More Trouble with Minuteman Finances: Keyes Group Overseeing Vigilantes Suspended

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has been under scrutiny from The Washington Times and others recently for its finances – for example, the largest portion of its 2005 budget went to unspecified “professional services.” Times reporter Jerry Seper has written in the past about the close association of the Minutemen with a variety of consulting groups associated with Alan Keyes, who is also the head of the Declaration Alliance. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps bills itself as “a project of” the Declaration Alliance, and MCDC president Chris Simcox has defended the ties as adding credibility to his group.

Now Seper reports in The Times that the Declaration Alliance and its associated Declaration Foundation are having their own credibility problems:

The Declaration Foundation … was fined $6,500 in August and prohibited by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations from soliciting donations until it becomes “properly registered.”  The Aug. 18 “agreement and order,” signed by Declaration Foundation Executive Director Mary Parker Lewis, a top Minuteman adviser, acknowledged that the charity made false statements in seeking to solicit donations, failed to properly administer money it had collected, and withheld documents sought as part of an “investigative subpoena.”

According to the bureau, the Declaration Foundation failed over a four-year period to submit audited financial statements, gave false information when it said it did not share revenue with other nonprofit or tax-exempt groups, and misstated the truth when it said none of its officers or employees was tied to any vendor providing services or goods.

The bureau said the Declaration Foundation improperly shared revenue with the Declaration Alliance, another tax-exempt charity founded by Mr. Keyes, which also has been active in overseeing the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC).

As more questions are raised about the financial management of the border vigilante group, it seemed telling that yesterday the Minutemen announced the creation of a new project – Minuteman attorneys:

[United States Justice Foundation] and MCDC have set up a joint project called the Minuteman Protection Program (MPP) to provide legal assistance to Minuteman members and insist on the enforcement of state, local, and federal laws relating to the illegal immigration issue.

“If you are an attorney, or if you know an attorney, wishing to help in these issues, please contact, or have them contact, us,” the e-mail appeal says.

Alan Keyes speaking at Minuteman rally