I was shocked and appalled at the recent lightweight front page (of the online edition) New York Times article essentially saying that New Yorkers of the NY-15 Congressional district (Harlem, Upper West Side, Inwood, Spanish Harlem, are preparing to re-elect Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY). They admit, begrudgingly and not at all at the beginning of the article:

Of course, no independent polls have been published that measure Mr. Rangel’s support, and political fortunes can always turn. One big unknown is when findings will be issued by the House Ethics Committee, which is probing the congressman’s rent-stabilized apartments, his failure to report income from his Dominican villa, and his use of official stationery to raise money for a building that will bear his name.

No — the old grey lady appears to only be interested in a handful of random interviews and its own opinion. This is an anti-incumbent year and someone with Rangel’s recent record of self-interest at the expense of taxpayers should not be saying things as incredibly arrogant as:

Hey, when I get tired, it’s time to leave.


It’s hard for me to think of somebody better than me to do it, in the country, let alone the district.

In the words of Lil’ Jon: Whut?! I’ll give the man his due for his historic role as a pioneering black congressman who was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Back then, Charlie was a cool cat. Now, Chuckles works for ahem, Establishment Incorporated, see? He more or less publicly admits that he’s in this, not for the residents of Washington Heights, but to save his tattered rep. I can imagine his lil ego is bruised after his scandalous ethics record got him booted as chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. However, I’m with Vince Morgan, who used to work for Rangel and is now running against him to bring some new ideas and energy to this congressional seat (from the same NYTimes article):

Why should we give him an ego stroke when the needs of the district are bigger than the needs of this man’s ego?

Charlie was elected to Congress before I was born. That makes him very, very old. And frankly out of touch with a changing district ready for new leadership. Leadership that is less ambitious for one man and a bit more concerned about the people in Harlem who are trying to survive the Great Recession.

How dare the New York Times shrug their shoulders and wink at those poor, ignorant, gullible black and brown folks who might be willing to re-elect Rangel — why aren’t they skewering this guy and investigating him? Why aren’t they digging deeper into the shady, scary background of Adam Clayton Powell IV, which includes DWIs that got his license suspended twice, along with allegations of sexual assault. The original Adam Clayton Powell Jr would be troubled to say the least. As should the Times! Yet, history has repeated itself. Even the heroic ACP Jr. was seduced by the demon of corruption in this same powerful seat and was removed by his fellows. Deja vu, y’all…

I had a chance to sit down with Vince Morgan in a greasy spoon on a visit to NYC a few weeks ago. He reminded me of a younger, hotter Barack Obama or a skinnier version of Cory Booker. And I’m not just spinnin’ words. Morgan seems like a very real person who’s actually interested in representing the young parents & hard-working professionals of Washington Heights and is sensitive to the changing needs of the district. He wants development that benefits both residents and businesses and also wants to bring a common sense, uncorrupted completely view to Congress. He seemed smart, dynamic & cutting edge to me. He’s the kind of guy you went to school with or might remind you of your most-got-it-together-and-going-places cousin. Or maybe he’s the guy in the office next to yours who seems both bright and like a regular guy. Rangel might be fighting to keep his Dominican villa, power & lifestyle, while Morgan is willing to fight for your job.

Vince said to me when I asked him, why are you doing this? Isn’t running against Rangel an uphill battle:

We needed someone willing to stand up. And I think there are things I can do better in running that office such as increased use of technology. I have private sector experience that can help the community in balancing their interests with those of business. I’m a parent (he smiles) and I understand the challenges of parenting in the city.

Most of all, I believe I’m part of a positive trajectory to unify people around common goals to benefit everybody rather than relying on a polarization of the races to maintain power.

My cousins live in this district. I really hope the people elect Vince Morgan, if not this time – then the next time he runs. He is the true successor to the great Adam Clayton Powell and even the young Charlie Rangel in his heyday. If you live in NY-15, I hope you’ll consider voting for Morgan and telling your friends and fam about him. If you like Obama, I think you’ll groove to this brother. After all, let’s not forget that Rangel was a super-delegate and booster for Clinton in 2008, NOT Obama.

I also call on the NYTimes to investigate Rangel a little harder than they did, say, the Iraq War maybe and stop winking at corruption in search of a second chance at New Yorkers’ wallets.

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