and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Saturday, May 22. 2004

Kerry drives DNC convention wreck off bridge

Sen. John F. Kerry may stall his presidential nomination until after Boston's convention to boost fund raising, a threat that left stunned locals wondering why the traffic-snarling security nightmare is even necessary.

The unprecedented delay tactic could make the four-day Democratic National Convention meaningless. And it immediately raised a wave of legal questions - including whether the Homeland Security designation will be lifted and if the organizing committee would be wrongly spending taxpayer dollars on the event....

"I feel bad for the hundreds of thousands of commuters who are going to be inconvenienced simply for a political pep rally," said Darrell Crate, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party....

"Only John Kerry could be for a nominating convention, but be against the nomination," Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman said....

A Democratic source said officials are investigating a plan to change party rules to allow delegates to recess the convention before delegates vote - allowing them to vote by Internet or proxy sometime before Sept. 1....

A spokesman at the Federal Election Commission said money can be spent only for "nominating conventions" defined as meetings by major political parties that "choose" a nominee.

If Kerry isn't nominated here, all the Boston spending could be called into question.

The Boston Herald
Saturday, May 22, 2004
DNC mess could be for nothing:
Kerry may not accept nomination in Boston

Mayor Thomas Menino told WBZ-TV, "I was very surprised by it." This week's announcements of road closings for the convention have already taken a toll, he said. "After being beat up two days, and now this.... It's just a question about why this wasn't brought up earlier."

The Boston Globe
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Kerry may delay official nomination
Move would be advantage in spending race

Many Bay State voters forced to put up with a week of gridlock because of the Democratic National Convention will consider themselves slapped in the face if Sen. John F. Kerry doesn't accept the nomination here.

"I think (that would be) a cheap shot from the junior senator to all of his supporters in Massachusetts," said Henry Santoro, who is preparing for the worst as he commutes daily from Brookline to Lynn. "It's just one of those cases of 'Get your ass here and get the job done.' This is an anybody-but-Bush-state. Do not put us on hold."

James Murphy, who runs a painting and contracting company out of Swampscott, said he can't believe Kerry would snub his homestaters.

"How does a senator of a state - when the DNC is here - not honor his state by declaring his nomination here?" said Murphy, 38. "I would wonder if whether this, in the long run, is going to work against him. I very well think it could." ...

If Kerry decides not to accept the nomination during the Boston convention, one small business owner on Causeway Street has a piece of advice.

"They should cancel it," said Skip Perry, owner of Cyberphoto Inc., which is across the street from the FleetCenter. "This kind of just turns it into a Kerry-Kennedy-Menino 'hurrah' type of thing."

Santoro said he was fuming about Mayor Thomas M. Menino's "get over it" response to the traffic.

"Who the hell is Mayor Menino to tell us to take the week off?" he said. "How does he explain that to people who live paycheck to paycheck?"

The Boston Herald
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Voters tell senator: 'Don't put us on hold'

North Station business owners, many of them bracing to get economically clobbered due to tight security at the Democratic National Convention at the FleetCenter in July, reacted yesterday with stunned disbelief that U.S. Sen John Kerry (D-Mass.) might not even accept the nomination for president at the event....

"This highlights what a mockery conventions have become," said Jason Adkins, a partner at Adkins Kelston & Zavec PC, a 20-employee Canal Street law firm that expects its business to be "dramatically" disrupted.

"It sounds like it's turning into one big, expensive party," he said....

Don Hooper, a designer at Lee Kimball Kitchens Inc. on Canal Street, said for Kerry not to accept the nomination at the convention - a strategic move suggested by the Kerry campaign yesterday - makes it a "wasted" event....

"Who's going to pay my rent?" asked a frustrated Pam Troung, owner of Canal Street's Perfect Nails, which plans to close during the convention. "Someone should pay my rent for the week."

The Boston Herald
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Biz owners livid over Kerry plan

Peter Tarlow, a Texas-based tourism security expert who has worked on security at the Salt Lake City Olympics, said the transportation security measures sound about right for an event like a major political party's convention....

Reducing the risk of a terrorist attack to a reasonable level in a dense urban area inevitably causes disruptions, he said.

"I think that's something Boston should have thought about when it bid on the convention," Tarlow said.

The Boston Herald
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Security pros: Road closures unavoidable

In the space of two months, the Democratic National Convention has gone from a $154 million boon to Boston to a potential $50 million hit to the local economy as businesses absorb the magnitude of the announced highway, street, and mass-transit closings.

A ghost town was effectively the picture portrayed by downtown merchants and businesses this week when they learned that commuters, customers, and tourists would stay away during the convention, which begins July 26. Economists say the reduction in the city's downtown work force, losses to tourism, retail, and eating establishments, plus lost productivity for workers tied up in crowded subway stations or massive traffic jams will add up to a huge negative impact on metropolitan Boston and its economy.

Economists' conservative estimates of the loss range from $34.3 million to $49.8 million for the week, but some forecasts say the potential losses could be much higher if the effect on suburban communities is factored in as well....

