Too many A-list speakers?

With the news that Mike Bloomberg is going to speak and endorse Clinton on Wednesday night, the Democratic Convention now has a long list of top speakers ready to go: (expected days in parenthesis)

Elizabeth Warren ???
Michelle Obama (Mon)
Bernie Sanders (Mon)
Bill Clinton (Tue)
Biden (Wed)
Tim Kaine (Wed)
Obama (Wed)
Mike Bloomberg (Wed)
Chelsea Clinton (Thu)
Hillary Clinton (Thu)

I think this list contrasts well with the GOP convention speakers, don’t you?

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#DNC Credential Pick-Up and YOU. ARE. THERE.

2016 credsYou’re there, you’re on line….and I’m not talking about the internet.

In previous conventions, and even at the RNC this year in Cleveland, the process was much smoother. But let’s go back to the beginning. Upon exiting from the parking garage, the street was filled with barricades and uniformed officers. Basically in pairs every 2 feet or so. They were all very nice, and I spoke with a few to thank them for keeping the place safe. The common answer was that they were going to do everything they could to make sure everyone was safe. No shooting in any directions was something we all agreed upon.

All the doors except one was closed to the Convention Center. Security was tight: Metal detectors and bag checks. I saw one person pulled to the side for a “conversation” but wasn’t close enough to get details. The Philadelphia Convention Center spans multiple blocks, so to get where to the credentials area meant going upstairs, crossing inside over the street and then coming back downstairs to the location.

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Democrats to bind DNC superdelegates starting in 2020

Starting in 2020, it will be a lot easier to track superdelegates endorsements – there will be a lot less of them that matter:

After a lengthy debate and a deal between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party’s rules committee voted to created a “unity commission” that would dramatically limit the role of convention “superdelegates,” binding roughly two-thirds of them to the results of state primaries and caucuses.

“The Commission shall make specific recommendations providing that Members of Congress, Governors, and distinguished party leaders remain unpledged and free to support their nominee of choice,” reads the new rules language, “but that remaining unpledged delegates be required to cast their vote at the Convention for candidates in proportion to the vote received for each candidate in their state.”

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Where are the state delegations staying

Here’s a list of where each state’s delegation is staying for the 2016 Democratic National Convention:

Alabama: Hilton Garden Inn Valley Forge/Fair Oaks
Alaska: Home2 Suites by Hilton
American Samoa: Courtyard Lansdale
Arizona: Courtyard by Marriott Philadelphia Airport
Arkansas: The Independent Hotel
California: Marriott Hotel Philadelphia Downtown
Colorado: Embassy Suites Philadelphia Center City
Connecticut: Doubletree by Hilton Airport
Delaware: Hilton Inn at Penn
Democrats Abroad: The Desmond Hotel
District of Columbia: Philadelphia Marriott West
Florida: Marriott Hotel Philadelphia Downtown
Georgia: Doubletree by Hilton Airport
Guam: Courtyard Lansdale
Hawaii: Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge
Idaho: Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge
Illinois: Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
Indiana: Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia West
Iowa: Marriott Hotel Philadelphia Downtown
Kansas: Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
Kentucky: Windsor Suites Philadelphia
Louisiana: Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Center City
Maine: Wyndham Garden Airport
Maryland: Hilton Inn at Penn
Massachusetts: Sheraton Society Hill
Michigan: Valley Forge Casino Resort/Radisson Hotel
Minnesota: Valley Forge Casino Resort/Radisson Hotel
Mississippi: Philadelphia Marriott West
Missouri: Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
Montana: Home2 Suites by Hilton
Nebraska: Embassy Suites Philadelphia Center City
Nevada: Embassy Suites Philadelphia Center City
New Hampshire: Wyndham Garden Airport
New Jersey: Renaissance Philadelphia Airport
New Mexico: The Independent Hotel
New York: Loews Philadelphia Hotel
North Carolina: Holiday Inn Lansdale
North Dakota: Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge
Northern Mariana Islands: Courtyard Lansdale
Ohio: Embassy Suites Airport
Oklahoma: Courtyard Valley Forge/Collegeville
Oregon: Crowne Plaza – King of Prussia
Pennsylvania: Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Center City
Puerto Rico: The Desmond Hotel
Rhode Island: Wyndham Garden Airport
South Carolina: Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Center City
South Dakota: Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge
Tennessee: Valley Forge Casino Resort/Radisson Hotel
Texas: Marriott Hotel Philadelphia Airport
U.S. Virgin Islands: Embassy Suites Airport
Utah: Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge
Vermont: Wyndham Garden Airport
Virginia: Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Washington: Sheraton Society Hill
West Virginia: Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge
Wisconsin: Home2 Suites by Hilton
Wyoming: Hilton Inn at Penn

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Saturday Report from the #DNC

DNC bannerIt was an exciting day. Banners are up all over town welcoming people to the DNC, Hugh and I (learn all about Hugh here) drove in early in the morning to attend the 8 a.m. organizing meeting for the People’s Revolution/Occupy Protest.

