Friday, December 19, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: Mayor de Blasio's Secret Party in Brooklyn

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Will Brooklyn be in the Democrats' house in 2016?

Fact-finding Democratic officials are coming to New York next month to consider bringing their national convention to the Barclays Center in 2016.

Kings County is competing with Dallas, Columbus, Cleveland, Phoenix and Birmingham, Alabama, for the right to possibly coronate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. But can anyone really see this happening in Alabama? Or Columbus for that matter?

It really means that Mayor de Blasio's Brooklyn is up against three competitors to host the Democrats' big party. The last time New York held one of these kind of things was for the Republicans in 2004 and the city just ended a long legal battle with some arrested protestors who were basically held on a pier until the convention ended. So with that legal bill safely paid, maybe it's time to pay for a new party!

As part of its pitch to party officials, the city submitted an application explaining how New York will host the convention, presumably enumerating how many hotel rooms will be dedicated to the event and outlining transportation options for the delegates – most of whom will have to stay in Manhattan.

I say presumably because the de Blasio administration won't publicly release its application for the convention. It seems odd that public officials won't release a document that is touting New York's benefits to a larger audience and trying to woo a convention here. I've been told that to see this document, NY1 must ask for it under the state's Freedom of Information laws – which we've done.

Perhaps Team de Blasio still is having trouble bringing that much-promised transparency to City Hall. (I'm still waiting for that list of lobbyists who meet with city officials.) It seems hard to imagine that there's anything in the DNC application that someone would want to hide unless there's a little paragraph about a new hotel being built in Brooklyn or a dedicated convention lane on the Brooklyn Bridge. Or something.
Meanwhile, I'd be happy to tell the Democratic officials about how New York is a great place to host a party. In public.

Bob Hardt

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