Yesterday we wrote that Minuteman co-founder Jim Gilchrist’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee might be more of a hand up for the struggling anti-immigrant activist than for the cresting presidential candidate, given Gilchrist’s troubles maintaining leadership of his own group, much less a movement.
Sure enough, other anti-immigrant groups are rushing to dispute Gilchrist’s relevance. Chris Simcox, who split with Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project in 2005 to form the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, rushed out a mass e-mail dissing his rival:
No National Minuteman Group has endorsed Mike Huckabee. One individual Minuteman has personally endorsed him. For the sake of clarity, it is important to note that the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), the nation’s largest Minuteman organization, is a 501(C)4 non-profit organization and cannot and does not endorse any candidate for public office. MCDC is not associated with Mr. Jim Gilchrist, who today endorsed Mike Huckabee for president. Jim Gilchrist’s erstwhile Minuteman Project is itself an organization which by its own representations as a non-profit civic group cannot legally endorse candidates. It does not have any volunteers who observe illegal border activity. It has no border fence building projects. Jim Gilchrist here speaks only for Jim Gilchrist, he does not speak for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, nor is he nationally representative of most patriots in the “Minuteman movement” – who under no circumstances could ignore the failed record nor endorse the duplicitous “plan” recently rolled out by candidate Mike Huckabee. The national media needs to recognize that Jim Gilchrist’s endorsement is his own personal statement, nothing more.
Another splinter group, the Patriots Border Alliance, called the endorsement “at best disturbing.” Group leader Bob Wright said, “[Huckabee’s] past rhetoric about the goals of Minutemen everywhere has been vicious — parroting the tired and discredited foolishness that an American citizen’s desire to see the law enforced is somehow racist or xenophobic.” A group called Americans for Legal Immigration also sent a mass e-mail warning against Huckabee.