House Party

State representative Andrew Romanoff is a party man, but not that kind of party man. The Colorado Speaker of the House is looking forward to the Democratic National Convention this August, but doesn’t think the nation’s drunkest city should consider keeping bars open later (make that earlier into the morning) during the festivities as some Minnesota lawmakers have talked about doing for the Republican confab in St. Paul.

“I think the convention will be enough fun without a 4 a.m. trip to the bar,” Romanoff said, adding with a chuckle, “Superdelegates, and for that matter, all the other delegates need to be alert.” But in all seriousness, Romanoff said “nobody I know of has put in a request” to introduce a late bill that would extend last call.

In late March, a Minnesota House committee approved a measure that would have allowed bars within a ten-mile radius of the Xcel Energy Center to stay open two hours later than usual, to 4 a.m., for an eleven-day period around the convention; the Grand Ole Party parties at the St. Paul stadium September 1-4. (The state’s Senate had pushed for a later closing time for the entire Twin Cities area, but that proposal was withdrawn.) The measure eventually died, but could be brought back later in April.

It’s co-sponsor, Representative Phyllis Kahn, was quoted as saying, she wants the region to appear as “sophisticated” as other cities. “Las Vegas is open all night long, and New Orleans is open till dawn,” Kahn told the New York Times. “I spend a lot of time in cities like New York and Montreal, and they all seem to have later drinking times.”

Of course, Kahn, like Romanoff, is a Democrat, so getting Republicans stumble-drunk might be in her best interests, public-relations-wise. Romanoff on the other hand doesn’t want the Dems in Denver to end up looking like donkeys. -- Jonathan Shikes

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