Matt Schlapp tried to go on background after the fact with Politico. He refused to answer questions about CPAC losing sponsors. Then, when Politico emailed sponsors, the general counsel of Schlapp's organization accused Politico of "tortious interference." https://t.co/vAVhPsxGPY
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 27, 2021
Could not happen to a more deserving grifter!
I know, it’s Politico, but this is too schadenfreudelicious not to share — “A top MAGA gathering finds life complicated after Trump”:
… For decades, the Conservative Political Action Conference has been a staple of Republican politics. In recent years, the conservative confab has been the go-to stop for rising GOP stars, grassroots organizers and luminaries in the Trump movement.
But President Donald Trump’s election loss has created hurdles around programming and guest booking. Stringent coronavirus guidelines in Maryland have pushed the conference outside of the Washington area for the first time in nearly 50 years. Previous sponsors aren’t yet committed or have decided to forgo sponsorship entirely because of changes to the event’s format or disappointment in the return on their investment last year. And the president that attendees adored so much may not show up to the event at all.
Senior Trump adviser Jason Miller said Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago abode is less than 2.5 hours away from the Orlando hotel where this year’s conference will occur on Feb. 25-28, is not currently scheduled to make an appearance. Meanwhile, a senior American Conservative Union official would not answer whether Mike Pence, who drew MAGA world’s ire for certifying Joe Biden’s election, had been invited to speak. A spokesperson for the former vice president did not respond to a request in time for publication.
ACU Chair Matt Schlapp said he is convinced this year’s conference will be no different from past years. “CPAC is going great,” he told POLITICO on Tuesday, before then saying that his quote needed to be attributed without his name. Schlapp did not address questions about why some sponsors were not continuing their CPAC sponsorship. But after those questions were posed and additional questions were sent to CPAC sponsors — including whether the Jan. 6 Capitol riot impacted their thinking about sponsoring again this year — ACU general counsel David Safavian accused POLITICO of “tortious interference with business relationships” and attempting “to ‘cancel’ both CPAC and the American Conservative Union itself.” The group then tweeted a copy of a letter from Safavian that included a litigation threat…
[These three are all, as the polite phrasing goes, longshot contenders for a GOP presidential run. None of them, assuming they could find enough sponsors to make it that far, will ever get past the first 2024 primaries — but CPAC-as-it-used-to-be would at least provide a friendly audience for their grandious delusions.]
How well CPAC goes this year will provide one of the first public indications about the health of the MAGA movement with Trump out of office and with the Republican Party divided over just how loyal to the former president it should be.
One year ago, CPAC was in a far different place. The 2020 gathering was, for a brief moment, a crowning achievement for the conference’s organizer, Schlapp. Delivering a 90-minute, chest-beating victory speech, Trump showed up to hype his survival of his first impeachment. Pence came as well. More than 30 Trump aides and officials in all spoke at the conference, ranging from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to senior White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
But within days, the appearances were overshadowed by news that an attendee who’d been in direct contact with Schlapp had tested positive for Covid-19. Organizers were forced to warn nearly 100 conference-goers of potential exposure and the president’s chief of staff went into self-quarantine, though only one case ended up being traced to the event…
CPAC organizers did announce three speakers after POLITICO began inquiring about the lineup. In separate tweets on Tuesday from the @CPAC2021 Twitter account, it was revealed that former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a possible 2024 hopeful, would all deliver remarks at the conference next month. No other speakers have been announced as of the time this article was published…
As for this year’s sponsors, some of whom spent as much as $250,000 in past years for exclusive benefits and branding opportunities, several said they were still evaluating the benefits or had decided not to sponsor at all because of mediocre returns on the investment or changes to the conference structure. Gryphon Editions operations manager Michael Hawkins said his company did not plan to sponsor the conference this year after being informed that the CPAC bookstore, which has been set up for attendees in past years, would no longer be available because of Covid-19 precautions…
Other past sponsors — including the Washington Examiner, Republican National Committee, Turning Point USA, Heartland Institute and Save our States — said they had yet to make a decision as of last week about sponsoring again. Gerrit Lansing, president of the GOP fundraising platform WinRed, said his company would forgo a sponsorship this year, unlike last year, because they “don’t need to” be a sponsor.
“I didn’t even know they were having a CPAC this year,” he added in a text message…
The Orlando Hyatt Regency, where the conference will be held, requires guests to wear protective face coverings inside the complex, but neither the hotel nor conference organizers specified whether social distancing practices would be implemented or an attendee cap imposed. According to its website, the Florida Department of Health encourages people in the state “to avoid congregating in groups larger than 10.”
Which may not be a problem, this year, Mr. Schlapp.
They already had CPAC, it was at the capitol on Jan 6.
— New Year, Same Meredith ?️⚧️?️? (@Meredith_VA) January 27, 2021