Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign stop in April at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A month ago, Republicans looked primed to have a contentious summer political convention.
There were still multiple candidates in the race for president. Donald Trump was the frontrunner, but seemed unlikely to get a majority of delegates before the July convention. There were whispers of a brokered convention. Trump said his supporters would riot if there was a brokered convention. “I think you’d have riots,” Trump said on CNN.” “I’m representing a tremendous many, many millions of people.”
Funny how that worked out. Trump hasn’t lost a primary since Wisconsin, on April 5th. He won New York on April 19th. He won five primaries, including Pennsylvania, on April 26th. His remaining rivals dropped out after he won Indiana on May 3rd. Without competition, he’s swept every primary since. He will get enough delegates to be the nominee well before the convention. He’s already released his presumptive Supreme Court nominees.
Meanwhile, the Democratic primary is dragging on. What if, as Harry Reid proposed (albeit mostly rhetorically back in February), it’s the Democratic National Convention — here in Philadelphia from July 25th to 28th — that’s the chaotic one? Read more »
According to Ed Rendell, this summer’s celebration of political history all started because of Major League Baseball.
“In the baseball All-Star Game, it is impossible for anybody from the host city to get a ticket,” said Rendell, who was mayor when the MLB All-Star Game came to Veterans Stadium in 1996. “But Major League Baseball wanted people in the host city to feel a part of it, so they created something called FanFest. And FanFest ran at our Convention Center for seven days … and tens of thousands of people from our area came in.”
Rendell said the success of MLB FanFest — an interactive exhibit featuring hitting and pitching simulations, videos of baseball history, memorabilia sales and appearances by former baseball stars — made him realize it “would be terrific” to do the same thing for the Republican National Convention in 2000. Rendell enlisted the help of Carol Fitzgerald, and PoliticalFest was born.
For the Democratic National Convention in 2016, PoliticalFest will return to Philadelphia. Spread out over seven sites in the city, the festival celebrates American political history, government and the process of electing the president. It will run from July 22nd to the 27th. Read more »
L to R: Gov. Ed Rendell, the Pennsylvania donkey statute and Mural Arts Program founder Jane Golden.
Ed Rendell came up with the idea. Obviously.
A collection of 57 painted donkey statues will decorate Philadelphia during the months of July and August, the former governor and current chairman of the Democratic National Convention host committee announced today at a press conference. The point of the donkeys, he says, is to get Philadelphians excited about this summer’s Democratic Convention and encourage delegates to visit different parts of the city. We’re guessing it doesn’t hurt that the donkeys will inevitably inspire tons of photo-ops and selfies, too.
“You all remember the bulls or the cows in Chicago,” Rendell said. “I thought, what a great idea to have donkeys around town. … The host committee wants this to be a great convention for the Democratic Party, but we also want it to be a great convention for the people of Philadelphia.”
The donkeys are made of fiberglass and weigh about 250 pounds apiece. They are being painted by artists to evoke each of the 50 states, five U.S. territories, Washington, D.C. and the group Democrats Abroad. The Pennsylvania donkey was on display at Tuesday’s news conference. It features the state’s coat of arms, the state bird, the state flower and other accoutrements. Read more »
The Daily Show is coming to Philadelphia.
During the Democratic National Convention, The Daily Show will film and broadcast four shows from the Annenberg Center on Penn’s campus. The show will be here from Tuesday, July 26th through Friday, July 29th.
“The University of Pennsylvania is proud to welcome The Daily Show to our campus during the Democratic National Convention,” Penn Executive Vice President Craig R. Carnaroli said, in a release. “We hope visitors, students, and local residents will enjoy the show and be part of this exciting event.” Read more »
The New York Post is reporting that Ed Rendell started collecting donations before the city’s Democratic National Convention Host Committee received its official 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax status — an alleged “mistake” that is causing those donors trouble at tax time.
A spokesperson for the committee acknowledged to Philly Mag today that 501(c)(3) status has not yet been finalized, but otherwise disputed the Post report, saying that the tax status should be settled “well in advance of the convention.”
“The delay in receiving the (c)(3) status has not interrupted the flow in donations,” Anna Adams-Sarthou said. “We continue to feel good about where we are on that front.” Read more »
Candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the October 13, 2015, Democratic debate.
The Democratic National Convention will be in Philly this summer. The city will have some nice new things for the attendees, but so far the announced plans have been limited to fiberglass donkeys.
But! Speaking on CNN yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) gave us a preview of what could be political intrigue this summer: He predicted there could be a brokered convention! Read more »
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair, the President’s Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey this week defended the level of security that was in place for Pope Francis’ visit to the city last month.
“It was only 14 years ago that terrorist flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and into the ground at Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” he said. “Our world changed that day. Our security environment changed that day. It’s not going to go back in the forseeable future, if ever.”
He made the comments during an edition of “Commish Chat,” his podcast. The podcast was posted Tuesday morning to the police department’s Facebook page. Read more »
SEPTA’s new ad policy may mean the agency never has to carry ads condemning Islam again — but it might also keep advertisers from welcoming Pope Francis and the Democratic National Convention when they visit Philly in the next year. Read more »
Next year’s Democratic National Convention will feature painted fiberglass donkeys displayed across the city, former Gov. Ed Rendell has told a Pennsylvania newspaper.
PennLive reports the donkey display will be like the CowParade that launched in Chicago more than a decade ago — only featuring lots and lots of fiberglass donkeys around the city. Read more »
Pennsylvania native Sean Meloy has been hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as director of LGBT engagement. Meloy is a graduate of Penn State and former aide and campaign manager of PA U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle.
In his job as director of LGBT engagement, Meloy is tasked with assembling LGBT support for the 2016 Democratic presidential nominees and other Democratic candidates. “I’m here to work for them and with them to make sure that the party is inclusive and continually fighting for LGBT rights,” he said in an interview with the Washington Blade.
Read more »