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D.C. Delegation Convention Agenda? Voting Rights, Stupid

One month left until Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Democratic State Committee Chair Anita Bonds lead the city's delegation to Denver for the Democratic National Convention. They'll set up headquarters at the Crowne Plaza (and a few overflow hotels for the roughly 100 delegates, staff, voluteers and other hangers-on). For the most part, the week will be filled with delegation meetings, breakfast buffets, caucus meetings, luncheons, committee meetings, parties and, oh yeah, the business of officially nominating Barack Obama as presidential candidate.

The highlight for the D.C. delegation, though, is its voting rights luncheon and, later, an evening reception to which other state delegates will be invited. Bonds tells D.C. Wire that the state committee has a budget of $138,000, which will be raised with help from Fenty (whose staff has pledged to collect between $30,000 and $40,000 in donations) and the 13 members of the D.C. Council (who have committed to raising a total of $70,000).

That money will go largely to paying for the luncheon and party. Bonds said the delegation also is planning a trip to the U.S. Mint where delegates will pass out wooden quarters with the city's unofficial motto: "no taxation without representation." The group is hoping Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will be successful in her latest attempt to get the U.S. Senate to take up the city's Voting Rights bill, which would give a House seat to Democratic-leaning D.C. and an extra one to Republican-leaning Utah.

"We're hoping it's a victory party," David Meadows, D.C. state committee spokesman, said of the Mint visit.

As grand as the ambitions sound, the truth appears to be that they were scaled down. Sources said the original budget was something closer to $180,000, but some fiscal belt-tightening was in order when it came time to figuring out how much the committee could reasonably expect to raise from businesses and residents.

By David A Nakamura  |  July 24, 2008; 3:48 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Presidential Race , David Nakamura  
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