As residents of New Orleans were fleeing Hurricane Gustav, top Republican party officials donned pink boas and swigged vodka shots at a wild whirl of corporate and lobbyist-paid parties this weekend in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Many corporate sponsors and their lobbyists carried through with plans for lavish entertainment of GOP lawmakers and others despite calls from the campaign of Sen. John McCain that Republicans should tone down the convention festivities.
“We will be contacting corporations and others to ask them to be respectful of events in the gulf,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Sunday afternoon.
Yet, last night lobbyists for the National Rifle Association, Lockheed Martin and the American Trucking Association put on a raucus six-hour party at a downtown bar featuring music by the band “Hookers and Blow.” There was no evidence of any actual prostitutes or cocaine. Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a GOP House deputy whip, was seen meeting with a group of lobbyists who bemoaned McCain’s call to tone down the parties which had already been paid for.
Here’s a link to a full ABC TV report on last night’s convention partying.
And make sure to check out the MySpace page for Hookers and Blow, a cover band that performs “Music from a more permissive era,” and that sounds as “If Aretha Franklin and Serge Gainsbourgh [sic] had a love child” (making it especially suitable for this year’s convention).
The band’s influences include Desmond Dekker, Mr. Furley, Shuggie Otis, Hendrix, Bowie, Peter Tork, the Beatles, Toots & Maytals, and Curtis Mayfield. “Check back soon for blogs, pics, t-shirts for sale and downloadable candy for the kids!” says the band’s website.