- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps’ top leaders signed a letter yesterday saying they have “complete confidence in the professional firms” hired by MCDC President Chris Simcox to oversee the organization’s finances, citing criticism from within and outside the group as “utterly without merit.”

The letter, posted on the Minuteman Web page (www.minutemanhq.com) applauded Mr. Simcox’s decision to employ “accredited and experienced professionals to assist the organization in management of our finances.”

“There are those both within the border security movement and actively opposed to it who, for ideological reasons or in advancement of personal ambition, wish the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps to fail,” Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) said in a statement.

“Critics are obtaining false information from known racialists, anti-Semites and a small handful of disgruntled people who have been terminated from staff or from leadership involvement with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps over a year ago because they could not meet MCDC standards or adhere to our strict field standard operational procedures,” the group said.

The letter came in response to a report yesterday in The Washington Times that a growing number of MCDC leaders and volunteers had questions concerning the whereabouts of money contributed to the organization over the past 15 months and its ties to Declaration Alliance, a Virginia-based charity headed by conservative Alan Keyes.

They said they had no idea how much money had been collected as part of its effort to stop illegal entry along the U.S.-Mexico border or on what it had been spent. Several top officials have quit or are threatening to do so. Others questioned whether MCDC volunteers received the equipment they needed for their border vigils.

MCDC has not made any financial records public despite concern within the organization and requests by The Times dating back to October.

Saying “tabloid-style gossip of this nature drives readership,” the MCDC letter defended Declaration Alliance.

“The Declaration Alliance and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps organizational entities are both in full compliance with IRS regulatory statutes and filing obligations,” the statement said, adding that financial disclosure forms will be submitted by Nov. 15.

The letter accused critics of having “no actual knowledge of MCDC finances, regulatory compliance, filing deadlines, non-profit status, or other accountability matters,” and described the accusations as “groundless.”

It said the MCDC, through its vigils along the U.S.-Mexico border and five states on the Canadian border, had forced into the national spotlight “the lawless and wide-open conditions at our borders.” It said illegal immigration and the lack of border security was the country’s top issue.

The letter was signed by Mr. Simcox, Al Garza, national executive director, Carmen Mercer, vice president, Greg Thompson, national development director, and Bill Irwin, national operations director.

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