Social conservatives aren't the only groups to threaten to leave CPAC. The Heritage Foundation, a pillar in the Washington conservative community, has not signed on as a participating organization this year, according to officials at both CPAC and Heritage. But, Heritage officials said, the possibility of bypassing CPAC has to do with a re-evaluation of budget priorities.
"With the rise of the Tea Party groups this year, there have been more and more meetings we've been going to, and we're trying to reach out to new conservatives," said James Weidman, a Heritage spokesman. "We have a limited budget for outreach and we've got more and more organizations out there that want our outreach."
"We've been a fixture at CPAC for years. I'm not sure we're going to reach any new people there," Weidman added.
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