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From the Floor: D.C. Voting Rights, On and Off the Agenda

Jim Kadtke is a delegate from the District of Columbia to the Republican National Convention. He joins D.C. Wire today to blog from Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Yesterday, we had about a two hour floor session from 3 - 5 pm, which was primarily procedural for the party. After officially opening the convention and electing officers, a main action was the reports of the committees on various policy and party organization issues. One very significant item for D.C. was the issue of D.C. Voting Rights.

Our DCGOP party made this the number one issue in our local party platform, specifically supporting Cong. Tom Davis' bill. We also tried to introduce this plank into the national platform. Bud McFarlane ( former national security adviser ) fought hard in the national platform committee deliberations, but there was very little support among other state committee reps, and voting rights for the District were dropped from the national platform. Another disappointment for a centuries old battle.

While the floor activities went well yesterday, the main impression many of us delegates have is that a lot of the logistics are not going well. There were major traffic delays yesterday, and the wait to get through security into the xCel center was very long. Moreover, while there are hundreds of very friendly and well-meaning local volunteers all over the city, few of them seem to be able to answer basic questions like giving directions to major destinations or activities. it has been very frustrating for a lot of us. Also, there were some major protests in some isolated areas that apparently turned very ugly, and at least a few delegates were assaulted and injured.

Today there will be substantive action during the floor activities, including the roll call votes, were the states will officially announce their vote totals. this is personally my favorite part of the whole convention process. As DC delegation chairman, I will be announcing our vote total, so look for me and some of my fellow delegates on TV this evening.

More tomorrow. best regards.

-- Jim Kadtke

By washingtonpost.com  |  September 2, 2008; 5:58 PM ET
 
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