Feathered Bastard

Chris Simcox: Broke and Demanding Spousal Support from Estranged Wife

How the not-so-mighty have fallen. According to a recent filing in his pending divorce, former minuteman leader and one-time dark horse U.S. Senate candidate Chris Simcox claims he's eking by on $1,000 a month, and he wants his estranged wife Alena Simcox to pay him "spousal maintenance" in the amount of $1,500 for a full 24 months, a nice $36K.

Simcox complains that the $1,075 per month in child support asked of him is too much, and he thinks Alena should shoulder 50 percent of all he owes, including a $200,000 debt from his failed Senate bid.

"These debts were all incurred during the parties' marriage and benefited the community," states the October 28 filing. "The community had an especially high interest in Husband's senatorial campaign. Wife supported Husband's decision to run for the Senate and Husband's victory would have greatly benefited the community financially and in other meaningful ways."

"Husband's victory"? Um, yeah, right. Simcox was the first to challenge pseudo-maverick U.S. Senator John McCain in the Republican primary, but he polled in the single digits. He eventually dropped out, lent his endorsement to radio lip-flapper J.D. Hayworth, and copped a job from Hayworth as an advisor.

In an affidavit of financial information to the court, Simcox reveals that Hayworth's campaign was paying him $3,500 a month, but Simcox only got to work for Hayworth as a consultant from March 1, 2010 to April 16, 2010. The reason he left the job? "Wife and boyfriend got me fired," states Simcox.

See, on April 16, a Maricopa County court commissioner granted Simcox's wife's petition for an order of protection, keeping Simcox 200 feet away from Alena and their two children. Alena alleged that Simcox drank heavily, pointed a gun at her, and threatened to kill his family and any police who responded to the incident.

Simcox denies the allegations, but after I broke it in June, the rest of the media picked up the story, and Simcox insists this has prevented him from obtaining meaningful employment.

"Prior to the onset of these proceedings," Simcox's filing relates, "Father was able to earn a modest living working on political campaigns and as a political consultant. However, the serious, yet unfounded, allegations made against Father by Mother in these proceedings have resulted in extremely negative press for Father and caused Father to lose his job with the J.D. Hayworth Senatorial Campaign."

Thing is, there was no press until long after Simcox had been cut loose by the Hayworth camp. 

After Alena's allegations made the wire, Simcox's blood enemy, minuteman and bounty hunter Stacey O'Connell, issued a "wanted poster" to the press for Simcox. O'Connell has denied to me that he's had any sort of romantic relationship with Simcox's wife.

Alena, who is claiming spousal abuse, is the beneficiary of a trust with a big fat bank account, and Simcox apparently wants a piece of it. More recently, Simcox has been cashing checks from a Fountain Hills business called "Advanced Energy Saving Systems" for "labor" and "driving."

One of the witnesses Simcox wants to call for the family court trial scheduled for February 28, 2011 is Carmen Mercer, to whom Simcox relinquished control of the now defunct Minuteman Civil Defense Corps when he decided to run for Senate.

Simcox's life has always resembled a white-trash reality show. According to a 2005 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Simcox's two ex-wives have claimed erratic behavior, violent outbursts, and other weirdness on Simcox's part. 

Still, Simcox was a nativist hero for many years for his minuteman activism, including the so-called Minuteman Project.

Governors and congressmen embraced him. The public regarded him as the face of the minuteman movement, despite the fact that Simcox's organization was rent by internal strife, and claims of financial mismanagement.

He's still quoted from time to time in the press on immigration issues, but without an organization or a platform or a candidacy, there seems little reason to take seriously this one-time nativist icon turned laborer/driver. The "Little Prince" is prince no more.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons