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John McCain makes gas prices a political issue

Top of the Ticket - Democratic Convention

John McCain took a look at the price on the neighborhood gas pump (OK, somebody probably looked for him) and decided a little relief is in order -- so he's introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate that would suspend the federal gas tax for the summer. This is no small thing -- 18.4 cents per gallon for the unleaded most people use, and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel, on which the nation's trucking industry runs (think strawberry prices). The potential consumer savings are huge -- assuming they'd get passed along.

Of course, in the Democratic-controlled Senate the chances of the bill getting through in an election year are slight -- about the same, we'd guess, as the chances of gas falling below $3 a gallon. But this is where it gets fun. Come fall, McCain will be able to say that he tried to do something and the Democrats wouldn't cooperate. He even sent a letter to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- his colleagues in the Senate before they were his rivals for the White House -- asking them to join him.

Shrewd move, that. Lovely placing of the piece on the chess board while Obama and Clinton are still squabbling over who gets to play their side of the board. And the counter-move, if there is one, will likely be pressing McCain on the financing. McCain says he'll replace the lost revenue to the Highway Trust Fund from the general fund -- which is already facing a massive budget gap.

A footnote of interest: One of the cosponsors of McCain's bill is Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice presidential nominee and former Democrat. Technically, he's an independent senator from Connecticut now but is usually included in the vote count that determines the Democrats control the Senate. He endorsed McCain in December, so that bridge is already burned. But it has to be galling to some in the halls of Congress to have their former veep nominee -- Al Gore</strong>'s running mate -- stumping for the other guy.

-- Scott Martelle

 

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2008 Democratic National Convention

 

2008 Democratic National Convention

The 2008 Democratic National Convention will be the 2008 United States presidential nominating convention of the Democratic Party.

 

It is scheduled to be held from Monday, August 25, through Thursday, August 28, 2008, in Denver, Colorado.

 

(The 2008 Republican National Convention is planned to start just 4 days later, on September 1, 2008, in St. Paul, Minnesota).

 

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2008 Democratic Convention Guide
Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
410 17th Street, Suite 1215  |  Denver

 

Chief Executive Officer Mike Dino

Mike Dino Named CEO Denver 2008 - Democratic Convention Guide

(announced Feb. 15, 2007) 

 

Senior Policy Advisor at Patton Boggs LLP in Denver.  Advisor to Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter and congressional candidate Ed Perlmutter in 2006. Campaign chair for John Hickenlooper's campaign for Mayor of Denver in 2003.  Former senior aide to Denver Mayor Wellington Webb; managed intergovernmental and political affairs, as well as transportation policy issues.  M.B.A. from University of Colorado, 1988.  B.A. from Regis University, 1986.

 

Mike Dino, chief executive of the Denver Host Committee

Mike Dino Named CEO Denver 2008 - Denver Democratic National Convention

 

Director of Operations

Paul Lhevine

(late July 2006)  Managed Wellington Webb's campaign for DNC chairman following the 2004 campaign.  Headed Coalition for a Better Colorado in Fall 2004.  Worked for The Kenney Group, Denver-based consulting firm.  Campaign manager for John Hickenlooper's successful campaign for Mayor in 2003.  Ran Diana DeGette's re-election campaign in the CO 1st CD, Jan-Nov. 2002, and earlier served as her aide in DC for transportation, environment and energy.  In 2000 he ran Marsha Folson's campaign in the AL 4th CD.  Assistant director of the New Politics Program at the National Civic League.  Democratic nominee for Colorado House District 10 in 1996; obtained 46% of the vote.  President of the Colorado Young Democrats.  He is a graduate of Colorado College, 1990.

