The Washington Times has been dogged in its attempts to find out how the Minutemen has handled its finances, as well as investigating the tight alliance it has formed with organizations run by Alan Keyes.
The Times’ most recent report notes just how intertwined the Minutemen and Keyes have become
Last month, several Minutemen questioned what happened to donations collected since the group’s first border vigil in Arizona in April 2005. They said they had no idea how much money had been received, how it had been spent or why it was being routed through a Virginia-based charity headed by conservative activist Alan Keyes.
Last month, Mr. Simcox said $1.6 million in donations had been collected, although he had no documents to verify the claim. He said $1 million went directly to MCDC and $600,000 for a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, all of it handled through the Herndon-based Declaration Alliance, founded and chaired by Mr. Keyes.
Mr. Keyes has endorsed the Minuteman organization as programs of Declaration Alliance and the Declaration Foundation, another Virginia-based charitable organization he heads. He also accused critics of being “decidedly racist and anti-Semitic,” saying they had been removed as members of the Minuteman organization.
For a fee, American Caging manages money collected by nonprofit groups, their telemarketers and direct-response agencies. Caging firms give nonprofit organizations the ability to receive and disburse donations without having to hire a staff.
In addition to MCDC, the firm’s clients include Declaration Foundation, Declaration Alliance and the Declaration Alliance Political Action Committee. It also has handled funds for Mr. Keyes’ unsuccessful political campaigns, including his failed 2004 senatorial race in Illinois, for which it was paid $30,530.
American Caging also handles other clients aligned with MCDC, Mr. Keyes and the Alliance organizations, including Diener Consulting Inc., which serves as the Minuteman group’s public-relations arm, as it did in Mr. Keyes’ unsuccessful presidential and senatorial campaigns; and Renew America, a fundraising organization founded by Mr. Keyes that provides a link for donations to MCDC through Declaration Alliance.
Other American Caging clients include Response Unlimited, which makes mailing lists — including the MCDC membership — available to conservative mailers and telemarketers and has an “exclusive contract” with Declaration Foundation; and RightMarch.com, which raised $500,000 for Mr. Keyes’ 2004 senatorial campaign and helps raise Minuteman donations through a link on its Web page to Declaration Alliance.
The Declaration Alliance’s primary mission is to “protect and defend our God-given, inalienable rights, enshrined in principle in the Declaration of Independence, and codified in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights” while the Declaration Foundation is committed to “restoring the principles of the Declaration of Independence to their rightful place in American life.”
Considering that, among the “abuses and usurpations” set out in the Declaration of Independence was King George III’s attempt to “prevent the population of these States [by] obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners” one has to wonder just how the Minutemen’s harassment and intimidation of immigrants fits into Keyes’ supposed reverence for the document.
Or, for that matter, how the Minutemen’s belief that immigration will lead to “political, economic and social mayhem” meshes with the Declaration’s most famous principle:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.