Minuteman spending outstrips donations, fees by about $31,000
The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, under fire for a lack of financial accountability, spent nearly $450,000 last year for volunteers to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border — about $31,000 more than it collected in donations and registration fees — according to a report released Nov. 16.
The organization’s first Internal Revenue Service Form 990 filing as a 501(c)4 tax-exempt charitable trust showed nearly $285,000 in MCDC contributions, or roughly 63 percent, were used to pay for program management and operating expenses, such as travel expenditures,salaries,educationalmaterials and office expenses.
Another $145,000, about 32 percent, went for MCDC’s fundraising programs.
According to the report, about $20,000, or 5 percent, was spent on field supplies, meals, fuel and backgroundchecksfortheclaimed8,500 Minutemanvolunteers,wholastyear staffed observation posts at selected points along the Mexican border fromCaliforniatoTexasinApriland October.
While the IRS papers document MCDCcollectionsandexpenditures throughDec.31,areporteddonation total of $418,493 is significantly less than the $1.6 million MCDC President Chris Simcox told The Washington Times in July that the group had collected in donations since its April 2005 creation. That figure was said to include $1 million in direct MCDC contributions and $600,000 towardtheconstructionofa$55million border fence.
At the time, Mr. Simcox said MCDC had spent $160,000 for two border vigils in April 2005 and October 2005, supplying volunteers with equipment, including computers, satellite phones, food and trailers.
He also said the organization spent another $36,000 for monthly, three-day musters by MCDC in the four border states.
MCDC officials declined to discuss the Form 990 report with The Washington Times, but Mr. Simcox said in a statement posted on the organization’s Web site, “We are releasingourorganizationalIRSForm 990 and the additional audited financial statements on deadline, as promised, when promised.”
Healsosaidthatthegroup’sboard ofdirectors,whichheheads,haddecided that “this year and this year only” it would make public the organization’s financial statements — citing what he called “outright maliciousliesaboutthestatusofMCDC finances.”
In July, several MCDC leaders and volunteers questioned the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars in donations the organization had collected.
Several of the group’s top lieutenants either quitorthreatened to quit, saying requeststoMr.Simcoxforafinancial accounting have been ignored. Others said money promisedforsuppliesneverreached volunteers at the border.
Mr. Simcox, during the July interview, denied the accusations, describinghiscriticsas“knownracialists, anti-Semites and a small handful of disgruntled people who have been terminated from staff or from leadership involvement with theMinutemanCivilDefenseCorps over a year ago because they could not meet MCDC standards or adhere to our strict field standard operational procedures.”