Why don't NYC's leaders want the 2008 Democratic Convention?
Howard Dean and the DNC folks are at their wits end right now, because they need to choose a site for the 2008 Democratic Party Convention, and neither of the finalists are exactly kissing their asses to get it. Dean wanted Minneapolis, but the republicans beat them to it, and it is just not considered proper etiquette for these things to have both parties going to the same city weeks apart. Invites too many comparisons, good and bad. This leaves the choice between Denver and New York City. They favor Denver, its in a key city in a key region of the country. It makes sense to have it there. But there is a huge, deal breaking stumbling block.
Denver is a union town and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees local there, the stage hands union who would run the event, are adamantly refusing to sign a no-strike pledge. They have issues with the Denver city government and they want the leverage of being able to strike the convention. The last thing the Democratic party wants, with all its union members, is a convention where they have to use scab stagehands and have its delegates cross union picket lines. That just cannot happen.
Which leaves well only one other alternative....here. Home sweet New York City home. Now the convention seems to be NYC's to lose. The problem is that the top powers that be never seriously thought we'd get the democratic convention here, being that we just had the gop convention. So they haven't bothered to raise much money or kiss many DNC asses. Spitzer is busy taking over the state government. Hillary is busy running for president and Bloomberg could really care less about raising money for a convention thats going to nominate a candidate he's not likely to support.
So what the DNC has now is a convention taking place in a year and a half and the only city left on the list (assuming Denver's unions aren't budging) to hold it, for practical purposes, doesn't seem to want it. What is Dean supposed to do, hold a press conference and announce, "we're holding this convention in new york city whether your elected leaders want it there or not?" I think our elected officials need to get in line with the convention committee. It would be really nice for NYC to host the Democratic Convention in 2008, it would help a lot of us get the bad taste out of our mouths from the 2004 GOP convention. It could be one large love-in party instead of constant arrests and protests. Lets give the DNC the money they want and host the thing. I don't have anything against Denver, but hey, our unions won't go on strike and surround madison square garden with picket signs. The DNC will get a good show here and they know it, and they also know that, in the old broadway tradition, the show will go on!
Now wouldn't it give New York a lot of pride if the convention was here in NYC, Eliot Spitzer was the keynote speaker, and Hillary was the nominee? But I guess that might drive the people in the other forty nine states crazy now wouldn't it? :)