Sunday, August 07, 2005

A sunny Friday in San Francisco

Let me see if I can summarize two days in one post. Friday morning (8/5) I was over at the convention site early to hear a panel discussion on the situation in the Middle East given by Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts. After that there was a luncheon hosted by the Gallaway slate at Lafayette Park. Since Ohio's own Lauren Goode is part of the Gallaway slate my attendance was imperative. They told us it was merely three blocks from the Holiday Inn to the park. That was absolutely true. What they didn't tell us was that Lafayette Park sits at the peak of one of San Francisco's famous hills, and getting there would involve walking straight uphill for three blocks. I made it, thinking that I should move to San Fran because I would likely lose about 50 pounds.

After that was over about 2 PM I had no other items I needed to be present at until our Ohio state caucus meeting at 4:30 PM. So I decided to step out of the hotel to the cable car station and ride the cable car down to Fisherman's wharf. Of course I had to change lines so it wasn't a quick trip but very scenic I must say. I walked out to the end of Pier 39 to find, to my disappointment, that the Golden Gate Bridge was shrouded in fog and invisible to my picture taking efforts. I then wandered around the Wharf til about 4 PM when I walked to the cable car station to ride back to the hotel. The only problem with this is that it was absolutely packed. I would have waited in line forever. So, displaying true savvy, I cursed the stupid "tourists" and walked one block north to North Point Ave to catch a #47 bus. I caught one almost immediately and got back to the Holiday Inn right on time.

At our state delegation meeting we discussed our efforts to get the lovely Mrs. Lauren B. Goode elected to the DNC woman post in Saturday's elections. Immediately thereafter at 5 PM we had the Great Lakes regional caucus meeting with the other states in our region (Indiana, Illinois and Michigan). All these states agreed to support the Gallaway slate and therefore Lauren. Displaying true Midwestern spirit, the meeting was soon thereafter adjourned to the hotel bar, allowing the delegates to get dinner before our general session meeting at 6:30 PM.

At the general session meeting we heard from several speakers including CA state treasurer Phil Angelides, who is the Democratic candidate for governor of California in 2006. We also heard from Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and the truly remarkable story of how she ousted Republican Bob Dornan from a seat representing very wealthy Orange County. Her story was extremely inspiring. We also heard video taped messages from U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) encouraging us to get involved in the American Democracy Institute, a new think tank that she is involved with, and from John Kerry (D-MA) profusely thanking us for the work done on his behalf in the 2004 election. We also heard from the chairman of a new organization, Wake Up Wal-Mart! that is attempting to expose Wal-Mart's $1.5 billion annual price tag to US taxpayers. The evenings final outside speaker was Chris Chafe of the union UNITE HERE! Chris presented YDA with $50,000 raised from the union membership as a token of their appreciation for moving the convention out of the Westin St. Francis in accordance with their boycott. He also explained UNITE HERE!'s reasons in disassociating themselves from the AFL-CIO and how it would affect Democrats.

This is when the fireworks started.

The program for the evening clearly stated that after the outside speakers were finished, the nominating speeches and the nomination acceptance speeches by the candidates would begin. However, since it was 10 PM they must have figured that there was no way that the speeches would happen that night. Either that or they (the opposition Unity slate) were simply unprepared.

In any case, as the convention speaker announced that the speeches by the candidates would now begin, a member of the Unity slate rushed to the podium to make a Motion to Adjourn until the following morning. The speaker announced that this was the time set aside in the program for the candidates to speak, and that it wasn't fair to deny people who had prepared a speech the right to speak. The motion failed on a voice vote. They then asked for a stand-up vote to get a better idea of the exact vote. When that too failed, they then asked for a Roll Call vote. The chair explained that this would require a 25% vote of those assembled and would like be very lengthy as each state chair would have to individually state the votes of their delegates. This motion ultimately failed, and the speeches went on as planned, but it was a preview of the fireworks to come during Saturday's elections. More on that tomorrow.

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