Politics, government and public life for Southern California

DNC moves Obama speech inside due to rain — which could leave some out in the cold

2008 Democratic National Convention: Day 4

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) reacts to the crowd on day four of the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Invesco Field at Mile High Aug. 28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.

Despite earlier statements by officials, the Democratic National Convention is moving President Barack Obama's Thursday night speech from an outdoor football stadium inside to the much smaller basketball arena, putting Obama in a potentially less dramatic setting — and possibly leaving many expecting to see the president's speech out in the cold.

Los Angeles Mayor and convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa was asked earlier this week about how the weather might affect Obama's speech, which was to be delivered before more than 70,000 people in the city's football stadium. "The show must go on," Villaraigosa said.

Wednesday morning, as rain fell again, the DNC gave in. It's rained every day since I arrived on Saturday. Tuesday, delegates who mistimed their departure from their hotel arrived at the Time Warner Arena drenched from a series of downpours.


Maven's Morning Coffee: LAPD claim, Q&A with Garcetti, lawsuit in Bell

Los Angeles Police Foundation's 10th Annual Fundraising Gala

Toby Canham/Getty Images

An LAPD captain has filed a claim against the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly being demoted without cause.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 5, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A Los Angeles Police Department captain who was demoted following his handling of a use-of-force case in the Foothill Division has filed a claim against police Chief Charlie Beck, reports NBC 4. Capt. Joseph Hiltner says he was demoted and transferred without cause. Last week, Beck announced the captain would be disciplined for failing to discipline his own officers after they threw a handcuffed to the ground.

L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti does a Q&A with Los Angeles Magazine for his mayoral campaign. Asked whether there are folks who don't like him, Garcetti says he got pushback on the Silver Lake Meadow Park and CicLAvia. "There is nothing more unpopular than messing with someone’s street. You can say that it’s puppy dogs, but it’s not out there. It’s warfare. We’ve got big problems to solve," Garcetti says.


Xavier Becerra gets bumped from Tuesday night DNC lineup — to primetime

Mercer 20221

Kris Connor/Getty Images

Becerra's speech was bumped Tuesday night, but there appears to be a happy ending.

They bumped Congressman Xavier Becerra's speech Tuesday night, but there appears to be a happy ending.

The L.A. Democrat was scheduled to speak just before 9 p.m. (Eastern time), but — Democrats being Democrats — they were running late.  And suddenly Becerra disappeared from the schedule.  They skipped him.

Becerra was asked to be the good soldier and sit down tonight.  This from a Democratic official:

“Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm in the arena and extended applauses, Rep. Becerra generously agreed to move his speech to Thursday.”

There's a silver lining to the rainy day story. Becerra's speech has been rescheduled to the night most Americans watch a convention: the night the President speaks, Thursday night. 

Another Democratic Latino in the spotlight.


Whipping up the delegates at the DNC

Kitty Felde/KPCC

A "whip" rallies party delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

It's the oddest sight—the dancing "whips."

The California delegation is massive: 609 people packed into the back quadrant, right behind the CNN broadcast space. Surrounding the delegation are more than a dozen men and women wearing neon yellow vests with orange stripes. They look like crossing guards or perhaps highway workers. But they're not, they're "whips" — charged with whipping up the crowd on the convention floor.

Early in the convention, they worked en masse like a cheerleading team, urging the delegation to dance, chant, and "make some noise." 

The leader of the pack is Shawn Bagley of Salinas. He stands below the delegation, waving his arms, pointing his fingers, orchestrating the delegates' responses. 

Bagley says it's improv. He "makes stuff up" as he goes along.

And he's fiercely competitive. He calls other states "rookies." He says Texas made some noise and it was "pretty impressive," but he hasn't heard the New York delegation do anything. "California's been whupping everybody," he says. "We're the best!"


Labor Secretary Hilda Solis hangs with the CA delegation

U.S, Labor Secretary and LA native Hilda Solis is attending the Democratic National Convention as a delegate

The California delegation can count among its members more than a half-dozen House members, the mayors of most of the state’s largest cities, even a cabinet secretary. U.S. Labor Secretary and L.A. native Hilda Solis says it's right where she belongs.

You might be surprised to find Solis in the cheap seats, though she's not complaining. "This means a lot," she says. "This is the base. This is where you never forget where you come from. And it’s an honor to be here."  She adds it’s a privilege to sit right under the California sign.

Solis is no stranger to political conventions. She says she attended her first Democratic convention as a delegate back in 1984.