Friday, July 30, 2004

CONVENTION NOTEBOOK DAY 4

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 30, 2004

BOSTON _ The trip to Boston was more than a political convention for one New Mexico delegate. Glorieta Nieto of santa Fe announced at Thursday’s delegation breakfast that this weekend she will marry her 14-year partner Jo Kenny.

Massachusetts, thanks to a state Supreme Court decision, is the only state where gay marriage is legal.

The delegation cheered the announcement and several members came up to the couple to express congratulations.

“This is very gratifying,” Nieto said. “Four years ago it made our delegation very uncomfortable whenever I tried to discuss gay marriage,” she told a reporter.

Nieto is a member of the Democratic National Committee and is vice chairwoman of the convention’s Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

Nieto and Kenny will be married Saturday by a justice of the peace at a Boston bed and breakfast called Newberry Guest House.

Singing for Lyndon

There has been a strangely diverse array of music at the convention. Acts who have appeared on stage include country titan Willie Nelson, gospel/soul great Mavis Staples, hip hopsters The Black Eyed Peas, ‘80s farm-belt rock John Cougar Mellencamp and folkies Peter, Paul and Mary.

But perhaps the strangest music heard around the convention was that of a group of young people devoted to political extremist and perrenial candidate Lyndon LaRouche.

A group of 30-40 LaRouche-ites marched through the second level of the Sheraton Boston Thursday morning as Democrats were scurrying between meetings and caucuses. The LaRouche bunch carried banners for their man, passed out copies of LaRouche’s “A Real Democratic Platform for Nov. 2004, all while singing a spooky sounding but moving multi-harmony song. One member said the melody was that of a Mozart piece, but the lyrics were written for the cause:

“Dubious is the convention/If LaRouche you fail to mention ... As long as you deny as truth/that this economy is doomed/You lie/We die ...”

The group marched out of the hotel, stopping near the entrance to sing several more songs -- including a version of “We Shall Overcome” with verses insulting John Kerry and Vice President Dick Cheney -- in front of the entrance before dispersing.

The Family That Sleeps Together

Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards made a brief but well-received appearance at the New Mexico delegation breakfast Thursday.

He got a laugh when he said his wife had promised their young children that if they behaved, they could sleep in their bed.

“That made for a long night,” Edwards said.

Edwards told a reporter that New Mexico was one of 5-10 delegations he’d spoken to that morning.

A spokesman for Attorney General Patricia Madrid -- who was Edwards’ state campaign manager for his presidential caucus campaign -- said Edwards invited Madrid and her husband Mike Messina to join the Edwards family in their box seat overlooking the convention center to watch Kerry’s acceptance speech.

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