On One Hand

December 19, 2006

Local Labor Leader Hijacks Denver’s Convention Bid

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:50 am
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A Colorado Labor leader has refused to sign a contract with the Democratic Party promising not to strike during the 2008 Democratic Convention if it comes to Denver, according to a Denver Post article.

Denver Stagehands Association leader Jim Taylor refused to sign because he considers Denver’s Pepsi Center, where the Democratic Convention would be held, to be anti-Labor, said Denver Area Labor Federation President Leslie Moody in the article.

The Stagehands Association would have no role in the Democratic Convention, but the Democratic Party policy is to enlist the full suport of organized labor before holding a Democratic convention in a city.

Sources quoted in the Post article offered some hope that Taylor, who could not be reached for comment, could change his mind about signing the contract. But the executive director of Denver’s host comittee said the move looks like a “deal-breaker” for Denver’s bid, and Moody, who did speak extensively in the article for Taylor, did not seem the least bit sympathetic.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean originally said he would announce the winner of the DNC-2008 bid on Monday, and the fact that he was silent on Monday means to me that he may be giving Denver every last opportunity to get its bid in order. That means Dean probably strongly favors Denver, like almost all Democrats do, but he won’t give Denver the convention until every red flag has been taken care of. As far as a month ago one Democratic blogger, a high-up in Colorado’s state Democratic Party, went so far as to wonder if the decision has already been made for Denver but hadn’t been released just yet.

The Democratic Convention would not only be a boon to Denver and its economy, but it would also help elect a Democratic president after 8 years of the Bush administration, which would certainly benefit organized Labor along with everyone else. I don’t know the specifics of Taylor’s claim that Denver’s arenas are anti-labor, but this strikes me as an extremely selfish and callous move on the part of this one man who happened to have been given an incredible opportunity to seize the day. I understand that the Democrats are Labor’s most powerful supporters, and letting Democrats slide on Labor’s interests is not something unions can afford to do – but do they really want to make a move that could, in some small way, cost Democrats the presidency – which would have drastic and endless implications – and hurt Denver in the meantime?

The Denver Area Labor Federation originally opposed Denver’s DNC-2008 bid but then went neutral, and other labor issues have risen and fallen throuought the bid process until, eventually, Denver won Labor’s cooperation – untill now. So Taylor stands as a lone barrier to the entire process in this case.

Denver’s bid has tenuously overcome obstacle after obstacle, but I’m afraid this one might turn out to be the last straw for Howard Dean, who has indicated he wants to make his decision as soon as possible. I don’t know if there’s anything any of us can do about this; write letters perhaps? If not to Jim Taylor (I wouldn’t know where to contact him), you could put your name on a petition sent to Howard Dean HERE. It would be an awful shame if the incredible amount of momentum and grassroots support, in the Denver Area, in the West, and even in the whole country, for Denver to hold the 2008 convention, was stopped because of this one ultimate kink in the line.



  1. This makes me upset.

    Comment by swtfxofaddrm — December 19, 2006 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

    • I think I’ll withold judgement for now. Denver’s comittee has agreed to hire union employees to staff the event, which Democrats ought to do anyway, so if they offer that agreement and Taylor accepts, I’m OK with the situation. But if he’s just being a stick in the mud and won’t budge or compromise, I will be pissed.

      Comment by ononehand — December 19, 2006 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

      • where do you get all this up to date info?

        I signed that petition as well… It would be so awesome if the DNC was here.

        Comment by swtfxofaddrm — December 19, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

      • It’s around Online, in blogs and other places. Denver newspapers have Online editions that post continuously, so if you know how to use them you get a head start; for example, the Denver Post article I quoted here was released Online around midnight.

        Plus, if you’re following a story pretty close, you know enough background info that even though the news story is pretty limited, you can put it together into a more complete piece of information.

        I’m about to add another post right now.

        Comment by ononehand — December 19, 2006 @ 10:33 pm

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