photo tlg, DNC 08/27/08 (click pic to see big version with the white screw-you sign
I have been attending the convention events at night with what is called a special guest pass, which I am getting as a DNC member elect. The color coating of this badge is lt. purple which you would be able to see if that white piece of paper were not on the door sign to my previous seat sections.
Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to have been able to have seats. Coming to this was an honor. These seats are not the floor seats or skyboxes etc. They are seats high up in the stadium. The seats in these sections were designed to be First Come First Serve. These are also the types of passes given to bloggers and others.
The first night I went early with some GNB'ers, really early. Because we were willing to go in so early we got great center section seats that our passes were designated to get us into. You find your allowed sections by reading the painted door signs like this one above. So we got those seats by showing up early, listening to all the non-headliner speeches which I liked and generally had a great though long 6 hours in the Pepsi Center.
Apparently on the first night, big cash donor types who have "Honored Guest" badges that are dark purple came late, hoping to have dinner/party/ whatever first and then expected to roll in and see the show from the center seats. Since all the regular folk who got there early were already in those seats they had to sit to the much further right or left sections, not as good a view. They pitched a fit. And low and behold...
Instead of the DNCC telling them simply and strongly that it is first come and that on day 2 they needed to come earlier-- those same center seats for Tues. and wed. were suddenly no longer allowed for the light purple ticketed regular people but instead for the honored guests-- and above-- passes on the sign above.
On Tues. they held the main 3-4 sections right in the center for them, and I guess that STILL wasn't good enough because by wed. night's speech the area blocked off in the center was quite huge.
Why am I bitching?
Because this convention in 2008 was designed to provide "unprecedented access to more people, regular rank and file, bloggers and the like. They started out on the right foot. But as soon as the moneyed guests started to caterwaul the organizers ditched their plan and threw the more regular folks under the bus. I suspect tomorrow at invesco will be worse in some ways in terms of the division between big donors and officers, activists and delegates. And it makes me sad to say that.
Every member of our party should be valued equally-- I get that we need big donors AND grassroots activists but it is past time to stick with what they know is right. Giving everyone access to participate in a more equal way is a Democratic value and we need to make sure we stick to our guns as we bring in all these new people into the process.