The host committee for the upcoming Democratic National Convention will almost certainly miss the June 16 deadline for raising the estimated $40.6 million it said was needed to put on the big show in August; a Demver blog has more details. But all but lost amid the flurry of desperate last-minute fundraising was the postponement of a media walk-through scheduled for the same week --a move that contrasts sharply with a Howard Dean-hosted party preview detailed in a November 15, 2007 Message column.
The DNC went all out for last fall's event, which attracted hundreds of folks representing local and national news operations -- most notably the New York Times, whose enormous contingent suggested (inaccurately, as it turns out) that the print-journalism business wasn't doing as poorly as advertised. Committee execs such as convention CEO Leah Daughtry spoke at length prior to a series of Pepsi Center press tours capped by a pricey luncheon featuring a keynote speech by DNC chairman Dean, who delivered an enthusiastic valentine to what he referred to as "the new West."
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Hard to say how Dean feels about Denver these days in light of the severe fundraising difficulties. As for local spokesperson Chris Lopez, he stressed in a Rocky Mountain News article published on June 14 that the postponement of the latest walk-through -- a move that forced the Denver Press Club to put the kibosh on a June 18 shindig for visiting journos -- had nothing to do with dollar woes. Instead, he cited "outstanding issues."
Outstanding debts is more like it. Sorry, members of the national press corps, but what looked to be a first-class affair last November is shaping up as a bargain bash. -- Michael Roberts