Monday, July 28, 2008

Convention headaches

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The LA Times pulls varied issues together and decides holding conventions is hard:

Municipal leaders were jubilant when they won the right to hold this year's event. But the convention is raising questions about whether this perennial booster town has bitten off more than it can chew.

The host committee is as much as $10 million short in fundraising, and financial difficulties have forced it to cancel two dozen parties for delegates. Denver officials are scrambling to deal with the logistical challenges of Barack Obama's acceptance speech being held at an outdoor stadium instead of in the arena where the rest of the convention will take place. Even special daisies that the city bred partly to show off for the convention are failing to sprout.
Local political leaders and the host committee insist everything is fine, and that any bumps along the way will be overshadowed by the attention showered on the city next month.
[Denver Mayor John] Hickenlooper referred to the event as the "blasted convention" and compared it to a summer he spent painting a house for which he was never paid. "If we'd known back then what we know now, we'd never have done it," he said, before quickly adding, "and what an incredible shame that would have been."

Last month the host committee said it was $10 million short of its $40-million target, but it now refuses to discuss fundraising totals.
Given that the Obama campaign increased convention costs by moving the last night to Invesco, I would certainly expect them to help close the money gap.