Democrat Walt Minnick thinks embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel should resign his seat, but isn't sure the majority of Idahoans know who Rangel is. Minnick told The Hill Tuesday that Rangel's alleged problems, including his use of official letterhead to improperly raise funds and failure to disclose large amounts of assets, won't be a problem for Democrats up for re-election this fall.
"In my state, most people don't even know who Congressman Rangel is," Minnick said. He also told the publication that although the allegations against the New York lawmaker are serious, voters in Idaho's 1st Congressional District care about fiscal responsibility and government spending. John Foster, spokesman for Minnick’s re-election campaign, said his boss’s remark wasn’t an insult. “It wasn't intended as a slight,” said Foster. “Idahoans by-and-large are much more concerned with local issues than with bickering personalities in Congress.”
Minnick made national news Monday when he became only the second Democrat to call on Rangel to step down. "I think it was appropriate for Rep. Rangel to step down from his post as a committee chair pending the investigation, but I always prefer to let voters decide whether or not someone should keep his or her seat," Minnick told IdahoReporter.com. "However, now that the investigation is complete, and provided the facts are as alleged, I think it's clear that he should resign from Congress."
Rangel stepped down as chairman for the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the panel tasked with writing federal tax law in early March as a result of the ethics investigation. He has repeatedly said that he welcomes the investigation.