Hush, Hush & On The QT: DNC Convention — Hillary VS Howard; Unionizing Denver

Would Howard Dean pick Denver to spite Hillary Clinton?

If you want to take oxygen out of a room fast, put Senator Hillary Clinton and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean into the same room. Their feud has been going on for over four years. Recently, political consultant and close friend of the Clinton camp James Carville attacked Dean on his 50 State Strategy.
(For an interesting insight into the Dean-Clinton battle, go to an article in the New Republic, subscription required.)Until recently, supporters for the New York City site for the DNC Convention were pretty quiet. Perhaps they assumed Denver would not be able to overcome the $80 million price tag and the lack of unionized facilities. But then Colorado and Western Democrats had a slam-dunk election. And as the Denver Host Committee seemed to be getting closer to meeting the DNC financial goals, all of a sudden New Yorkers weren’t so confidant. And now who decided to jump into the convention site debate? New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

The perception that awarding the DNC Convention to NYC would benefit Clinton as she “starts” her official presidential exploratory outreach, is fodder for future politico blogs. However, if Clinton wants NYC, Dean will probably make sure she doesn’t get it.

If Denver gets the Democratic National Convention, will it give unions an inroad into the West?

The Hyatt Denver Convention Center Hotel, which would be a hotbed of Democratic meetings and special events should the convention be held in Denver, is the only unionized hotel in the Denver area. It has about 1,100 rooms.

There were over 900 union members who were delegates to the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston and hundreds if not thousands of more delegates supportive of unionized labor efforts. Obviously, there are not enough unionized hotel beds to accommodate everyone.

How integrated are unions in the Democratic National Convention plans? Here are a few clips from the 2004 Boston event:

Hundreds of union pickets sympathetic to a police labor dispute surrounded the site of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, preventing preparations for the political gathering to begin in less than two months.

The unions have written to all the state delegations asking them not to cross their picket lines. The leaders of at least six — North Dakota, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and California, the nation’s largest — have said they will avoid picketed events and will encourage their delegates to do likewise, which has led organizers to contemplate cancellations. Ohio delegation chairman Dennis L. White wrote the police union this week that he and his staff are prepared to join the walkout.

More than 500 delegates to the Democratic National Convention who are union members will gather at a labor caucus on the Sunday before the Convention to discuss the need for good jobs and affordable health care, and to pledge to mobilize as never before in the 2004 election season.

Just as the Democratic Party has looked upon the West as a “brave new world,” perhaps union organizers will see many opportunities to expand if the Democratic Convention comes to Denver.

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Leslie Robinson

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