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Reporter's Notebook - August 15, 2000
By Mike Mulcahy
Part of's Democratic National Convention coverage.


Unlike the Republicans in Philadelphia, the Democrats in L.A. are having big problems getting to and from the convention center. On Monday, shuttle buses that were supposed to make the 20-minute trip never arrived, forcing many Minnesota delegates to pay as much as $40 for a one-way cab ride. Party Chair Mike Erlandson and other local officials say they've complained to the Democratic National Committee and hope the situation will improve. The biggest snafu? Minnesota delegates had no signs to wave during President Clinton's speech.


Vice President Walter Mondale recalled the last time the Democrats held their convention in Los Angeles. That was the year John F. Kennedy won the nomination and the last time Mondale was a delegate. "Orville Freeman nominated Kennedy. Gene McCarthy nominated Stevenson, and the delegation voted for Humphrey," said Mondale, "setting a standard I think we've tried to live up to ever since." Mondale wasn't in L.A. to hear Kennedy's speech. He was campaigning for state attorney general at the Moose Hall Bar in Ely, watching on TV. "This time I want to hear the whole thing in real time," he said.


The Minnesota delegates are staying at the Wyndham Hotel near LAX airport. Union workers at the hotel recently settled a contract dispute, but some of the workers told delegates they believe the hotel is about to be sold to new owners, who they fear will try to bust the union. They asked the delegates to write letters to the new owners asking them to preserve the union. Minnesota delegates also literally passed a hat to raise money for the employees.