- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams sent a message about his city's lack of voting rights in Congress: "The time has come to end taxation without representation."
And Wisconsin chairwoman Terri Spring listened to fellow delegates who pleaded please, please, please don't mention "cheeseheads."
With the outcome clear, the roll call of states Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention gave delegations a chance to exercise bragging rights, all while they formally nominated a president.
Tennessee was the first to vote, casting all 81 votes "for our favorite son, our friend, for the next president of the United States, Al Gore."
The vice president's Republican opponent, George W. Bush, was a popular target. Alaska delegation chairwoman Cindy Spanyers declared her state is "more than twice the size as Texas but with a Democratic governor 10 times as smart."
And Texas assured everyone that "we'll work to show what 'W' really stands for wrong. W is wrong for Texas. Check the record."
Some states used the roll call as a chance to send a message, others mentioned the whimsy and a few combined both.
Jon Corzine, a Democratic candidate for Senate from New Jersey, boasted that his state was "home of warriors to defend a woman's right to choose, brothers and sisters of labor, home of the Million Mom March, home of the team of excellence, the New Jersey Devils … and the incomparable Bruce Springsteen."
The roll call ritual has elicited interesting tidbits of information at past conventions. For example, that North Dakota was the "first state to meet the standards of the Clean Air Act" and New Jersey was "where Thomas Edison invented the first point of light."
Bethine Church, who heads Idaho's delegation, wanted to combine the past and present with her speech. During the 1960 Democratic convention, she sat front and center as her husband, then-U.S. Sen. Frank Church, delivered the keynote address.
"In this same city 40 years ago, my husband, young Senator Frank Church, gave the keynote address which helped usher in the Camelot era. Tonight it gives me joy to cast the votes for Idaho, where the Democrats shall rise again," she said this time around.
Some of the state boasting has been a matter of opinion. At the recent GOP nominating convention, both Indiana and Kentucky claimed status as the "basketball capital of the world."
The roll call usually gets read on one night, but Republicans broke with tradition at their convention in Philadelphia earlier this month by conducting the procedure over four evenings.
On one evening, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush used the occasion to air some family laundry as he cast his state's votes for his brother.
"The governor of this state, and perhaps the governor of the state of Texas," he declared, "is the only person on this floor that has had his mouth washed out by the greatest, most popular woman in the world, been spanked by a president of the United States, and gotten a wedgie from the next president of the United States."


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