Race, Not Party, Defines Charlie Rangel Censure Vote

Just 25 percent of racial minorities in the U.S. House (and only 1 black) voted for Rangel censure, compared to 92 percent of whites and 87 percent of white Democrats

The U.S House vote on Thursday afternoon to censure longtime Harlem U.S. Representative Charlie Rangel (NY-15) for 11 ethics violations was noteworthy not simply because it is an infrequently used hammer in the lower chamber.

Although all but two of the 79 members who voted against censure were members of the Democratic Party, the 333-79 vote revealed much less about partisan politics and much more about race.

A Smart Politics analysis of the H.R. 1737 roll call vote finds that just 25 percent of racial minorities voted for Rangel’s censure (18 of 71 voting representatives) compared to 92 percent of whites (315 of 341).

Black members of the House voted nearly unanimously against the resolution with outgoing member Artur Davis (AL-07) the lone vote in favor of censuring the congressman from New York.

In total, 36 of 37 voting African-American members of the House voted against censure, or 97 percent – including Rangel, who also cast a ‘nay’ vote in his defense.

Two black representatives did not vote: Alcee Hastings (FL-23) and outgoing member Kendrick Meek (FL-17).

A majority of Hispanic and Latino American representatives were also opposed to censuring Rangel, with just 11 of 25 voting ‘yea,’ or 44 percent.

All three such Republicans voted for censure (Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL-18; Lincoln Diaz-Balart, FL-21; Mario Diaz-Balart, FL-25), along with eight Democrats (Dennis Cardoza, CA-18; Jim Costa, CA-20; Henry Cuellar, TX-28; Ben Ray Luján, NM-03; Ciro Rodriguez, TX-23; Linda Sánchez, CA-39; Loretta Sanchez, CA-47; and Albio Sires, NJ-13).

The eight representatives of Asian or Pacific Islander descent were also split, with a majority preferring censure (5 of 8).

Voting against censure were Democrats Mike Honda (CA-15), Mazie Hirono (HI-02), and Judy Chu (CA-32). Voting for censure were Democrats David Wu (OR-01), Doris Matsui (CA-05) and Republicans Steve Austria (OH-07), Joseph Cao (LA-02), and Charles Djou (HI-01).

The House’s only member of Native American descent, Republican Tom Cole (OK-04), also voted for censure.

White members of the U.S. House, however, voted in stark contrast to those representatives of color.

Overall, 92 percent of white representatives voted to censure the Harlem congressman – 315 of 341 voting members – with little difference between Democrats and Republicans.

All but two white Republicans (Peter King, NY-03, and Don Young, AK-AL) voted to censure Rangel, or 156 of 158 voting members (99 percent).

Meanwhile, a nearly equal percentage of white Democrats, 87 percent (159 of 183 representatives), also voted for the censure resolution.

Nearly 40 percent of the 24 white Democrats who did vote against censure were from Rangel’s Empire State: Gary Ackerman (NY-05), Joseph Crowley (NY-07), Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), Anthony Weiner (NY-09), Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), Eliot Engel (NY-17), Nita Lowey (NY-18), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), and Louise Slaughter (NY-28).

Charlie Rangel U.S. House Censure Vote by Race

Race
Yes
No
Total
% Yes
% No
Black
1
36
37
2.7
97.3
Hispanic/Latino
11
14
25
44.0
56.0
Asian/Pacific
5
3
8
62.5
37.5
Native American
1
0
1
100.0
0.0
All racial minorities
18
53
71
25.4
74.6
White
315
26
341
92.4
7.6
White Democrats
159
24
183
86.9
13.1
White Republicans
156
2
158
98.7
1.3

Note: The ‘nay’ votes by Charlie Rangel (NY-15) and Robert Scott (VA-03) were tallied under ‘black’ (Rangel is also of Hispanic descent and Scott is also of Filipino descent). Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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2 Comments on "Race, Not Party, Defines Charlie Rangel Censure Vote"

  1. Blacks vote black no matter what. He’s guilty and there is know doubt. He admitted that he was guilty. The word racist has lost much of it’s sting because black folks vote black and then cry race every time it doesn’t go there way. Do you think people are stupid!!!!! Cry wolf too many times and people won’t listen when something is race. Logic 101.

  2. Charles, blacks do not vote black no matter what. If that is true, blacks would vote for black Republicans. There were over 30 black Republicans running for Congress this year. Only 2 were elected and they came from overwhelming white congressional districts. Blacks vote for black Democrats. In My own state of PA. Ed Rendell was elected Governor for a 2nd time in 2006 against black Republican, Lynne Swann. Blacks voted for Rendell over Swann.

    As for Rep. Rangel, his censure is just.

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