Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Making The Minute Tick

On the evening of May 15, 2006, the President made a very interesting speech. In fact I believe it was the first time I actually saw him take any kind of firm stand on the immigration issue.

Yes, the immigration issue, which has taken this country by the throat and has brought out concerns for our border security as well as becoming a growing political wedge issue , not to mention bringing racially based individuals out of the woodwork.

One of the groups who have taken up the immigration issue is the Minuteman Project. The Minuteman Project was started by Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox of California out of border and illegal immigrant concerns, yet, there has been much controversy on whether they are racist based or just an issue based organization.

(Chris Simcox below and Jim Gilchrist in photo on right)

They claim there is no racist based motivation for starting the group, yet they have had a tremendous struggle weeding out racists who have been attracted to volunteering for their movement.

So, with facing trouble from both racists and anti-racists, last spring, Simcox and Gilchrist had decided that they needed extra professional help with public relations, fundraising and the Gilchrist congressional campaign, so they signed on with the management group Diener Consulting, which is headed by Mr. Philip Louis Sheldon, Jr., the son of the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.

(Bill White, in Nazi uniform, crashes Minuteman Rally in DC)

Now, for those of you with a good memory, Phil Sheldon also operates Responseunlimited.net, which is an ideologically conservative mailing list service.

If this still does not ring a bell, let me remind you of the Terri Schiavo extravaganza, Diener and “Response Unlimited” with Phil Sheldon were the handlers of the public relations, the rallies, and the fund raising and in return have all the names and information of individuals who supported and gave to the Schindlers.

Much to their credit, Diener did help the Minutemen by giving the group a good professional polish. They hired and placed some experienced people from the DC area to handle some of their concerns and to help organize their rallies, lists and fundraising.

But, what people might not realize, as they were not aware of with the Terri Schiavo situation, is that when they signed up for the Minutemen they were also handing their personal information to be sold and used for profit by thousands upon thousands of conservative and Republican organizations and campaigns for bucks in the pockets of Mr. Phil Sheldon.

Now, really, this isn’t unusual in the political world, but, the public should be aware that when they sign up for a cause they feel passionate about, where is their information and money going and how it is going to be used at a later time.
On the 15th of December 2005, due to some heated disagreements about using Diener as their public relations firm, Gilchrist and Simcox split up and parted ways.

Simcox is still signed with Diener and runs a Minuteman group called “Minuteman HQ/ Minuteman Civil Defense Corps”, while Gilchrist with his own group which is called “The Minuteman Project”.

Well, hope this has helped inform the public on the behind the scenes of this odd world of grassroot politics.

Until next post

Peace OUT!