CFO and Finance Director

Melissa Koenigsberg

(announced March 6, 2007 "implementing and managing a comprehensive fundraising plan to raise the $40 million in cash [and $15 million in in-kind necessary to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.")  Finance director for Martin O'Malley's successful 2006 gubernatorial race in Maryland.  National finance director for Ken Salazar's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.  Southeast regional finance director for Sen. John Edwards' 2004 presidential bid.  State finance director for Max Clelandís 2002 Senate re-election campaign in Georgia.  Degree in international relations from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Director of Development

Mollie Brundage

 

Communications Director

Chris Lopez

(announced Oct. 29, 2007)  Lopez has worked in California for the past 7 1/2 years, most recently as a managing editor and general manager for The Desert Sun, a Gannett Company newspaper in Palm Springs, and previously as the managing editor and executive editor of the Contra Costa Times newspaper in Walnut Creek.  Prior to moving to California he spent nine years at The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper and seven years at The Denver Post.  Graduate of Adams State College in Alamosa.  Native of Alamosa, CO.

Press Contact / Deputy Director of Development

Rachel (Kleinman) Gordon

Gordon came to the host committee from Capitol Hill where she worked for Congresman Mike Ross (AR-04) for five years, most recently as his communications director.  Degree in political science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Director of Greening Parry Burnap

(announced Aug. 15, 2007 "to facilitate coordination with and benefits for the Greenprint Denver Program;" position physically located in the Denver Mayorís Office and entirely supported by private contributions exclusive of the City and Host Committee)  Most recently Burnap worked for Terrachord, a small business she co-founded in 2002 to promote information technology-driven environmental solutions for industry, government and the general public.  She previously spent nine years as the pollution prevention program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and also served as the project director for Coloradoís first watershed program, the Clear Creek Watershed Forum.  For five years Burnap served as director of special projects and communications for the Center for Resource Management, a nonprofit founded by Robert Redford. Burnap also held the position of director of governmental affairs at Colorado Ski Country USA and was a special assistant to former Colorado Gov. Richard D. Lamm.  Bachelorís degree in human biology with an emphasis on environmental policy from Stanford University and a masterís degree in community development with an emphasis in public administration from the University of Kentucky.
 

Officers
President: Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth

Co-Chairs: Steve Farber, Chris Gates, Juanita Chacon

Vice Chairs: Dan Slater

Secretary: Hon. Rosemary Rodriguez

Treasurer: Ron Montoya

Finance Chair:  Willie Shepherd
 

Honorary Co-Chairs  (as of March 15, 2007)

Hon. Gary Hart, Hon. Ed Perlmutter, Hon. John Salazar, Hon. Mark Udall, Hon. Timothy Wirth, Hon. Wren Wirth, Hon. Cary Kennedy, Hon. Joan Fitzgerald, Hon. Dick and Dottie Lamm, Hon. Andrew Romanoff, Hon. Roy Romer, Hon. Gail Schoettler, Hon. Carol Boigon, Hon. Charlie Brown, Hon. Dennis Gallagher, Hon. Rick Garcia, Hon. Michael Hancock, Hon. Marcia Johnson, Hon. Peggy Lehman, Hon. Doug Linkhart, Hon. Kathleen MacKenzie, Hon. Judy Montero, Hon. Federico Pena, Hon. Jeanne Robb, Hon. Rosemary Rodriguez, Hon. Wellington E. and Wilma J. Webb.
 

On March 15, 2007 the host committee announced 17 subcommittees:

Budget Subcommittee
Business Community Outreach Subcommittee
City Events and Community Outreach Subcommittee
Committee Coordinating Council
Community Planning Subcommittee
Delegate Services Subcommittee
Denver International Airport Subcommittee
Fundraising Subcommittee
Greenprint Subcommittee
Host Technology Infrastructure Subcommittee
Hotels Subcommittee
Labor Relations Subcommittee
Organizational Outreach Subcommittee
Safety and Security Subcommittee
Statewide and Regional Marketing and Public Relations Subcommittee
Transportation Subcommittee
Volunteers Subcommittee
 

