Simcox and Gilchrist promised thousands of participants but ended up with a couple of hundred, at best. It didn't seem to matter, though. What did matter was the attention from national news outlets such as Fox News and CNN.

Defense attorney Ray Ybarra was in law school at Stanford University at the time. A native of Douglas, he was alarmed at what he saw going on in his own backyard.

Ybarra is credited with organizing a lawsuit against Cochise County rancher Roger Barnett, who'd become infamous for threatening with guns and sometimes attacking migrants or even Latino Americans who happened to stray onto his land. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund took on the case, representing victims whom Ybarra located in Mexico. An $87,000 judgment ultimately was won against the Barnett clan.

Brian Stauffer
Right-wing power clique: Simcox (second from left), circa 2007, with former Arizona legislator Russell Pearce, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Right-wing power clique: Simcox (second from left), circa 2007, with former Arizona legislator Russell Pearce, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

More than most, Ybarra realized the danger of ill-informed, heavily armed outsiders descending on Cochise County and looking to stop an "invasion." During a fellowship from the American Civil Liberties Union, he organized a vigilante watch in the desert.

In his soon-to-be released memoir, Born on the Border, Ybarra relives his days chasing minutemen and sometimes going out on "patrol" with them, as he did more than once with Simcox.

Ybarra recalls in his book the Minuteman Project's first weekend, when there were "probably more members of the media than minutemen."

Truly, much of the hoopla around the Minuteman Project was the result of media-created hype. An ACLU report to which Ybarra and other legal observers contributed found that most journalists accepted the MMP's inflated estimates of participants, failed to note white supremacists in the mix, and ignored negative incidents, such as the arrest of one minuteman for putting migrants in his car during a patrol.

Reporters also failed to mention that this was not the first "border watch" of its kind, that the minutemen were preceded in 1977 by the Ku Klux Klan and leader David Duke, who ran a similar operation on the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego.

Ybarra's account describes two different groups that answered the Minuteman call: oldsters content to sit in lawn chairs with binoculars and walkie-talkies, and hardcore wannabe soldiers looking to track Mexicans in the desert.

Some of the better reports on the Minutemen came from Holthouse of the SPLC and Morgan Loew of Channel 5 in Phoenix — each of whom infiltrated the group.

Holthouse described hanging out with neo-Nazis who openly displayed white-power tattoos and T-shirts and mocked Gilchrist and Simcox for playing nice for the media.

During one outing with a splinter vigilante group, Loew video-recorded minuteman Fred Puckett making claims right out of Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

"We go out in two-man teams," Puckett said at one point. "We hit 'em like we did 40 years ago in Vietnam."

Puckett, unaware he was being recorded, opined that America was "being destroyed from the inside" and that "anything south of the I-10 is a Third World country."

He added, "Once you shoot a couple of these sons of bitches, they'll think twice."


Chris Simcox and Ray Ybarra know each other about as well as two enemies can.

In addition to Ybarra's having regularly monitored Simcox's activities up close, the pair also have discussed immigration at some of the same seminars and events.

To Ybarra, speaking in a recent interview, Simcox was responsible for "mainstreaming hatred" toward Latino immigrants. Unlike most other minutemen, Simcox could rub shoulders with powerful politicians and was able to appear sane in the media.

"Pretty much every minuteman sounds reasonable for the first 20 minutes," Ybarra cracked. "If you talk to them for more than 20 minutes, that's when the crazy comes out."

Ybarra grudgingly calls Simcox's movement a success because the minutemen got what they wanted — a more militarized border.

Simcox and others tapped into growing insecurity among Anglos frightened by a burgeoning Latino population.

"Everything they were asking for in the beginning has come to fruition," he said, referring to the increased presence of federal manpower on the border, "regardless of [one leader] being in jail for being a pervert [and another] for shooting people and being on death row."

The actual Minuteman Project, however, petered out rather quickly.

