Shlock Value: Dem Gear for Sale Here
Democratic National Convention souvenirs are now on sale at the Pepsi Center and at www.denverdncgear.com, where the enthusiastic blue-stater can score everything from a $48 Denver 2008 hoodie to a $9 keychain to a $3 recycled (gag) green Frisbee. The site, operated by Stan Kroenke, the Republican who owns the Pepsi Center, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, also offers shirts, caps, mugs and money clips. But if you're looking for something a little different, there are alternatives.
Denver graphic designer Lindsey Kuhn, known for his rock-poster art and skateboards, was selling a T-shirt with a picture of Barack Obama in front of a flag above the words "American Jesus." Although he ran out, he plans to sell a cleaned-up version during the convention at the end of August. "I'm an old punk from the '80s, so to me, it's just a punk shirt. It brings in everything — politics, religion and America. Hopefully, people have a sense of humor," says Kuhn. "It's action and reaction. That's why I do what I do."
"You could interpret it in many different ways," says a friend of Kuhn's, an Obama supporter who asked to remain nameless. "It's definitely a pro-Obama shirt, but it's making a comment about how people think one person can fix the nation's woes in an election year." Some of the shirt proceeds will go toward the Obama campaign.
Western-garb boutique Rockmount Ranch Wear has been selling Denver flag shirts for the past several months at $80 per; the company had hoped to add a DNC logo and pitch the colorful item (Off Limits, January 31) to convention organizers, but hasn't had much luck. "I think these guys all know about it, but they've got other things on their minds, like raising some money," says Steve Weil, grandson of 107-year-old Rockmount founder Jack A. Weil, who already has his own promotional DNC gig on a CD put out by the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
But Rockmount did score with Congresswoman Diana DeGette, a host-committee member, who bought 300 similar shirts as gifts to give to the Democratic congressional delegation when they come to the convention.
Weil also plans to make replicas of the badges that delegates wore during the 1908 convention and sell them for $25 — a better deal than a Denver hoodie any day.
Barr none: Colorado's Libertarian presidential candidate, Christine Smith (Off Limits, May 22), didn't get enough delegates at the party's convention in Denver last weekend to merit a spot on a C-span debate. But she did cause a stir by using some TV time to bash the man who won the nomination: Bob Barr, former Republican Congressman and Bill Clinton-basher turned Libertarian punchline. Smith, who believes Barr is making a mockery of the party because of his previous non-Libertarian stances, said she doesn't trust him. For more on Smith, log on to blogs.westword.com/demver.
Scene and herd: Charismatic Eagle County Republican candidate Muhammad Ali Hasan ("The Candidate," January 17) has hired former Vail Chamber and Business Association head Kaye Ferry to be campaign manager for his quest to represent Colorado House District 56. The outspoken Ferry left her job in April after eighteen years amid a to-do over her alleged use of the word "riff-raff" to describe Front Range skiers. Hasan, the wealthy son of Pakistani immigrants, is no stranger to controversy, either: He faced party opposition to an earlier attempt to run for Senate, as well as a restraining order — later dropped — by former girlfriend and publicist Alison Miller. Their media experience is one of the things the two "bonded" over, Ferry says. For more on Hasan, Ferry and Miller, log on to blogs.westword.com/latestword.
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