Tag: Democratic National Convention (page 3)

Denver: ATT thanks Blue Dogs Sun. Night

The SF Chronicle reports on corporate lobbyists taking advantage of a loophole in rules preventing them from throwing lavish parties to "honor"House lawmakers, which exempts parties for groups of Members.

Prominent, a Sunday evening bash thrown by ATT for the "Blue Dogs" to thank them for the FISA amnesty.

Lobbyist parties for lawmakers bend rules

Congress, pledging to clean up Washington's culture of corruption, approved a rule last year to end the practice of lobbyists or their clients throwing lavish events honoring lawmakers at the parties' national conventions.

But the House ethics committee opened a huge loophole in the rule by issuing guidelines in December saying it was fine for lobbyists or their employers to throw parties for a group of House members - just not for a single lawmaker...

...AT&T is among the sponsors of a party celebrating the conservative House Blue Dog Democrats on Sunday night.

Perfect spot for the first appearance of my "STOP GOVERNMENT SPYING" banner.

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Razor Wire Won't Top Makeshift Convention Jail Cells

Who knew what they were thinking when they built the makeshift warehouse jail cells for those arrested during the Democratic National Convention, but at least they've scrapped one bad idea.

The razor wire covering the cells is being removed. Chain link fence coverings will be used instead. Also:

Sixty people an hour can be processed at the building, where cameras are set up to take mug shots alongside computerized fingerprinting stations.

A table holds six telephones, and two portable air-conditioning units each the size of a small truck pump cool air into the building. Each cell will contain 20 chairs. A sign posted on a steel column warns: "Electric stun devices used in this facility."

Anyone arrested in East Denver, not just protesters, will be transported to "Gitmo on the Platte."

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Denver Achieves $40 Million Fundraising Goal for Convention

It took a while, and the Denver Host Committee missed a deadline, but all is well now. Denver has achieved its $40.6 million convention fundraising goal. And money is still coming in.

Congrats to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and DNC Host Committee co-chair, attorney Steve Farber.

Hickenlooper has spent dozens of nights and weekends and crisscrossed the country seeking donors. To a lesser extent, Gov. Bill Ritter and Sen. Ken Salazar also have been seeking donors.

Meanwhile, Denver fundraising giant, lobbyist and attorney Steve Farber had staked his reputation on getting the bills paid, reaching out to contacts near and far.

The additional funds necessary for the Invesco Field event where Sen. Obama will make his acceptance speech will be completed Friday. On a related note, billionaire New York Republican Tom Golisano donated $1 million last week to the Committee.

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Making Pay Equity a Campaign Issue

On the list of speakers at the Democratic National Convention is Lilly Ledbetter, whose case before the Supreme Court led to a shameful 5-4 decision barring women from suing for unlawful wage discrimination unless they act within 180 days of the time the disparate pay started -- even if they don't learn until years later that all the male employees holding the same job had been given raises that female employees didn't receive. Ledbetter is in a good position to dramatize a point that needs to be made clearly: Republicans in general, and John McCain in particular, continue their history of hostility to legislation that provides a remedy for gender discrimination.

Obama was an original co-sponsor of the legislation to reverse the result in Ledbetter's case; McCain opposes the bill because, he said in April, it "opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems." Well, yes, that would be the point of a law prohibiting pay discrimination.

As Ruth Marcus writes, Lilly Ledbetter "puts a human face on a pocketbook issue." And it's an issue that tells us a good deal about the values our next president will hold.

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Behind the Push to Add Religion to the Convention

For weeks, if not longer, it's been clear there is going to be a major infusion of religion into the Democratic National Convention.

Here's how it's being done. And why?

[it's] a mission to narrow the "G-d gap" between Democrats and Republicans by winning over religious voters who have flocked to the GOP over the last 20 years.

What do we do with them when they get here? Adopt their Republican views so we can keep them?

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More Convention Speakers Added

The DNCC just announced the following additional speakers to the Convention lineup and the gavel times.

Evan Bayh and Joe Biden are still on the list for Wednesday. Tim Kaine's name still doesn't appear anywhere. But, they stress more names are coming.

Joining the program on Monday, August 25th will be Former President Jimmy Carter; Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; Miami Mayor Manny Diaz; Illinois state leaders Alexi Giannoulis, Dan Hynes, Lisa Madigan, and Tom Balanoff from Illinois SEIU; long-time Barack Obama mentor Jerry Kellman; NEA President Reg Weaver; AFT President Randi Weingarten; and NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan. The theme of Monday’s program is One Nation.


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Chairs and Forks to Be Missing At Many Convention Parties

For those of you thinking you will be awash in free and great food at parties and other events at the Democratic National Convention, think again. The New York Times reports that due to new ethics laws, most places will only be able to serve small plates of finger food -- as a result, many venues are removing the chairs and forks will not be provided.

[T]his year, members of Congress attending the Democratic convention in Denver next week and the Republican gathering in St. Paul in September are facing a more down-market prospect: bare-bones receptions where food eaten with forks has given way to finger food, where chairs have been removed and where meatballs may be served but not something heartier, like a hamburger.

The law is the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. It prevents lobbyists from providing meals, music and other gifts to Congressional members or their staff. [More...]

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Al Gore to Speak at DNC on Thursday

Via CNN, Al Gore has accepted a speaking role for Thursday night at the Democratic Convention, the same night Sen. Barack Obama will make his acceptance speech.

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Denver Salon Gives Free Haircuts to Homeless for Convention

CBS4 Denver reports Sly's Salon in Denver is providing free haircuts to the homeless in advance of the Democratic Convention. The effort was organized by Denver Human Services.

It seems to be a first -- don't move the homeless, clean them up. That was the work of one salon and the recipients didn't even seem to care if the Democrats were coming to town. Sly's Salon at 17th and Grant was offering free haircuts to the homeless Monday. "To give them haircuts and make them all spiffed up for the Democratic National Convention, because they are part of our community as well," said Ghandia Gohnson, co-owner of Sly's Salon.

One of the recipients said she doesn't care about the convention, she just wants to look good. [More...]

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Denver Police Issue DNC Protest Flyer

The Denver Police Department has issued its final flyer (pdf) with advice for protesters at the Democratic National Convention. Here's a sample:

What should you do if an unlawful assembly is declared and a dispersal order given?

Listen carefully to any police order to disperse. Even if you are not engaged in unlawful activity, you are subject to citation and/or arrest if you do not leave the area defined by the police in their lawful order to disperse. For example, in a situation where some individuals are blocking a street and some individuals are walking on the sidewalk, the police may order everyone to leave the area.

The Denver Post reports that Cindy Sheehan and Public Enemy will be among those coming to protest.

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Anti-Choice Democrats Plan Events in Denver

It's not just the Republicans and radical right who will bring their anti-choice message to Denver. It's Democrats too. Democrats for Life have three events are scheduled, including a Hall of Fame Dinner at the Hotel Monaco, 17th & Champa Sts.

This year's award recipient is Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN). Congressman Davis has been a consistently strong pro-life leader in Congress and he introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act in 2006. In addition, DFLA will organize a Town Hall rally to promote the Pregnant Women Support act in conjunction with the Hall of Fame event.

The Group has a plan:

The 95-10 Initiative is a comprehensive package of federal legislation and policy proposals that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years.

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More Faith Events Added to Democratic Convention

Yesterday the DNCC announced an Unity-Faith Breakfast in addition to the Interfaith event that will open the Convention.

Today, they announced interfaith caucus events. In addition, the release says:

Senator Obama is a committed Christian, and he believes that people of all faiths have an important place in American life,” said Joshua Dubois, Obama For America Director of Religious Affairs. “He's proud to work with the Democratic National Convention Committee on a Convention that fully engages people of faith in dialogue, celebration and prayer. We are honored that so many religious leaders are reaching across partisan and ideological lines in this Convention to address the values that matter to Americans."

Every night, the release continuess, the convention will begin with an invocation and end with a benediction. It stresses the evangelicals included [More...]

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