Democratic National Convention
Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Convention Notebook

Columbus mayor courts delegates

By The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Associated Press

        Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman — a likely candidate for statewide office in the near future — is going out of his way to make Ohio Democrats happy in Los Angeles.

        Only the delegates and alternates in the Ohio delegation have credentials to be on the floor at the Staples Center for convention sessions, which means that there are about 200 Ohioans - special guests of the party, delegates spouses and others - who won't be getting in the sessions.

        So, on each evening of the convention, Mr. Coleman, who last year became the first African-American mayor of Columbus, is hosting a reception in a Century Plaza hotel suite for those left behind.

High-powered breakfast
        Cinergy, the Cincinnati-based energy company, picked up the tab for the Ohio delegation's breakfast Monday morning.

        And quite a tab it was — somewhere between $10,000 and $11,000, according to Ohio Democratic Party officials.

        Each morning's Ohio caucus breakfast this week at the Century Plaza hotel is sponsored by an Ohio corporation or individual. Today, Ameritech picks up the tab. Wednesday is being handled by State Rep. Jane Campbell's campaign committee and Thursday's breakfast, the last of the convention, will be paid for by the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

Like a rock
        Ohio Democratic Party chairman David Leland confessed that two weeks ago he watched a considerable amount of the Republican National Convention from Philadelphia on television.

        Asked which speaker at the GOP convention impressed him the most, Mr. Leland said it was "The Rock,” the professional wrestler who helped House Speaker Dennis Hastert lead the pledge of allegiance on the second night of the convention.

        “I'd say he really represented the "new Republican party,”' the Democratic chairman said.

Cell phones challenge sanity
        Nearly every one of the thousands of Democrats here in Los Angeles this week for the Democratic National Convention is packing a cell phone.

        And, at the Ohio delegation hotel, every gathering of Ohio Democrats is interrupted several times cell phones going off. But State Rep. Catherine Barrett, D-Cincinnati, has a device that keeps the annoyance to a minimum.

        She's walking around this week with an ear phone plugged into her ear and connected to the cell phone she carries in her purse so she can hear when it rings and nobody else can.

        "People see me walking around with this earpiece and they think I'm Secret Service or something.”

Searching for Patton successor
        Much of the talk among Kentucky Democratic delegates is on who will run for governor after Paul Patton completes his second term in 2003.

        Lt. Gov. Steve Henry, a delegate, has already said he will run for governor. He is taking his opportunity in L.A. to try to win support among delegates and party leaders.

        Another delegate said to be considering running is Louisville businessman Charlie Owen. Mr. Owen has run for U.S. House and the U.S. Senate in past races but has not won an election.

        But there are also some delegates privately touting a comeback for former Gov. Brereton Jones, a Woodford County horsebreeder who served from 1991 to 1995. He has expressed interest in running but has not yet committed to a campaign.

        “Brereton will run,” said one Kentucky Democrat here with the delegation. “He's definitely in.”

        Compiled by Enquirer reporters Howard Wilkinson and Patrick Crowley.

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