When compiling the guest list for CPAC's Blog Bash, organizers admit it's not a very Washington way to do things. "It actually gets us in trouble," organizer Ali Akbar said of the Thursday night kickoff party, being held at Bobby McKey's at the National Harbor. "I'm a consultant so it's in my interest to let in every D.C. reporter I can, but our invitation process is the exact opposite."
Instead, the broker the blogger, the better access they get to the party, which is in its fourth year. "If you fly into D.C., if you're unpaid, you are prioritized to the top," Akbar said. "We just care about that heartland blogger and their work."
This year's party will honor the late Andrew Breitbart and allow bloggers to rub shoulders with some of the conservative movement's biggest names. "I asked bloggers out there who do you really, really want and [Sen.] Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was the early favorite. Granted this was the morning of the filibuster, so [Sen.] Rand [Paul], R-Ky., was catching up pretty close," Akbar explained.
Cruz is on tap to come to the event, while Paul is being courted. Other politicians expected to stop by include former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Tom Price, R-Ga., Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.