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An average American that has some thoughts on politics, culture, and society with a conservative and Catholic twist.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Breaking On MinuteGate- Arizona Republic Runs MInuteGate Story- Incredible Comments From People in Charge

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Good Grief. Take some time too read this story on Minutegate from the Arizona Republic. My commentary below.

Minutemen are focus of call for cash audit

Susan Carroll and Dennis WagnerThe Arizona Republic
Aug. 11, 2006 12:00 AM
TUCSON -

The honeymoon is over for the Minutemen.More than 16 months after the civilian border patrol movement took root in Arizona, the co-founders of the original Minuteman Project are feuding publicly, and some former loyalists are calling for detailed accounting of the estimated $1.6 million to $1.8 million in donations the group has received.The two leaders tried for months to keep their split cordial, with Chris Simcox taking over the patrol missions and raising money to build an Israeli-style border fence. Meanwhile, Californian Jim Gilchrist kept the Minuteman Project name and pledged to go after employers in the interior of the U.S. But now, Gilchrist's interior enforcement mission has fizzled, and Simcox has bristled at Gilchrist's new book on the Minuteman Project, saying his former partner is acting like the "lord and emperor" of the movement.

On the ground, some former loyalists are concerned about delays in getting non-profit status and the design of a border fence by Simcox's Arizona-based Minuteman Civil Defense Corp., or MCDC. Simcox has been touting an Israeli-style border fence but so far has erected only 2.2 miles of five-strand barbed wire."There is a lot of dissention through the ranks," said Richard Humphries, who lives in southern Arizona and faithfully attended Minuteman gatherings for more than a year. "When it was a brand new thing, it got a lot of media attention, and people across the country were excited about becoming Minutemen," Humphries said. "But for some reason, I don't know whether it's because of a lack of leadership or what, to a great extent the novelty has worn off."

Accountability Simcox has been dealing with publicity on money matters since a recent Washington Times article said former leaders quit over questions about finances. He said the allegations stem from bad blood with a few former members and urged patience from followers. The organization is in the process of filing for non-profit status and will disclose all the information required by the Internal Revenue Service by the Nov. 15 deadline, he added. Connie Hair, a spokeswoman for the group, said its financial situation is simple. "There is no controversy," she said. "There is no impropriety."Simcox estimated that MCDC has raised $1 million, plus about $600,000 to build fencing along the border but said that he can't be sure of the amount. He said the organization hired accountants and consultants in 2005 and set up a "caging" account controlled by a lawyer to ensure that donations were handled property. "Only our auditors and our caging company know exactly how much we've raised," he said. "It's not my job. That's why we've hired the best independent auditors."Board member and Executive Director Al Garza said he has no idea about its finances. When asked how much money his organization has received in contributions, Garza said: "Oh, geez, I don't know. I don't make it my business. I refuse to even ask for the figures. . . .

They're donations being well spent, I can tell you that."The group's Web site states that donations are not tax-deductible. If the IRS eventually approves MCDC's application for tax-exempt status, donors won't be able to write off contributions because the organization is seeking to become a 501c4, which allows the leadership to lobby Congress.
Keeping trackLast September, Simcox told The Arizona Republic that he already had started the process of filing for non-profit status, but his spokeswoman said this week that they plan to meet all the filing requirements later this month, adding that delays with the complex paperwork has slowed the process. In the meantime, Simcox formed a partnership with the non-profit, Herndon, Va.-based Declaration Alliance, headed by conservative Alan Keyes.Leaders also contracted with Diener & Associates, a consulting firm, to help take the movement to a national level, Hair said, using connections for mass mailings and fund-raising campaigns. MCDC leaders could not say how much Diener, which also has ties to the Declaration Alliance, has made off the partnership. Keyes and the Declaration Alliance have not benefited financially from the partnership, Simcox said.


