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updated: 9/28/2011 6:43 PM

Right Nation postpones November conference

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By Kerry Lester
Politics and Projects Writer

With an eye on drawing more attendees closer to the 2012 election, Right Nation, a conservative conference that drew roughly 6,000 to Hoffman Estates last year, is postponing a second conference originally scheduled for Nov. 3-5.

Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod said he learned of the news a few days ago, but had "no idea why" the conference organizers backed out of those dates.

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The United Republican Fund, which was organizing the event, declined to comment Wednesday.

But Joe Morris, a board member with the American Conservatives Union, which had been working with the organizers of the Right Nation conference, said he was "informed of the decision rather than participating in the making of it."

Morris said organizers cited scheduling problems with a number of major participants.

"Stepping back from it, (there appeared) more opportunity to do the conference in 2012 closer to the primary season and the general election," Morris said.

Last year, the conference was headlined by conservative lighting rod Glenn Beck and featured appearances by top Illinois Republicans, including Congressman Aaron Schock, Republican candidate for Governor Bill Brady and Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady.

A new date has not been announced. Right Nation's website shows no events listed or information on how or when tickets will be available. Its Facebook page, as well, shows no recent activity. Sears Centre General Manager Ben Gibbs noted that the arena will still generate revenue because of a cancellation provision in Right Nation's contract.

Conference organizers, he said, "immediately wanted to come back" to the arena following last year's event.

"We hope to have them back," he said.

Gibbs said the arena is ahead of budget so far this fiscal year, so "this is a show we could lose and not have them negatively affect our bottom line. If it was going to happen I'm glad it happened this year," he said.

Beck is the keynote speaker at TeaCon, a regional tea party conference organized by the Chicago tea party and taking place Friday and Saturday in Schaumburg. It is expected to draw roughly 1,000 people, according to organizers.

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