Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dean marks 1 year to go milestone

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DNC Chairman Howard Dean was in Denver today to rally the party one year before the 2008 Democratic Convention:

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean led a lunchtime rally today at the site of the 2008 Democratic National Convention by touting recent Democratic victories in the Intermountain West and then quickly engaging the presidential primaries. Saying that "any Democrat is better than any Republican running," Dean outlined what he called clear differences between the parties.

Dean spoke before a crowd of several hundred people just outside the Pepsi Center, which will be the convention site next Aug. 25-28. Joined by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Gov. Bill Ritter, Dean hammered at the war in Iraq, criticizing the Republican presidential field for wanting to stay the course, whereas Democratic candidates have sought a withdrawal.

Dean also criticized Republicans for a "culture of corruption," alluding to ethical scandals that plagued national GOP lawmakers in the months before the 2006 elections.


During the rally, Dean and Hickenlooper stressed the desire of convention organizers to hold the "greenest" national political convention ever seen and challenged Coloradans and Westerners to join the volunteer effort.

Just over 1 year to go...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Denver quiet on fundraising

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Well we always knew fundraising for the convention would be difficult, so stories like this shouldn't be surprising:

The host committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention has stopped issuing updates on fundraising after falling short of its first benchmark, but organizers say they aren't worried. The host committee has a goal of raising $40 million in cash and $15 million in in-kind contributions by June 2008. In late June 2007, the last time the committee issued an update, it reported about $6 million in cash, short of its $7.5 million benchmark for June 1.

Host committee spokeswoman Rachel Gordon said in an e-mail to The Associated Press Tuesday that the committee "declines to comment on updated fundraising figures. We are focused on our December goals." The December goal hasn't been released.

Natalie Wyeth, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee's convention organizing committee, said the organizers were not worried about the host committee's ability to raise money. "We remain confident the host committee will continue to report in accordance with the contractual deadlines," Wyeth said.
Ultimately, the money will be raised. If things are still running behind once the nominee is selected in the spring, then a lot of help will quickly come from the national party infrastructure. The party will not want money issues to detract from the messages of the campaign.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tonight Show's Mo Rocca previews convention prep

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This is just fantastic. Mo Rocca, who covered both conventions for the Tonight Show in 2004, filed a piece on Denver's preparations for the 2008 National Convention. Rocca and Mayor Hickenlooper cutting paper to make confetti, Rocca and DNCC head Leah Daughtry blowing up balloons, and lot's more. Two video's below. The first, shorter, but with the highlights, and good quality. The second is the whole piece, including before and after with Leno, but the quality is not as good, and there's laughter of the camera holder in the background.

I love at the end of the long video, when Leno says "look forward to your piece tomorrow on Minneapolis", and Rocca corrects him, "No, St, Paul". As the St. Paul Pioneer-Press wrote in July, 2006:

"This is Katie Couric, reporting from Minneapol- … from Minnesot- … from St. Paul.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

DNCC Announces Online Director

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Well, that job has been filled:

The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today named Jason Rosenberg as Director of Online Communications for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

In his role, Rosenberg will be responsible for developing and implementing new media strategy for the DNCC and overseeing the official 2008 Convention website, Rosenberg will manage online vendor and partner services relations on behalf of the DNCC and oversee outreach with the online community.

We are thrilled to have Jason join our team," said Leah Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC. "Using technology and online tools to bring more people into our 2008 Convention experience is a top priority. Jason brings both the skills and bold thinking to broaden our reach, expand the dialogue and make our Convention in Denver as inclusive as possible."
Update: Rosenberg on the 2008 convention:
Jason Rosenberg promised that bloggers would, technologically speaking, "break down the walls at the Pepsi Center" to make the convention a 24-7 conversation lighting up the blogosphere.
By 2004, the party credentialed 30 bloggers, who reported from the convention floor alongside their mainstream media counterparts. Rosenberg says far more than 30 will be in Denver.

Convention organizers are still developing credentialing rules for bloggers. They also expect that many of the 7,000 delegates will also be blogging. "There's a palpable feeling of empowerment here," Rosenberg said. "We're looking to capture that for the convention."

Bridge collapse to affect GOP planning

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The tragic collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis will affect planning for the 2008 GOP convention:

While the 2008 Republican convention is about 13 months off, this major disruption to the Twin Cities’ transportation network appears a serious problem for GOP and local logistical planners.

Some 17,000 hotel rooms have been blocked for the 2008 Republican National Convention, according to Meet Minneapolis, the city’s official visitor’s association. Of those rooms, 1,500 could be affected by the bridge collapse, said Meet Minneapolis spokeswoman Connie Stetler on Thursday, though she said the route to the airport located south of the cities would not be affected by the accident.

Democratic state Rep. Joe Mullery, whose district is northwest of the bridge, said the accident will shift 140,000 to 180,000 cars a day to other Twin Cities thoroughfares, creating the potential for major traffic disruptions. “Instead it will go on to my district, going north, a very large percent, half or slightly more of the traffic, could be shifted on that road through my district,” Mullery said. “There are no safety concerns, but it will just become another parking lot, practically.”

It's also more directly affecting the RNC summer meeting being held in Minneapolis this weekend:
The Republican National Committee says it plans to go ahead with its summer meeting in Minneapolis over the next few days although with a revised schedule. Earlier today, Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the R.N.C., said the schedule was “in flux” after yesterday’s highway bridge collapse. Republican officials are gathering in the city to take care of party business and gear up for next year’s Republican National Convention, which will be held in the Twin Cities next September.

“We are in nimble mode,” Ms. Schmitt said. “The mood has shifted to one of empathy and concern.”

First Lady Laura Bush was scheduled to speak at the meeting for 20 minutes tomorrow afternoon. Today her press office said that she would now be dropping by the event for a shorter time and her remarks will not be public. Mrs. Bush is making room in her schedule to visit the Interstate 35W bridge collapse overlook and to meet with volunteers and first responders in the morning.
One wonders if the convention might be used to create a deadline to get the bridge rebuilt on a quicker schedule. Brian Williams hinted at this on his broadcast this evening.