Back when I was running LAVoice.org, I subscribed to just about every LA-centric political mailing list I could find. I keep a few of these subscriptions running for sheer entertainment value, including the one for the Minutemen.
Say what you like about their stance on illegal immigration, the Minutemen offer a lot of snicker value – strutting up and down the Mexican border with guns on their hips (what are they gonna do, shoot the braceros for crossing the border in search of a better paycheck?), paper-spamming Congress with the “Fax Hammer” and generally demonizing the foreign poor.
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more cartoonish comes this week’s meltdown of founder Jim Gilchrist’s regime and impending court date – and an email campaign from the new “boss” generally slamming him.
Check out the schizophrenic home page which has little gifs like the one at right beating up on the “hijackers” and generally begging you to “Stand with Jim Gilchrist!”
Dueling press releases after the jump:
Subject: [MMP] Minuteman Founder Under Attack by Internal Terrorists
Date: February 27, 2007 4:16:20 PM PST
To: Mack Reed
Yes it is true. Several people who Jim Gilchrist fully trusted have put their pursuit of money and power above the Cause. They conspired to remove Jim Gilchrist as head of the Minuteman Project and insert themselves in positions of power in the organization.
Who are these individuals?
Deborah Peterson – AKA Deborah Courtney
Marvin Stewart – a quasi-Minister and government worker
Barbara Coe – California Coalition for Immigration Reform
I am still stunned. Did they really think that all of us would just roll over and let this happen?
See the press release below and please note the following about these three individuals:
1. Using stolen passwords they hacked into our Web Servers and changed the passwords for several of our accounts.
2. They took control of all our Minuteman Project email addresses. As of right now, all email sent to anyone @minutemanproject.com goes to these corporate raiders. We are forced to use our personal email addresses until this is resolved in court. You can contact us at:
Linda Muller [WebMaster] – [Redacted]@forthecause.us
Jim Gilchrist [MMP Founder]- [Redacted]@sbcglobal.net
Tim Bueler [Media] – [Redacted]@timbueler.com
3. It also looks like they might have stolen our email list. If you, as a member of the Minuteman Project email list, receive email claiming it is from the MMP, from anyone other than me, Tim or Jim, please remember it is bogus.
4. They stole over 20,000 pages of our letterhead stationery and envelopes bearing Jim Gilchrist’s personal signature. Needless to say if you receive any letters in the mail that seem out of character, you will know they are from this band of devious conspirators.
5. As of right now they have been unable to hack into our website – we still have full control over it. Tommy Crenshaw, who manages our system, is keeping watch on it round the clock. He says they are using sophisticated hacking tools to try and break into the Web Server. Thus far he has been able to thwart their incessant attempts to break in. Again, if you notice content on the website that seems out of character, you can assume that they were successful in taking over our website. If that happens, stay tuned to my personal website at www.forthecause.us for updates.
For now I just wanted to make sure you know about our email addresses and the stolen stationery so you will not be confused if you are contacted by them. I will be writing up much more on this over the next few days and posting it on the www.minutemanproject.com and the www.forthecause.us websites… and also emailing it to several lists.
Please help Jim Gilchrist and the Minuteman Project by sending this information across the USA. Post it on websites. Upload it to message boards and chat rooms.
I for one will be damned if I will stand quietly by while Deborah Peterson [AKA Deborah Courtney], Marvin Stewart and Barbara Coe try to steal the Minuteman Project from Jim Gilchrist. How about you?
As always, For the Cause – Linda And still the Minuteman Project Webmaster!
… Versus …
Subject: Gilchrist and Underlings Distort the Truth and Defame Website
Date: February 28, 2007 8:12:32 PM PST
To: Mack Reed
CONTACT: Robert Vasquez
MMP Media Spokesman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gilchrist and Underlings Distort the Truth and Defame Website
28 February 2007
Minuteman President Marvin Stewart today stated that he was extremely disappointed to see a man whose courage on the battlefield left no question as to his level of commitment to America, suddenly go into a public ethical meltdown on radio and TV. Gilchrist has also apparently authorized defamation of the MinutemanProject.com website by Linda Muller, a grassroots webmaster. The public has begun to wonder as to how much money or what he and his cohorts are really trying to hide if they react this viciously.
