Thursday, September 20, 2007

Convention rentals at a premium

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Looking to rent housing during next summer's convention? Better act fast:

Renters may have fewer homes to choose from in Colorado.
The 2008 Democratic National Convention may also be another reason for the scarce rental vacancies. The convention will be in Denver in August of next year. Visitors to the convention have already started looking for short-term rentals with in a short distance of the Pepsi Center. On the Craig's List Web site, Denver homeowners have started posting their properties as rental.

Homeowner Jeff Davis has offered up his condo for rent specifically during the convention. "Competition is going to be the hotels (which are) $200, $300 and $400 a night. It seems like a good time to rent the place, generate a little extra income and potentially get out of town," he said.

The organization Housing Helpers of Metro Denver has already received phone calls from groups looking for rentals ranging from a few weeks to more than 6 months. "People are looking ahead," said Dave Janecek, a Housing Helpers employee. "I guess they anticipate, if they don't take care of it, there's a limited supply of housing and when it's out ... it's out."

Housing experts expect the demand for temporary housing to move well beyond hotel rooms. Pat Waak, state Democratic Party Chairman, said 12,000 volunteers for the convention will need a base of operation and a place to stay. "If you have a best friend, who live in downtown Denver, call them up right now," Waak said.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Fox News to provide convention pool coverage

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There's a mini-controversy about the announcement that Fox News will provide the pool coverage for the Democratic Convention. First, the news:

TVNewser has learned Fox News will be the pool for the Democratic National Convention in Denver beginning August 25, 2008. And NBC News will be the pool for the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis the following Monday, September 1.

The pool provides camera shots inside the convention halls and can be used by any cooperating (read: paying) entity. A network insider tells TVNewser it's really as simple as drawing straws about which network will be the pool for a certain event. Since NBC and FNC will be pool for the conventions, the other networks will likely be the pool for other events, including next fall's debates.

Now the controversy. From OpenLeft:
Fox News is not a legitimate news outlet, but a partisan outlet pushing out GOP propaganda. Why in the world would this channel be allowed to control the camera shots inside the hall?
While I agree that Fox News is very partisan, the post at OpenLeft shows little knowledge of how a pool works at a convention. The pool is there to provide standard shots - especially shots of the podium. There is no need, and actually no room on the camera stands, for each network to provide their own camera to give the same unmoving shot of the speaker. More importantly, each network provides its own cameras for its own shots, and each network does its own production, choosing when to use its own shots, and when to use the pool shots. Also, the pool does not provide any graphics, commentary, or anything close to any editorial discretion. There's really no way that Fox providing the pool coverage could affect how the convention is covered.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Convention looking for interns and volunteers

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It takes a lot of people to put on a convention, and Denver's putting out the call for more. From Dan Slater at DemNotes:

Last night, I was in Denver again for a meeting of the Denver 2008 Host Committee’s Volunteer Committee (that’s a long name!). I am one of the co-chairs of that committee, along with Landri Taylor and Cec Ortiz, who are both wonderful people with which to work. The Committee is continuing to work to ensure that we plan for every possible contingent to identify and utilize the 7,000 to 10,000 volunteers that will be needed to put together the most memorable Democratic Convention in the history of our Party.

If you haven’t yet signed up to volunteer, you can do so on the State Party’s website (, or at the Denver 2008 website ( If you have signed up, you should have received about four different e-mails from the Host Committee over the past few months providing short updates. If you have signed up, but haven’t received those e-mails, you may want to check your spam folder and junk e-mail settings to be certain they aren’t being mis-identified as spam. You also may want to try signing up again online.

In the next couple of months, you will be able to set your volunteer profile online, and that will help us identify where we can use you as a volunteer as things heat up closer to next summer. So, when you get the e-mail about your online profile, be sure to go online and get that done — hopefully, before the end of October.

Right now, though, the Host Committee is in need for more college interns. If you, or somebody you know, is interested in being an intern for the Host Committee / DNCC, please send an e-mail to the Host Committee with your resume or qualifications to - be sure and put “Intern” in the subject line, so your e-mail doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of e-mails received by the Host Committee daily.

Also, the Host Committee is looking for volunteers who can donate a full day or more a week on a regular basis to helping out at the Host Committee offices. Send an e-mail to the address in the prior paragraph with the subject line “Full-Day Volunteer” with your availability.

Volunteering for a political convention just can't be beat. And if you can be one of a few, instead of 1 of 10,000, the possibilities are endless. Those intern positions, or working in the Host Committee offices, are great ways to get in early and really make a contribution.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Convention looking for volunteer housing

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The Colorado Democratic Party notes the Denver Convention Host Committee is looking for housing for volunteers for next August:

The Denver 2008 Host Committee is looking for volunteer housing. While many of the volunteers for the 2008 Democratic National Convention will be from Colorado, some of those volunteers will come from outlying areas around the state. Also recruitment is going on in surrounding states. Most hotel rooms locally will be used to house state delegations, press, and others associated with the convention. If you know of someone who has extra room during next August, please contact Sondra Williams, Volunteer Coordinator at or 303-534-6200.

Monday, September 03, 2007

How many journalists will cover the convention

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Interesting column in the Rocky Mountain News this weekend on how many media people will actually attend and cover the 2008 Democratic Convention:

The estimate of 15,000 journalists includes media support personnel, and it's the same figure the big political conventions have used for planning purposes since the 1992 or 1996 events, according to Wally Podrazik, director of media operations for the Democratic National Convention Committee.

But as you've noticed, major news media aren't spending as much money these days, so it's reasonable to assume that fewer mainstream journalists will come to Denver than came to previous conventions.

Fact is, most of the cutbacks have already occurred at previous conventions. When the networks were providing major coverage, they used to send 700-800 people each to the convention. But since they've cut back their coverage, they've already cut their numbers considerably, so 2008 shouldn't be much different than 2004. And trust me that the increase in bloggers covering the convention hasn't made up for it.

And if Wally Podrazik says they're planning for 15,000, they're likely to get near 15000. Podrazik has been doing media planning for conventions since 1980, and he works very closely with the umbrella press organizations that help to organize convention credentialing. I would trust his 8 conventions worth of experience over a local Denver columnist.