Saturday, April 28, 2012

Minuteman Project founder endorses Lou Barletta

This dropped into my inbox last week but it took me a few days to check it out.

Minuteman Founder Endorses Lou Barletta for re-election in PA 11

“True leader on ending illegal immigration and enforcing border security”

Aliso Viejo, CA – The Founder and President of the nation's leading grassroots activist organization on the issue of immigration reform and border security, Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman Project, announced today that he is endorsing Congressman Lou Barletta for re-election to the US House in PA-11. 

Gilchrist cited Barletta ’s strong record on securing our borders, denying illegals any form of amnesty, and cracking down on taxpayer funded benefits that attract illegals to the United States .  Polls show that immigration reform and border security remains one of the top issues facing voters of the state of Pennsylvania in the upcoming May 8 Republican Primary.

Gilchrist stated, There are few leaders in Washington , DC that have demonstrated real courage in the face of overwhelming media bias and distortion when it comes to the issues of illegal immigration and border security.  Congressman Barletta is a champion to those us who followed his courageous battle to have America ’s laws enforced in our communities.  That is why I am proud to stand next to Lou Barletta and give my total support for the Congressman to be re-elected.”

Gilchrist further commented on the record of Lou Barletta, “Congressman Barletta will ensure that Congress actually enforces current immigration laws to protect the jobs of Americans and the dollars of taxpayers.  Whether it is Washington’s failure to reduce illegal immigration at our borders, stop enticements that lure illegal aliens to America, or even penalizing employers who hire illegal aliens at the expense of Americans looking for jobs all across our nation – Lou Barletta is a true leader on ending illegal immigration and enforcing border security.”

Jim Gilchrist founded the multi-ethnic Minuteman Project on Oct. 1, 2004, after years of frustrated efforts trying to get a neglectful U.S. government to simply enforce existing immigration laws.  Called “the world’s largest neighborhood watch”, their volunteer members aid efforts of the US Border Patrol by watching for illegal activity along the US-Mexican border.

I asked the Barletta camp for a comment:

“Like many Americans, they agree that illegal immigration is a problem in the U.S. and recognize Lou Barletta as a national leader on the issue.
“Washington’s unwillingness to deal with the problem of illegal immigration has allowed millions of illegal workers to simultaneously take American jobs while depressing the wages of legal workers.  The failure of the federal government to fully address border, airport, and seaport security continues to put our nation at risk.
“These problems are important issues to Rep. Barletta and he will continue to lead the charge to take reasonable steps to secure our borders and secure jobs for legal American workers.”

Lance Stange
Campaign Manager
Lou Barletta for Congress

The Minuteman Project has collapsed amid infighting and accusations of financial misconduct.

The Minuteman Project, one of the country's largest, richest and most influential nativist extremist groups, is in a state of crisis.
Its founder, Jim Gilchrist, was fired in February by members of the group's board of directors amidst swirling allegations of embezzlement, gross mismanagement and fraud.
Gilchrist initially responded by filing a lawsuit against the board members and waging a public relations battle in which he claimed the Minuteman Project had been "hijacked." Then, in April, he suddenly dropped the lawsuit and incorporated a new competing organization: "Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project." 

This has been a messy fight.


Gilchrist, 58, a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration, was removed as president of the Minuteman Project this month by its board of directors, which accused him of abusing his power and leaving more than $400,000 of the organization's money unaccounted for.

Deborah Courtney, the group's recently appointed treasurer, said in an interview that a direct mail company helped raise $750,000 for the group in 2006, but that she believes the Minuteman campaign received only $311,000. Courtney said she and others had been unable to trace the rest of the money.

To get his endorsement other campaigns have been shaken down.

 To win the endorsement of the Minuteman Project and its founder, Jim Gilchrist, you need to believe in federal troop deployments to stop illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. and stepped-up deportations of those who do.

You may also need to pay several thousand dollars, according to documents from three Republican campaigns that sought Gilchrist’s endorsement....
Democrat-turned-Republican Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith have been among those accepting his support.
But Republicans in Griffith’s Huntsville district and in one other state say support for a border fence and stepped-up deportation aren’t enough to win Gilchrist’s endorsement: They also were told bluntly that they would need to hire a consulting firm closely linked to the Minuteman founder and run by the project’s political director, Mississippi political consultant Howie Morgan.
When they didn’t hire Morgan, the endorsements didn’t materialize.

Do we really want vigilantes enforcing the law as they see it? That worked out well in Florida recently.

Border militia: patriots or vigilantes?

 The proposed Special Missions Unit would allow armed volunteers to pursue and arrest people they suspect to be smugglers or undocumented immigrants....

Minutemen founder, Jim Gilchrist spearheaded the movement many accused of vigilantism.
“You’ve had a couple of ranchers and several law enforcement officers murdered by illegal aliens,” said Gilchrist.
He admits that his call to guard the border attracted extremist elements but still hopes other states will follow Arizona’s militia proposal.

 It looks like this movement has burned out.

Yahoo News:

 But today, the once-thriving Minutemen anti-illegal immigration fraternity has all but died out. No one knows exactly why the groups fizzled so quickly, but researchers and former border-watching leaders say infighting and bad press have taken a toll. At the same time, the tea party movement started to rise, which usurped members and stole the groups' thunder....Still, the movement's message and popularity have left an indelible mark on the Republican Party, whose leaders underestimated the anger in their base over illegal immigration. The GOP, which at the time was considering legislation to legalize undocumented immigrants in a version of Ronald Reagan's 1986 immigration reform law, rejected the popular movement at first. President George W. Bush dismissed the Minutemen as "vigilantes,"


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1 comment:

Jim Gilchrist said...

Dear Readers,

The Minuteman Project is very much alive and well and continuously active in bringing national awareness to the illegal alien invasion dilemma that has made a mockery of our nation's stature as "a nation of laws."

The citations made above insofar as comments from one of the persons I sued (and won judgments against) for interferring with my organization, are bogus. Judge Randell Wilkinson ruled appropriately that claims of embezzling money from the Minuteman Project were lies. I was fully exonerated of all such accusations made by the persons who attempted (and failed) to steal the Minuteman Project organization.

Insofar as the Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC), while its mission of "justice for all" is indeed a worshipful goal, it's paralell goal is also to engage in fund raising. That fund raising agenda includes discrediting persons in the minuteman movement with both deliberate and unwitting propaganda. I harbor no hostility against the SPLC, but I do wish it would stop "hanging the innocent" in its fund raising efforts.

Wreaking havoc by the use of propaganda apparently comes with the territory of political or social activism...a sinister activity engaged in by both sides of a debate. Unfortunately for the electorate, the first casualty of propaganda is the truth.

Sincerely Yours,
Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project
-a multiethnic immigration law enforcement advocacy group-