2008 Host Committee Members

 Hon. Gail Schoettler
 Tim Gill
 Howard Boigon
 Sharron Klein
 Mike Dino
 Swanee Hunt
 Jay Kamlet
 Cheri Kirschbaum
 Steve Adams
 Hon. Carol Boigon
 Joe Blake
 Hon. Marcia Johnson 
 Craig Umbaugh
 Rick Reiter
 Tami Door
 Sherry Jackson
 Hon. Dennis Gallagher
 Hon. Paul Sandoval
 Lola Salazar
 Marjorie Seawell
 Awilda Marquez
 Deana Perlmutter
 Jeff Campos
 Hon. Chris Romer
 Manuel Martinez
 Pat Cortez
 Hon. Odell Barry
 Dr. Larry Chan
 Steve Naples 

 Al Yates
 Richard Scharf
 Tom Williams
 Joel Rosenstein
 Merle Chambers
 Mark Smith
 Brad Buchanan
 David Kenney
 Hon. Michael Hancock
 Lynne Mason
 Hon. Peggy Lehmann 
 Hon. Kathleen MacKenzie
 Hon. Doug Linkhart
 Charlie Knight
 Walter Isenberg
 Selena Dunham
 Jared Polis
 Ted Trimpa
 Bill Mitchell
 Jim Merlino
 Eddie Robinson
 Pastor Paul Burleson
 Don Eberle
 Lori Fox
 Ilene Kamsler
 Tom Clarke
 Hon. Landri Taylor
 Kathryn Works
 Heidi Naples 

Judy Wagner
 Kathryn Archuleta
 Rollie & Josie Heath
 Chuck Morris
 Mike Stratton
 Daniel Yohannes
 Rutt Bridges
 Hon. Rick Garcia
 Sue Casey
 Hon. Jeanne Robb
 Rita Bass Coors
 Hon. Judy Montero
 Rick Ridder
 Barbara Kelly
 Jim Polsfut
 Hon. Penfield Tate
 Tom Strickland
 Paula Hertzmark
 John Huggins
 Mark Messenbaugh
 Amanda Belles
 Hon. Mitch Morrisey
 Ron Berstein
 Andrew Hudson
 Pete Meersman
 James C. Pribyl
 Hon. Edna Moseley
 Steve Feld

Important note:  Debbie Willhite was instrumental in Denver's successful bid:

Executive Director

Debbie Willhite

(started late July 2006) Partner at FieldWorks, a grass-roots strategies consulting firm; joined the firm in May 2003.  Senior vice president for government relations and public policy at the U.S. Postal Service.  Director of the Denver Summit of the Eight, 1997.  Co-Director of the 1997 Presidential Inaugural Committee.  Oversaw the 1996 Democratic Coordinated Campaign.  Lobbyist at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly Public Affairs Co.  Events director for the 1993 Inaugural; general election director for the DNC; deputy manager and operations director for the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York; worked on Clinton's 1992 primary campaign including in CT, MI and PA.  Dukakis presidential campaign,  Policy director for the Connecticut House speaker, 1986-92.  Mondale presidential campaign.  Political director for the National Organization for Women, 1982-85.  Arkansas Democratic Party consultant, 1982.  Colorado Democratic Party, 1981.  Carter-Mondale re-election campaign. 

Joined the DNC in 1978 as deputy regional director (South). 

Some work toward a master's degree from the University of Central Florida.  U.S. Navy Reserve; graduate of Arkansas (Lyon) College with a bachelor's in political science, 1974.  Grew up in Berryville, Arkansas (Carroll County); born in Memphis.


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President 2008

History tells us that the person who will be elected president in 2008 is probably someone who is right now in the public eye, most likely holding a high political office like governor or senator. So here are a few of the most likely candidates:

 

Republicans 2008

George Allen (R) - Virginia's Sen. Allen is rumored to be considering a 2008 run.

 

Jeb Bush (R) - With term limits looming, Jeb Bush won't be able to run for governor of Florida in 2006. Before the 2004 election, Jeb said he wasn't going to run for president in 2008. Translation: He's thinking about running for president in 2008.

 

Elizabeth Dole (R) - Currently the North Carolina senator, Dole ran for president in 2000 but didn't quite catch on. She's a senator now, might she have an eye on 2008?

 

Rudy Giuliani (R) - A moderate Republican and beloved former mayor of New York City, Guiliani might well be the next great candidate that unites America, ala Clinton and Reagan.

