Author: Rory B. Bellows
7th District Democratic Congressional candidate Linda Stender has received over $20,000 in campaign contributions from House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel.
Maybe Rangel has so much cash to dole out because he has sweetheart deals on rent stabalized apartments in New York City that violate multiple rules. Rangel owns 4 apartments, 3 on the 16th floor and one 6 floors below that is used as a campaign office. Rangel paid a little less than $4,000 per month combined for the four apartments. Going market rates would put the apartments at between $7,400 and $8,100 per month. This isn’t some slum high rise. The use of one of the apartments as a campaign office runs afoul of New York City and State laws that prohibit rent-controlled apartments from being used for anything other than a primary residence.
The fact that Rangel receives the apartments at rents below market could be construed as a gift and Congressmen are not allowed to accept gifts in excess of $100.
On Linda Stender’s website she described herself as someone who “believes the role of government is to serve people, support families and strengthen our communities.” How can she claim that while accepting cold hard cash from Rangel while he sits in his 4 rent-controlled apartments and sits idly by while other rent-controlled tenants are being evicted left and right to make room for tenants who will pay market rates? Does government serving the people mean bending city and state rules to set up a campaign office that will save you a few bucks a month? Is Rangel serving the people by taking up a rent-controlled apartment, an apartment some moderate income family is probably desperate to occupy, for a campaign office?
On all matters except raising taxes, Linda Stender is all talk.