Tuesday, August 19th, 2008
Today's guest speakers were Ricky Kirshner, Producer of the Democratic National Convention, and Reverend Leah D. Daughtry, the Democratic National Convention (DNC) Committee Chief Executive Officer. Ricky Kirshner is a very prominent producer in the United States. His team sets up all the sound, video, props, and staging for various events. He has produced the half-time show at the Super bowl for a number of years, and also produces the Tony Awards. Just to put the size of the DNC into perspective, there will be: 150 speakers, 350 moving lights, 250 stationary lights, 15 spot lights, and 8000 sq. ft. of video production surfaces in place for the Convention. Also several stages have been built and a very cool podium has been set up. The podium on the main stage has built-in air conditioning, a prompter, and even a "stop light" to warn speakers of their scheduled speech times. The light is just like a regular mini traffic light visible to only the speaker, and when there is one minute left the light turns yellow, then red when the speaker's time is up. Also the podium actually adjusts height based on the speaker's height. The recent decision to have Sen. Barack Obama's presidential nominee acceptance speech at Invesco Stadium at Mile High has brought in 200 more technicians in addition to the 300 who have been working at the DNC main site, the Pepsi Convention Center. The second speaker was Reverend Leah D. Daughtry. Rev. Daughtry is the Chief Executive of the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC). Daughtry emphasized that legislation must be followed through conscientiously to the level of the communities which it governs. As the Chief Executive of the DNCC, Leah was proud to announce that the goal of the DNCC is to have an "open convention". The DNC Committee is "removing the walls of the convention" and is attempting to let the nation see more of the Convention overall. After our guest speakers, Facility Leader Ph.D Bob Loevy made a proposal for a new presidential nominating system. Dr. Loevy first underlined the main problems with the current nominating system. Let's face it, the votes of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire count more than the votes of any other states. Whereas this is not literally true, these two states set up the basis for which primary campaigns start. In most primaries both parties have presumptive nominees shortly after Super Tuesday. The Democratic Primary of 2008 was a major exception to this trend, every state was necessary to determine the party's presumptive nominee, Senator Barack Obama. Dr. Loevy would change the nominating system to have an eight week long primary that would have five groups of ten states holding their primaries two weeks apart from each other, respectively. Loevy would have the group of ten consist of the smaller states (including Iowa and New Hampshire) vote in the first primary. Additionally, the ten largest states (which make up over 50% of the electoral college votes) would vote as the last group. The smaller states would narrow the candidates down while the larger states would be more prominent in the final decision of the nominee (keep in mind that more constituents are in these larger states). This system, although still flawed would at least allow all the states to have a more equal and actually existent say in the nomination process.
After the lectures we took a bus to Red Rocks Amphitheater. The Amphitheater, once considered one of the seven wonders of the world, exists between two huge 300 foot monoliths of beautiful red sandstone. The monoliths provide great acoustics and Red Rocks holds concerts of renowned artists including: Willy Nelson, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Snoop Dog, and many more bands. After Red Rocks we took a bus tour of the Downtown/Metropolitan Area.
(from left to right: Matt, Me, Jacob)
(from left to right: Me, Jacob, Matt (front), April, Haley)
Here are a few pictures of Regis University