Did you know there is going to be a political rally at the Muhlenberg County Agricultural Center in September? (Pandemic? What pandemic?)
And did you know that speakers at the event include General Mike Flynn, Lin Wood, the MyPillow guy Mike Lindell, and many more? And that a number of musical artists are performing as well?
And that the price to just get in the door is $250?!?
And that a VIP ticket goes for the low, low price of $500?!?
The whole shebang is being put on by someone named Brad Barton. To be honest, I had never heard of Mr. Barton until I got a tip about this so-called "rally." Apparently, he is a mid-to-big deal in certain right-wing circles. He hosts an internet talk show called "The Lil Talk Show with Brad Barton," with about 43,000 followers. He lives in Hixson, Tennessee, which is a suburb of Chattanooga.
Here's the flyer for the "For God & Country: a Reunion of We the People" event. (Be sure to get that Declaration of Independence font in there.)
Impressive, huh? If I was into right-wing conspiracies (Barton's latest show was about how the vaccines talk to the internet, as best as I could tell), I would certainly be tempted to attend.
But above all, the thing that struck me about this was the ticket price. For some people, $250 would be an entire week's paycheck. Even for a middle-class person, it's a good-sized investment. Shoot, it's four times as much as a ticket to go see the Rolling Stones in Nashville. 🎸
So, where's that moolah going? The tickets are being sold by some outfit called "1776 Events LLC." Being the good internet sleuth that I am, I immediately jumped over to Open Corporates to see what I could learn about this company.
And lo and behold, "1776 Events LLC" was incorporated just 30 days ago (July 6) by none other than Brad Barton of Hixson, Tennessee.
So let's see – if Barton can get just, say, one thousand people from all across west Kentucky to come to his "rally," his new company takes in $250,000. Throw in another one hundred people willing to pay $500 for the VIP ticket, and he gets an additional $50,000.
Yes, I know he has to pay all those people something, and pay for the venue, and the sound system, and so on. It's entirely possible that he could actually lose money on this venture.
But, the Ag Center will hold about 3,500 people if you put chairs on the floor. Sell it out at just the base price ticket, and your gross is $875,000. Get some VIPs instead, and Mr. Barton could be looking at a gross of over a million dollars.
So, the audience gets to hear conspiracy theories and outright lies for two days. Muhlenberg County gets its own super-spreader event.
And possibly, Brad Barton goes back to Hixson with a wad of Benjamins in his pocket.
As they say: Good work if you can get it.
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