The Ross Report: T-Bone Picking

1219415931Since we can’t deal with high altitudes, we won’t be attending the Democratic National Convention. Luckily, Boston City Councilor Mike Ross is attending the convention as a member of the Massachusetts delegation. Over the next week, he’ll provide you with an insider’s view of what’s happening in Denver.

Today, we get a peek inside the schwag bag, the carbon footprint of T. Boone Pickens, and the Massachusetts delegation’s less-than-stellar seats. Take it away, Mike.

Being a delegate to the Democratic Convention has earned me new friends. I recently received mail from T. Boone Pickens. T. Boone, also known as the money man behind the John Kerry Swift Boat advertisements, has traded hot air, for wind—wind farms, to be specific.

The born-again environmentalist is railing against America’s dependence on foreign oil—an industry that made him one of the richest men in the world. Don’t get me wrong—I like what he’s preaching—even if he and the other neo-cons dispute that global warming is actually occurring. But his slick mailing got me thinking.

The report consists of a 12-page oversized card stock brochure, with an attached plastic-encased DVD with 22 minutes of video. If we’re carbon-counting, let’s assume 10,000 copies were mailed out to delegates of both the Democratic and Republican conventions. When you factor in the production costs of the video footage, the production of the DVD itself, the plastic DVD case, the brochure, and the environmental costs of snail mailing letters, you start to contradict the message.

Next time, T. Boone? Email it.

The connection between Barack Obama and Massachusetts is a strong one. Democratic fundraiser and local nursing home magnate Alan Solomont has raised more money per capita for the presumptive Democratic nominee than any other state. But the Vice Presidential pick of Joe Biden really solidifies the ticket’s relationship with Massachusetts. Boston PR guru Larry Rasky, who was also the communication director for Biden’s failed presidential bid, is the Bay State’s strongest connection to the Delaware Senator.

Given these relationships, one would think that the Massachusetts delegation would get good seats. But where is Massachusetts sitting? The nose-bleed section. But it could be worse. Guess who is sitting behind us, literally in the last row? Arizona, home of Sen. John McCain.

1219672236So what’s in the bag? It’s what everyone wants to know. The official DNC tote bag has all kinds of knick-knacks in it. Of course there’s your typical convention shwag—such as coupons, pens and mints. There’s the donkey-shaped Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box, a staple of Democratic conventions.

Some of the more interesting items were a step-counting pedometer to encourage walking, a paper-thin radio designed to store away for emergencies, a bike map with local routes, and Obama magnetic poetry for your refrigerator.

Finally—how’s this for dedication? Democratic activist, my chief of staff, and Massachusetts delegation volunteer Reuben Kantor, brought his new bride to Denver yesterday—the same day they were married!

Arriving at the hotel with his bride by his side, he offered to wake up early to help staff the kick-off breakfast, but Massachusetts party executive director Stacey Monahan demanded he sleep in. The honeymoon will begin following Obama’s Thursday night speech.

Mike Ross is a Boston City Councilor, pledged delegate for Barack Obama, and one of our MySpace top friends.