“As the President of The Minuteman Project, Inc., I cannot allow the distortions, accusations, disinformation, and website defamation that Jim Gilchrist and his underlings are conducting to spread in the media and on the internet as questions of their financial improprieties go unanswered,” Mr. Stewart stated.
“Jim Gilchrist CPA, Stephan Eichler JD, Tim Bueler and Linda Muller are all very much aware that the courts have supported the actions taken by The Minuteman Project Inc., and they also know that the false accusations they are throwing about are patently false,” Mr. Stewart said.
“Jim and his underlings did not take very seriously the responsibility of reporting to you, the members of MMP. Instead, he makes excuses about ‘being too busy to dot every ‘I’ or cross every ‘t’. Our effort is to clearly show the membership where the money went. We have asked the court to authorize your new leadership to conduct a forensic audit.
We have discovered that the MMP had a Political Action Committee
that apparently no one but Gilchrist and Eichler knew about. And he doesn’t mention that under his leadership, the MMP was presented as a non-profit corporation, when in fact no such status was ever applied,” Mr. Stewart stated.
“We had the opportunity to unite the forces fighting the invasion of illegal aliens, but that chance was squandered by Jim Gilchrist and his underlings. Now, they are trying to destroy the organization, because Jim Gilchrist believes that he is more important than the issue, the movement, or the members that placed their trust in him,” said Ms. Deborah Courtney, the MMP Treasurer.
“Equally sad is that Tim Bueler, who is also the National Media Spokesperson for Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a competitor, writes despicable and slanderous lies, playing all sides, as the foursome continue their base attempt at perpetrating a deception upon the men and women that gave their time, effort and money to the Minuteman Project. Tim is clearly unable or unwilling to understand how a non profit works, and how Title 8 of Delaware Law regulates the initially incorporated 501C4 of the Minuteman Project,” Mr. Stewart continued.
“We believe that together we can recover the strength the Minuteman Project had before Jim Gilchrist surrendered to the siren song of political power, public attention, and life in the fast lane with mega-egos for company. Mr. Gilchrist claims his reputation is damaged, but if that is so, it is his own gross mismanagement, lack of attention to corporate obligations, and misguided belief that he and he alone was the Minuteman Project.
Mr. Gilchrist has even stated that he would destroy the Minuteman Project, rather than have someone else at the helm. That demonstrates a lack of respect and appreciation for the thousands of people that joined him at the border in the beginning. And it shows a lack of understanding that people will not follow a leader that has only his ego in mind,” Ms. Courtney concluded.
“The MMP has opened the door to the media insofar as our legal circumstance allows, and we are prepared to answer to our membership about bringing the organization back on course to unify the only effective movement that stands in the way of an all out invasion of America by illegal aliens. To accomplish that, the members of the Minuteman Project must know that the leadership is working for them, not exploiting them,” Mr. Stewart stated.
“The truth is on our side, the facts will prove us right, and with God’s help, we will recover from this difficult time.”
How you see all this depends on what side you’re on.
If you’re staunchly against illegal immigration, you’ve gotta be pretty chagrined that these carnival sideshow acts are responsible for pushing your cause.
And if you’re anti-anti-immigration or, like me, you’re in favor of intelligent solutions including:
- economic aid and incentives to help the illegal immigrants’ countries of origin improve their socioeconomic opportunities and cut down on emigration
- limited amnesty for those of the 13-million-plus immigrants already here who can demonstrate they would pay taxes and assume all citizenship duties in exchange for proper green cards (the citizenship system’s broken, but don’t get me started)
- better border enforcement here and in Central American nations
- better labor-law enforcement in the U.S.
… then you gotta just grab a comfy chair, a box of popcorn and a beer. This is gonna be amusing.