Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"D" is for Democrats; "D" is also for Disaster

Democrats are busying themselves preparing for their convention next month, and the woes continue. And it's sad that the New York Times, of all papers, has to be the one to get the word out that the party sits on the brink of disaster:

With the Denver convention less than two months away, problems range from the serious — upwardly spiraling costs on key contracts still being negotiated — to the mundane, like the reluctance of local caterers to participate because of stringent rules on what delegates will be eating, down to the color of the food. At last count, plans to renovate the inside of the Pepsi Center for the Democrats are $6 million over budget, which may force convention planners to scale back on their original design or increase their fund-raising goals.

The convention is being organized by the Democratic National Committee, which is run by Howard Dean, with his chief of staff, the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, leading the effort. Only in the last month has the Obama campaign been able to take over management of the convention planning with the candidate claiming the nomination, and his aides are increasingly frustrated, as the event nears, at organizers who they believe spent too freely, planned too slowly and underestimated actual costs. ...

Some of the Democratic missteps started soon after planning for the event began. The Democratic National Convention Committee decided not to take cheap office space and instead rented top-quality offices in downtown Denver at $100,000 a month, only to need less than half the space, which it then filled with rental furniture at $50,000 a month. And in a costly misstep, the Denver host committee, early on, told corporate donors that their contributions were not tax-deductible, rather than to encourage donations by saying that the tax-exempt application was pending and expected to be approved.

Overly ambitious environmental goals — to turn the event into a “green” convention — have backfired as only three states’ full delegations have so far agreed to participate in the program. Negotiations over where to locate demonstrators remain unsettled with members of the national news media concerned over proposals to locate the demonstrators — with their loud gatherings — next to the media tent.

And then there is the food: A 28-page contract requested by Denver organizers that caterers provide food in “at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple and white.” Garnishes could not be counted toward the colors. No fried foods would be allowed. Organic and locally grown foods were mandated, and each plate had to be 50 percent fruits and vegetables. As a result, caterers are shying away.

For the Democratic Party, the danger is that a poorly run convention, or one that misses the mark financially, will reflect badly on the party and raise questions about Democratic management skills. And more worrisome for the Obama campaign is that it will be left with the bill for overruns or fund-raising shortfalls, and that the candidate will have to compete in raising money against a convention effort desperate for cash.

Is anyone really surprised by this? Mismanagement has become a staple of the Democrat party. Take a look at Congress, and tell me we're wrong on that assertion. Now it's translating to their convention. They're over budget on certain things, and underfunded. Their corporate donors weren't pleased to be told their contributions weren't tax-deductible, which lead to less donors. The food thing is their own damn doing. They wanted it to be "health food" central, and that's why the caterers aren't exactly thrilled with them. The whole environmental theme is ludicrous -- that the convention has to be "green." Anyone want to take a stab at the size of the carbon footprint that'll be left behind by this convention? And to force Obama to pick up the costs is nuts, but it is his fault in opting out of public financing. Had he stayed with it, he could've looked at the party and told them to take a long walk off a short pier.

Captain Ed observes that Dean isn't pleased with the Times reporting. Dean has accused the Times of lying in the story, and has issued a press statement that doesn't even begin to refute the Times.

In it, Dean claims "The New York Times implies that the Convention has imposed eating restrictions on delegates to the Convention. That is false. Democrats at the Pepsi Center and other official Convention venues can have all the fried goodies they can stomach. Talk of anything to the contrary is just plain silly."

What the vendors at the Pepsi Center want to serve is their business. The DNC has no control over that, but their official functions have mandated the food restrictions. So trying to spin this as a misstatement by the Times doesn't wash. Dean also claims that he has "hundreds" of delegates who have agreed to the "Green Delegate Challenge." That's splitting hairs as over 4000 delegates will head to Denver. As Captain Ed notes, if those delegates are from California, New York, and Oregon, then you have hundreds, but it hardly covers the totality of the delegates.

And whose bright idea was it to consider putting the demonstrators next to the media tent. We already know the Democrat party is full of moonbats. Does the nation really need that sort of a reminder? Personally, we think this is another example of just how inept the DNC has been run under Howard Dean, and should this go south (judging from the looks of it right now, it probably will) we'll laugh when he's handed his walking papers.

Publius II


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