Meanwhile, Gilchrist, whose recent failed bid for Congress in California was run by Diener, is questioning Simcox's use of the company, saying it was not forthcoming with financial records. Beyond that, he declined to comment except to say, "I fired them the day after my campaign was over."Diener officials referred comment to Hair, saying she also works with them. Gilchrist has largely escaped public scrutiny of his books but is facing some of the same issues as Simcox: pending non-profit status and leadership that does not officially draw a salary but pays for travel expenses with donations. He said he has received $162,000 in donations since January and has spent about two-thirds, paying for billboards, travel expenses for speaking engagements and lodging. In 2005, he received $68,000 in donations, he said.Andrea Esquer, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, said she could not confirm or deny whether state officials are investigating the Minuteman finances. The IRS also does not comment on investigations, including whether one is being conducted, spokesman Jim McCormick said. Humphries and other members of the MCDC stressed they're concerned about the money and not questioning anyone's integrity.
The futureThe biggest criticism from former volunteers has centered on one of MCDC's major projects, the fence for which Simcox is trying to raise $55 million to build on private land along the border.MCDC has raised about $600,000 for the construction of a border fence, touting on its Web site a barrier with trenches and rolls of barbed wire. So far, the group has erected 2.2 miles of barbed-wire livestock fencing on rancher Jack Ladd's land. Simcox said there are still plans for a fortified barrier on other ranchers' property and pledged to reinforce Ladd's fence with steel vehicle barriers in coming months.Ladd said the fence was never designed to stop people from crossing but has been a big help with the cows."So far, the fence has been very effective, as far as we're concerned, in keeping Mexican cattle from crossing over," he said. Still, Humphries was concerned the fence isn't really fulfilling the Minuteman mission: to curtail illegal immigration. "I know that if I had contributed a bunch of money, as evidently a bunch of people have done, to build a fence to keep out illegal aliens, and my money was spent to put up a five-strand, barbed-wire fence to stop cattle, I wouldn't be very happy about it," Humphries said.Simcox and Gilchrist are moving ahead. Simcox wants to break ground on the new fencing in the coming weeks, and Gilchrist plans to head to Texas to patrol near Laredo.


All the Saints in Heaven where to start with this insanity. Talk about just digging yourself a grave.
"Simcox estimated that MCDC has raised $1 million, plus about $600,000 to build fencing along the border but said that he can't be sure of the amount. He said the organization hired accountants and consultants in 2005 and set up a "caging" account controlled by a lawyer to ensure that donations were handled property."
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Wow, Well that fills us with confidence. Maureen Otis and American caging are the watchdogs over this. No need to ask questions move along nothing to see here. Well, if you have been following this blog you know that at this point American Caging does not exactly speak confidence right now

"Only our auditors and our caging company know exactly how much we've raised," he said. "It's not my job. That's why we've hired the best independent auditors"
First this makes no sense and should be raising a ton of red flags. No one that is charge knows how much was raised? The only folks that know are Maureen Otis and unnamed auditors?

Board member and Executive Director Al Garza said he has no idea about its finances. When asked how much money his organization has received in contributions, Garza said: "Oh, geez, I don't know. I don't make it my business. I refuse to even ask for the figures. . . . They're donations being well spent, I can tell you that.
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Ok, the Executive Director doesn't make it his business to know how much they received in donations but in the next sentence he says those donations are well received.

Leaders also contracted with Diener & Associates, a consulting firm, to help take the movement to a national level, Hair said, using connections for mass mailings and fund-raising campaigns. MCDC leaders could not say how much Diener, which also has ties to the Declaration Alliance, has made off the partnership. Keyes and the Declaration Alliance have not benefited financially from the
partnership, Simcox said.
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Please, for those late to the game of Course Declaration Alliance is making money. You see Declaration alliance is pretty much all involved with Response Unlimited and ResponseEnterprises and Diener, and William Greene. The people behind Declaration Allinace are making a killing. That is where most of the 80 cents of every dollar goes.

Meanwhile, Gilchrist, whose recent failed bid for Congress in California was run by Diener, is questioning Simcox's use of the company, saying it was not forthcoming with financial records. Beyond that, he declined to comment except to say, "I fired them the day after my campaign was over."
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In fact as has been shown on this blog and on conservative forums, Gilchrist has been using the serves of Response Enterprises till very recently. Also, it seems to me that other actors were still involved that are connected with Fence Gate.

Ladd said the fence was never designed to stop people from crossing but has been a big help with the cows."So far, the fence has been very effective, as far as we're concerned, in keeping Mexican cattle from crossing over," he said. Still, Humphries was concerned the fence isn't really fulfilling the Minuteman mission: to curtail illegal immigration. "I know that if I had contributed a bunch of money, as evidently a bunch of people have done, to build a fence to keep out illegal aliens, and my money was spent to put up a five-strand, barbed-wire fence to stop cattle, I wouldn't be very happy about it," Humphries said.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Send more money to make sure Mexican Cows do not illegally immigrate to the US. Oh and send more money even though we have no idea where it is going and how much we got

Let me remind everyone the Minuteman Pac under control of the same folks has been releasing money all over the place this week. If that money was shifted from this this organization into the PAC we Republicans have got a hell of a problem on our hands. It will be another campaign finance scandal that tar a lot of innocent people and we shall all be under fire for it in the media.


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