Integrity, Once Again, Eludes the Nation's Most Notable Annual Conservative Political Gathering...
By Daniel Borchers on 12/18/2007, 11:22am PT  

Guest Blogged by Daniel Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism

After consecutive Coulter controversies and embarrassments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2006 and again in 2007, many conservative bloggers and sponsors of, arguably, the most important conservative national annual gathering, beseeched CPAC not to invite her back in 2008.

BRAD BLOG readers will remember Coulter’s deliberate attack against John Edwards – using the F-word (faggot) – having garnered literally worldwide attention and precipitating a rare response from the CPAC, after she uttered her slur at last year's conference on March 2, 2007.

So bad was the coverage, and so offended were so many of the sponsors and bloggers who covered the event, Coulter's appearance was scrubbed from the commemorative post-conference DVD collection of speeches.

Eschewing honor, CPAC has chosen deception instead. For almost a year, people wondered whether Coulter --who has been exposed, as well, as a felonious vote fraudster during that same period --- would be invited back for the 2008 edition set for this coming February in Washington D.C.. CPAC's website conspicuously failed to list any invitees, even though in years past, they posted lists as early as possible to promote their event.

Would CPAC risk losing sponsors and the support of conservative bloggers by inviting Coulter to speak at CPAC 2008? Or would CPAC risk the wrath of Ann Coulter, Inc., and withhold that invitation? Who would win out: principled sponsors and bloggers or the controversial pundit, arguably the conference’s biggest annual draw, who stole the spotlight in previous conferences?

Faced with a moral and political dilemma, CPAC chose duplicity over integrity…

Coulter at CPAC 2008

Would Coulter be invited to speak at CPAC 2008? The Washington Times, themselves a sponsor of this year's event, split the difference with a wink and a nod “Yes…and no,” they recently reported in an “Inside Politics” squib.

Coulter will be back – sort of, unofficially…ish – at CPAC in 2008.

She’ll be there, if not officially invited by CPAC, as the Washington Times reported plugged (while failing to disclose their own CPAC sponsorship) earlier this month [emphasis added]:

After two consecutive headline-making speeches at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), many wondered whether best-selling author Ann Coulter would be invited to address CPAC '08, scheduled for Feb. 7-9 at Washington's Omni Shoreham Hotel.

The answer: Yes ... and no.

While Miss Coulter has not been invited to speak at CPAC, she will appear during the conference at a separate event sponsored by the Young America's Foundation (YAF), Human Events, Townhall.com, Citizens United and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.

But those who want to hear Miss Coulter at CPAC will have to act fast. Her speech, YAF officials say, will be given at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, in the Omni Shoreham's Palladian Ballroom, which has a standing-room-only capacity of 1,200. But YAF officials say the event will be "theater style," which reduces the maximum seating to 500.

Given that CPAC usually attracts 5,000 people, the Coulter speech is likely to become a hot ticket and YAF is making free tickets available in advance: "You are responsible for registration with CPAC through www.cpac.org. This event is a supplement to the general CPAC program and you are not eligible to sign up if you are not registered for the whole conference."

Therefore, anyone not already registered for CPAC must register now and then contact YAF — at www.yaf.org, or by phone at 800/USA-1776 — if they want to hear Miss Coulter's speech.

David Keene Accountable

David Keene, Chairman of event organizer, the American Conservative Union (ACU), has final authority over all things CPAC. Although the ACU technically did not invite Coulter to speak at CPAC 2008, Coulter has nonetheless been given a de facto invitation – to a "supplemental" CPAC event.

Keene tried to hide the truth through surrogates and deception, but the truth is inescapable.

Requiring CPAC registration to attend Coulter’s event strongly suggests Coulter has been invited to speak – again – for CPAC. According to a reliable source, the Palladian Ballroom, where Coulter is slated to speak, is reserved for CPAC from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on that day. Coulter will be speaking at the exact same location as CPAC, using the same facilities, with the same security personnel, sponsored by the key organizers of CPAC.

But Keene would have us believe that CPAC did not invite Coulter.

Let’s look at those key CPAC sponsors noted by the Times' “Inside Politics” column…

  • Human Events – Coulter’s journalistic home since 1996
  • Young America’s Foundation – loyal sponsor of Coulter’s speeches for many years
  • The Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute – another loyal sponsor of Coulter’s speeches

Those three primary sponsors of CPAC (after ACU themselves) combined with other sponsors to showcase Coulter during CPAC, requiring CPAC registration for admittance to her speech in a room reserved for CPAC.

But, other than that, "Coulter has not been invited to speak at CPAC."

Integrity – Where Did It Go?

If Keene is trying to absolve himself from any responsibility for Coulter controversies at CPAC 2008, his ruse has failed. His attempt to fool those principled sponsors and responsible bloggers who oppose a CPAC-invitation for Coulter was dishonorable and has been exposed.

Instead of taking a principled position --- one way or the other --- Keene chose to appease Coulter, trick his sponsors and befuddle bloggers. Clearly, CPAC has adopted Orwellian propaganda techniques utilized masterfully by Coulter herself --- specifically, newspeak and doublethink. With newspeak, "invitation" has been defined as something else. Using doublethink, Coulter has not been invited by CPAC, but CPAC resources are at her complete disposal during her speech at CPAC.

Where is the integrity conservatives profess and purport to possess?

Looks like that integrity won't be at CPAC this year. Even if Ann Coulter will.

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Daniel Borchers is the founder of Citizens for Principled Conservatism and an occasional guest contributor to The BRAD BLOG, for whom he attended and covered CPAC in 2006 (read his coverage of Days 1, 2, and 3), and was forced, by Ann Coulter's security team, to leave its premises in 2007, despite having been a registered attendee.