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Charlie Rangel

Charles Rangel throws a lavish birthday party.

New York’s Democratic elite showered love and cash Wednesday night on scandal-soaked Rep. Charles Rangel at a lavish 80th birthday party fund-raiser.

“This damn sure ain’t no funeral,” declared a defiant Rangel.

But the threat of political mortality over the 13 ethics charges the congressman faces hung in the air of The Plaza hotel’s Grand Ballroom. “Please remember me in your prayers,” Rangel said as the party ended.

The turnout of 800 guests – including Gov. Paterson, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo – showed New York’s top Democrats still willing to stand with Rangel, even if some had played hard to get until Wednesday.

The crowd paid $200 to $2,500 to munch on vanilla cupcakes and kosher food, sip free-flowing cocktails and sway to Dionne Warwick singing “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Read more at NYDaily News

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