March 18, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon Linkage 031808--Protest Groups Protest DNC Protest Lottery; Bob Schaffer Agrees To Online Debate

The groupies at Recreate '68--who were only happy to game the system yesterday--is protesting the blind lottery designed to deal with the surplus permit requests by crying foul:
The lottery to win permits to demonstrate at the Democratic National Convention screeched to a halt this afternoon when an organization claimed it wasn't being given a fair shot at a five-day permit to rally in Denver's Civic Center.

The mayor's office stopped the lottery just 45 minutes after it had begun. It was scheduled to resume about 2:20 p.m.

The lottery, held on the second floor of the Wellington Webb Building in downtown Denver, featured dozens of business cards sitting on a table, waiting to be selected in a random process.

But Barbara Cohen, representing the Recreate '68 group, noticed that only one business card from her group was on the table. There should have been five, because the application was for a five-day permit, she said.

"Something got screwed up, and screwed up badly," Cohen said. "It's very distressing. This is supposed to be a city-run lottery."

Chantal Unfug, special assistant to Mayor Hickenlooper, said "Obviously, there was a clerical mistake in transferring the information from the application forms onto the business cards."

City officials are cross-referencing the application forms with the cards, and doing it in the open, in front of all interested parties, to help re-instill faith in the process, she said. They hope the lottery can be completed by the close of business today.
In related news, Glenn Spagnuolo of Recreate '68 responds to the Drunkablog.

Update 1: Spagnuolo claims Denver process biased against his group, Recreate '68:
Re-create 68's Glenn Spagnuolo said the mistake is evidence the city wants to exclude them.

"I think it's a disgrace," Spagnuolo said. "They had all this time to figure it out, and they still couldn't get it right."
Nevertheless, as the Drunkablog reports, Recreate '68 was successful in early rounds. More on the group's multiple permit requests gamble:
Barbara Rivera wants to "stand for peace" on behalf of the U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence.

Duke Austin hopes to hold a five-day "this is what democracy looks like" rally with the Students for Peace and Justice.

Adam Jungk proposes to set up a Tent State University. Barbara Cohen applied for a "festival of democracy;" her husband, Mark Cohen, for a "celebration of democracy."

They're just five of the people who submitted more than 200 applications to occupy 14 centrally located Denver parks during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The catch is, they are all associated with the same group: Re-create 68.
. . .
But R-68's Glenn Spagnuolo, who also filed for a permit for "The Free Speech Zone" as an individual, and who freely admits knowing Duke, Adam, Mark and the two Barbaras — and, in all, as many as 40 other applicants friendly to his group — says it's the city that's not playing fair.

"It's the city's fault," Spagnuolo said. "I don't have any remorse about this at all."

Spagnuolo says the city's new permitting rules, which it overhauled to prepare for the deluge of interest in the convention, are meant to exclude protesters.

R-68, as an umbrella group for a variety of protesters, wants to use Civic Center outside city hall as its main staging area for the week of the convention, Aug. 25-28.

Spagnuolo objects to the lottery because it gives equal weight to private and free-speech interests, and because it gives precedence to groups, such as A Taste of Colorado, which have historically sought permits for particular days. The food festival will begin setting up in Civic Center on Aug. 28.
Update 2--apparently not all the groups listed above are linked to Recreate '68.
From Schaffer v Udall:
Good news today. A representative from the Bob Schaffer for Senate campaign has expressed the candidate's agreement in principle to an online debate versus Mark Udall, a debate co-sponsored by David Thielen on the Left and by us here at Schaffer v Udall on the Right.

Here's the word from Vicki Blanton in the Schaffer camp:
I wanted to let you know that Congressman Schaffer would be interested in participating in an online debate with Congressman Udall. As we move closer to June and July, please let me know the potential dates of the debate. We’re very flexible and willing to work with you to find a date and time that works for all involved parties.

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