We stopped at the Starbucks, as the meeting was changed to 9 a.m. While drinking our brew, a few officers joined the line. WDNC Copse spoke briefly with them, and they were very nice. That is, they had the right attitude. They didn’t bother anyone at the meeting, which, because it was delayed again until 9:30, kinda sorta convened in an outdoor courtyard, and spilled into the street outside. While we were at the Starbucks, Hugh interviewed me about Jill Stein’s chances in Pennsylvania. I’m going to try an get a copy of the video for you to see, but I can’t seem to pull it off his FB feed <sad face> — bottom line, if she won 50% of the people who voted for Bernie in the primary, given that more people vote in a general than in a primary, she still couldn’t hit 10%.

It was interesting that the vast number of people were baby boomers. I had noticed the same thing last year at the Keystone Progress summit where Bernie Sanders was the keynote speaker. I found it interesting, especially as compared to the voting statistics based on age in the primaries.  Then again, all of these things cost money…

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Trump, Inc., for President

For all that is different about this year’s presidential race, the one that, for the most part, has been overlooked is that Trump is the head of a closely-held family business.  For lawyers, there is a big difference in how we look at publicly traded companies and those that are privately held.    If a company is publicly traded, it has to file SEC reports and answer to a diverse group of stockholders.  While officers and directors can engage in self-dealing, there is a clear separateness between them and the corporation.  When a company is owned by a single person or family, lawyers are more likely to take a very close look at whether the owners treat the corporation’s assets as their personal assets or if they maintain an appropriate degree of separation.   In other words, we look at whether the corporation and the person are truly separate or whether the owner treats the business as his alter ego.

Everything that we have seen in this race so far tends to indicate that Donald Trump is the Trump Organization and that the Trump Organization is Donald Trump.  Throughout the primary, Trump held a lot of events at Trump Organization properties (with Trump Organization products lavishly displayed),  This week at the convention, we saw this overlap in the news reports on Melania’s speech.  Aside from what the plagiarism says about Trump Organization business practices and what that say about how Trump would govern, the bigger concern is how the Trump Organization just delegated somebody to work on the speech.  (Given that Trump is the owner of the Trump Organization, the campaign laws issues is easily managed.  Trump just has the Organization give him a dividend which he contributes to the campaign and the campaign pays back to the Organization — a mere paper transaction that complies with the law.)

If, before the election, Trump sees the Organization as a tool to further his personal ambitions, what happens after the election?  Traditionally, a president (or other politician)with significant holdings puts them into a blind trust.  In theory, because the politician does not know what changes the trustee may make to the portfolio, this practice prevents them from making decisions to benefit their personal stock holdings (e.g., deciding to change weapons acquisitions from the army to the air force because they hold Boeing stock).  With Trump, there is simply no conceivable way that Trump could divest himself of his holdings in the Trump Organization.  More importantly, while Trump may step down from day-to-day management, the new CEO will be one of his children (and we have already seen the key role that his children play in advising him).  The first time that Trump tries to play hardball with another foreign leader, the logical response will be for that foreign leader to start talking about what that country could do to help or hurt the Trump Organization.    If Trump wants China to take a tougher stance on piracy of movies and software, China may offer a good site for a Trump Casino in Hong Kong.  Trump wants Mexico to do more on drug trafficking, Mexico may impose some new regulations that effect the Trump property in Baja.  When the Trump Organization’s interests diverge from the U.S. interests, whom will Trump favor?  The risk that Trump will sacrifice the U.S. to favor his company is simply to large for any reasonable person to take.

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DocJess Pre-#DNC Schedule for Saturday

Pre-convention day one — off to the logistics meeting for the Occupy protests. YAY!!! You can follow me on Twitter from the meeting at @DocJessDCW. If you’re in town and not attending the convention, the protests are a good option. Also the film festival.

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Fact Checking Trump’s Speech Last Night

I would have, but the Washington Post beat me to it. Read it here. Consider printing it out and carrying it with you to show to Trumpites.

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What Have We Learned from the #RNC?

RNC 2016The most important takeaway is that the GOP is now Donald Trump’s party. This may seem minor, but it’s critical to understanding what will be necessary for the upcoming general election cycle: the rules are different.

You may have noticed that MSM referred to the RNC as “Donald Trump’s Convention” instead of “The Republican Convention” or “The RNC Convention.” Next week is not “Hillary Clinton’s Convention” — it is “The DNC”. No convention has ever before been personalized this way. The importance relates to how the cycle will be covered, and intimates that he will continue to be covered differently from everyone ever. Note that the first night of the convention, while the mother of a soldier lost in Benghazi was speaking, Donald called into Fox and they preempted her speech to speak with him. A cautionary tale for the party comes from more than 150 years ago. Read about Zachary Taylor. Seriously, read the link. Read it now. It’s really important.

Welcome back. Now you know the future.

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Vice-Presidential Selection: The Democrats

One of the advantages that the “incumbent” party has under the norms of American politics is getting to have your convention second.  (Depending upon how you count, this tradition has been followed either since 1936 or since 1956 — before 1936 Democrats tended to, but did not always go second).  When, as in this year, there is only a three-day gap between the two  conventions and the nominee of the out-party waits until the last second to announce his pick, that gives the nominee of the incumbent party a chance to finalize her pick without much media attention.

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