sinks to record lows, we urgently need your continued help to fuel these competitive primary challenges for accountability.
Thank you again for everything you’ve done to help us hold Congress’ feet to the fire. Remember: nothing will change in Congress unless we change it.
Eric O’Keefe Co-Chairman
P.S. We now have a golden opportunity to retire the career politicians like Charlie Rangel and other entrenched incumbents who destroyed the American job market, ran up trillion dollar deficits, and stole our tax dollars. If you agree that it’s time to retire Rangel and his friends, then make an immediate contribution of $50, $100, $250 or more to restore real accountability in Washington. Thanks.