Ethics chief counsel recommends censure for Rangel

By the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House ethics committee's chief counsel has recommended that Rep. Charles Rangel be censured in connection with a finding that he engaged in improper financial and fundraising conduct.

Chief counsel Blake Chisman called for this punishment despite the New York Democrat's plea to his colleagues for "a drop of fairness and mercy."

If Chisam's recommendation is carried out, this would be the most serious punishment, short of expulsion, which is highly unlikely. Chisam and Rangel argued their positions Thursday in a public hearing on sanctions held by the ethics committee.

Before Chisam commenced his remarks, Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., told committee colleagues that Rangel need only "look in the mirror to know who to blame" for his predicament.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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