Thursday, September 28, 2006

Did the GOP play fair?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Now we don't expect the GOP to really ever play fair, but I argued in the comments below that I thought the GOP decision to pre-emptively choose St. Paul was smart, not dirty politics. But a Minnesota Democrat says otherwise:

Rick Stafford, a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee from Minneapolis, said negotiations set for next week "would have pretty much cemented the deal." He said the GOP's decision showed that Republicans "cannot keep their honor in the site-selection process." He said as the non-incumbent party, Democrats should have been able to choose their site first in keeping with tradition.

"It just follows their whole scorched-earth ... philosophy that's running true to form this year," said Stafford, adding that "all the signals" indicated that Republicans were going to allow Democrats to choose their site first. He speculated that word got out that Democrats wanted the Twin Cities and that pressure was applied on the RNC by local Republicans to act quickly if they wanted to nail down the Twin Cities.

Republicans rejected Stafford's arguments, noting that they picked first when they took their convention to New York in 2004.

Well, the Republicans lied about 2004. The Democrats chose Boston in November, 2002, while the GOP chose New York in January, 2003. (Source: New York Times articles).

Update: The Star-Tribune corrected the article (at least on their web site) saying:
A story on Page A1 Thursday incorrectly described which political party picked its convention site first in 2004. The Democrats announced their site first.
But while I've verified the tradition of the incumbent party having the later convention, this is the first I've seen of a tradition of allowing the non-incumbent party of picking first. In fact, it's been reported in numerous places that for Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York, whichever party announced their pick first would get the city for their 2008 convention. So I'm not sure if the GOP went over the line here. But it does confirm what I wrote below, that the Democrats were getting ready to pick St. Paul, and the GOP just beat them to it.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Stafford really wanted the event to be held there.

I'm so excited about the possibility of Denver, that I just can't get upset like he did, regardless of whether Ken Smellman beat him to it or not.

I will be bummed if we wind up in NYC, but from every poll I've ever seen (with New Orleans not being able to bid) Denver has been the main choice among Democrats.

Go Denver!