God help us. It’s time for CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Conference — the annual gathering of the rabid right wing in the National Capital Region.
CPAC this year comes just as conservatives finally have something to celebrate — former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum‘s sweep of the Tuesday caucuses and — in their minds — a victory for those who see regression as a way of life.
CPAC is the creation of David Keene, part of a long-line of political opportunists who see rallying the rabid right as a way to make a quick buck.
Keene’s American Conservative Union is — first and foremost — a money making operation and Keene has cashed in big time, turning rapid right wing rhetoric into a empire that keeps him and family members in the chips.
“David is in it for the money,” a former ACU employee tells Capitol Hill Blue. “He doesn’t do anything unless there is a way to make a buck out of it.”
Keene last year was elected President of the powerful National Rifle Association, a fitting position since his son was sent to prison for 10 years in 2002 for firing a gun at another car in a road rage incident on the George Washington Parkway in Northern Virginia.
At the time, David Michael Keene was an official at the American Conservative Union and at the wheel of a high-end Mercedes as he fired out the window at a driver he felt cut him off, narrowing missing the driver’s head (the bullet went into the headrest of the driver’s car).
In 2010, the elder Keene had to admit to donors to ACU that his ex-wife siphoned 400 grand of their money out of the organization’s bank accounts for her own use. She served as ACU’s bookkeeper at the time.
Quite a history for a organization that stages a conference considered mecca for right-wingers. CPAC draws candidates who want an endorsement from conservatives, media attention it doesn’t deserve and the trappings of credibility it doesn’t have.
Like so many so-called “leaders” of the conservative cause, Keene is in it for the money. He often embraces the extreme right-wing positions and trumpets them in fundraising letters.
Appropriately, the “c0-host” this year is the Tea Party, the phony grassroots movement funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers to promote their right-wing agenda.
CPAC is just another money train for Keene and ACU and another example that the so-called “conservative movement” is always more about profit than politics.