A Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi features numerous figures in the Minutemen anti-immigration movement attacking Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist's endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. But Corsi offered no in-depth examination on controversies involving the Minutemen and the split between its two factions and fails to disclouse his own conflict of interest.
Nowhere does Corsi mention that he co-wrote a book with Gilchrist promoting the Minutemen's efforts. Further, while Corsi gave Gilchrist a chance to discuss the reasons behind his endorsement, they consititute only three paragraphs of Corsi's 23-paragraph article; the vast majority of the remainder are attacks on Gilchrist by others in the anti-immigraiton movement. That would seem to be a betrayal of sorts of Gilchrist by Corsi and a choosing of sides with Gilchrist's former Minuteman partner, Chris Simcox, whom Corsi prominently quotes attacking Gilchrist.
Corsi only lightly touches upon the split between Gilchrist's Minuteman Project and Simcox's Minuteman Civil Defense League, noting only that the groups "split two years ago over funding" and that they are "completely separate organizations of citizen volunteers seeking to curb illegal immigration."
But there's a lot more to the sitution than a "split" over "funding." As the Washington Post reported earlier this year:
Former leaders of the Minuteman Project accuse founder Jim Gilchrist, 58, of using $300,000 of the group's money to support his pet causes, including promoting a book he co-wrote and funding an unsuccessful run for Congress in a 2005 special election. Last month, saying they are the group's board of directors, they took over the Minuteman Project Web site and bank accounts, and fired Gilchrist as president.
Gilchrist fired back with a lawsuit accusing his former associates of defamation. He maintains that they have no standing to fire him from the California-based organization. He also accuses them of hacking into the Minuteman Project's Web site, stealing a donor database and pilfering his personal stationery, all of which the organization relies on to raise money.
This is not the first time the group has fractured. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has operated separately from the Minuteman Project since December 2005, after a bitter internal dispute over funding.
David Neiwert has more details on that 2005 dispute.
Meanwhile, Simcox is embroiled in his own funding controversy, as we've noted. Simcox's group has been attempting to build a border fence, promising to its funders that it would be 14 feet high and topped with razor wire. The fence the group has built, however, is a mere cattle fence-like five-strand barbed-wire fence.
WND has not previously reported on these controversies in detail, and Corsi's article appears to be the first instance in which WND has mentioned them at all. Since it looks like Corsi has taken a position against his old co-author, we may see more WND attacks on Gilchrist. But given the prominence that Corsi gave Simcox's attacks on Gilchrist, we may not hear a peep about Simcox's scandal.
In an apparent attempt to make up for all this Gilchrist-bashing, a Dec. 16 article by Corsi is devoted almost entirely to Gilchrist's point of view, in which he explains that his endorsement of Huckabee is conditional, "based on a tough understanding of the former governor's 'Secure America Plan' to oust all illegal aliens, or put them behind bars." But again, Corsi fails to note that he co-wrote a book with Gilchrist.