Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Florida doesn't get a hotel assignment

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

Readers of this blog know I focus on logistics, not politics, and there's an assumption that in this day and age the nominee will be chosen months before the convention starts. So there is essentially no overlap anymore between the politics of the primaries and the logistics of the convention. It's Howard Dean's job to prepare the convention and the national party and turn over the keys to the nominee as soon as he or she is picked.

For that reason I've chosen not to cover the debate over the primary schedule, and states moving earlier than the DNC allowed, because I assumed that as soon as the primaries were over those states whose delegates are being threatened would be restored. I mean, can you imagine the Democratic nominee actually supporting the non-seating of the Florida delegation at the convention? All it takes is a vote by the delegates at the convention to overturn any decisions made earlier, and by that point, who cares whether Florida gets seated.

Well they may get seated, but, as of now, they have nowhere to sleep. Dan Slater at DemNotes starts us off:

The DNCC has announced the housing assignments for the Democratic National Convention in Denver next August. First, some background: Somewhere between 17,000 and 19,000 rooms across Denver have been blocked off by hotels in the metro area for the Convention. Of these, around 6,000 to 7,000 are set aside for state delegations. The ones that are set aside for delegations are all in one of three areas: Downtown, Tech Center, and Stapleton. This summer, nearly every state sent a representative to Denver to tour hotels in those three areas and make their preferences known to the DNCC. Since September, the DNCC has been working on a complicated puzzle, trying to take into account the preferences of the delegations (some wanted close hotels, some wanted cheaper hotels, some wanted hotels with a lot of amenities, and some were limited to the largest hotels, etc.) and the available hotels.

Today, the DNCC announced the assignments.

The thing is, Florida did not get assigned a hotel. Now, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a hotel in Dean's backpocket, but at least Dean and the DNC is being consistent - I mean, if you don't have any delegates, why do you need a hotel room?

Update from the Denver Post:

Florida moved its primary up to January in violation of Democratic National Committee rules, leading the party to strip the state of its delegates for the convention and prevent them from being assigned a hotel. "We're following the direction we received from the party's rules and bylaws committee," said Natalie Wyeth, a spokesperson for the "At this point, we are just focused on the delegates we have."

The eventual Democratic presidential nominee could ask that Florida's delegation being reinstated to the convention, a likelihood given the state's electoral importance. But it's unclear what that would mean for the 210-member delegation's accommodations in Denver. "We can't speculate what the candidate might or might not do," said Wyeth.

That's a great quote by Wyeth: "At this point, we are just focused on the delegates we have."

And Florida responds:
However, the Democratic presidential nominee could ask that Florida's delegates be reinstated, and the powerful bloc is counting on just that. "We're looking forward to visiting the beautiful Mile High City," said Florida party spokesman Mark Bubriski.

Democratic National Convention Committee officials say their omission of Florida comes at the national party's direction. But hotel assignments are just beginning, and only about 7,000 rooms are blocked for the 5,000 delegates, their alternates and guests. In all, the DNCC has 17,000 rooms to ratio out to delegations, media and other party officials.

Sounds like there's plenty of hotel rooms left. But Florida has a big delegation, not to mention a Democratic Senator who is a superdelegate who I'm sure would like to be housed with his delegation, if someone would just tell him where they will be.

Update: Guam Loves Jason Rosenberg plots out the route for the Guam delegation from their hotel to the Pepsi Center. Needless to say, Guam did not get the best hotel assignment. Maybe Guam should offer Senator Bill Nelson of Florida a spot in their hotel?