Rangel Packs ‘Em In At B-Day Bash, Breathes Sigh Of Relief

Harlem Democrat Sells All 800 Tickets, Some At $2,500 A Pop

Updated 8/12/10 7:10 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — Despite a growing political scandal, about 800 people attended the birthday bash for embattled Congressman Charles Rangel at The Plaza Hotel on Wednesday night.

Among the partiers were many New York politicians, making it seem like an election night celebration, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Rangel’s motto should be “if you hold it they will come,” because despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s joke about some officials not wanting to come and be seen with the ethically toxic congressman, Rangel’s 80th birthday fundraiser drew the crème de la crème of the local political world.

“Now I know a few people couldn’t be here tonight because, as they tell it, either they had to get a haircut unexpectedly or they were sure they’d have a headache,” Bloomberg said.

The powers that be were falling all over themselves to help the 20-term congressman raise money for his legal fund and his re-election campaign. They had names like Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and gubernatorial wannabe Andrew Cuomo and former mayor David Dinkins packed like sardines into the ballroom of the Plaza. New York Gov. David Paterson served as the event’s emcee.

“We’re all here to wish a happy birthday to Charlie Rangel,” Cuomo said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton blamed the Harlem Democrat’s ethical problems on the media.

“You have started and executed a political crucifixion, but stay tuned for the political resurrection,” Sharpton said.

But Rangel, who just Tuesday railed at Congress for not supporting him, was clearly overjoyed at the turnout. His campaign told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones that all the tickets were sold, with some paying up to $2,500 a ticket. Rangel even sent out recorded messages urging people to come.

With the ethics case hanging over his head and a Democratic primary on Sept. 14, Rangel needed to raise the cash to pay his lawyers and campaign in his district. He made that clear Tuesday when he took to the House floor in an extraordinary and emotional 37-minute speech in which he said that Democrats, nationally, want him to quit because they fear a public trial will move seats into the Republican column.

“If I can’t get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot in getting rid of me through expulsion,” Rangel said.

But the 20-term the congressman, who actually turned 80 on June 11, made it clear he won’t be going quietly and that he wants a quick resolution.

“Hey, don’t leave me swinging in the wind until November,” Rangel said. “I’m not going away. I am here.”

He was certainly there Wednesday night in Manhattan, telling the crowd: “This damn sure ain’t no funeral.”

The emotional high point of the night was Dionne Warwick pointing too all of Rangel’s friends and singing her signature song, “That’s What Friends Are For.”

It’s been an emotional several days for Congressman Rangel and Thursday promises to be another. Sources tell CBS 2 he’s planning a press conference in the morning where he’s formally going to turn his back on Washington, focus on his district, and, he says, win re-election to the House.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Tyrell Dawkins says:

    Harvey Firestein called, he’d like his voice back.

  2. Bob Stockton says:

    Happy Birthday Charlie. Now go home.

  3. Tronist says:

    Prison.

  4. bob krane says:

    Happy Birfday Charlie Dangel!!!

  5. Daniel says:

    Just because he cheats on his taxes doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be in charge of writing the tax laws for non-cheaters. Anyway all democrat politicians cheat on their taxes or on their spouses so why is it fair to go after him?
    I suppose if someone has to go under the bus, he’s a good candidate because he’s 80..
    If it’s not racism it’s agism.

  6. jopiper says:

    Oh yeah Charlie— Make sure Bubba Clinton shows up with some babes (don’t tell my wife), Oh and also– maybe Barry can bring some blow too, (REALLY don’t tell my wife).

  7. jopiper says:

    Hey!! Free food & brewskis!?The hell with those DC schmucks Charlie! I’m there for you Bro.
    Randy, Arvada, Colorado

  8. Blonduxo says:

    Have a look at a birthday celebration for a true American statesman and patriot who believes that it is wrong to steal from the government because the governemnt hates competition!

    http://dailypaul.com/node/142141#comment-1512590

  9. FuzzyWuzzy says:

    I would have been there Charlie, but I got all dirty draining the swamp.

  10. cindy says:

    Is this a republican site or something? Do they post the same comments
    when one of their own gets brought up on charges? Just seems like
    they have tunnel vision when it comes to politicians. Such a shame
    that there is such a tragic legacy to leave their families

  11. jgdp says:

    Yet another shuck & jive lying, criminal “politician.” Ya can’t teach an old dog new tricks and man is this dinosaur old and irrelevant!!!

  12. term limits says:

    Charlie time to go back to the chocolate factory

  13. junkster36 says:

    As congressman Powell before him, he will leave in shame-Racial arogance knows no boundaries-wealthy blacks who have gotten their pile by cheating the poorest among us well weep in the end.

