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Rangel and AIG

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"Rangel and AIG"

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This certainly doesn’t look good to me:

The company has never made a contribution. But less than a month after Mr. Rangel met with its officials, the company turned to the congressman for help: A senior A.I.G. executive who had attended the fund-raising meeting wrote a letter directly to Mr. Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, urging him to support a provision of a tax bill that would save A.I.G. millions of dollars a year, according to Joseph M. Norton, a company spokesman.

Mr. Rangel’s exchange with A.I.G. last spring appears to be at odds with the public statements he has made since his fund-raising for the school became an issue. When his approach to A.I.G. was first reported in The Washington Post in July, Mr. Rangel said that he could not recall any issues his committee might have considered in which A.I.G. had an interest.

To be honest, this hardly seems like the most pernicious political quid pro quo in the universe. But there are lines of explicitness you can’t cross without getting in trouble, and certainly it doesn’t help when it turns out you’ve done things that “appear[] to be at odds with the public statements” you’ve made.

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