Oklahoma delegates to the Democratic National Convention held their first caucus/breakfast this morning here in Denver, at 7:30 and no one looked like they had been partying too much … yet.
The first breakfast meant the first drawing for guest seats at the Pepsi Center tonight. Though all of the delegates and alternates have reserved seats every night, the guests don’t. Oklahoma was supposed to get five passes, but Monday morning, the delegation only had four for the convention center itself. There were also some for a watch party nearby.
A lot of the delegates brought spouses, and they’re among those who will be trying to get into the convention every night _ particularly Thursday night when Sen. Barack Obama accepts the nomination.
Among the winners of coveted passes tonight was Pete Regan, a former aide to Rep. Dan Boren who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2006.
Jay Parmley, who was chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party during the 2004 convention in Boston, and is now a superdelegate for Oklahoma, got the unenviable task of drawing the names for the guest passes.
“So he lets me do the bad part,” Parmley said of current state party chairman Ivan Holmes.
The breakfast this morning was sponsored by Conoco-Phillips, which in Washington parlance is Big Oil. Company executives attended the breakfast and handed out backpacks with the company logo. There wasn’t a lot of talk about alternative energy this morning or about repealing tax breaks for Big Oil.
In fact, the company got a warm welcome, and Holmes noted, twice, that there will be a big Conoco-Phillips sign behind the delegation in the Pepsi Center. The Williams Companies is sponsoring a lunch for the delegation downtown today so _ hey _ it’s energy company day.
Kalyn Free, a superdelegate and Native American activist who ran unsuccessfully against Boren in 2004, read a long poem she had written about the state party and its long-time leaders.
And delegates Tim Mauldin and Joe Carter discussed the Will Rogers platform they are promoting at the convention to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Okahoma humorist’s quest for the Democratic presidential nomination. Carter donated books, written by his father, Joseph H. Carter, about Rogers _ “Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like.”
The convention kicks off early today with reports from the various committees. Former Oklahoma Gov. David Walters will be presenting the report of the Rules Committee, which is going to recommend that a special commission decide what changes, if any, need to be made to the party’s primary system.