The Minuteman Project shot into the national spotlight shortly after it was formed two years ago, but now a bitter dispute over its leadership threatens to tear the anti-illegal immigration group apart.I wondered if anything would come out of this whole brouhaha. Questions about the other gang of vigilantes' funds were raised last summer by the rightwing rag Washington Times.Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court last week after the group's board of directors fired him and his executive director over allegations of mismanagement and fraud. Gilchrist alleges in the lawsuit that the firings were illegal and that board members also illegally spent Minuteman money, seized its Web site and stole 20,000 pieces of letterhead.For their part, the board members accuse Gilchrist of embezzling $400,000 in Minuteman Project donations and using $13,000 of the organization's money for his own legal fees. They recently filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that Gilchrist illegally received a non-profit postal discount.
A growing number of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leaders and volunteers are questioning the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars in donations collected in the past 15 months, challenging the organization's leadership over financial accountability.Rotten roots = Rotten fruit.
The equation never fails to produce its intended outcome. Time to cut the Hater Tree down to a stump.