New York City isn’t exactly known for an abundance of conservative residents, but that hasn’t stopped a war from breaking out among dueling right-leaning meetings. For years the monthly Monday Meeting has been the premier gathering for conservatives in the five boroughs, drawing Republican politicians, presidential candidates and pundits. However, one of the meeting’s founders has split off and created his own gathering that, according to one tipster, is leading to “confusion” among “well-intentioned” conservatives.
Last week, Mallory Factor, one of the co-founders of the Monday Meeting, and O’Brien Murray, another longtime organizer of the gathering, sent out an email advertising an event scheduled for this evening dubbed “The New York Meeting” and featuring a roster of speakers including Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Representative Louis Gohmert (R-TX). Like the Monday Meeting, this confab is being held in the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel. Though the invite to the New York Meeting identified it as a “new forum,” given the organizers’ past affiliation with the Monday Meeting, the night of the event and its location — as well as the presence of some Monday Meeting regulars like economist David Malpass — some attendees apparently assumed it was not a different event.
To head off any confusion, the remaining leaders of the Monday Meeting, James Higgins and Andrew Boucher, sent out an announcement addressed to “all Monday Meeting participants” this morning in an attempt to clarify the situation and point out that the other gathering was the work of a splinter group.
“We don’t like to send a lot of e-mail between Monday Meetings. But we’ve gotten a number of inquiries so want to clarify,” they wrote. “There is no Monday Meeting next Monday. The next Monday Meeting will be Monday February 11. We were surprised to learn through a number of you yesterday that Mallory Factor had sent an email to you announcing another similar sounding meeting in the same venue. As you may know, Mallory departed (to our chagrin!) from the Monday Meeting last fall to do other things.”
Politicker reached out to Mr. Murray to get his take on the clash of the conservative confabs. As of this writing, we have yet to receive a response. As New York’s infinitesimal but influential community of conservatives battle for Manhattan Island, there’s only one clear winner–liberals. Only time will tell whether this town is indeed big enough for two right-leaning meetings.