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Reporter's Notebook - Friday, August 4, 2000
By Mike Mulcahy
Part of's Republican National Convention coverage.

The Thursday night convention may have set a record for the biggest blizzard of confetti and balloons.
(MPR Photo/Mike Mulcahy)

Now that St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman has formed a committee that allows him to raise money for a possible race for governor in 2002, at least one of his potential rivals is asking whether Coleman should be allowed to keep his weekly radio show. Coleman is paid for doing the show every Saturday on KSTP-AM. The program is generally pretty bland, with Coleman and some guy named Billy, railing against such controversial topics as kids who kill, for example. Jesse Ventura did a talk show on KFAN-AM before he was elected but was forced to give up the show once he officially filed for office. If that standard applies to Coleman he doesn't have much to worry about. He could keep doing the program until July of 2002.


Reporters came up short Thursday night during George W. Bush's acceptance speech when the Philadelphia fire marshal declared the convention floor was too crowded and wouldn't let anyone in. Several journalists were caught outside and were furious. CBS News' Ed Bradley eventually ducked past security guards and sneaked onto the floor, but his camera crew wasn't as lucky. After a loud four-letter-word-filled argument they made a phone call to somebody (Dan Rather? Walter Cronkite?), and the CBS crew - and only the CBS crew - got in.


The Republican National Convention was a huge event that cost millions of dollars. Who paid? Some of the country's biggest corporations, many of them with issues pending before Congress and other government agencies. Microsoft, which was sued by the Justice Department on anti-trust charges, donated $1 million to the convention. So did General Motors, Bell Atlantic, Comcast, Motorola, AT&T and others. US Airways, which has a merger pending with American Airlines, donated $500,000. Philip Morris kicked in $250,000. This doesn't count the money PACs donated to candidates and parties. Many of the same companies will be putting up similar amounts for the Democratic National Convention in LA in 10 days.

It's all legal, but what do companies who spend that much expect in return?