GOP selects Minneapolis/St. Paul for '08 convention

So the RNC went with the Twin Cities for their '08 convo.

For the Democrats, it's down to NYC or Denver. NYC?  With Bloomberg as Mayor and possibly an independent candidacy-- that takes about 2 seconds to reject.

Denver is the first, right, and best choice. The only thing blocking it from happening appears to be good old single-issue politics-- Denver apparently doesn't have enough labor hotels, blah. Deal.

Anyway, for the GOP, MN seems a great choice on the surface (but they thought reforming social security was a great choice too). They've had growth in this part of the midwest, IA, MN, WI at the Presidential level. It contrasts with the Democrats going for the SW part of the nation (NM, AZ, NV, CO). But Democrats have been surging in Minnesota since 2004. They could pick off a House seat, they'll likely win an open Senate seat, and it'd be great to have Hatch defeat Pawlenty for the Gov race in MN. Of course, it depends on who the nominee is for Republicans.

The last Twin Cities convention happened in 1892, with the GOP's President Benjamin Harrison unsuccessful re-election bid. The last Denver convention happened in 1908, when Democratic nominated the ticket of William Jennings Bryan and John Kern.

Update [2006-9-28 11:41:44 by Jerome Armstrong]: Someone asks, "Did you know that the single best indicator for voting preference among white males is union membership?" Yes, I do. It's very important (it's in Crashing the Gate), but not the only thing that matters. A group within the Democratic Party that is exerting it's influence to the detriment of the wider progressive movement is how the DNC has operated in the past. Having our convo in NYC would be a big mistake. Everyone agrees with that (OK, so a super-majority do), and given the binary choice that we have, it's time for labor and unions to think about the wider movement beyond their own interests.

Update [2006-9-28 13:12:12 by Jerome Armstrong]: A reader points out that it's Denver's mis-doings, so I'm wrong to peg labor with responsibility for the blooming turd. That could well be the case, and anyhow, it didn't warrant the flipness. I was going off of what Balz had wrote in the WaPost today, which may be the case, or may be mis-informed conventional wisdom.

One thing that's clear is that the DNC should not have allowed themselves to get boxed in by the RNC and the Twin Cities. I mean, we have a situation where one of the final three choices for the '08 has been revoked by the city itself, leaving only two choices. How did that happen?

Tags: 2008 GOP convention, Missesota GOP, Tim Pawlenty (all tags)



I glad they didn't choose Cleveland

We would have rioted. When their exploratory committee came a couple months ago - I think about 4 people showed up to root the GOP on.

by Cleveland John 2006-09-28 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I glad they didn't choose Cleveland

I think the selection process should be reopened and Cleveland should be considered for the Democratic convention.  Governor Strickland and Sen. Brown could be part of the welcoming committee.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2006-09-28 05:27AM | 0 recs
Why didn't Cleveland want the Dem Convention?

The real mystery is why Cleveland didn't express any interest in hosting the Democratic Convention. I've been following this all year, and I've never seen an answer. But they weren't interested, and that's the cities choice.

by msn1 2006-09-28 05:44AM | 0 recs
Denver makes the most sense

Colorado is definitely a possible pick up.  New York does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for us.

by puma 2006-09-28 05:25AM | 0 recs
Union hotels

I'm sorry, but union hotels are a pretty important thing. At least, they should be for progressives and the Democratic Party. The right to organize is a fundamental liberty and must be protected. Western states have repeatedly enacted "Right to Work" laws that restrict worker's rights. The Democratic Party needs to reject this framework and help unions rebuild their power.

Did you know that the single best indicator for voting preference among white males is union membership? At a time when white men are voting overwhelmingly Republican, unions are one of the few ways to reach that demographic.

Also, you are wrong about this being a product of single issue politics. Unions aren't single issue organizations. They promote awareness and activism around a variety of important economic issues. Unions also protect the rights of ordinary citizens by guaranteeing fair treatment at work.  

