Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Maine REALTOR Report from Republican Convention

MAR asked two Maine REALTORS attending the major political party conventions to report on their activities there. Both agreed. [Note: NAR and MAR do not take positions on presidential races, but housing and other real estate related issues are part of major party discussions.]

Here's the Day One report from the Republican Convention:

Greetings from the 39th quadrennial Republican Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My name is Andre Cushing and I am a REALTOR with ERA Dawson Bradford in Bangor, Maine. This is my third time attending a national convention (in 1980 I was a guest at the Detroit convention, 2004 I was a delegate in New York City, and this year I'm an alternate) and it is exciting to be at such a historic event.

This year's convention has been overshadowed by concern for events in the Gulf region as it has pummeled by Hurricane Gustav. Activities were shortened Monday at the request of Senator McCain to show respect for those who were facing adversity from the storm. The McCain campaign chartered a DC9 to ferry any delegates who wished to be back home to their states in the Gulf region to attend to their families and personal needs. A special response program has been set up at the Minneapolis Convention Center to prepare comfort packages which will be distributed to those displaced by the hurricane.

Minneapolis and St. Paul (where the Xcel Center is located) have done a great job in preparing to welcome the thousands of delegates and supporting casts for the convention. These are beautiful cities and the friendly attitude of all who we meet and deal with from shuttle drivers, hotel employees and service personnel to those related to the convention itself have been really great. They are wonderful ambassadors for their communities.

It is an exciting atmosphere and a unique dynamic where so many people from different walks of life, different ages and places come together to select our nominee for President and Vice President and conduct the other business necessary as a political entity.

Monday the convention opened with some basic housekeeping required in order to legally hold a convention and place the nominees names on the ballots in all fifty states and the U.S. territories. We had very few speeches out of respect for the focus on the hurricane's impact. The headline was a special appearance by First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain who both took the stage to welcome the attendees and announce a special effort to raise funds for the five states that may most be impacted by the hurricane. I include the websites here (at this link) in the event any of you may wish to make a contribution to those efforts.

Stay tuned for more information as the convention continues through Thursday.

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