Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Eat Their Food, Vote for (or Invest in) the Other Guy

Today, SF Chronical online poll asks whether convention delegates should attend "opulten corporate-paid parties?" Unsurprisingly, 71% of respondents say "No, puts them in pockets of special interests," while only 22% say "Yes, might as well have a good time." (7% say "Just bring me some maple bourbon glazed turkey).

Unscientific, sure - but par for San Francisco, I'd assume.

I've yet to be a delegate myself - but I have talked my way into my fair share of convention/political events. Here's what I remember about the sponsors: very little. Including, most importantly, who they were. I remember the food or entertainment, but not the host.

I can recall with fondness that the best reception I went to while interning in DC waybackwhen was hosted by VW. They had good food, we got to sit in pretty cars, and there were wonderful goodybags at the end - with toy cars and everything.

I drive a Ford.

While it's probably true that, according to NPR, most delegates are older, wealthier, and more educated than the average American, most aren't what I'd call "wealthy" and many had to spend lots of time and effort fundraising to get to Boston and pay both registration and hotel costs (for a California delegate, those were estimated to be about $2-3k).

I doubt many are running out to support whomever gave them the crabcakes or sushi.

I also routine attend state party convention events for candidates I have zero intention of voting for (but thanks, anyway, for the free pen, Mr. Lockyer).

I'll listen to arguments about campaign contributions tainting elected officials - but not about free wine and cheese tainting delegates.

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