The Truth about PUMA Conference 08 ... You Can’t Spell “Conference” Without “C-O-N”
Back on July 15th the PUMAs announced, via The Confluence, that they were holding a pre-convention “PUMA Conference 08” in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, home of the now-infamous, temper-tantrum-laden RBC meeting and “rally.” The PUMAs threw together a clunky conference web site (archive.org version) containing limited (and hilarious) info and a registration form to sign up for the conference. This is what was initially promised on the front page:
The 2008 PUMA Conference Committee is ready to ROAR with these incredible conference deals! For the amazing price of $250, you will receive the following:
- Lodging at a FIVE STAR hotel – the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. for THREE nights (Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
- Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.
- Lunch on Saturday.
- AND it also includes the price of the conference itself.
Mind boggling, crazy good isn’t it?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU REGISTER:
After the first 250 people register at the $250 price, IT IS GONE. As we are under tight time constraints with the hotel for numbers and commitment at this time, once you register there will be NO refunds. (Please reread that sentence before you register.)
If we do not have 250 registrants, we will be refunding monies MINUS the PayPal Fee (approximately $7.50).
And there it sat for several weeks until, with no fanfare at all, the front page blurb above was replaced with a curt:
We have now closed registration.
We will be emailing attendees with final arrangements Sunday and Monday, so check your email.
READY? So are we! Meet you in D.C!
~ PUMA Conference Committee
The implication being that they’d hit the 250 mark and the conference at the Wardman was SO FUCKING ON! Well, not quite. There was scant chatter in the PUMAsphere about the conference following the closing of registration, which was pretty odd considering what a big deal they all made about the announcement of it in the first place. It wasn’t until I heard the August 6th broadcast of the “No We Won’t” BlogTalkRadio show that it became clear to me that there was a good reason for the self-imposed silence regarding the conference. Like so many other PUMA initiatives (the poorly-attended RBC “Count Every Vote” rally, retiring Hillary’s debt, etc.), the conference was an epic failure. Listen to this short MP3 clip as alleged “Friends of Hillary” staffer “Paul Johnson” asks the show’s hosts, Sheri Tag and PUMA co-founder Will Bower, how many people will be in DC for the conference. Stammer ... stammer ... time for the next caller! [You can listen to the full show here—Paul’s call starts at the 55 minute mark]
So the next day I decided to call the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and see if the conference was still taking place there. Sure enough, the sales office told me there were only two conferences being held there that weekend and neither of them had anything to do with PUMAs or Just Say No Deal. I thought that was both mind boggling and crazy, but I had to split for the west coast and didn’t have time to dig any deeper. I guess HuffPo’s Diane Tucker didn’t call the Wardman in advance because she ended up wandering the halls of the hotel looking for the conference on Saturday:
WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than 250 diehard Hillary supporters were scheduled to meet this weekend at the Marriott Wardman Hotel here to plan their convention strategy. The group’s online spokesperson said that the meeting, “PUMA Conference 2008,” was “closed to media of any kind.” [...]
Is PUMA really prepared to be part of a McCain victory?
Seeking the answer to that question, I roamed the halls of the Marriott Wardman Hotel Saturday looking for the PUMA Conference, doing my best Michael Moore “Roger and Me” impersonation. “No PUMA conference is registered here,” they told me at the front desk. They allegedly told a Hearst reporter the same thing a day earlier. There are no reports yet on what PUMA may be cooking up for the conventions.
Today I received this email from Bower: “The conference was moved to a new location. We made an agreement with all our participants that we would treat the proceedings as confidential. There was a great deal of information that was generated that our members want to disseminate to their colleagues in their own way.”
The implication being that they had to move the conference to a top-secret location because there were dark forces out there that were working to infiltrate and expose the movement and tear it down. The truth? The overwhelming and unstoppable PUMA coalition that Bowers and other selected-not-elected leaders have repeatedly claimed numbers in the 2-2.5 million members range could only get together sixty people for the “conference” and, because they didn’t meet the 250 registrant requirement imposed by the Wardman, they had to move the conference to ... get this ... the Country Inn next to Dulles Airport in Sterling, VA. Is it any wonder they got way secretive and polished up their double agent decoder rings before this monumental event? Their “conference,” which was scheduled to be held at a picture-perfect symbolic location in the heart of our nation’s capital (the press woulda loved it!), had to be moved due to poor attendance numbers to a crappy, middle-of-nowhere airport hotel located approximately 30 miles away from D.C. proper. The PUMAs, who thrive on media exposure and initially pitched the conference as an irresistible PR lure, didn’t want to keep the press away because of confidentiality concerns, they needed to keep the media away to avoid absolute embarrassment.
And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m going to throw several thousand of them your way using some photos I found online from the “conference.” Behold the PUMAwesomeness of it all:
You can click on the images for larger versions.
That’s rightwing anti-Semite and the PUMAs’ BFF Andy “Exterminate Jew Power” Martin (left) chatting it up with a PUMA. Andy wrote an anti-Obama book and started the rumor that Barack is a Muslim, so he’s just the bestest even though he doesn’t much care for Jews and stuff!
That’s Lyndon LaRouche devotee and 9/11 Truther Webster Tarpley showing off a little leg for the ladies. He wrote a book comparing Obama to Mussilini that was so PUMAwesome that Will Bower made him a PUMA cocktail pal so that he could pretend to be a disgruntled Democrat for CNN!
p.s. More than likely, this post will be updated several times, so keep checking back for more.
MORE: David Weigel from Reason featured this post on his blog and has more on PUMA pals Martin and Tarpley. Ends meet means.
UPDATE: Thanks to my web hosting company EngineHosting for quickly upping Rumproast’s resources so we could handle the deluge of traffic from Daily Kos. If you’re looking for a hosting company, they rock. And, of course, thanks to Kos for featuring this post on the front page. I’m sending several roars his way in appreciation.