 

Charles Grassley (R) - Iowa senator

 

Chuck Hagel (R) - Moderate senator from Nebraska

 

Alan Keyes (R) - Do you really think he'll ever just go away?

 

John McCain (R) - The moderate senator from Arizona, has significant crossover appeal to independents and democrats. However, age might be a factor for McCain. He will be 72 in 2008, which, if he's elected, would make him the oldest person elected president.

 

George Pataki (R) - It's been reported in a few places that New York Gov. Pataki may have presidential ambitions.

 

Colin Powell (R) - With tremendous appeal to moderates, Secretary of State Powell might be convinced to run, although he has declined to run in 1996 and 2000. Powell would have trouble exciting the conservative wing of the party.

 

Condoleezza Rice (R) - Rice may run for senate in California 2006, especially if the popular Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) retires. If she doesn't run for senate, Rice might make an interesting candidate for president in 2008. There is already a Draft Rice movement underway.

 

Mit Romney (R) - Mass. Gov. Romney reportedly has presidential aspirations. Bush bashed Mass. so much in the 2004 and to such great effect -- you can bet one of the other Republicans will hurl some of those familiar lines at Romney. Romney, if he runs, is a long shot.

 

Rick Santorum (R) - The ultraconservative Pennsylvania senator may run for president in 2008; however, he must first survive his 2006 re-election to the senate.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - Under the current rules, Arnold would not be allowed to hold the office of President because he was not born in the United States. But no one should let a petty thing like the Constitution get in their way. A group called www.OperationArnold.com is working to get Congress to change the highest law of the land, all for Arnold.


Democrats 2008

Evan Bayh (D) - The popular senator from Indiana.

 

Joe Biden (D) - Delaware's Sen. Biden was flirting with the idea of running in the 2004 election, but opted out and became a cheerleader for Kerry.

 

Rod Blagojevich (D) - Even before he took office as Illinois' chief executive, G-Rod has been said to have presidential ambitions. But he'll have a tough re-election bid in 2006 to worry about first.

 

Wes Clark (D) - Clark was a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 but lost out to Kerry. He may resurface in 2008, although Clark may be better suited to run for Arkansas governor in 2006.

 

Hillary Clinton (D) - Hillary is definitely on for 2008. In fact, I'm having this frightening vision that it will be Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton in 2008. Aghhhhh!!!!

 

Howard Dean (D) - The former Vermont Gov. Dean is using his grassroots organization to stay in the political spotlight, perhaps in hopes of a 2008 run. Rumor has it that he has his sights set on the Democratic party chair.

 

Mike Easley (D) - North Carolina Gov. Easley won handily won re-election in 2004.

 

John Edwards (D) - Sen. Edwards will be in it for 2008, although since he won't be a senator for the next four years, he has the difficult problem of staying in the spotlight.

 

Al Gore (D) - There is always the possibility that Gore will run again. There's a Draft Gore site already up.

 

John Kerry (D) - Win or lose, Kerry will be talked about as a contender in 2008. But if he loses, don't bet on him running -- that would royally piss off Hillary.

 

Blanche Lincoln (D) - Popular Ark. senator. She might actually be a good choice for the vice presidential nominee.

 

Barack Obama (D) - It has been said often enough by supporters and the media that Obama should run, but Obama is unlikely to run for president before his first term is over. He's young. Give him at least until 2012 or 2016 to rack up a host of big accomplishments first.

 

Nancy Pelosi (D) - House Minority Leader from California. There's no way she'd run if Hillary jumps in the race.

 

Tom Vilsack (D) - Iowa Gov. Vilsack's name was being kicked around as a running mate for John Kerry, but that didn't quite pan out. However, he's considered a likely 2008 presidential contender.

 

Mark Warner (D) - Virginia Gov. Warner is not eligible for re-election in 2005 and has to be weighing his political future. On the one hand, he could challenge Sen. George Allen (R) for the senate in 2006, or he could make an especially compelling case to Democratic voters for the 2008 nomination by potentially winning Virginia's 13 electoral votes. Keep an eye on Warner.

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