Saturday, December 16, 2006

Denver lobbying hard

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Denver Democrats lobbied DNC Chairman Howard Dean hard on Friday to try to nail down its bid to host the 2008 Democratic Convention, and are feeling better about things:

Sen. Ken Salazar, Gov.-elect Bill Ritter and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper emerged from a Friday morning conference call with Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean feeling "very hopeful, confident and enthusiastic," Salazar spokesman Cody Wertz said.
More from the Rocky Mountain News:
Colorado's Democratic political power-troika - Gov.elect Bill Ritter, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper - teamed up on a conference call Friday to tell party chairman Howard Dean that Denver has what it takes to put on a fantastic 2008 presidential nominating convention.

With former Vermont Gov. Dean expected to pick Denver or New York City early next week to host the national convention, the call was one last lobbying push to ease reported concerns about Denver's ability to raise enough money and hotel rooms, and to deliver on the mammoth logistical and security demands required by the $80 million political bash for 35,000 visitors.

The message of the 20-minute call was clear: "We would make it one of the best-run conventions in history," Hickenlooper recounted.
While the Democratic Party has been pressing Denver to bolster its fund-raising, Denver 2008 Host Committee leader Debbie Willhite said: "Right now, I would rather have our issues to overcome than New York's."

She was referring to the Big Apple's need to find temporary space to house thousands of journalists within Madison Square Garden's convention security zone, given that city's pricey, scarce real estate.

I haven't talked about facilities for a while, but neither city has a big nearby building to house the media. Denver has an easier solution: Build temporary facilities in the Pepsi Center parking lots, just as Boston did. New York used the adjacent Farley Post Office for the media for the 2004 GOP convention, but it's not available in 2008, so I'm not sure what New York is proposing - but it sounds like it's an issue for New York's bid.

Denver Facilities Overview