Because they've been talking about Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime on DorothyL and the rules that can keep authors who aren't published by MWA approved publishers off panels, I thought I'd put out my two cents worth here.
The people who run these things can certainly make whatever rules they want. Bouchercon committee voted down what LCC is using to allow people to appear on panels.
Also, they've discussed the fact that some authors are just too pushy with their books. You know what, I've gone to all sorts of cons and I've never run into a pushy author. I've run into a few who are a bit on the "stuck on themselves" side, but that's all.
Usually most authors have been absolutely delightful to chat with. Recently I had the opportunity to dine with and introduce David Morrell, author of all those wonderful thrillers including First Blood of Rambo fame. A most unassuming and delightful person.
I've been a member of MWA for years, but have decided that the discrimination against small press authors just goes against my grain too much. I won't be renewing that membership.
And back to mystery cons--I'll be sticking to those who only care about good books, not who published them.
Discrimination is discrimination no matter how you look at it.
This is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.