Corporate Giants Fete Blue Dogs

Posted August 25, 2008 at 10:24am

The scene outside “A Blue Night in Denver,” a party aimed at the pro-business Congressional Blue Dog Coalition, was nearly as raucous as the expansive, jazzy festivities going on inside Mile High Station, an event venue festooned with blue and white lights.

The hundreds of guests, many of them corporate executives and K Street lobbyists, arrived to chants of protesters yelling, “You’re selling our democracy” and “Blue Dogs, don’t take the corporate money.”

One group of party protesters focused on the debate over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which gives immunity to telecommunications firms that cooperate with the U.S. government when it comes to electronic surveillance. One of the party’s sponsors was AT&T, a target of the protesters.

One sign read, “AT&T, stop spying on me.”

Inside, it was clear that the pricey shindig was not paid for exclusively by AT&T. Television screens throughout the event rolled the names of seemingly endless sponsors: Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Nuclear Energy Institute, Microsoft, Citi, PepsiCo, Credit Suisse, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Amgen, Comcast, Time Warner, the Investment Company Institute, Pfizer, Greenberg Traurig, Home Depot, Verizon, National Association of Broadcasters, and others.

The party featured two stages, one inside, and one outside in a large tent with a view of Invesco Field, where Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) will give his acceptance speech on Thursday.

A bluesy band, the Informants, serenaded the guests, and later K.T. Tunstall took center stage while party-goers munched on mini grilled cheese sandwiches, tiny ham and cheese biscuits, corn on the cob, a variety of skewers and plenty of sweets.

Back outside, as the party rolled on, protesters — getting the attention of local news crews and reporters — chanted, “We shall not be moved.”