Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hickenlooper: Don't fear convention

The News:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper today urged downtown businesses to look beyond the logistical challenges of the Democratic National Convention.

He asked residents and businesses instead to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the Democratic process and showcase Denver to the world.

"There's a notion that the convention is something happening in Denver and we don't have to participate," he said. "The actual seeds of democracy are being planted right in our city. This is a unique and wonderful opportunity."

One year from now, Denver will be the center of American politics when Democrats meet at the Pepsi Center to nominate their presidential candidate.

Gross. Cue the whiners:

Already business owners and residents expressed concerns about the logistics of the convention, with many envisioning traffic clogging downtown streets, street closures, security blockades, or worse, hoards of media portraying downtown as a scary place to come.

"I'm concerned about street closures and people getting to work. When the NBA All-Star game was here, business suffered," said Lee Goodfriend, owner of Racines restaurant. "How do we stop the media from scaring away people from downtown?"

Others wanted assurance from the Hickenlooper [sic] and the DNC that local business would get a lion's share of convention contracts and business.

No kidding.

Hickenlooper said that the convention is expected to pump $160 million into the regional economy.

The convention is expected to draw 35,000 visitors, including dozens of U.S. senators, members of Congress and governors, 15,000 journalists and 12,000 local volunteers.
As noted here, though, some have questioned those numbers. In any case:

"We want to make sure all in the Denver community get a piece of the pie," Hickenlooper said
I want ice cream, too.

Update: Slapstick Politics links to a CBS4 report from a couple of days ago on how jerk-radical crap-group Recreate68! pulled a fast one and bought up website addresses the Democrats likely would have used for the convention. Entering one of those addresses now takes visitors not to a Democratic Convention site, but to R68.

Far out.

Only odd thing about the story is CBS4 reporting it now, when R68! pulled the stunt last January, as was widely noted at the time.

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