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Rep. Charlie Rangel campaign strong-armed ally for endorsement

July 22, 2010: U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel speaks with Chief of Staff George Henry shortly after a congressional investigative panel accused Rangel of ethics violations. (Reuters)

Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel's campaign has a new recipe for winning friends and influencing people -- threatening them. 

Following a Rangel endorsement rally Saturday in East Harlem, the embattled congressman's campaign team made an unlikely confession to the New York Post -- they had strong-armed state Senator Bill Perkins for an endorsement. 

Perkins, a Manhattan Democrat, initially planned to back Rangel's stiffest challenger, state Senator Adriano Espaillat, in the June 26 congressional primary, Rangel's camp admitted. 

"I have friends all over the place, and I heard from someone he was going to support Espaillat," Rangel's East Harlem campaign manager Edwin Marcial recalled. 

The rumors seemed true last weekend when Perkins failed to show for a pro-Rangel Harlem Democratic confab. 

"When I asked [Perkins], he said, 'That's true,'" Marcial continued. "I said, 'If you don't support Charlie, I'm going to run against you,'" Marcial told the Post.

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