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Nutter goes fundraising - but why Council no-shows?

HE HAD crab cakes and cocktails, but where was the love from City Council? Mayor Nutter kicked off his 2011 campaign fundraising last night in an elegant room high up in the new Comcast Center. PhillyClout can report that the crowd was packed with bold-faced names, including ex-Guv (and new Daily News columnist) Ed Rendell, Comc

HE HAD crab cakes and cocktails, but where was the love from City Council?

Mayor Nutter kicked off his 2011 campaign fundraising last night in an elegant room high up in the new Comcast Center. PhillyClout can report that the crowd was packed with bold-faced names, including ex-Guv (and new Daily News columnist) Ed Rendell, Comcast executive David L. Cohen, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, District Attorney Seth Williams and music mogul-turned-developer Kenny Gamble.

Nutter pumped up the crowd - to attend, each individual paid $1,000 and each political committee $5,000 - with a speech about how the city was looking ahead to better days.

"We have been through some tough times," he said. "We're on the way back though. We are poised to participate in the economic recovery that is coming."

But the only City Council member that we could see in the crowd for Nutter's speech was Bill Green - who has publicly toyed with running for mayor himself, although he is not expected to run this year.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown showed up later in the event, increasing Nutter's Council attendance.

With more than 100 people in the room, Nutter was hoping to pull in the big bucks. Campaign-finance reports for 2010 were due yesterday and Nutter's numbers were a tad lackluster. He ended the year with $1.25 million on hand, which is slightly less than the $1.33 million that he had at the beginning of the year.

One idea to pump up fundraising? Another ad featuring Nutter's teenage daughter, Olivia, like her famous 2007 commercial. So far it has not been clear if Olivia will do another such turn.

Nutter joked about her participation during his speech.

"Olivia is too busy to be here tonight," Nutter said amid laughter. "She's 15 going on 16 . . .

she's now negotiating her 2011 deal with the campaign."

- Catherine Lucey