Big-time Democratic politicians from around the country are heading to San Diego next month for a confab expected to bless whomever President-elect Barack Obama chooses to succeed Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Members of the Association of State Democratic Chairs are set to check into their rooms at the posh Hotel del Coronado for a “much anticipated victory meeting,” according to a post on the website of Inmex, a nonprofit outfit that plans meetings.
Backed by Unite Here!, the national hotel workers’ union, Washington D.C.–based Inmex seeks to “book all of its clients with socially responsible hotels and destination cities,” according to its website. The main criterion is that the hotels be unionized, but the group also assists boycotts of establishments such as downtown’s Manchester Grand Hyatt, owned by developer Doug Manchester, backer of Prop 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative.
In the case of the Democrats’ meeting, “Inmex staff researched several properties in Florida, Arizona, and New Mexico, but ultimately narrowed the search to southern California when an invitation from the California Democratic Party became a key factor in the decision-making process,” the website says. It quotes Ann Fishman, executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, as saying, “We’re excited about visiting San Diego and are thrilled about the hotel we selected.” … In these tough times, junkets by local law-enforcement officials to that convention of police chiefs held at the downtown convention center here last week have been drawing scrutiny from the folks back home. The Baltimore Sun reported that Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who runs the country’s eighth-largest police department, spent $2132.24 for his ticket to sunny San Diego.