Feathered Bastard

Minuteman CEO Carmen Mercer Named in Arizona Attorney General Lawsuit Over Property Tax Scam

Know how the minutemen and the nativists are always kvetching that illegal immigrants are all criminals, even though the most they're guilty of is a federal misdemeanor, if that?

Well, methinks these pseudo pay-triots kvetch too much about others, particularly in the wake of the arrest of Minuteman American Defense founder Shawna Forde and two of her compadres for allegedly offing a nine year-old girl and her poppa.

Currently, there are allegations of con-artistry, against Carmen Mercer, President and CEO of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, who took over from Chris Simcox, aka "the Little Prince" earlier this year when he decided to run as a really, really dark horse candidate against U.S. Senator John McCain in the 2010 Republican primary.

Simcox's tenure as MCDC honcho was plagued by claims -- mainly from his fellow minutemen -- of financial shenanigans. Now, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is alleging that minutewoman Mercer is part of a property tax scam, which the AG says was bilking victims out of $189 a pop for a property-tax reduction that the scammers could not make good on.

Goddard's office says both it and county assessors across Arizona have received hundreds of complaints on the alleged con. As a result, Goddard's filed suit against the parties he says are involved, which include Mercer, the "owner of the Post Office box included in the solicitation," according to a Friday press release from the AG's office.

The AG's statement quotes Pete Zegarac, the head inspector from the Phoenix Division of the Postal Inspection Service as asserting that, "This scheme was especially insidious because the deadline to appeal to have your property taxes reduced for 2009 has passed. There was no way the company could fulfill their claims..."

Ironically, the MCDC Web site currently has some article screaming about "fraud and abuse" on the part of "unlawful immigrants." There's nothing on the Web site about Mercer's current problem with Johnny Law.

According to the AG's officer, Mercer has cooperated with the investigation by turning over 1,000 responses she's gotten for the scam in the P.O. Box associated with it.

"Mercer...claimed she was asked to open the Post Office box by a friend," states the AG's release, "and that she did not know its intended purpose."

Even if that's the case, the affair couldn't come at a worse time for the MCDC. Just days ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on the resignation of MCDC Vice President Al Garza.

In an e-mail announcing his resignation, Garza stated that the vigilante group's image is basically in the gutter because of the organization's ongoing travails.

"Unfortunately, the public perception of the Minutemen has been tainted by our detractors and the media, which has successfully been enflamed by the internal and unnecessary strife," stated Garza. "I do not see an end in sight for the problems plaguing what was once the greatest citizen movement in America."

Pardon me while I get all verklempt. "Greatest citizen movement"? Greatest cluster of rednecks and nativists since the KKK is more like it.