Before the end of April 2005, Simcox and Gilchrist were enemies and Gilchrist returned to California, keeping the organization's name for himself.

Simcox remained in Arizona as the head of his new organization, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

From this point on, Simcox was dogged by allegations of financial mismanagement.

Before the breakup with Gilchrist, there were signs that Simcox improperly used donations, says David Heppler, a minuteman volunteer who assisted the group with security until he butted heads with Simcox and left.

"Checks were coming in to the Minuteman Project to Simcox's office," Heppler says. "But he was depositing those checks into his bank account. So there was no way to track where all that money went."

He also says Simcox's arrogance drove many people away.

"It was him wanting to control everything," Heppler says. "You're a grown adult, and he wants to tell you exactly what to say and do."

Both the lack of financial transparency and Simcox's imperious reaction to anyone who dared criticize him were the two most common complaints of supporters of the MCDC. Meanwhile, the organization entered a phase of expansion into Texas, Kansas, Washington, California, and New York. At one point, the MCDC claimed scores of branches nationwide.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
DNichols
DNichols

@Jimigilchrist;

This Great Nation of Immigrants doesn't need Racist Vigilantees Idiots patroling our Borders Period!

This should be the Sole Responsibility of our Government.

No one should be  killed in the Desert by Sick Vigilantee Whacko's. (Example Eloy Arizona.)

Simcox is a Sick Child Molesting Bastard that Molested his own Child Daughter,among other Children.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery should be charged with Shielding this Peice of Child Molesting Trash because they are Border Dating/Patrolling Life Buds!

You Idiots and your Racism/Hate have not only Crashed America Economically since January 2008 and the start of the I.C.E. Deportation/Incarceration Programs, You have caused a resurgence of Racism, and Hatred worse than in the 1960's

Why don't you worthless Idiots find a new hobby, just not Child Molesting?!

To: Good, and Brotherhood, not Racism/Hate.

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

This article is one of the more credible pieces of propaganda written by a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) minion.  The author did a reasonably good job putting this story together, and appears to have a higher-than-normal caliber of journalistic instinct and talent.  However, to rely on information from David Holthouse for some sources of his information puts the veracity of the author's writings at risk.  

Holthouse is a pulp-fiction writer who has seldom written anything truthful or factual about me or the Minuteman Project.  He just plagiarizes what other incompetent journalists (propagandists) have written without serious verification of its content.

Other than including references to poorly skilled journalists like Holthouse, this article ranks as one of the seemingly more objective ones about Simcox's unfortunate alleged past, in my opinion.

Insofar as the minuteman movement's presence, it is very much alive and well, but still needs to rid itself of some of the eccentric, counter productive zealots who still remain within its ranks.  While the actions of people like Simcox and Forde have brought negative publicity to the immigration law enforcement advocacy movement in general, it is but a remote cause for the movement's lack of mojo during the past few years.  

Rabid infighting among immigration activists on my side of the debate is the real source of the movement's slowdown.  My organization has even had to successfully sue members of the movement to prevent them from seizing, exploiting and plundering the movement for their own apparent sinister motives.  The consequences of infighting is that it is difficult to garner serious attention and support from politicians and the electorate because what use to be a debate over an "issue" becomes an ongoing rhetorical donnybrook among persons who used to be cooperative allies.  No one wants to go to a party if they think a hockey game is going to break out.

Jim Gilchrist, President and Founder, The MinutemanProject

-a multiethnic immigration law enforcement advocacy group-


ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Pure evil, the force that drives the state of Arizona to the detriment of its people.

lardosardo
lardosardo

Well now OK that makes a lot of sense dude.


www.AnonWorkz.tk

papahutch2000
papahutch2000

Hardy har har har.  I hope someone asks him what he knows about the murder of rancher Rob Krenz.  It had to have been done by some minute man nutso.  Rob was well-armed. They didn't like each other.  Does anyone still care? i DO

DNichols
DNichols

In the photo of the "Bigot League" Arpaio seems to be the smallest Midget of a Bitch in the group?