Choosing an anti-union city for the Democratic convention would be a mistake. I think we should go somewhere other than New York City, but unions are simply too important for progressive politics to ignore.  

by ben waxman 2006-09-28 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

According to the Denver Post, Denver may get it's first union hotel soon, the Hyatt:

Unite Here, the labor group working to unionize the hotel, expects to announce successful results within the next two weeks, according to spokeswoman Katie Gerken.

by msn1 2006-09-28 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Bingo. The ratios were effectively that white men as a whole voted 2 to 1 for Bush while white men in unions voted 2 to 1 for Kerry.

by the wanderer 2006-09-28 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Interesting.  I didn't know there were no union hotels in Denver.  This will be a big issue to labor.  We'll see if impacts the decision.

by John Mills 2006-09-28 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

It pisses me off when people like Jerome right off unions as "blah. Deal". Bullshit, if you have no unions in this country, you have no progressive movment. You think Gore and Kerry would have come even as close as they did without union boots on the ground?

And what the hell is a progressive movment anyway if it's not fighting for a better life for all people. Hmmm... that sounds an aweful lot like the whole purpose of unions.

It's pretty simple, the more unions, the more democrats and progressives in this country. So..Deal.

by adamterando 2006-09-28 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Yeah, Jerome should explain himself. His comment betrays a profound ignorance.

by KevStar 2006-09-28 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

I have. Now I would like you explain to me why having the convention in NYC is more important than having it in Denver, given the obvious electoral ramifications that it would have on our '08 chances.

Is this really something that labor, and I guess you, believe is worth going to the mat over? Even if it costs us Colorado in '08?

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-09-28 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

If the choice is between New York City and Denver, then I would vote for Denver. I think it makes a lot of strategic sense for the party. The fact that there aren't a lot of union hotels in Colorado doesn't mean we shouldn't have our convetion there. I was happy to see Colorado Luis chime in and explain how hosting the convention would be a boon for the labor movement.

My concern was the tone expressed by Jerome in the start of the thread. Unions are not simply a single interest group like NOW or the Serria Club. They are fundementally different animals. In fact, it could be argued that the labor movement is one of the only effective parts of the New Deal coalition left. Unions will play a vital role in the new progressive movement and need to be given the respect they deserve. I felt that Jerome's inital post was far too flippant about the importance of organized labor.

by ben waxman 2006-09-28 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Yea, it likely was too flippant. I totally agree on it's importance.

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-09-28 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Can anyone point to some solid evidence of this profound effect on electoral ramifications?

I just don't buy it.

I live in Minneapolis and I'd put a lot of money down that Minnesota is not going red in 2008.

by the wanderer 2006-09-28 09:47AM | 0 recs
This might be a big problem

If there are no union hotels in Denver, all the unions will probably be forced to boycott the convention, which can't be good.

by Geotpf 2006-09-28 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

"The best anti-poverty strategy is a strong labor movement." --John Edwards

Organized labor affects everything.  It's not just some special interest group, Jerome.

by Steve M 2006-09-28 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Everything?  Really?  If we the Convo in Denver, it will affect everything?

I think you need to realize that this sort of "end of the world" talk is exactly the sort of single-issue mentality that divides Democrats.

What affects everything is all of us realizing the movement is bigger than any single issue.

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-09-28 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

It's not a single issue Jerome, and we're all fucked unless we start realizing that.

Labor unions have the power to push back on who controls the money. Period.

That automatically means that they trump the so-called "single issue" groups. It's not one legislative cause, or even one group of legislative causes. It's every industrial sector, every facet of life, that can be fought for through organized workers.

by the wanderer 2006-09-28 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

Just for the record, Colorado is not and has never been a "right to work" state.

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-28 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

"Did you know that the single best indicator for voting preference among white males is union membership?"

Yes, I do, it's straight from Crashing The Gate. It's very important, but not the only thing that matters.

Look, this is about one group within the Democratic Party that is exerting it's influence to the detriment of the wider progressive movement.

Should we just go ahead and forget about Colorado because the unions don't like Denver?

Having our convo in NYC would be a big mistake. Everyone agrees with that, and given the binary choice that we have, it's time for labor and union to think about the wider movement beyond their own interests.

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-09-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

I need to make a disclaimer here that I don't really know what is going on, but it appears that instead of trying to block the convention, Denver labor is trying to use the carrot of the convention as a way to promote organizing the Denver hotels.  I do know that the Denver Area Labor Federation has withdrawn its previous objection to holding the convention here because of the hotel issue.  So I agree with you that this should not be considered a stumbling block for the convention.

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-28 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

If having the convention in Denver would HELP unions in Denver, even a little bit, then I withdraw my objections and think we should go for it full steam ahead. I don't think having the convention in Denver will make any difference to how the state votes in '08 honestly, but it sends a good message, it's an exciting choice, and New Yorkers seemed to hate the Republican convention so much that I wouldn't want to risk pissing them off with another one. And if local labor can use the convention as leverage to further their cause, then that's more important than making a show out of refusing to sleep in a non-labor hotel anyway.

by tjekanefir 2006-09-28 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

I don't disagree on the larger point (the importance of unions - both in terms of Democratic victories, but more so -- because for their meta-place as the best place for worker rights to be fought for) --

But I thought I had read recently that the major unions had consented to grit their teeth and not stand in the way of a DNC convention in Denver?

My understanding was that Denver itself was having some issues getting its shit together for its bid -- not that the unions were blackballing Denver.

Now... I won't get into whether or not they should -- but can someone clarify that it's actually the unions that are blocking Denver?

by zonk 2006-09-28 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Union hotels

The unions in Denver are not "blocking" the bid. But the national labor movement does not want to go to a state with non-union hotels, and many Democrats in general support that thought.

by msn1 2006-09-28 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP selects Minneapolis/St. Paul for '08

I'd be interested in seeing data that locating a convention in a certain city/state has done anything to change the electoral dynamics in that area.  I think there is a lot of hype around that idea.  

I actually think we ought to do away with the convention although the delegates would be upset since they have a blast at all the parties.  The real world isn't the West Wing so it is not as though anything is decided at the conventions anymore.

I'd prefer Denver but it should be noted that the Dem Convention was held in NY 1976 and 1992 and we won both years.  There is a positive history with NY conventions.

by John Mills 2006-09-28 06:03AM | 0 recs
Data won't be found

The sample size is too small - there haven't been that many conventions held in swing states, and even when they are, there's no way to separate the convention affect from the many other things that drive voting. But the convention brings with it a lot of local news coverage, and in states that aren't used to it, like Minnesota and Colorado, it could have a positive effect.

And the Democratic convention was in NY also in 1980, so the Dems are 2 for 3 in NY in recent years.

by msn1 2006-09-28 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Data won't be found

Good point about 1980.  I had forgotten it was held there for 2 cycles.  

I think the conventions have outlived their usefulness and would prefer a national primary day but I can be a contrarian at times.

by John Mills 2006-09-28 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Data won't be found

I'm really disappointed the Dems were lagging behind and didn't choose Minneapolis/St. Paul. Maybe we can organize protests at the convention. I'm sure all the Wellstone vets would show up.

by MNPundit 2006-09-28 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Data won't be found

Protests are pointless. I'd rather take a few hundred people and go knock on doors.

by the wanderer 2006-09-28 09:52AM | 0 recs
Denver, let's activate the blogshpere

to help the DNC come to it's senses and make it Denver.

by gasperc 2006-09-28 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Denver, let's activate the blogshpere

Agreed. Strategically, Denver is a strong pick, much better than NYC.  I just hope the DNC picks based on strategy instead of politics.

by bogun 2006-09-28 06:22AM | 0 recs

     I urge you and everyone to stop referring to Republicans as the GOP. There's nothing grand about them. They're a gang of unprincipled bullies who support torture and actively undermine the Constitution.

by Ron Thompson 2006-09-28 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: that

If there is a just God in this universe, Norm Coleman will be the most endangered Republican Senate seat in 2008.

The overall 2008 Senate map looks quite sweet, come to think of that.

by Nina Katarina 2006-09-28 07:14AM | 0 recs

My spouse thinks that the RNC picked the Cities to boost Norm's planned '08 bid.  (Though how they think they'll be able to get a Jewish guy in a paper marriage with a blonde shiksa past the evangelical part of their base, I don't know.)

I myself think that the RNC did it just to screw over the Democrats, who were on the verge of picking the Twin Cities.

by Phoenix Woman 2006-09-28 07:25AM | 0 recs
Outmaneuvered by the Republicans Again!

