- The Washington Times - Friday, August 18, 2000

LOS ANGELES Scenes from the Democratic National Convention:

Hayden's take

At the Republican National Convention two weeks ago, some California GOP faithful joked the Democrats would be just fine at their gathering here, as long as state Sen. Tom Hayden spent more time inside the convention center than out of it.
But that wouldn't be Mr. Hayden's style. Instead, he joined with marchers Wednesday to protest police brutality.
The teeming streets outside the Staples Center bear similarities to anti-Vietnam War riots at the party's convention in Chicago in 1968, said Mr. Hayden, a member of the "Chicago Seven" arrested and tried for inciting a riot. He and four others were convicted but later cleared.
"You have on the streets of Los Angeles living evidence of an active counterculture," Mr. Hayden said.
The Los Angeles demonstrators focused on a range of issues, including Navy bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, the environment, unfair labor practices and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Though the Chicago demonstrations are remembered largely as a statement against the Vietnam War, there were many voices with many different views, Mr. Hayden said.
"The mind plays tricks," he said. "We remember mostly the civil rights and Vietnam War protesters, but there was much more than that. Civil rights, the draft, the war. The women's movement emerged. The Chicano movement started. The Black Panthers, the gay liberation movement, and there was the counterculture and the music."

Company money

BellSouth Corp. bought breakfast. Lunch was on UT-Battelle and three other companies that do business in East Tennessee. Distilled Spirits Council of the United States brought the booze for Bart Gordon's bash.
Companies and trade groups from Tennessee and across the country, seeking goodwill from the convention delegation that's home to presidential nominee Al Gore, sponsored breakfast, lunch and a postconvention party nearly every day this week.
They say they're not seeking to influence policy decisions, just to help out the hometown folks.
"It's so expensive out here," said Gary Andreza, who lobbies for AT&T; in Nashville.
AT&T; sprang for a big-screen TV and the hospitality suite at the Regal Biltmore Hotel, spending $33 a person on hot dogs and hamburgers Monday night for Tennesseans who couldn't get in the convention center — or wanted to watch the Titans beat the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football before heading over.
"These people are our customers. We want them to feel good when they think about BellSouth," said Kenny Blackburn, a Tennessee spokesman for the Atlanta-based company that paid for four days of breakfasts at $25 per person.
He didn't know what the total would be, but if 300 Tennesseans ate from the buffet table every morning, the tab would be $30,000.
That's nothing for BellSouth, which was one of 18 corporate sponsors that took over Dodger Stadium this week to honor Democratic members of the House and Senate Commerce committees, and paid for several parties for other states.
The company also sponsored a lounge near the convention hall for journalists, often the biggest critics of such corporate largesse.

A page's story

If India Henderson is assigned that classic back-to-school essay, "How I Spent My Summer," she won't be accused of copying from anyone else's paper.
India, 13, was one of two pages to accompany the D.C. delegation to the convention.
"I passed out signs and T-shirts, I waited for guests and took them to their seats, and I delivered messages," said India, an eighth-grader at the District's Francis Middle School.
"I got to hear a lot of speeches, and see a lot of people," she said.
India at first resisted her mother's encouragement to make the trip to Los Angeles. "India's a little shy, and doesn't like being the center of attention," said Kathy Henderson, a D.C. delegate.
She said she first began taking her daughter to political events a few years ago because she couldn't always get baby sitters.
"She's really been working, but it's been a good experience for her," said Mrs. Henderson.
Thirty-two delegates and 4 alternates attended the convention from the District. About 50 other volunteers also made the trip to press for congressional voting rights and statehood.

Let's meet

Louis Farrakhan said he is looking forward to meeting Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, whom the Nation of Islam leader had implied was loyal to Israel because of his Jewish faith.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to open dialgue and discuss issues relative to black and poor people, as well as the American Muslim community," Mr. Farrakhan said through a spokesman in a press release.
Mr. Farrakhan, responding to reports and rumors that he would meet with the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, said he is willing to meet Mr. Lieberman and discuss policy and other concerns with him.
This month, the black Muslim leader questioned Mr. Lieberman's loyalties, erroneously stating that the senator is a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen because he is an Orthodox Jew.
In the past, Mr. Farrakhan has spoken harshly about Jews and has called the Jewish faith a "gutter religion."
This week, Mr. Lieberman scrambled to mollify members of the Congressional Black Caucus who threatened to withhold support for the Democratic ticket over his former opposition to affirmative action.

Hawaii liberal

Richard Port was born in Ted Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts, ran Jesse Jackson's 1988 campaign in Hawaii and calls himself a "very proud liberal."
So the convention delegate from Hawaii doesn't much care for movement by his party and its national platform to the political center.
"Bill Clinton to me is no fiery liberal. Neither is Al Gore. But I guess this is how we win elections," Mr. Port, a former Hawaii Democratic chairman from Honolulu, said Thursday.
Hawaii Democrats have a long tradition of social liberalism.
For example, since 1974 Hawaii has been the only state requiring every employer to offer health insurance for employees, "the closest thing in the nation to universal health care," said Gov. Ben Cayetano.
The national Democratic platform doesn't go that far, although it calls for guaranteeing affordable health care for all children and expansions of Medicaid and Medicare.
The majority of Hawaii delegates say in a survey that they support formal recognition of same-sex unions. The national platform is less specific, calling only for "the full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of the nation."

Money maker

After occupying center stage on the final day of the convention, presidential nominee Al Gore was sharing the spotlight with Barbra Streisand and Whoopi Goldberg on Thursday at a fund-raiser that fattened party coffers by more than $5 million.
Miss Goldberg was to serve as master of ceremonies at the Shrine Auditorium, the venue where the Academy Awards are handed out each year, while Miss Streisand was to provide the finale for a concert that included Enrique Iglesias, Baby Face and Boyz II Men.
The concert was to conclude with Mr. Gore and vice-presidential nominee Joseph I. Lieberman on stage with Mr. Streisand and the other performers.
With tickets selling for as little as $150, Thursday's gala was the first in a series of low-priced concerts the Democratic National Committee hopes to stage this fall to attract new donors and create enthusiasm among potential supporters. More than 6,000 people were expected.
But big givers were rewarded as well. The best seats in the house went to co-chairs, who raised $50,000, and vice chairs, who raised or donated $20,000. Jon Corzine, the Democrat running for the Senate from New Jersey, raised $30,000 to buy 200 tickets for the state's convention delegation. Those who raised or gave the most money also got invitations to a private reception at the auditorium.
All of the money raised Thursday night fell within federal contribution limits. These contributions, known as "hard money," can be used to directly aid federal candidates this fall.
Through June 30, the Republican National Committee had $21.1 million in hard money in the bank, compared with $9.3 million for Democrats.
Parties also raise "soft money," the large, unregulated sums from corporations, unions and individuals that are used to help finance issue advertisements designed to help candidates without specifically urging voters to support the nominees.

From staff and wire service dispatches

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