A 4-day event billed as "For God & Country Patriot Double Down" is opening in Las Vegas today. But the QAnon-inspired conspiracy fest is a mere shadow of the original hit staged over Memorial Day weekend in Dallas.
The original "Patriot Roundup for God and Country" boasted some of the big stars of the wingnut galaxy-- Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, famed Kraken-smoking attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West and more. It was hosted -- amid some controversy -- by the city-owned Omni Hotel in Dallas.
Like most sequels, the one this weekend promises to disappoint aficionados of the creepy original. In place of the Q A-Listers, the best that this week's version has to offer are the likes of Ron Watkins, who denies widespread rumors that he was Q, but seems to like the attention anyway as he seeks to run for Congress with it in Arizona.
There are also a host of mini-names including Arizona state Reps. Mark Finchem and Leo Biasiucci, Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borelli and Wendy Rogers and such other right-wing B-Listers as Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, Sheriff A Clarke Jr. and author David Harris Jr.
The event's website can only promise two "Surprise Guests!" will be headlining -- a far cry from the Dallas event for which Flynn and Powell were prominently advertised for weeks ahead. Flynn, of course didn't disappoint, garnering national attention -- albeit fleeting -- for suggesting in response to an audience question that a Myanmar-style coup should happen in the U.S.
The not-ready-for-prime-time speakers' lineup is hardly the only headache that has been faced by the event's organizer, John Sabal (aka QAnon), who was a key player in the Dallas conference. Less than three months ago, Caesar's Entertainment, owner of Caesar's Palace dropped the event like a hot potato after public backlash over its plan to host it.
And there was this hurdle, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun:
"Another snag occurred when PayPal and another payment platform called Brushfire both dropped The Patriot Voice as the event's ticket payment platform, according to the Telegram channel of event organizer John Sabal, who goes by "QAnon John" and has more than 19,000 subscribers.
"Due to the nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in accordance with PayPal's User Agreement," PayPal Brand Risk Management said in an email to Sabal, who posted it on his Telegram. "As a result, we have placed a permanent limitation on your account."
So, the sequel will be hosted at the much smaller and obscure Ahern Hotel. "Owner Don Ahern last summer also hosted a mega-Trump rally at his heavy equipment company in Henderson and in May gave $1 million to Make America Great Again Action Inc., according to the Federal Election Commission," the Sun reports.
Organizer Sabal doesn't seem concerned about disappointing the media with the less production at the lesser hotel property. Here's how the Sun described the hospitality he is planning:
"Sabal has referred to journalists as "Lamestream Media snakes" and wrote on his Telegram that any journalist who tries to sneak in "better think again." Sabal and the Patriot Voice, organizers of the event, did not return requests for comment.
"Also, we reserve every right to remove you from the premises at our discretion," he wrote. "Go write about that, you clowns."