Last month, Mayor Thomas M. Menino's office said the event would pour $154 million into the city. Convention planners declined comment on the new numbers, but Seth Gitell, Menino's spokesman, said yesterday, "Mayor Menino is confident that when all is said and done and we look back with an historical eye, this convention will be an economic plus." ...

The mounting predictions of economic losses are undercutting early promotion of the convention as a boon to Boston....

No estimates were available yesterday on the impact to suburbs, which will clearly feel negative spillover. In the worst case, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for, the metropolitan area could lose $300 million in economic output from road closings.

The Boston Globe
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Convention bust may reach $50m

This extra transit service will cost about $5 million, but the Legislature has put the T under tight budget constraints. The Democratic convention will put the state in the national spotlight. The Romney administration and the Legislature should compensate the T for extra spending on what has become a transportation emergency.

A Boston Globe editorial
Saturday, May 22, 2004
A test for the T

Click here to read these and many other reports in full

Anatomy of an inevitable taxpayer mugging
"It our party, you can cry if you want to"

Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Greetings activists and supporters:

As if support for the mess called the DNC '04 convention hasn't all but collapsed, leave it to the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee go stomp it into its grave a bit harder. For his insatiable love of money (aka, greed), he's apparently willing to remove whatever rationale the Democrats had for staging this disaster, now debating with himself whether or not he'll accept the nomination ... or wait to engage in unprecedented money games.

The only justification -- the ONLY straight-faced justification -- for the astronomical expense and a virtual declaration of martial law was a major party needing to nominate its candidate.

In her column of Feb. 26, 2004, "Democrats to party in Boston while the rest of us foot the bill," Barbara opined:

Do "delegates" of either party really have to junket somewhere to vote again? Can't they phone, fax or e-mail?

So if conventions aren't necessary, why did U.S. taxpayers through the Federal Election Commission contribute roughly $13 million to each party's 2000 convention? And why are we paying an additional $25 million just for each convention's security, or any aspect of their events? Not to mention the additional amounts that the Democrats now want from Massachusetts taxpayers.

If parties want to party somewhere, let them do it at their own expense.

What's the Democrats' response to Kerry potentially going AWOL from the convention?

A Democratic source said officials are investigating a plan to change party rules to allow delegates to recess the convention before delegates vote - allowing them to vote by Internet or proxy sometime before Sept. 1....

"Allowing them to vote by Internet or proxy"? NOW!?! Is this insanity or what? Barbara suggested that back in February, before tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were squandered, convention cost overruns were announced, virtual martial law was imposed, highway and transportation systems are to be shut down, and tens of thousands are about to be put out of work.

Everything we warned was coming, starting back in December of 2002, has arrived ... including the final shoe dropping:  a direct state taxpayer bail-out, courtesy of -- who else? -- the Boston Globe editorial writers today.

For over a week now, the Boston Globe editorial page has carried a daily compassion assault intended to make taxpayers feel guilty enough to buy into their perpetual call for increased taxes. The preamble to every one:

The budget files:  Legislators are debating the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. So far, they have refused to increase taxes to support needed programs and close a $500 million budget gap. Here are some of the consequences of that choice.

All of these editorials call for more spending of course, for example on:  Anti-smoking programs (Feb 13), MCAS remediation (Feb 15), Homeless family shelter (Feb 16), School transportation (Feb 17), Library technology (Feb 18), Support for new families (Feb 19), Lawyers for poor defendants (Feb 20), Summer jobs programs (Feb 21), and Mental health hospitals (Feb 22).

Today, the Boston Globe editorial page elites also called for $5 million in "extra spending on what has become a transportation emergency"!

The Boston Globe now wants to bail-out an entirely avoidable "transportation emergency" created by state and national Democrat politicians -- at the expense of "the children" and "the most vulnerable among us"! The Boston Globe has issued the first taxpayer bail-out call ... just as we've always predicted would inevitably happen. A taxpayer bail-out was all that remained to make our precognition one hundred percent accurate as usual, just as it was with our Big Dig prognostications back in the mid-80s.

Sen. Kerry should do himself and all of us a big favor and tell his crowd he's taking Mayor Menino's advice, he's not coming into Boston during the gridlocked convention. Tell those Democrat delegates from around the country that they should follow the mayor's advice too and just "stay home," take a vacation somewhere else instead of wasting their and our time.

For about a year now U.S. Congressman Mike Capuano (D-Somerville) has been telling everyone who'll listen that New Hampshire is the place for us non-delegates to be for that last week of July. Kerry should pass on Rep. Capuano's advice, recommend the "Live Free or Die" state to those delegates who are determined to have their getaway that week.

Kerry would garner more votes if he takes this advice than if he doesn't. If he does, he'll be free to play all his money games to his heart's content without devastating his home state and its citizens on national TV, or what still shows up to cover the carnage. He can at least avoid giving the Democrat Party a black eye which a multitude of voters will remember in November. And he can save Massachusetts citizens from the inevitable, ridiculously desperate taxpayer bail-out, prevent them from being even further abused by this fiasco.

Chip Ford

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