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Confirmed – Netroots Nation 2012 Chose Providence To Keep RightOnline Away

Confirmed – Netroots Nation 2012 Chose Providence To Keep RightOnline Away

I posted yesterday about my suspicions that Netroots Nation 2012 was scheduled for Providence, RI, a small convention market (and near my home in RI) in order to keep RightOnline away by booking almost all the major convention space and hotel rooms.

Netroots Nation has been bothered and embarrassed by the close proximity of RightOnline, including a now-famous appearance by Andrew Breitbart.

The Boston Globe [added:  via AP] confirms that Netroots Nation 2012 chose Providence to keep RightOnline away, and even has put non-compete agreements in its contracts:

Organizers of the Netroots Nation conference to be held in Providence in summer 2012 have taken steps that would keep a conservative group’s traditional counter-event at a distance.  

Raven Brooks, Netroots Nation’s executive director, said Tuesday the group has a non-compete clause in its contracts with the Rhode Island Convention Center and two Providence hotels.

The conservative group RightOnline has staged its annual meeting in the same city and around the same time as Netroots Nation since 2008. Bloggers from both groups shared a hotel this year, and Brooks said some Netroots participants were harassed.

I’ll leave the name calling to others, but it does not reflect well on Netroots Nation that it is so scared of right-bloggers that it feels forced to flee to a small market and enter into non-compete clauses with convention authorities and hotels.

Update:  The Wall Street Journal reports similar information:

So in an effort to prevent similar blogger battles next year when Netroots heads to Providence, R.I., next June, event organizers are trying to ban other gatherings from using the city’s convention center and two of its hotels during Netroots weekend. It is insisting on a noncompete clause in every contract at the Rhode Island Convention Center as well as the Westin Providence and Providence Biltmore hotels, Raven Brooks, Netroots executive director, told Washington Wire. A convention center official said he was not immediately aware of the arrangement.

The conservative conference, RightOnline, has followed Netroots around the U.S. since 2008, seeking to act as a counter-event. This year, a shouting match broke out when Mr. Breitbart tried to enter Netroots, camera crew in tow. Mr. Brooks alleged other cases of harassment at the Hilton Minneapolis, which was used by both events, and at downtown bars.

There are, of course, other hotels, in downtown Providence.

There are other hotels downtown, but The Westin and The Biltmore are the two major hotels, so Netroots Nation has locked up the key hotel space.

And it’s now clear what this tweet by the director of Netroots Nation (via Weigel) meant:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



All hail Nutroots, towering bastion of Progressive courage!

These Nutroots folks are so, so smart aren’t they?   What a bunch of babies the Nutroots Nation is.

Could it be we’re winning?

[…] Cluck, cluck, cluck Posted on June 21, 2011 by myiq2xu Nutroots Nation 2012 William Jacobson: Confirmed – Netroots Nation 2012 Chose Providence To Keep RightOnline Away […]

When people secure in their beliefs – and believe they’re correct on the issues – they’re more than happy to welcome scrutiny, a counter opinion and a healthy debate.

And then there are those who run, hide and play the part of the victim.

The “non-compete” clause is, I assume, only for the “Right Online” group? Any private citizen can stay there as part of another group, I would imagine – like, say, the “Legal Insurrection Reunion”….

And where is this group getting the kind of money that allows them to negotiate that kind of a deal? Don’t these hotels realize that conservatives almost always draw a larger, more well-heeled crowd? Folks who actually leave a neat hotel room, treat other guests with respect, and tip the wait staff?

[…]    Posted by: lightfinger   in Nebraska, Politics Add Comment Tweet… […]

Taxpayer1234 | June 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Right Online should sign on in Providence under the aegis of the Tea Party. The Tea Party isn’t an online competitor with Nutheads. Problem solved!

[…] to core American and Democratic values. We saw in 2007 Barack Obama to be the clown he is. We knew the cowardly Obama haiku writers and frat boys were not very smart and still don’t know enough to repudiate someone who has stabbed them […]

RightOnLine should rent this hotel. Great hotel in the shell of a magnificent old Masonic Temple, great location. Has an attached theater, ballroom and conference rooms.

<a href=""Renaissance Providence

[…] . . . is running away! […]

Captain Obvious | June 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Did he just admit he was incompetent? Right Online should rent the hotels’ parking lots which I’m sure Nutroots failed to mention in their contract and put up an outdoor pavillion…. just on principle.

common tater | June 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Christ, don’t we ever grow up from junior high? The definition of politics is perpetual adolescence. The definition of perpetual adolescence is warring cliques, lame subterfuge, crushes, hates, popularity polls, bullying and zit-picking. The real Providence would have nothing to do with politics.

DINORightMarie | June 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I like the @Viator suggestion. The hotel looks great, although it might not be able to accommodate the 1500+ attendees of the RO crowd.

What a boon to the Providence economy! Won’t this be fun to watch….. Heh heh heh. You’ve got a ring-side seat, Professor!

I’ve been to Providence, I mean Newport. It’s terrible shakes. Small airport, confusing highways. May the nutroots enjoy. All in order to keep themselves away from the “icky” Conservatives….


Meet in Boston. They’re in Providence, beantown has better shops, restaurants, theater and the Red Sox. OK, so it is very liberal; still fun and much better than Providence. You win!!
And Providence is a short drive away, if you feel like it.

Perhaps RightOnLine can follow the example of the Walker protesters in Madison and camp out in Providence. Paper mache puppets (no Weiners, of course), weird marching bands, etc. Perhaps Althouse and Meade could cover.

[…] Professor William Jacobson of the Legal Insurrection blog has gathered several mainstream media sources observant that Netroots Nation has comparison Providence as a site of a 2012 entertainment of on-going activists and new media participants, since a tiny distance of a Providence entertainment marketplace will forestall a annual RightOnline convention from being reason concurrently nearby. For several years now, RightOnline has scheduled a entertainment in a same city, during a same time as Netroots Nation. […]

From a purely legal standpoint, now that the cat is out of the bag, I think the hotels and convention center should be taking a VERY close look at their contracts to see just exactly WHAT was specified in the non-compete clauses, and that the NutRoots people should be taking a very close look at any addendum riders that were attached to the contracts by the convention center and hotel. It’s entirely possible that this whole “non-compete” clause is either subterfuge or a bluff, and even if not that it might not be enforceable unless they were specifically agreed to in the contracts (mirror image contract rules, at least for the hotel rooms and conference space, if not the food and other goods provided).

I suppose it would depend on who the offeror was in the contract: is it the NutRoots, or was it the hotel, with NutRoots merely soliciting an offer FROM the hotels? It’s entirely possible that, without the non-compete agreement on both sides, the hotels don’t even have a contract with NutRoots, although if push came to shove, a court would probably try to find a contract without the offending non-compete clause, which NutRoots would say is essential and the court would laugh at them for making that argument in this particular instance.

Now, it may not matter, as the Convention Center and Hotel chains may simply recognize it anyway to keep an image, but they may not contractually HAVE to.

New England is a small, small world. Hold it in Boston and you’ll be like an hour away, tops.

[…] visibility.  To say that this has Netroots Nation worried would be an understatement (via Legal Insurrection at its new site): Organizers of the liberal Netroots Nation conference to be held in Providence in […]

crypticguise | June 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. It’s not fair. Conservatives don’t play fair, so we’re going to HIDE.

[…] The liberal activists of Netroots Nation are already trying to keep RightOnline away next year. […]

[…] The liberal activists of Netroots Nation are already trying to keep RightOnline away next year. […]