Because his House Ethics violations are scaring away invitees to his big birthday party-fundraiser at the Plaza next week, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) has taken to calling his guest list to prod them to come. Actually, he's making robo-calls: Capitol Tonight has audio of the call, which features Rangel saying, "Hi. This is Charlie Rangel. I’m sorry I missed you, but I’m calling to let you know that there’s a birthday party. It’s going to be on Wednesday, August the 11th at the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel. If you can be with us, please call 212-862-4990. It’s going to bne a terrific party and we want you there. Again, the number is 212-862-4990. Please try to make it. I’ll be looking to meet you.”
Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf explains, "They want Charlie to appear as strong as possible. If the room is not full, it will appear that Charlie is weak." While Governor Paterson (his dad is a good friend of Rangel's) and Mayor Bloomberg are attending, gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer haven't committed—at least not in the press—to attending.
Babara Kamen, who with her husband former MetLife CEO Harry Kamen donated $11,600 to Rangel in the past, told the Daily News that they won't be going to the bash, "We just don't think he is such a terrific guy any more. We do think some of the allegations are true. I don't believe in him any more."