Panorama: Winning Winds, the Most Diverse DNC, and More

August 2008

Mile-High Headlines for Tuesday, August 19 Sign up here to receive Panorama every weekday morning--before it gets published on our blog. Colorado an Example for Renewable Energy If you didn't know already, then a "funny thing" happened in Colorado, writes The Washington Post. After voters required major utilities to provide set percentages of greener forms of power, Xcel Energy hit its goal, eight years ahead of schedule, and has now agreed to a target of 20 percent. That leaves Governor Ritter singing the praises of Xcel, calling the company the nation's largest provider of wind power. And just this week, Vestas Wind Systems, the world's largest maker of wind-power-generating equipment, announced plans for two factories in Weld County, meaning 1,350 high-paying jobs, according to many news organizations, including the Northern Colorado Business Report. It's all part of a political picture that shows the state's energy debate is shifting and might set the tone for other states that are considering renewable energy mandates. Yet Colorado is also "ground zero" in a looming battle over the direction of energy, writes the Post, including an initiative on the November ballot to eliminate the energy industry's 87.5 percent property-tax exemption. Dem Convention Will Be the Most Diverse Ever A black man and a white woman delivering major speeches is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diversity in the Democratic Party, as you'll see for yourself during next week's Democratic National Convention, "the most diverse ever," according to Dems in this story on the Boston Globe's Political Intelligence blog. According to the convention's host committee (in this pdf), about 44 percent of delegates are minorities and more than half (50.1 percent) are women. The committee released the stats just days after Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called the GOP the "white" party in a radio interview, according to this story on Fox News, leading conservatives to lash out, including Rush Limbaugh, who called Dean a "blithering idiot" for injecting race into the election. Meanwhile, ABC News rolled up its sleeves and dared to peek at the numbers. FYI: "White Americans are split evenly between the two parties, with an equal percentage who are independents. But 90 percent of registered Republicans are white."

Guv Says Check Your Tire Pressure Governor Bill Ritter, meanwhile, has waded into a spat between fellow Dem Barack Obama and the GOP's John McCain over--wait for it--proper tire inflation. According to Obama, proper tire inflation and car tuning are part of a "comprehensive plan to reduce reliance on imported oil." After all, every little bit counts. When told of Obama's idea, McCain only bellyached: "We're not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires," according to the Chicago Tribune. Somehow Ritter stumbled into the debate, as did California's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the auto industry. All agree that it is important to promote simple car maintenance to reduce reliance on oil, and, kids, that includes checking tire pressure. Ritter alluded to the Obama-McCain quarrel, but emphasized that "these were steps that every driver could take," according to the newspaper. Usually those thrifty Republicans win these sorts of arguments, but this time the point goes to Obama. DNC: Parties, Music, Haircuts, Voter Registration With the Democratic National Convention less than a week away, it seems there will be some kind of party or promotion--or party/promotion--on every corner. While mainstream Dems have their own cult of personality, including Bill Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and actor Ben Affleck, activists will enjoy old-school rap group Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan. Insert "among others" in both cases. And don't forget Floyd's 99 Barbershop (the 1608 Champa Street location), which is hosting a party (open to the public) with two celebrated local bands--the Hot IQs and The Epilogues--and, apparently, some festive drink, according to a press release. Rock the Vote will also be around to handle the lazy voters: "Every person who registers to vote during the party with RTV will receive a card valid for one free shampoo at their next Floyd's 99 visit." Next! And What's a Party Without Pot? The Democratic National Convention brings out hazy memories of the good old days: wild protests in 1968, Yippies, and um... oh yeah, some kind bud. (Not that I was there.) But start up the time machine y'all, because things are going to get a bit freaky--maybe even more supergigglefreaky than a tie-dye T-shirt with Barack Obama's face on it, man. That's if Big Daddy Law doesn't throw in a monkey wrench and start busting pot smokers despite a voter-approved Denver ordinance that makes possessing small amounts of marijuana the "lowest law enforcement priority." This story in USA Today says Denver police will enforce state law, making possession of marijuana illegal and leaving Mason Tvert, who led efforts to change city laws, to accuse the fuzz of ignoring the will of voters. Hillary Watch: Um, How ‘Bout Some Money Hillary Clinton still needs your support for a little thing called campaign debt, according to hubby Bill in a mass e-mail to supporters (via the ever-irreverent Wonkette). And in the tradition of Democratic Party raffles, one lucky financial contributor will be shuttled to the convention in the Mile-High City to watch Hillary speak. But wait! There's more! "And I hear Hillary and you will have a chat--I'll make sure to stop by," Bill writes, adding that Hillary is only trying to pay the small vendors who helped make her campaign so special. Still wondering what led to Hillary's downfall? It was a "back-stabbing staff and non-decisions," according to this headline from ColoradoIndependent.com. Crispin Porter + Bogusky = Hulu Contract National ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, headquartered in Boulder, has grabbed the advertising account for Hulu.com, "an online partnership between the owners of the NBC and Fox television networks," according to the Denver Business Journal and AdWeek.com. Hulu was initially thought of as a YouTube knockoff but has become a library for the two networks, carrying about 100 full-length movies and more than 250 television shows, including "The Office" and the canceled but much-loved "Arrested Development." Citing unnamed sources, AdWeek says CP+B will be responsible for creative and media duties for Hulu's traditional and online advertising. The firm was recently featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine. Colorado's Cejudo Takes Wrestling Gold "I'm living the American dream," Henry Cejudo shouted, after defeating Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan (2-2, 3-0) in the men's 55kg freestyle competition, according to The Denver Post. A two-time Colorado state high-school champion, the 21-year-old athlete advanced to the "championship mat, then put away Matsunaga to win gold, capping an incredible rise on the American wrestling scene," the Post writes of Cejudo, who trained in Colorado Springs at the United States Olympic Committee headquarters after graduating. Melo and U.S. Basketball Finishing the first round of play 5-0 in Beijing, the U.S. Olympic basketball team is "untied and unchallenged," according to the Los Angeles Times, especially after trouncing Germany 106-57 Monday night. Next stop, the medal round. Any notion that the U.S. players wouldn't show up was quickly dispelled, starting at the opening tip, which Dwight Howard batted to Jason Kidd, who threw it ahead to Carmelo Anthony, who laid it in three seconds into the game, according to the Times. The Denver Nuggets' Anthony scored four points. Audiodose: About one billion people will watch Barack Obama's Democratic acceptance speech on television. Message: Image is everything for Denver, according to KUNC radio, which reports that "Denver residents are split over whether the city should play up its folksy western reputation, or its emergence as a cosmopolitan city with a burgeoning clean energy economy." Isn't there a way to do both? (Hint: blue jeans and blazers.) Pollster: Two presidential polls were released over the weekend, highlighting a presidential race that's got the same rollercoaster ride as the election of 2004, when, for a time, it seemed Senator John Kerry could beat President George W. Bush, according to the Huffington Post. The polls show Republican John McCain leading Democrat Barack Obama 44 percent to 41 percent in Colorado and have the two tied in critical Ohio. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.66, Gas & Food Mart, 15296 E. Hampden Ave. (via www.gasbuddy.com). E-mail relevant articles to [email protected]

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