Despite ethics charges, Rangel to get big birthday bash
The party’s not over for Rep. Charles Rangel.
Democratic leaders are throwing an 80th birthday bash for Rangel at the Plaza Hotel next month — even though Harlem’s political dean is facing 13 charges by the House ethics committee.
Democratic supporters got invitations to the gala organized by Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Gov. David Paterson, according to published reports.
“It won’t look good,” said political strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who thought the party could hurt Democrats in tough midterm elections.. “They are not paying attention to public opinion across the country.”
Funds from the bash will go to Rangel’s campaign coffers.. The veteran lawmaker is charged with failing to disclose income on property and misuse of his staff and government stationary to raise money . Ethics committee members have has recommended reprimanding Rangel, , but he could still face trial in September if a settlement isn’t reached.
“He’s got to do a fundraiser,” said Democratic consultant. “He’s not raising the kind of money he would normally.”
Tickets for the Aug. 11 event will go for up to $2,500, and scheduled speakers include Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Still, some Democrats have called for Rangel’s resignation, and President Obama said Friday he hoped the lawmaker would end his political career “with dignity.”
A Paterson spokesman said Sunday that all Americans have the right to be considered “innocent until proven guilty.”