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Columnist Arianna Huffington on the Shadow Conventions
(CNN) -- Arianna Huffington, one of the organizers for the Shadow Conventions 2000, is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of eight books and a weekly radio talk show co-host.
Chat Moderator: Thank you for joining us today, Arianna Huffington, and welcome.
Arianna Huffington: Thank you!
Chat Moderator: What is the purpose of the Shadow Conventions?
Arianna Huffington: The purpose is to amplify the voices of those who will not be in the other conventions -- are not on the contributor lists, do not buy access and whose issues are not on the table as a result.
Question from Alexxis: Which issues are not being heard?
Arianna Huffington: The three issues that we are focusing on at the Shadow Convention: the corruption of money in politics, poverty in the middle of our prosperity and the failed drug war. In the case of the failed drug war, neither body has anything to say except "let's get tougher on it." And the first two issues are paid lip service to, but that is all.
Question from Texanbybirth: So most of these shadow conventioneers are for more socialized programs?
Arianna Huffington: No. No. There are a variety of issues that are going to be discussed, but what we are all in agreement on is the critical importance of addressing those issues, not just uttering political platitudes about "no child shall be left behind."
Question from CharonCNN: Who will be the principal speakers at the Shadow Convention?
Arianna Huffington: We are launching it tomorrow at 11 am with John McCain and Congressman Tom Campbell, who is running against Dianne Feinstein in California.
Question from Oloman: How many networks and stations are covering your convention?
Arianna Huffington: Well, all I can say is, I have had an unprecedented media response. As of half an hour ago, we had 780 members of the media registered!
Question from Tironaz: Arianna, did your transformation from a conservative to a liberal happen during the Clinton saga?
Arianna Huffington: I don't consider myself as being transformed from a conservative to a liberal. I consider myself being transformed from a conservative to a populist. Through the last six years of doing a syndicated column twice a week and through writing a book, "How to Overthrow the Government," I had to confront the data about poverty and about the failed drug war -- about the corruption of our politics. Then, as a result, I became radicalized.
The reason why I would not describe myself as a liberal is because I don't consider poverty and issues of those left out of prosperity to be issues that belong to the left, but issues that are central to our democracy.
Chat Moderator: Thank you for joining us today, Arianna Huffington!
Arianna Huffington: Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you. Please come to visit us on the Web site: shadowconvention.com. Anyone who wants to come and register can come and register on site.
If you want to come and help us, you can do that on site, and the same will be happening in the Democratic convention in August.
Arianna Huffington joined the Allpolitics Chat via telephone from the Shadow Conventions in Philadelphia. CNN provided a typist for her. The above is an edited transcript of the chat.
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GOP leaders gathering in Philadelphia on eve of national convention
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