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Joel (Joel Mathis)

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Downtown concert plan seems to have city leaders' support

Wilco? WOOOO!

As for the pedestrian mall? That worked really well in Boulder. But you know what: About a million towns tried doing the same thing in the 1970s. And ended up killing their downtowns. It's probably best not to take that risk.

March 22, 2008 at 8:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

And here's my wicked awesome YouTube video of the fairgrounds.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_2ThgNa-oxc

February 6, 2008 at 1:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

Marion:

I don't work for the LJW anymore.

And I'll stick with my understanding, thanks.

J

February 5, 2008 at 9:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

8:40 p.m. CST: And the final round of counting is done. It took longer -- much longer -- to get people in the door than it did to actually caucus. Amazing.

It looks like Clinton's taking the big states, and Obama's taking the little states. I'm not sure why that is, or what it means for the overall race.

And final results in Lawrence?

Clinton gained 30 voters, to 385. Everybody else. That leaves 1,800 for Obama. And for the record, that's 9 delegates to Obama, 2 to Clinton.

And... we're done. Peace out, folks.

February 5, 2008 at 8:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

Marion: Democratic Republic. I know the difference. ; )

8:27 p.m. CST: To make it to the second round of caucusing, your candidate needs 15 percent of the crowd. Tonight, here, that's 330 people. Clinton had 355 people in the first round -- take away those, and Obama might've taken all the delegates here tonight. He had more than 1,700 people in the first round. (Oh, and: Edwards = 40, Kucinich = 53.)

February 5, 2008 at 8:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

8 p.m. CST: Just about everybody's in. I'd say the Obama crowd is about two-thirds of the entire crowd. This being Lawrence, there's a bigger contingent (judging by volume of applause) for Dennis Kucinich than for John Edwards.

Official crowd count: Around 2,200 people.

February 5, 2008 at 8:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

Continuing

7:25 p.m. CST: This might be the greatest night ever in the history of the Kansas Democratic Party. At the other Lawrence precinct, the fire marshal closed the building because there were too many people (or so a TV cameraman tells me). They're searching for a new place.

And back here at the fairgrounds, well, here's what one old pro told me: "There are more people in the building tonight than there were (caucusing for Democrats) in the whole state last time."

Again: The Clinton supporters are few and far between here. This is an Obama party, pure and simple. Some of that is due to organization -- Obama's folks were organized here, whereas the Clinton campaign had a paltry presence at best. But organization alone doesn't explain this. And it makes me think that if Obama wins this thing, Republicans are in more trouble than we even know in November.*

*But stranger things have happened.

February 5, 2008 at 8:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

Continuing

7 p.m. CST: "Stunned" is probably an understatement. There are still hundreds of people lined up outside, waiting to get in.

The vast majority of these people are first-time caucus-goers -- and, it's fair to say, they already don't like the rigamarole of caucusing. I spotted an extremely sardonic friend of mine (yes, a first-time caucuser) who was grumpy. "Caucusing makes me feel like living under a Communist regime," she muttered. She was joking, guys, honest.

But she also asked the following question: Caucus? WTF?

My response:

* The glass half-full theory: Caucusing hearkens us back to the days of direct democracy, when a group of people got together in a room and hashed out the big village decisions. It's part of our heritage that we should retain.

* The glass half-empty theory: Caucuses are designed -- with their arcane rules and massive effort required to participate -- to frustrate all by the most die-hard party insiders.

My friend was suspecting the glass half-empty theory.

To be fair, tonight's craziness wasn't the fault of Democratic officials in Kansas. The Republican secretary of state decided awhile back to cancel the primary, thinking matters would be settled in both parties by the time Kansas got around to weighing in. That was wrong.

But at least I got interviewed by the MTV street team.

February 5, 2008 at 8:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

This is cross-posted from my blog at here:

http://redblueamerica.com/blog/2008-0...

It is now about 6:20, and things are going slowly at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, which is where Dems in my precinct are caucusing. Why the slowness? Because this place has been inundated with Republicans, independents and newly registering voters - a couple hundred - turning out for there first-ever caucus. An unscientific survey shows that the bulk of these new folks are here for Obama. And so far, the Obama side of the room is much bigger than the Clinton camp. It's not even close.

"We are stunned at the turnout," said Charles Jones, a county commissioner who is running the caucus.

February 5, 2008 at 8:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Democratic caucuses draw big turnout in Lawrence

I'm at the fairgrounds. They just announced that there's 2,200-some-odd people here. Vast majority -- I'd say two-thirds-- are for Obama.

One longtime pro told me there were probably more people caucusing in this building tonight than did in all of KS for the Dems in 2004. So while the organization could be better, yes, I'm not sure how you prepare for a wave of people that you've never seen before.

February 5, 2008 at 8:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )