Tag Archives: California Coalition for Immigration Reform

Tonight’s Wild and Wonderful Open Thread

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a good time chatting today. Well, it’s that time again when the sun comes down and the open thread starts up. So what’s on your mind tonight? What are you thinking about right now?

Tonight, I’m thinking about this Total Buzz piece about even MORE Minutemen follies. Remember the Minutemen? Yes, that racist group that’s falling apart! Well, it turns out that not only the Minutemen Project headed by Aliso Viejo man Jim Gilchrist is undergoing internal turmoil, but so is the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. Remember them? They’re the original Arizona group that split from the original Minutemen project. Who knew that all these crazed egos can take down such a committed group of crazy xenophobes?

Sorry, but I just had to share that hilarious anecdote with you while I’m on my way to Drinking Liberally in Rancho Santa Margarita. Hey look, I can see my house all the way from here at the edge of the world on the 241 Toll Road! So what hilarious anecdote would you like to share with me? What good news clipping or wild viral video do you want to post tonight? What other blog story are you still reading?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! : )

Judge Denies Gilchrist Request to Retake Minutemen

Oh my! I just noticed this on Total Buzz:

Attorney Jim Lacy rang to report that Judge Randell Wilkinson has turned down Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist‘s request to have three more months before the court will consider putting the organization into the hands of a third-party receivership.

Ah, so Mr. Minuteman Gilchrist can’t reclaim the group that he created… And caused havoc upon. Now why don’t I fell sorry for him? Oh yeah, this is why. Yes, I kinda sense poetic justice here.

Minuteman With No Head!

Oh, my! As soon as I picked up my OC Register, I suddenly found this:

A Superior Court judge on Thursday rejected Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist’s request to be immediately returned sole control of the anti-illegal immigration group – a ruling that leaves the organization immobilized.

Judge Randell Wilkinson also placed restrictions on the three directors tussling with Gilchrist, noting in his order that there were “serious issues concerning the credibility of the claims of both Jim Gilchrist and the defendants…”

Oh, my! What can I say about this? Well, perhaps I’ll say more after the flip…

OK, so what again caused this? (From OC Register)

Gilchrist was ousted from the group in January by the vote of the three directors, who said they were concerned with sloppy accounting and possible fundraising improprieties. The three then took control of the organization’s primary bank account and, at least temporarily, the group’s main Web site.

However, Jim Gilchrist is saying that these three “hijacked” the group. Oh yeah, and Gilchrist is “under attack by internal terrorists“(??!!). Remember, according to Gilchrist, these three “directors” were only serving “advisory roles”, and that only HE had real power over the group.

So what will now happen to the organization? Nothing, since no one is really in control.

Wilkinson did grant two Gilchrist requests: The mutinying directors – Barbara Coe, Melvin Stewart and Deborah Ann Courtney – cannot spend donations to the group and they cannot use stationery with Gilchrist’s printed signature.

But the lawyer for the defendants said he was pleased with the ruling.

“It’s 85 percent of what we wanted,” attorney Jim Lacy said. “The best interim remedy, if my clients aren’t going to have total control, is that the organization will remain neutral.”

And the best permanent remedy, in my humble opinion, is that THIS VIGILANTE RACIST GROUP DIES OF IMMOBILITY! Jim Gilchrist, Barbara Coe, and the rest of the Minuteman group all need to go away and stop harassing all brown people. And you know what? If all this infighting among the Minutemen prevents them from harassing any more Latinos, then the infighting is serving a great purpose.

So what will happen next to the Minutemen?

Wilkinson also called for an April 25 hearing, at which Gilchrist will have to convince the judge that the Minuteman Project should not be handed over to a third-party receivership until a trial is completed. Lacy said his clients would support a receivership.

Well, I’m still hoping that the legal action doesn’t end. So long as the Minuteman Follies continue, they can’t do any more destructive deeds. Let them fight themselves… That way, these undocumented workers have one fewer thing to worry about.

Minuteman Follies!

The power struggle “has absolutely stalled the movement from coast to coast,” Gilchrist said.

That is, Jim Gilchrist said it to an Orange County judge as he sues to retake sole control over Minuteman, Inc. So what exactly happened in court yesterday? Follow me after the flip for more…

From The OC Register:

An effort by Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist to regain authority over the group Wednesday prompted a Superior Court judge to encourage the bickering sides to work out their differences.

But Gilchrist called the differences among the leaders of the illegal-immigration opponent group “irreconcilable.” Judge Randell Wilkinson is expected to rule within a week on whether control should be returned to the Aliso Viejo resident until a full trial takes place later this year. He also indicated the possibility of placing the group in a neutral receivership until that time.

So what has this racist, anti-immigrant “movement” been stalled over? Oh, that’s right- Gilchrist thinks he’s the sole member of The Minuteman Project’s board of directors, and that the other three directors were simply “advisors” with no real decision-making power.

So what do the other “directors” think about Gilchrist and his claims of sole control over Minuteman, Inc.? The Register has more:

The three directors being sued by Gilchrist said they tried unsuccessfully to get him to address concerns in December, and after his removal still tried to make the peace with him.

“I pleaded with him,” said one director, Huntington Beach’s Barbara Coe, founder of the long-standing California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

The three directors said they were still open to reaching an agreement with Gilchrist. But he made it clear such a deal wasn’t going to happen, especially since a lawyer for the three has contacted two federal agencies to alert them to possible wrongdoing.

Yes, you heard it right… The Wicked Witch of the West pleaded with him! It’s just too bad that all those secret bank accounts, missing funds, sloppy accounting, and donations that had been collected without the full board’s knowledge got in the way. And oh yeah, I’m sure that the bounced checks didn’t help either.

The judge is expected to rule within a week on whether Gilchrist can retake sole control over Minuteman, Inc. However, I just have a strange feeling that this trial won’t quite end the feud. Can anyone say, “APPEAL“? Still, this would be so sad… If it weren’t so DAMN HILARIOUS that these gawd awful racists are destroying their own empire of hate! So who’s getting the last laugh now?

hehe ; )

Weeding Out the Undocumented: Whither the Minutemen?

First, it was the Costa Mesa City Council taking federal law into their own hands by voting to deputize police officers as immigration agents…
And now, much of the nation is following. First it was just the Minuteman Project, but now it has become a giant monster.

So what is it about these anti-immigration measures taking off in Orange County, and spreading throughout the rest of California, and being copied elsewhere in the nation? As a native Orange County resident, I live in the middle of all of this…
And I want to examine the issues surrounding local governments enforcing immigration law. Today, we begin in Huntington Beach, where anti-immigrant hatemonger Barbara Coe had worked for over 10 years to bring more “awareness” to the issue of all those “Mexicans invading our border as part of a reconquista for Mexico to retake the Southwest”. She tried, and she tried, and she tried to “raise awareness”, but all she got was a failed initiative that was thrown out of court, and snark from OC Weekly to go with it…
That is, until… (Follow me after the flip for it…)

Jim Gilchrist took his “Minutemen” on a little trip to the Mexican border. Martin Wisckol, of The OC Register, has more:

It was a match made in activist heaven.

Huntington Beach’s Barbara Coe had toiled for more than a decade against illegal immigration, becoming the gritty grande dame of the movement. Just as progress was sputtering, along came Aliso Viejo’s Jim Gilchrist and his two-week Minuteman citizen border surveillance.

The April 2005 event along a desolate stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border attracted 880 volunteers and thrust the issue back into the national spotlight. It revitalized the movement and, with Gilchrist, gave it a public face.

Coe and her California Coalition for Immigration Reform found an instant partner in the high-profile upstart. The public debate suddenly included President Bush, who called the Minutemen “vigilantes,” and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who praised the border watchers. While still facing an uphill battle, activists saw support swell by the day.

And all of a sudden, immigration became a hot topic again. People started talking about the “illegal aliens” and how much havoc they wreak on our community. People began blaming “illegal aliens” for every problem facing the California and the nation, from the growing health care crisis, to the overcrowded schools, to the out-of-control crime in all the major cities “plagued by all those illegal aliens”. And thanks to the Minutemen, people started paying attention to far-right xenophobes like Barbara Coe once again.

Barbara Coe, along with other anti-immigrant activists, soon joined forces with Gilchrist, and they all formed a “Board of Directors” to run the Minuteman Project. This came just after Gilchrist’s better than expected third place finish in the race to fill Chris Cox’s vacated 48th Congressional District seat in December 2005. Everything seemed to be looking up for Gilchrist, the Minutemen, and the whole anti-immigrant movement… Until…

(From OC Register)

Internal conflicts began surfacing late last year. Gilchrist bounced a series of checks in December. Minuteman Project Director Deborah Ann Courtney came across a newspaper article about a nonprofit group associated with the Minuteman Project being fined for fundraising violations. Other fiscal issues arose.

(From LA Times)

By the fall of 2006, the relationship between Gilchrist and his board began to deteriorate quickly.

There were public accusations of secret bank accounts, missing funds, sloppy accounting and donations that had been collected without the full board’s knowledge. None of the claims were made in court and proof wasn’t offered. But the seriousness of the charges drove the former allies further apart.

Coe, Stewart and Courtney said in interviews with The Times that they finally concluded that there was as much as $750,000 missing from Minuteman accounts. They said they filed a theft report with the FBI and asked for an investigation.

So what went wrong? Apparently, sloppy accounting from the professional accountant. “Fundraising improprieties”, possible Postal Service violations, and IRS worries began to haunt the organization. And all of a sudden, the organization that made the “immigration crisis” into a national issue was itself falling into complete crisis mode.

And then, everything fell apart early this year. (From LA Times)

Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist was confronted by three associates who had been his closest allies when he arrived at his group’s headquarters in Lake Forest in late January.

“Jim,” said Marvin Stewart, “the board has terminated you as president.”

Gilchrist recalled that it felt like his heart sank to his stomach, prompting him to instinctively yell, “You’re all fired.”

“No, Jim, you are fired,” Stewart said.

Now, everything is in shambles. Gilchrist accuses Marvin Stewart, Deborah Courtney, and Barbara Coe of internal terrorism for “hijacking” his organization. Barbara Coe, on the other hand, still considers Gilchrist to be a “courageous patriot”, though she does feel that he was “deceived” and “misled”, and “‘used’ by some others for THEIR personal gain“. Meanwhile, Stewart and Courtney are claiming to put an end to the “profit[ing] from an effort to secure America’s borders” as they take over the group.

But still, Courtney and Stewart’s grip on Minutemen, Inc. is quite tenuous. On March 21, an OC Superior Court judge will hear Gilchrist’s case as he sues to retake control of the group that he founded. But whatever happens in court, all seem to agree that “the movement” has lost its way, and that it will be quite difficult for the Minutemen to regain its footing, along with its past glory.

The Wicked Witch Is Gone! Barbara Coe Leaves the Minutemen!

This just in from The Liberal OC:

Barbara Coe just resigned from the Minuteman Project. She was on the board and recently voted to give Jim Gilchrist the boot because of “financial and accountability issues” according to the Orange County Register. Gilchrist took the group to court and filed a “it’s mine and you can’t have it” lawsuit.

You may remember Coe’s name from the Tan Nguyen scandal. The fake letterhead that Nguyen used to write the infamous “immigrants can’t vote” letter on used the name “California Coalition for Immigration Reform” and Coe is the founder of that organization-but was not involved in the Nguyen letter.

OK, so you still don’t remember Barbara Coe? Well, then follow me after the flip for a quick history lesson, as well as my personal thoughts on the Minutemen’s loss of the Wicked Witch of the West…

Ah, Barbara Coe! Yes, that Barbara Coe… Ya know, the one whose group is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Yes, the one who didn’t have a problem with Congressional Candidate Tan Nguyen sending out the now infamous “Immigrants Can’t Vote” Letter under her organization’s letterhead

AND SHE’S GONE! Well, she’s just out of the Minuteman organization. But still, it’s so exhilarating to see OC’s own Wicked Witch of the West cause havoc for her fellow Latino haters! I just hope that they all suffer in the chaos that they are creating for themselves, just as they’ve caused so much suffering for all the Latinos here in Orange County.

Gawd knows they deserve it. : )