Looks like he is pissed off at the World for being a short little Bastard?

And the Woman that Half Minute Man Simcox has his hand on appears to be Far older than the Pre-School girls he likes to date?!

Arizona's G.O.P.sure has some "Real Winners" in our Politics.

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

Now what would you be saying if it were the Mexican flag instead?

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Is that Crazy Al Garza on the extreme left (ironic)? The one that split off from Simcox in 2009 to form his own self-styled "patriots" group?

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Hey, I volunteer to stick the needle into that bitch Shawna Forde.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Photo of the "right-wing" clique, says it all. Where's MCAO Montgomery and Ducey? 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Why really surprises me (but then again it shouldn't), is that Simcox had ANY support from the GOP and it's "leaders" in AZ.  I actually thought the GOP here was at least smart enough to distance themselves from a guy with a long history of being a real loose cannon and a nutjob.  But then again, they like Pearce and Arpaio.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Chris Simcox is disgusting, vile and atrocious.

I hope Simcox is convicted and he rots in hell for his crimes.

And two of the politicians in that photo have been booted from public service thanks to the people. The MCSO shurf needs to fall from grace the same way twice-disgraced, corrupt, narcissistic and mentally sick Pearce did and the way Candy Andy did....

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@papahutch2000 

Ranch Rob Krenz has not been forgotten. The politicos used him to "kick-off" their campaigns and SB 1070.  Red flags all over the place. Look at the campaign materials of the day.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Robert, the Italian and Irish flags are similar to the Mexican flag.

You got something to say about Mexicans, Irish and Italians?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@robert_graham Deport all the folks that claim to be Irish and wear green and wave the Irish Flag on St Patty's Day!  And also deport all the Italians that get awards from Italian groups, like, for example, Joe Arpaio!


Isn't that right Jaffy?

DNichols
DNichols

@Robert Graham:

Is something wrong or illegal with a Mexican Flag?!

Do you have Hate issues with any other Flags of the World?

You are a Bigot.

A Bigot standing up for your "Child Molester " Hero.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@WhoKnows  Not smart, just driven by hatred and bigotry, turning Arizona into a sinking dark hole.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 

Pure evil, along with his enablers.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

@Robert_Grahamcracker He is a chicken-choking shit talker who loves to pose as  a bad ass with his computer keyboard, but who is in reality an abject coward and hypocrite. I offered repeatedly to take him on a tour of the border south of Bisbee but he never responded. 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@Robert_Grahamcracker So, Jaffy got deported from AZ?  Maybe his buddy the Joker will serve the warrant on him anyway!

mrh0202201091
mrh0202201091

Many irish fought along side mexicans in the mexican american war...againts the United States..take a good look at ex mexican president fox...

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Truth, I fully believe that if we can find a person who is sane, and we work our asses off to raise money, elevate the person's profile, etc. I think we will have someone who is willing to take on the narcissistic old man and put his ass out to pasture.

mrh0202201091
mrh0202201091

         I have a little irish in me...and proud of it...

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Eric, I think it's because his profile wasn't elevated enough. Plus we really didn't work to get him known to the community.

As I've been saying, let's find a person who is willing to take on the narcissistic old man and work our asses off. We have 3 years before the narcissistic old man is due for a job renewal. Let's use that time to our advantage.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Well, we surely could have pulled it off if Paul Penzone had stepped up and run against the shurf. Why he didn't is a mystery to me.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Jaffy still has a soft spot for AZ. He still posts his bs. If he has really left the area you'd think he'd latch onto some other demagogue.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Mr. Grahamcracker, if I remember correctly little Robert HATES California. He claims the state is too liberal for him.

Are you sure he lives in Fresno? Personally I would think he'd live in a more politically conservative state like Alabama or Mississippi?

 

Around The Web

Loading...