For-profit teabagger convention limits press. Where's Bachmann?

Remember last week, after the Democrats told C-Span that they would not allow its cameras to record the House and Senate conference committee as it hashed out differences in health care reform legislation, that Rep. Michele Bachmann called bullshit? She warned that the Democrats who control the process wanted to avoid public scrutiny.

Will she now castigate teabaggers for what appears to be a desire to avoid public scrutiny at the National Tea Party Convention scheduled for February in Nashville?

Only a few, favored members of the media will be able to get credentials to cover an event whose patrons hope to use it as a springboard for altering the national political landscape.

"No word on who or how many," writes Kevin Diaz in the Star Tribune. "This from the people who brought us last summer's media-saturated Town Hall meetings."

Convention spokesman Judson Phillips told the Dump Bachmann blog, "I don't want the sessions disrupted and overrun with the media."

Bachmann, and Sarah Palin, who is fresh off her deal to pontificate on Fox News, are scheduled to appear at the convention.

Tickets for the event cost more than $500. According to Politico, 600 are available, compared to the 9,000 available for last year's Conservative Political Action Conference.

The whole production is starting to give some conservative activists the willies.

RedState's Erik Erikson has asked the event's organizers to stop using his influential Web site's logo in association with the event. And he reports that several sponsors are starting to get worried, too:

"Charging people $500 plus the costs of travel and lodging to go to a "National Tea Party Convention" run by a for profit group no one has ever heard of sounds as credible as an e-mail from Nigeria promising me a million bucks."

A Tennessee teabagger interviewed by Politico said he didn't think the convention represented the movement.

"Most tea party people won't be there because they can't afford it," he said.

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