Today the House of Representatives made history by voting to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) in light of a variety of ethics and disclosure violations, tax evasion, and a number of other actions that would suggest the guy believes bribery is a legitimate part of constituent relations.
The vote tally shows how issues as grand as ethics don't overcome the importance of constituency in Congressional politics.
For instance, of the 41 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, only one voted to censure Rangel. Of the 24 members of the Hispanic Caucus, it was only 4 against Rangel. And most members of the New York City Congressional delegation also voted in support of their colleague from Harlem, including Republican Peter King.
In the Wisconsin delegation, all but Gwen Moore voted for censure, including Democrats Tammy Baldwin, Steve Kagen, Ron Kind and perhaps most significantly, Dave Obey, who, like Rangel, is an old school pork barreller who rose to chair one of the most powerful committees in the House.