Friday, February 24, 2006

Will Mary Kay keep the convention out of Dallas?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

All sorts of interesting information in today's Dallas Morning News, in an excellent article written by Dave Levinthal:

Although Dallas government and political leaders say they'll aggressively pursue hosting either the 2008 Republican or Democratic national convention, a top tourism official questions whether the quadrennial gatherings would prove more trouble than benefit, as they could interfere with the city's most lucrative business bash.

"It's unlikely Dallas will be able to bid for either political convention. We have a long-term contract with this little group called Mary Kay," said Phillip Jones, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's unlikely we'll even submit a bid."

Not so, says Bill Blaydes, the Dallas City Council's Economic Development and Housing Committee chairman.

"They bring color, they bring class, they bring the American way right to your doorstep. We'd be selling this city to the world," he said of the party conventions.

Mary Kay Inc., the Addison-based cosmetics giant, conducts its three-week-long national seminar annually – and during the summer – at the Dallas Convention Center. [Scheduled for July 16 through August 2, 2008]

"I would certainly believe we should go after a national convention in '08, with the understanding that we work very closely with our good friends at Mary Kay. I'd like to think we could do both," council member Gary Griffith said.

For the Democrats, I'm not sure what the issue is. If the Democrats hold their convention in Dallas, it would likely be at the American Airlines Center, not at the Dallas Convention Center. The Democrats are holding their convention 3 weeks after the Mary Kay event is over. What's the problem?

And if the Republicans go in September, there's even less of a conflict.

Whether those dates would overlap a political convention is unclear: Neither Democratic nor Republican leaders have formally selected dates or sites for 2008, and the party in power traditionally conducts its convention last.
But the Democrats have formally announced their date, as is mentioned in just the next paragraph:
But Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in November that he's scheduling his party's convention between Aug. 25 and Aug. 28.

If those dates stand, the GOP would have to choose whether to host its convention in July (before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing), in August during the Olympics, or in September – quite late since the presidential contest traditionally kicks off on Labor Day.

As I wrote yesterday, it will be interesting to see what date the GOP chooses.

Mr. Blaydes said the city should create a "gold-ribbon" commission to lobby the national parties and construct proposals for hosting their conventions, at which they nominate their presidential candidates.

You mean, like, um, Denver has already done, and had their first meeting already?

And here comes the strange part:

Besides, hosting a political convention in 2012 would allow Dallas to boast a more robust city center and suspension bridges over the Trinity River, [Jones] said.

"We'd love to host it," Mr. Jones said, noting that he'd follow the mayor's directions one way or another. "But we're not in a position at this time."

The CEO of the Dallas
Convention and Visitors Bureau, blowing off both conventions, for absolutely no good reason? This city needs to get their act together.

And finally for the Democrats, comes the bottom line:

Even local Democrats say Dallas is more likely to score the Republican convention in 2008.

"You'd have to consider us a dark horse realistically," said Darlene Ewing, Dallas County Democratic Party chairwoman. "But Dallas County is becoming Democratic. You can't keep writing us off."

Well Ms. Ewing, the CEO of your Convention Bureau apparently has written off both the Democrats and Republicans, so don't take it personally or politically.


Michael Hurta said...

It would be interesting to have the party's convention in Dallas just a year of the Young Democrats of America have their convention in the Texas City.

Janette said...

I'm very interested in politics AND I'm an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.
Here's a thought....some of us could stay after our MK Convention and offer skin classes/seminars for those who come into Dallas for the political convention...seems like a win/win situation to me!
janette in cincinnati