Friday, September 17, 2010

If you marked your calendar for next month's (previously rescheduled) Tea Party Unity Convention, you've got some free time now


Already booked your travel and lodging for the big Vegas tea party October 14-16? Now you'll be able to do those other things you didn't think you'd have time for while you're in town.

Raven Brooks, executive director of the annual Netroots Nation progressive conclave (Netroots Nation 2011 is scheduled for June 16-19 in Minneapolis), has been keeping track of the Tea Party Unity Convention announced and already rescheduled by Tea Party Nation. Today on his blog he reported a new development. -- Ken
About that Tea Party convention… canceled

POSTED by RAVEN on SEP 17, 2010

Back in June we learned that the much hyped Tea Party Unity convention was being canceled and rescheduled to October 14-16 in Las Vegas. This barely registered a blip with the media at the time and I called them out on it and set the record straight on what this was really about.

We’re about a month out from their new announced date, and I thought I’d check them out and see how things were coming along.

Well my first stop was a Google search to find their web site. I found it, but this link should speak for itself. Check out Oh you got a page not found error? Well there’s nothing wrong with your browser, the site doesn’t exist any more. And there’s absolutely zero media or blog coverage of the event since they announced the dates were changing. Not really what you’d expect for an event featuring Sharron Angle, Lou Dobbs, Joseph Farah, and Andrew Breitbart is it?

Well it gets better. I wanted to make sure the convention really was canceled and they weren’t just having web issues or neglected to do any PR for their event. So I put in a call to the Mirage hotel and asked if I could book a room in their block for the event. Turns out the room block had been canceled and the Mirage had no record of the event.

So there you have it, the much hyped Tea Party Unity Convention is now completely canceled. Maybe they shouldn’t have paid Sarah Palin $100,000 to keynote the first event and they might have had a little more staying power financially.

The traditional press is still obsessed with writing about the Tea Party and the power they hold. And yes in the most recent primary elections their candidates did prevail. But those wins have also put races back on the board the Democrats weren’t counting on winning. This cancellation shows that they have zero grassroots strength. It’s GOP operatives and big money that control everything, it’s not some sort of bottom up effort lead by real people and supported by the conservative community. This article recently printed in Playboy really says it all.


Raven notes that Princess Sarah at least intended to take whatever money was to be paid for her appearance, "but her spokesperson claimed it would 'go to the cause.'" Raven directs us to a TPMmuckraker post from February in which Justin Elliott reported (for links see the original post):
Who will be the lucky beneficiary of the hefty fee Sarah Palin received for her Tea Party Convention address?

Mark Skoda, a spokesman for the convention, tells TPMmuckraker that when he called Palin's office in the days after the speech to thank her for appearing and inquire about the money, "at that point they had no disposition at all. I do know that she's committed to providing that honorarium to conservative causes."

This is no small sum. Her standard speaking fee is reported to be $100,000, and one activist told TPMmuckraker before the convention that Palin was charging that amount for the tea party speech, which lasted 40 minutes.

After reports of the mega-honorarium added fuel to the controversy around the expense of the convention, Palin declared on the O'Reilly Factor that she would not benefit financially from the speech.

And she wrote in a USA Today op-ed:

"My only goal is to support the grassroots activists who are fighting for responsible, limited government -- and our Constitution. In that spirit, any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."

Palin's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

It's not clear whether the lucky recipient(s) of Princess Sarah's Unity Convention largesse get to keep the moolah.

Presumably the fees already coughed up by convention attendees will be refunded. It wouldn't be like upstanding teabagging promoters to abscond with the dough, would it? No, I didn't think so.

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