Archive for August, 2008

O’Malley Jams With Fellow Governors at DNC

Friday, August 29th, 2008

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gov. Tim Kaine and Gov. Martin O'Malley

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gov. Tim Kaine and Gov. Martin O’Malley (Photo by Laurie White)

DENVER – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley rarely performs with his band O’Malley’s March these days, but the chance to take the stage Wednesday with two gubernatorial colleagues during the Democratic party’s biggest party brought his Irish out.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, both of whom took turns at the Pepsi Center podium this week in support of Barack Obama, joined O’Malley on stage at his reception for the Maryland delegation at Fado Irish Pub in downtown Denver. Kaine played harmonica, Schweitzer banged on a tambourine and both provided supporting vocals as O’Malley took his usual spot as lead vocalist and guitarist.

“This is over the top,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, as the governors and various companions snaked through the packed pub into the stage area.

While Maryland politicos jammed to tunes like “Redemption Song,” “Take Me Home Country Roads” and, of course, “The Irish Rover,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson stopped by for a literal minute of what O’Malley called “Afro-Celtic synergy.”

Escorted by Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Michael Cryor, Jackson took the stage with the governors long enough to shout “Obamarama!” into the microphone several times.

The crowd shouted back, “Obamarama!” an equal number of times, Jackson departed, and the governors kept the music playing.

–by Maryland Newsline’s Laurie White 

Protesters Clash With Police Before Kickoff of Democratic Convention

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Protesters, many wearing orange and black bandanas over their faces, wound through the streets of downtown Denver Sunday afternoon,  shouting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “This is what a police state looks like” as police with batons and tear gas guns forced them to move out of roadways. 

The protest, organized by a group called Unconventional Denver, was part of a series of events planned to protest the Democratic National Convention. 

Protesters carried signs that said “Funk the war” and “Impeach Bush” and a large banner that said “No hope in capitalism.”

Other signs criticized Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and protesters  shouted “No more presidents, no more wars!” as they walked from 16th Street to the State Capitol Building, through a pedestrian mall packed with vendors. 

“Yep, I’m a capitalist,” one vendor called out to the crowd. “Not gonna apologize for that.” 

Some participants wore Recreate ’68 T-shirts, representing the activist group that has a calendar of protest events planned that spans the DNC calendar. According to its Web site, the group resists “a two-party system that allows imperialism and racism to continue unrestrained.” 

Police on horseback and on foot from Denver and other Colorado precincts interrupted protesters’ attempts to block traffic as they walked back to the 16th Street Mall from the Capitol.

The protest ended with some protesters crashing through a barrier into a parking garage near the mall, while most left the area. Officers stood in line formation with tear gas, guns and batons at 16th and Stout streets, blocking a mix of protesters and downtown pedestrians from moving past. 

–By Maryland Newsline’s Laurie White

Kaine Needles McCain at Red Rocks

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine didn’t get the vice presidential nod, but he did give his enthusiastic support to Sen. Barack Obama Sunday at a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver.

He also lobbed criticism at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Obama’s presumptive opponent. 

“Raise your hand if you know how many houses you own,” Kaine said, referring to McCain’s inability to answer that question last week from Politico reporters. “Raise your hand if your staff” has to get back to you on that. 

“You can’t make this stuff up, folks,” he said.  

Kaine introduced concert headliner Dave Matthews, calling the Charlottesville resident who got his start playing in clubs around the University of Virginia “a great Virginian” who was performing in spite of the death last week of Dave Matthews’ Band saxophonist Leroi Moore from injuries sustained in an accident earlier this summer.

Referring to Obama’s fight for the nomination, Kaine said, “It looked uphill, it looked pretty steep,” using a metaphor that seemed apt given the red rocks that tower over and form the outdoor venue. “But we’re climbing.”

Of Matthews and guitarist Tim Reynolds, Kaine said, “It’s been a tough week, but they’re going to keep climbing, too.”

Matthews agreed.  He apologized for a strained voice but expressed his appreciation for Colorado before playing through a number of his better-known songs. “It’s nice to be in a place where people are talking some sense,” he said.  

Earlier performers included country music stars Sugarland and Sheryl Crow. Sugarland vocalist Jennifer Nettles said that contrary to stereotypes about country music performers, some did indeed care about the environment. 

Speakers at the Denver 2008 Host City Event included Laurie David, producer of Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr., Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

–By Maryland Newsline’s Laurie White