Why is there a giant Koch-funded conservative gathering at the same time and in the same city as Netroots Nation, anyway?
Over the last couple of decades plenty of women have thought they were going into a medical clinic to get a free pregnancy test only to enter what's know as a crisis pregnancy center. Few of them offer actual health care, instead proselytizing against abortion, birth control and pre-marital sex to women at their most vulnerable. But these establishments often look like and are adjacent to Planned Parenthood or other women's clinics. They mimic these institutions to press their political agenda in the most confrontational way they can.
The right-wing Americans for Prosperity Foundation is using a similar tactic for -- wait for it -- blogger conferences. RightOnline describes itself on its website:
The RightOnline initiative was launched in July of 2008, with more than 600 activists and bloggers attending our first ever RightOnline Conference in Austin, Texas. It was the first conservative event to ever counter the leftwing Netroots Nation Convention ... an annual gathering of what the media called the most concentrated gathering of high-profile progressive bloggers to date.
Yes, Netroots Nation, founded as Yearly Kos in 2006, has for the last four years had to compete with a counter-conference in the same city and on the same weekend it's been held. While no one would ever mistake the conservative confab for the liberal one, the presence of a mimic conference with registration blocks in the same hotels insures that the Netroots crowd doesn't get a media and messaging weekend to itself.