  14. Jim says:

    Charlie’s come a long way down since his heroism east of the Chosin in’50 with the 7th infantry.

  15. Steven says:

    Charlie the crook gets a celebration? Celebrating corruption, tax evasion, kickback, outright theft? Really? The dems have sunk THIS low?

    Folks, drain the swamp. Time to vote the dem thieves and crooks out. Vote out everyone who celebrates the thiefs birthday. VOTE THEM OUT!

  16. Darrel says:

    We the people want photos, names, place of emplyment, and contact info for everyone who attends corrupt crooks Bday. VOTE THEM OUT!!! TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Goodgold says:

    What an unethical representative. I almost barfed when I heard him go on and on about they were “lapses” but not illegal. He doesn’t even rrealize when he’s lying. And then he has to being in the race card “swinging in the wind”. Get rid of all of them. That’s how my vote is going.

  18. firstpoppa says:

    I’m sure the ‘people’ of New York will re-elect Charlie. P.T. Barnum made money off the same kind of people.

  19. The Clintidote says:

    I hope this corrupt, parasitic, greasy little thief chokes on his cake. The Normal-American Community is done with him.

  20. Lee says:

    Seriously, TWENTY TERMS? He’s the poster boy for why TERM LIMITS are needed!

  21. garcilazo says:

    Funny Rangel has to throw a party to raise money for his legal defense. C’mon Charlie open the freezer!

  22. roger says:

    Perhaps some men in blue with nice, shiny handcuffs will show up for this crook.

  23. carlos says:

    the Demorats are buying him a one way ticket to the Netherlands…

  24. Cuttimer says:

    Just like many other pols he’s been stealing so long he no longer thinks it’s wrong

  25. Mark Silvers says:

    Listen….the sound of crickets….nobody shows! Have you ever seen a poor politician? Let him open his piggy-bank! Let’s vote this professional politician out of office!

  26. RWordplay says:

    I think it would be best for the man to celebrate quietly with friends and close family.

    With all due respect to Mr. Rangel, the more tries to defends himself, or explain away his actions, the more out of touch and egomaniacal the man appears to be. His dismissal of the various offenses with which he’s been charged, which at 13 are probably generous, bring to mind the routine by Monty Python in THE LIFE OF BRIAN. “What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? See YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

    Anyone who has spent anytime in Harlem must ask him/herself, what has this man done for his constituents in the last 40 years? Unless one sees that the constituency that he’s worked the hardest for is the Harlem Democratic Machine, his family and those of the Dinkin’s, Sutton’s, Patterson’s families. I wish the man would be seen for what he has become, a relic of late 20th Century Racial Politics.

  27. TANK says:

    Watch no one show up……

  28. Jack says:

    He needs cash? Can’t Charlie just cheat on his taxes or steal taxpayer funds again?

  29. Libs and the Lying Liars Who Elect Them says:

    Just one more tax-dodging Democrat crook!

  30. TheMadKing says:

    How’s this for a title for Charlie’s Bog Bash?

    Swamp Meet, lol!

    I wonder if Maxine will be there?

  31. lyons5 says:

    Adios, Charlie.

  32. picomanning says:

    I wonder if Rangel has a secret ‘get even’ file on his Congressional ‘friends’?

  33. jim says:

    The bus is coming Charlie. Have a good time. Where’s Hillary?

  34. NotsoBad says:

    this is a good thing for all of us taxpayers if you think about it. Who ever shows up just don’t vote for them. :0) They are making it this easy!!! Are ya listening NYC vote with your brains this time. Not your heart or guilt.

  35. yiddishlion says:

    I got ten bucks that says our tax dollars will pay for every bit of it.

  36. John` says:

    Thanks for your service Charlie…..Is your tax guy avaiable?

    1. mike says:

      I don’t think you want to use that tax guy!!

  37. picomanning says:

    As long as it’s not his farewell party! The Conservative movement would like to keep Rangel around til November. Let congressional liberals continue to support him.

    1. mike says:

      Apparently he’ll be around past November, I’m sure he’ll be re-elected.

  38. Wayne Serbin says:

    Belated Happy Birthday wishes to you, Charlie. I would like to attend tour Birthday Bash tonight, tonights the night that I do my laundry

    1. Rich Lombardo says:

      Great comment

  39. Ax says:

    He is like a shakespearian tragedy, a good guy turned villain, corrupted by his own ego and power. Sad to go out this way. Adieu our old friend, your time has passed. Xoxo

    1. Pat says:

      Well said.

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