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Charlie Rangel Loses Backers, Plans to Party Anyway

Yesterday, politicians and Aretha Franklin were using every excuse they could think of to opt out of embattled Harlem congressman Charlie Rangel's birthday party. Now financiers are backing out of the lavish soirée at the Plaza Hotel, and these guys aren't even bothering with the euphemistic excuses:


"We just don't think he is such a terrific guy any more," said Barbara Kamen, who, with her husband, former MetLife CEO Harry Kamen, has given $11,600 to Rangel over the years. "We do think some of the allegations are true. I don't believe in him any more [sic]," she said.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said they're "not making any additional contributions to Rep. Rangel at this time," and investment banker Felix Rohatyn is reconsidering his donations as well. The Daily News reports that Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg have yet to come up with excuses for missing the event, so they "plan to party," along with Ed Sullivan and Dionne Warwick, who is performing in place of Aretha Franklin. This soirée might be awesomely tragic. Imagine the toast.

Rep. Charles Rangel loses big donors, including drug giant Pfizer, amid ethics scandal [NYDN]

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Photo: Ladybird-Life