Democratic leaders and major party donors plan to hold a lavish 80th birthday gala for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan next month, despite 13 ethics charges pending against the veteran lawmaker.
Lobbyists and other party donors received invitations this week to join Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and New York Gov. David Paterson (D) at one of New York’s finest hotels to celebrate Rangel’s birthday.
Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are also listed as featured guests, according to an invitation viewed by The Hill.
Some guests received the invitation a day after the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct issued a report accusing Rangel of 13 ethics violations.
Some Democrats think Rangel has become politically radioactive, and the invitation lists various enticements to get people to show up to his birthday bash and contribute to his campaign.
Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” will sing to guests, who will pay $200, $500, $1,000 or $2,500 for tickets. The money will go to the Rangel Victory Fund, a campaign account.
The 2010 Rangel Birthday Gala is planned for Aug. 11 despite the fact that Rangel’s actual birthday is June 11.