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Riordan Replaces Convention Planner

Politics: Mayor puts top aide in charge of city's organizing committee, which has fallen behind in fund-raising.

February 17, 2000|JIM NEWTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The host committee is one of two organizations involved in the planning and staging of this summer's convention, an event expected to draw 20,000 delegates, reporters and others from around the world. The second is run by the Democratic Party, whose quadrennial convention will crown the party's nominee for president. It is that Democratic Party organization that has been the subject of most of the concerns from local leaders, but it is beyond Riordan's reach. Although he is working closely with a number of Democratic Party officials, Riordan's Republican Party affiliation precludes him from making staff changes in a Democratic Party organization.

First Concrete Goals Reached

Oddly, Riordan's announcement comes just as the planning groups are showing some signs of shaking off the lethargy that dogged the effort in 1999. The Democratic National Convention Committee this week announced its plan for housing the various delegations that will visit the city--a key step toward allowing the city to move ahead with transportation and security arrangements--and settled on the hotels that will act as news media and party centers.

Some observers believe Riordan's anxiety about the state of the convention planning is at least as much the result of botched communication within his own staff as it is a comment on the work done by the host committee and Democratic Party organizers.

On Wednesday, leaders of the Democratic Party group said they were ready to move forward with their new counterpart.

Times staff writer Antonio Olivo contributed to this story.

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