Congressional Ethical Violations by Congressman Rangel B. Charles

Congressional Ethical Violations Committed by Congressman Rangel

Charles Rangel Charles was a Democrat and powerful member of the House from New York until he was found guilty in 2010 of violating 11 distinct congressional rules related to his personal finances and efforts to raise funds for a New York-based college. The House Ethics Committee charged Rep. Rangel with various violations, claiming that his financial transactions violated public trust (Kane, 2010). The board announced that it had established substantive reasons to believe that the Democrat violated federal rules or House rules by soliciting finances from businesspeople to fund a college named in his honor in New York. Rangel used the congressional official letterhead and staff to raise funds from chief executives and corporate charities. The committee also found that he had defaulted paying his taxes on a Caribbean home, wrongly used a rent-controlled apartment in the city of New York as the campaign's office, and not appropriately revealing over $600,000 in financial assets and revenue.

These violations happened while he served as the ranking chair or Democrat of the Means and Ways Committee, which oversaw tax issues. He resigned as the committee chair after being found guilty of the charges(Kane, 2010). The verdict he faced greatly influences my trust on members of the Congress. The ethical misconduct issue comprises one of the myriad challenges facing representative leaders in the world. The issue broke public confidence and raised the issue of discussing realistic and practical strategies for ensuring that elected officials follow the expected ethical boundaries to avoid ethical violations in the future.

Reasons why Third-party Candidates have never Been Successful in Presidential Elections

The electoral system of the U.S. has commonly been referred as a "two-party system" The reason is that there have been traditionally two main political parties with contenders competing for national elective posts. The same elements of the U.S. system, which have inspired a two-party system, have also been influential in discouraging the rise of third parties. Third parties' rise to success has been short-lived with the ideas raised by individuals from third parties being stolen by contenders of the major parties (Mainwaring & Torcal, 2006). At times, the issue position made by a third party is even integrated into the campaign of one of the dominant parties. Consequently, the dominant party wins the voters' support, which had been the bedrock of the third party. Without outstanding issues to champion for and worn-out voter support, the third parties fade away.

Different barriers, strategies, and obstacles block the prospects of third party contenders. The main obstacles are ballot access restrictions and constitutional biases. In connection to the former, the system of single-member-district plurality that governs most elections in America depresses the rise, growth, and endurance of third parties(Mainwaring & Torcal, 2006). Under the arrangement, parties compete for a one office-say, an Assembly seat and the contender who gets the most votes becomes the winner. The only means for a party to obtain any immediate rewards is for it to get a multiplicity of the votes. Different from a proportional system of representation where twenty percent of the votes usually generates some seats in the legislative assembly, in a system of one-member-district plurality, a party can get 20 percent of the votes in each state and yet still fail to win one seat. Given that citizens are aware that third parties have very limited chances of winning, they choose not to waste their votes on them. Thus, small parties get discouraged and either join with another party or drop out altogether. The presidential subsystem also poses a problem for third parties. The Electoral College counts the number of times every contender wins one of the 51 one-member-district plurality challenges held in all states, weighing every outcome by the electoral votes of the state. Third parties find the Electoral College system harsh when they fail to secure enough electoral votes or popular votes in each state to win a president. For instance, in 1980, John Anderson, failed to obtain a single electoral vote although he balloted 6.6 percent of the popular poll.

Third party contenders also face restrictions on ballot access. The Republicans and Democrats have established cumbersome procedures, which make it hard for third parties to get a spot on the ballot (Hirano & Snyder, 2007). Whereas candidates for major parties appear on the ballot automatically, third party members must request officials of election to be listed. A contender whose name misses on the ballot is clearly disadvantaged: upon entering the polling booth, it is often embarrassing and sometimes difficult for an elector to cast a write-in vote.

Furthermore, given that states establish their laws of ballot access, third party candidates (even well-funded ones) expecting to place their names before the electors must overcome more than fifty sets of bureaucratic challenges(Hirano & Snyder, 2007). Petitions must be supplied within a given time that varies from one state to another. For instance, they can be circulated only between 1 August and 1 September in Indiana and between early June and Augustin California. Filing deadlines also differentiate by state, and many happen quite at the beginning of the voting period before the major parties have conducted their conventions. By the time, John Anderson proclaimed his candidacy on April 24, 1980, in five deadlines had already passed (Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, and New Mexico).

The Challenge Facing Obamacare

As of 2016 March, 20.3 million Americans had signed up for Obamacare. Since the signing of the policy into law and constant guarantees that the law is operational, American insurance firms continue facing increasing losses and threatening to come off the exchanges leaving clients facing greater costs and fewer alternatives (Oberlander, 2012). With indisputable proof that the policy was increasing coverage, the mounting enrolment figures have created a financial nightmare for insurers, which resultantly has tremendous consequences for clients. Most of those enrolled are regarded as high risk suggesting that insurers spend more money on individuals in a bad health and necessitating expensive care.

The Federal and state entities have taken up measures in attempts at addressing the issue. Presently, governments at the federal and state levels usually pay reduced prices for Medicaid services or other care for the poor who need public funding. The governments may also moderate private insurance offerings to restrict increases in prices. Such approaches may improve and decrease inequalities up to a point (Rice et al., 2014). However, they often face sharp pushback from interest and partisan groups, insurance companies (who do not wish to forego profits) and doctors. In addition, ACA Act assists states with 100% financing for newly entitled beneficiaries. The move has enticed all states into providing uniform and generous and Medicaid insurance to poor Americans. The U.S. Constitution does not constrain federal and state efforts to the Obamacare issue. Critics argued that Obamacare contravened the civil liberty of compelling people to purchase something they did not want (insurance cover). The Obamacare policy does not violate the rights to liberty but rather focuses on the personal mandate that people who are uninsured and can afford health insurance ought to buy it or be penalized.


Hirano, S., & Snyder, J. M. (2007). The Decline of Third‐Party Voting in the United States. Journal of Politics, 69(1), 1-16.
Kane, P. (2010). Rep. Charlie Rangel found guilty of 11 ethics violations. Retrieved 25 February 2017, from
Mainwaring, S., & Torcal, M. (2006). Party system institutionalization and party system theory after the third wave of democratization. Handbook of party politics, 11(6), 204-227.
Oberlander, J. (2012). The future of Obamacare. New England Journal of Medicine, 367(23), 2165-2167.
Rice, T., Unruh, L. Y., Rosenau, P., Barnes, A. J., Saltman, R. B., & van Ginneken, E. (2014). Challenges facing the United States of America in implementing universal coverage. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92(12), 894-902.

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