Feathered Bastard

Patriots Border Alliance's neo-Nazi love-fest; and why Anna Gaines' recall of Mayor Phil Gordon is doomed.

The photo from the PBA Web site honoring wheelchair-bound neo-Nazi Elton Hall.

What is it with nativist nutbars and neo-Nazis? Anti-immigrant a-holes always pitch a fit when referred to as racists. Yet their knees turn to jelly for swastika-lickers, no matter how ancient or feeble the National Socialist.

Take 74-year-old Elton Hall. (Please, take him.) An Arizona organizer for the American Nazi Party back in the day, he's now so radioactive that even Rusty Childress' hate-group United for a Sovereign America pretends the geriatric goosestepper no longer exists. Nevertheless, the neurosurgeons at Patriots Border Alliance, a group of minutemen who broke free from the leadership of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps honcho Chris Simcox last year, have a pic on their Web site showing the crackpot Hitler-lover in a wheelchair, surrounded by fawning fans.

The header and caption for the image read, "PATRIOTS' BORDER ALLIANCE HONORING ELTON HALL: In appreciation for your deactivated service, devotion, commitment to securing American borders and promoting THE RULE OF LAW." Sniff. Gets you all teary-eyed, don't it? All this affection for a dood who once bowed to ANP founder George Lincoln Rockwell, and who has no remorse for it, nor for his current icon-like status with kid skinheads.

The photo features an obviously injured Hall, presumably recovering from his hospital stay after being hit during a two-car collision at Bell Road and 25th Street, where he was protesting, along with other U.S.A. types, the nearby Macehualli Work Center. Encircling the old kook are all the usual suspects, folks you regularly see at nearly every anti-immigrant meet-up in the Valley. Among them, natch, is alleged public urinator Buffalo Rick Galeener, who commonly refers to nonwhites as "monkeys."

And if you think this neo-Nazi love-fest is wacky, check out the pics on the PBA site of the group's 2008 conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Looks like someone saw Mel Gibson's The Patriot one too many times. I'd have thought Civil War reenactment would've been more their bag, with PBA-ers done up like Confederates.

Business ain't exactly booming...

PBA is represented locally through Sandy Doty and erstwhile Phoenix City Council candidate Stacey O'Connell (mentioned as PBA's "Arizona state chapter director" in a Washington Times article from last year). I will give Doty one thing, she did accurately report United for a Sovereign America's post-recall announcement rally at the Arizona State Capitol yesterday.

Fresh from Middle Earth, Hobbit lady Anna Gaines and orc-leader Rusty "Crusty" Childress...

Doty titles the little article, "A Non-Event in Phoenix," and after visiting the kooky conclave for an hour or two Thursday, I'd agree. It was a pretty pathetic outing, with about 50 of the usual suspects going through the paces as prejudiced playboy Rusty Childress and Hobbit lady Anna Gaines addressed the clique of tatted and do-ragged trailer park refugees. The funniest thing about the demonstration was that the nativists apparently thought they would be meeting a huge crowd of pro-immigration May Day marchers. To my knowledge, there was no such march planned by the major pro-immigrant groups in town, so it sounds like the knuckledraggers got hosed on this one. Hey, no one's ever claimed intelligence gathering was their strong suit. Or intelligence, for that matter.

Local John Birch Society organizer Bryan Turner mystifies U.S.A.-ers by using some real big words.

The crowd's I.Q. was raised about 50 points or so by the presence of John Birch Society organizer Bryan Turner, who cut an odd figure in his suit, tie and horn-rims amongst U.S.A.'s beefy T-shirt brigade. Despite the fact that JBS is largely a cult-like relic of the 1950s, the 30-something Turner is a friendly enough chap. We chatted amicably, and I kidded Turner about slumming it and having too many of his own teeth to blend in seamlessly with the U.S.A. crowd.

At one point, the U.S.A.-ers and assorted fellow-travelers tried to get me kicked off the House lawn, but the cops informed them that their permit did not preclude the public or members of the media from walking amongst them. Things got heated when pro-immigrant activist Dennis Gilman appeared, videotaping the assorted chuckleheads while asking them questions. For a little while there, I thought they were gonna have "Lynch Dennis Gilman Day" at the on the Capitol grounds. The U.S.A.-ers hate Gilman because he spearheaded a letter-writing campaign that got U.S.A. booted from the VFW post where they were gathering once a week.

The whole thing quickly turned pretty third-grade, with nativists waving around a placard with Gilman's home address and phone number on it, and joking about having an impromptu "barbecue" at his house. Most of this was bullshit. But if I were a U.S.A.-er, I'd be hoping for Gilman's continued well-being after that display. Otherwise, the po-po will sure know who to roust first.

An anti-immigrant wacko holding up pro-immigration activist Dennis Gilman's home address and phone number on a placard. Um, and the point of this was...?

I did manage to have civil conversations with a couple of the nativists present. They told me off the record that they had no money and no means to gather the number of signatures necessary to recall Mayor Gordon. Phil has nothing to fear from these people. Dennis Gilman, however, may need a bodyguard from here on out.

For more on this lame-o recall effort, see yesterday's FB post, "Wing-nutty Hobbit lady Anna Gaines attempts recall of Mayor Phil Gordon."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons