St. Paul vs. Denver. Who’s better at putting on a convention?
The early line? St. Paul.
Indications leaked out today that the Democratic National Convention is behind schedule and short of cash.
Last month, for example, the Denver host committee tried to renegotiate its deal to provide up to $55 million to bring the convention to town. Reportedly it was $15 million short. St. Paul? Republican officials are upset that the state of Minnesota didn’t back a line of credit in the event of a cash shortfall, but — at least so far — there’s no report of a cash shortfall. Advantage: St. Paul.
(Update: A news release issued Friday from the GOP said the group had met its fundraising goal for the convention.)
Today, however, the Democratic National Convention Committee angered a fairly powerful contingtent — the media — when it canceled a planned walkthrough at the Pepsi Center next week. That’s the event during which media organizations plan the infrastructure and workspace required to cover the coronation for Barack Obama. That leaves hundreds of media companies on the hook for airfares and hotel reservations they had arranged.
“We want to be sure that when we host you and other media for this event, we’re prepared with the information you expect us to have so that it is an efficient and productive use of your time,” said Theodore LeCompte, the director of media logistics for the convention.”We recognize the significant inconvenience this may cause in your travel and logistical planning. Postponing the event allows us to work through outstanding issues and ensure a successful event when media do arrive in Denver.”
And St. Paul? The walkthrough and planning sessions at the Xcel Energy Center occurred a month ago. An earlier session took place last December.
Advantage: St. Paul.
And earlier this week, I noted that St. Paul will keep its homeless population within sight of the convention. Denver, on the other hand, is trying to hide them. Advantage: It depends on how you feel about the homeless.
In both cities, parade routes for demonstrators has been an issue. In Denver, a route has been finalized for groups who wish to march “toward the Pepsi Center,” according to a news release. The groups will be allowed within a half-mile of the convention. In St. Paul, the issue has been more contentious — Republican conventions tend to draw more protesters — the protest route will take groups within 300 feet of Xcel Center. Advantage: St. Paul.