By Robert L. Rosebrock, Staff Writer
When it comes to Congressional … uh-hum … “ethics,” or lack thereof, what U.S. Congressman Charlie Rangel was recently charged with, and convicted of, isn’t even close when compared to the abuse of power that U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman has committed as the entrusted steward to oversee and protect the Los Angeles National Veterans Home, which is the largest VA facility in the nation.
If the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct found Charlie guilty of certain charges, particularly the following two, then Henry is guilty of Subversion; Aiding and Abetting, Misappropriation of Government Property, Fraud; Malfeasance; Human Rights Violation, Willful Neglect, Reckless Disregard, Conspiracy, Duplicity, Discrimination, Stolen Valor, Desecration, Defamation, Violating his Congressional Oath of Office, Obstruction of Justice, Treason, etc., all in the course of conducting unofficial (non-Veteran) business on Veterans sacred land.
Count 6: Charlie was found guilty of conducting unofficial business on Congressional property. The solicitations for money for The Rangel Center were drafted and sent from Rangel’s Congressional offices.
Count 10: Charlie was found guilty of unfairly benefiting by having a rent-stabilized apartment as a campaign office. The chief counsel for the committee said Rangel had staffers show up to work at the apartment. It was never used as a place of residence, violating the building’s certificate of occupancy.
According to Count 10, Charlie apparently benefitted from violating a building’s “certificate of occupancy.”
On the other hand, Henry and his “Westside Machine” have benefitted enormously from violating an 1887 Act of Congress and an 1888 legal Deed that was entrusted to the US Government on behalf of America’s disabled and homeless Veterans.
The Legal Deed of 1888 states no less than six times that this benevolent Gift from two patriotic families is “to be permanently maintained as a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.”
Nonetheless, the abuse and misappropriation of Veterans land that benefit non-Veterans are far-reaching and incredulous.
Among the many abuses that took place under Henry’s entrusted stewardship, is a long-term, 16-acre lease of Veterans’ sacred land for a public park.
Said 16 acres is considered to be one of the most valuable parcels of land on the West Coast and is estimated to be worth nearly a billion dollars.
Henry aided and abetted in the giveaway of this sacred trust by orchestrating a rent-free deal for a wealthy, neighboring homeowner group, while homeless Veterans sleep outside along a million-dollar fence built with Veterans’ healthcare money to “beautify” the entryway into this neighboring community.
Henry has defrauded America’s Military Veterans out of a most sacred trust, a “Home,” and turned it over for the benefit of non-Veteran use.
This malfeasance and abuse of power is beyond shameful. Following is a small list of the ongoing abuse and misappropriation of Veterans’ property under Henry’s “watch”:
A 21-acre parcel of Veterans’ land has been leased to one of the wealthiest private schools in the nation for a playground and athletic field;
Several acres of grassed lawn named after General Douglas MacArthur (MacArthur Field) was recently leased to a so-called non-profit corporation for a wealthy kid’s soccer field;
The 15-acre Veterans’ Golf Course was recently leased to a non-profit corporation for public use;
The 25-acre “Vets’ Garden” has been leased to a non-profit botanical garden for public use;
Two Veterans’ theaters have been leased to a Hollywood / New York entertainment group for public use;
Approximately 7 acres have been leased for Enterprise Car Rental to store used cars and another 5 acres to Laidlaw Buses for a bus storage lot.
The City of Los Angeles has a long-term lease on approximately 12 acres, at $1-a-year, that includes a public playground and a 2-acre, off-leash, public dog park.
There are 11 buildings at the Veterans Home that are reported “vacant,” and another 40 buildings have been designated as “historic,” meaning they can never be demolished, replaced or upgraded, even though the buildings are nearly 80 years old and Los Angeles County has more homeless Veterans than any other county in the nation.
This has all taken place under the entrusted stewardship of Henry, while Charlie was found guilty of renting an apartment that was never used as a place of residence, violating the building’s certificate of occupancy.
The “certificate of occupancy” of the Los Angeles National Veterans Home, i.e., the Deed of 1888, specifically declares that this land is “to be permanently maintained as a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.”
Yet, Henry has shamelessly turned this sacred trust into a public playground, dog-park and entertainment center for his wealthy constituents, while thousands of Veterans remain homeless.
And, oh-by-the-way, what Charlie was convicted of did not force one person, let alone an American Military Veteran, to be homeless.
On the other hand, what Henry Waxman has done is to essentially force 20,000 Veterans to be homeless in Los Angeles County, even though this land was deeded exclusively 122 years ago to be a permanent “Home” for disabled and homeless Veterans.
It appears that Charlie will be censured by fellow-members of Congress for his self-serving conduct.
Henry, on the other hand, needs to not only be censured and expulsed, but hauled off in cuffs and leg-irons to a federal penitentiary for his repulsive and egregious transgressions against America’s Military Veterans, particularly those who are disabled and homeless.
This Congressional twosome competing for comparison of ethics abuse is not even close. This is not even comparing apples to oranges. In fact, it’s not even comparing apple cores to orange orchards.
No, what Henry committed is to partake in the most heinous of forbidden fruit: Stealing from America’s Military Veterans to benefit his wealthy constituents and forcing 20,000 Veterans to become homeless. It doesn’t get any lower than this.
While Henry’s wealthy constituents live in mega-million dollar mansions, thousands of Military Veterans remain hungry and homeless, fending for their own safety on the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.
‘We the People’ must never forget that this sacred trust is a Veterans’ “Home.” As a result, there should never be a homeless Veteran in Los Angeles County.
Henry “forgot” and now Henry has to pay to the price.
Memo to the 112th Congress: Let the investigation begin!
U.S. Army, 1965-67, Schofield Barracks, Hqs., U.S Army, Hawaii. Director, The Veterans Revolution, Captain, the Old Veterans Guard, and Director, We the Veterans.