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Bean keeping campaign cash from embattled Rep. Rangel
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff

U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean of Barrington

 

Joe Walsh, a Congressional candidate from Winnetka.

 

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charles Rangel stepped down from that post at least temporarily.

 

Manuel Balce Ceneta

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Published: 3/5/2010 12:00 AM

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While many other Democrats are rushing to dump campaign cash given by under-fire U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel, Melissa Bean isn't.

The Barrington Democrat says she won't donate to charity the $28,000 she received between 2005 and 2007 from the New York congressman or from committees associated with him.

The money was given before Rangel was under investigation for ethics abuses, Bean spokesman Jonathan Lipman pointed out. Plus, he says, the money has already been spent.

Bean hasn't taken money from Rangel, former chairman of a powerful tax-writing committee, since 2007.

Bean's position comes after U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Batavia and repeat Democratic House candidate Dan Seals of Wilmette decided to give their Rangel contributions to local charities.

Bean's Republican challenger, Joe Walsh of Winnetka, has called on the incumbent to turn the money from Rangel over to charity.

Seals' campaign announced Wednesday that the business consultant gave $14,000 to local charities. He received another $49,000 from Rangel-tied fundraisers, but is not giving that money to charity. All of the cash is from his previous two runs for the 10th District seat.

Foster has given $14,000 to charity that he received from Rangel in his 2008 campaigns for the far West suburban 14th District.

Rangel announced Wednesday that he would temporarily step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. After lengthy investigations, the House ethics committee admonished Rangel last week for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean. The New York Democrat is now being investigated for failing to report assets, including his interest in a Dominican Republican guest unit.