Given the three finalists The Twin Cities should have been a no-brainer for a democratic convention in 2008.

Setting aside tactical and logistical considerations around transit and the proximity of hotels for a moment (which apparently the republicans believe they can solve) this is a strategic blunder of major proportions.

We're in the process of giving away the Upper Midwest, of which Minneapolis and St. Paul have always been the heart of. Liberal politics aside, a lot of social innovation has come out of Minnesota and Wisconsin and even Iowa and Nebraska. Now Republicans get to showcase the ever charming Tim Pawlenty and tell endless stories about how Tommy Thompson radicalized public education and ended welfare right next door in Wisconsin.

The republicans are innovating all right, but with social models lifted right out of Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.

Union considerations aside, we now have to host it in Denver. And I hope we showcase Brian Schweitzer and Jon Tester rather than Bill Richardson and Ken Salazar.

We've been skunked again!

Cross-posted at Minnesota Campaign Report

by northcountry 2006-09-28 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Outmaneuvered by the Republicans Again!

They won't be showcasing Timmy P when Hatch beats him in November.

by the wanderer 2006-09-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Denver would be cool

It would also be cool if we could get a glimpse of the larger process that led to this NYC v. Denver choice in the first place.  I've always been curious to know how these things get decided.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-09-28 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP selects Minneapolis/St. Paul for '08 conve

How do laws that prevent someone from working unless he joins a union foster "worker's rights?"

by Epitome22 2006-09-28 08:37AM | 0 recs
It's not the unions -- it's Denver itself...

See this Kos post from 2 weeks ago, with info via hotline...

It's NOT the unions that stopping the DNC convention from coming to Denver -- it's the city's bid.

From the post -

The site selection committee had high hopes for Denver, located in a blinking-blue Mountain West state with a growing Hispanic population. But one Democrat briefed on the city's presentation and bid called it "disastrous." Others confirmed that the general impression among site selection members of Denver was not positive. The city also lacks a union hotel, and even though the city's labor leaders voted to table its outrage, it remains an obstacle.

Doesn't look like the road is completely cleared of the non-union hotel issue -- but unless you have other info (and if so -- please provide a link), it would seem to me that it was the Denver presenation that's losing this bid, not union opposition.

by zonk 2006-09-28 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not the unions -- it's Denver itself...

What I'm hearing is that this story is just planted disinformation from one or the other competitor.

by Colorado Luis 2006-09-28 09:29AM | 0 recs
Denver's bid is fine now

From the Hotline yesterday:

Party sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Denver's third revision of its bid sufficiently addressed a number of technical concerns that originally caused some on the site selection committee to dismiss it entirely.

According to the article, Denver's first bid was very poor, but since then, it's been greatly improved.

by msn1 2006-09-28 09:48AM | 0 recs
How it happened

Jerome, I've been following the site selection process all year and the problem is that hosting a political convention is just not that attractive anymore to most cities. It takes a lot of money, and the economic benefits are usually much less than advertised. And the security considerations after 9/11 makes it all even worse. Both the Dems and the GOP invited over 33-35 cities to bid, and only 3 cities bid for the Democratic convention, and 4 for the GOP (including 2 cities bidding for both). At one point I was wondering if any city would bid, and outside of New York, I wonder how many cities will bid in the future. Assuming the general structure of the conventions stay in place, I think the national parties will have to contribute a greater portion of the money, so the cities don't have to do as much of the fundraising themselves.

by msn1 2006-09-28 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP selects Minneapolis/St. Paul for '08 conve

Just a question to satisfy my own curiosity/cure my own ignorance:

Why does the fact that the GOP selected Minneapolis/St. Paul rule out the site for the Democrats?

I can imagine that it increases some logistical difficulties, but don't know why it should do so more for one party than for the other.  Is there some further issue involved?



by Umpteenth 2006-09-28 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP selects Minneapolis/St. Paul for '08 conve

I believe there is a standard no-compete clause in whatever agreement or contract that is signed to stipulate that the city in question will not also host the other convention.

by the wanderer 2006-09-28 12:05PM | 0 recs


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