The Utah delegation arrived in hot, muggy Atlanta Sunday afternoon to a town full of political rumors.
While the leader of Utah's Jesse Jackson delegation went off to a Jackson meeting, most of the other delegates attended a ritzy party held in the home of Robert and Dianne Dornbush - well-heeled Atlantans who have adopted Park City as their second home.Talk at the party centered on what Jackson might do or might not do.
"That's the 64 dollar question," said former Gov. Scott M. Matheson, who, along with his wife, Norma, is a delegate. "When the chips are played, I see some argument over the platform, but unity when we leave here."
Delegation chairman Pat Shea said the Utahns are united. "The Jackson delegates are excited about vice presidential pick Sen. Lloyd Bensten of Texas. I don't see any unseemly eruptions in the delegation at all. Sure, over the platform there could be a fire-storm sweep through the convention. But we in the Dukakis camp have fine communication."
Four Dukakis "captains" report to Shea. Shea, in turn, has a contact person in the Dukakis camp. "Word can pass very quickly up and down the chain."
Shea and others in the delegation are acutely aware that certain actions in the convention, whether gay demostrations or outspoken stands for abortion, wouldn't play well in Utah.
"We have a race to win in Utah, Ted Wilson's race," said Shea, a former state Democratic Party chairman. "We'll be quick to remind people (in the Utah delegation) of that responsibility if need be."
In other words, he doesn't want anyone in the Utah delegation doing anything on the floor of the convention or even in the night spots around Atlanta, that could embarrass Democrats at home.
The Dornbushes live in the exclusive Atlanta neighborhood of Buchad. That is, they live there nine months out of the year. For three months, two in the winter, one in the summer, they live in their condo in Park City.
"We're building a house in Park City now. We hope, some day, to spend half our time there, half here," Dornbush said Sunday.
The Dornbushes want to get to know more Utahns. They have plans for the state.
Dornbush, president of the Dornbush Group, a trucking-warehousing-real estate firm in Atlanta, is also a partner in Lewis Reality Inc. of Park City.
"By August, we (in the Lewis group) hope to announce a major development in Park City," Dornbush said. The Lewis group, which has three Utah partners, has been looking for the appropriate business opportunity for 18 months. Now they think they've found it on 520 acres in Park City.
"Our dream is to build, in partnership with the state, a complex that would become the winter training center for the U.S. Olympic Team," he said.
Such a winter training center has been the dream of Wilson for some time, and Dornbush knows it.
"It's one reason I'm supporting Ted's candidacy. I've contributed to him, along with other Democratic candidates in Georgia and elsewhere."
Dornbush said he and his partners can't build an Olympic training center by themselves. "We're looking at a multiple use concept. I can't talk in detail, but maybe some single housing, maybe something that could tie into Western Gear's move to Park City."
That airplane manufacturing firm recently announced it would build a facility in Park City.
"We know we can't bring in the Olympic center alone. But with Ted Wilson (as governor), maybe together we can make it happen."