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November 17, 2015 12:58 PM UTC

Should Democrats Rename the Annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner?

  • by: Colorado Pols
Richard Jefferson (left) and Stephen Jackson

John Frank of the Denver Post reports on a “conversation” that Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio wants to have with Colorado Democrats about perhaps renaming the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner:

The Colorado Democratic Party is considering renaming its annual Jefferson Jackson fundraising dinner, part of a nationwide shift away from the founders of the party.

Chairman Rick Palacio on Monday emailed Democratic activists to ask whether they supported renaming the dinner– and if they did, to solicit suggestions.

“It’s not a move to change the name, it’s simply a conversation I want to have with people around the state,” Palacio said in an interview. “What I want to do is solicit ideas and feedback about whether people even want it to be changed.”

The survey is taking suggestions until Nov. 25 and Palacio said he hopes to make a decision by the end of the year about whether to rename the dinner, which is scheduled for Feb. 13 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver. If Palacio decides to make a change, the party’s members can vote again on the new name.

The potential shift away from this “Jefferson Jackson” guy is happening across the country, as the New York Times reported in August. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the name is going to be changed. What say you, Polsters? Drop some ideas on us in the comments below.

Here’s the link to offer your own naming suggestions to the Colorado Democratic Party. In the event that Jeb! Bush wins the race for President in 2016, we suggest that Republicans rename their annual fundraising dinner to simply, “Bushes.”


28 thoughts on “Should Democrats Rename the Annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner?

  1. If the GOP renames their's "Bushes" then we should call ours "A Bird In The Hand"

    But seriously, if we want to honor the greatest Democratic presidents, then Roosevelt would be a nice addition (and I don't actually mind if it indirectly honors Teddy as well as FDR — since Teddy would be greatly welcomed in today's Democratic Party, and equally vilified by the GOP)

  2. Let's see, ummm . . . Night-Horse?  . . .  No!

    . . . Wad-Hams?  (He did help the Democratic Party in this State over the years more than just about anyone) . . . No.

    . . . Ben-Net? . . .  wait, you probably do want a Democrat? . . . No.

    . . . Hart-? . . . Still a little too soon? . . . No.

    I know, Soros-Bloomberg . . . that'll at least make Moddy happy! . . . No.

    Seriously, it probably is time to retire Jefferson-Jackson, the Party should just pick a name that reflects today's purposes and sensibilities.  I nominate the "Pay-2-Play Dinner"!


    1. Why, today's GOP (aka the new John Birch Society and other assorted loons, racists and cowards) would make George Wallace and Robert Byrd exalted honorary members of the Republican Party

      1. Didn't George Wallace actually change his registration to GOP some time before he died? His son ran for statewide office (I think, state treasurer) under the Grand Old Party banner.

        Leave it to our librarian to go back decades find a couple of bigots in Democratic Party. You can look at the front page of today's newspaper and find plenty in the Republican Party.

  3. Jackson at least needs to go, just as he should no longer be on the $20.

    So – yes, rename the event. But I'm not really sure what to rename it to. Perhaps not naming it for a person at all would be the best way for it to survive the test of time. After all, FDR's views on Jews was not particularly enlightened. It wasn't until Truman that we spent much time thinking about civil rights for black Americans. Bill Clinton passed DOMA, and even Obama "evolved" on the issue of gay rights.


  4. Although the Repubs try to claim Jefferson as one of their own, I still think he is prototype Dem.

    My vote would go for the Roosevelt- Roosevelt, FDR-AER dinner.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt – Anna Eleanore Roosevelt.

      1. Now see here's the problem with renaming the dinner at all. There isn't a single politician in the history of this country that doesn't have skeletons in their closet, wasn't a victim of the thinking of their time, etc. 

        I'd support a Roosevelt Dinner… or a New Deal Dinner? Celebrate the positive changes our country saw after The New Deal? 

  5. I spoke with Rick Palacio about changing the name about 1 year ago, as I have friends who will not attend the dinner because of the name, particularly Jackson.

    Unfortunately, in his notes Palacio downplayed the egregious actions of both Jefferson and Jackson.  One can be quite inspired at Jefferson's words, but he fully engaged in slavery and fathered unacknowledged children through one slave.

    I suggested Silas Soule, an early Denverite (but probably not a Democrat, as the state was so very Republican at that time…back when the Republicans were the party fighting slavery).  Soule, who was an abolitionist,  refused to participate in the Sand Creek massacre, and testified as to the atrocities.  He was murdered on the streets of Denver (there is a marker at 15th and Arapahoe).  Each year Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members visit his burial site at Riverside Cemetery to honor him.

    Some journey by running part of the way from the massacre site to Denver.  This year, on the 150th anniversary of the massacre, it was stated that there were many here to honor him because they are alive today because he ordered his troops not to engage in the attack, and their ancestors survived.  

    Even though he was likely not a Democrat, he embodied so much of what we in the Democratic party revere:  Standing up for what is right, for those who are oppressed, and for speaking truth to power.  A true Colorado hero.

    (Seeing how the parties have switched in so many stances over the years, I have no doubt that today Soule would be in the Democratic wing of the Democratic party).

    1. Neither of them blew up the Middle East, destablized the world for generations, created ISIS, caused the death of hundreds of thousands, tanked the economy and left the middle class hanging out to whither and dry. That would be your guys.

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