Article on the American Independent Party and the Minutemen

Noonan said Monday that he appointed Clark because he wants the party to take a more assertive stance on illegal immigration.

“I can assure you the San Diego Minutemen will be very involved in local politics and, henceforth, San Diego is on notice that things will change politically forever,” Noonan wrote in an April 1 letter to the county registrar of voters announcing his decision to appoint Clark.

The American Independent Party was founded by Wallace in 1967. He was a controversial figure who supported segregation during the Civil Rights Movement but later moderated his views.

Though the San Diego Minutemen are in line with the party’s anti-illegal immigration stance, some in the party opposed Clark’s appointment. Lemon Grove resident Nancy Spirkoff, whose father, William K. Shearer, founded the party in California, said the appointment is a blow to the party.

“I’m very disturbed,” Spirkoff said Monday. She is past state chairwoman of the party and previously served as the party’s chairwoman in San Diego County.

Spirkoff said she is concerned about Clark’s ties to Schwilk. The Minutemen leader is involved in two unresolved legal cases.

You can read the rest of Tuesday’s North County Times article here. Based on the information provided in the article, I tend to agree with Ed Noonan more than Nancy Spirkoff on this one.

29 Responses to “Article on the American Independent Party and the Minutemen”

  1. Cody Quirk Says:

    This is a unfortunate situation that’s going on right now.

    I’m keeping neutral and staying out of this matter between Ed and Nancy.

    Though I believe that the legal disputes against Schwik and the Minutemen are mainly biased and false.

  2. SovereignMN Says:

    Usually a lawsuit brought forth by a ACLU employee is considered a badge of honor.

  3. matt Says:

    Tying yourself in with one issue like that seems to be a bad tactical move.

    Then again, they didn’t ask for my advice…

  4. Gary Odom Says:

    Nor did they ask me, but I’ve only been active in the American Independent for 36 years and held nearly every office there is to hold in the party organization including state chairman, so what the hell do I know!

    Cody, this is not a matter “between Ed and Nancy.” This demonstrates the glaring difference between the right way and wrong way to conduct party business and present a reponsible public image.

  5. Michael Says:

    A “Small”?? “Relatively unknown”?? political party. (Paragraph) Is there a new one I don’t know about ?!

  6. Trent Hill Says:

    Its press coverage,which is good.

    But its bad coverage,which is bad.

    I dont nkow enough about the situation.

  7. Gary Odom Says:

    By the way, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Minutemen or their legitimate efforts. This has to do with what constitutes responsible leadership and what constitutes gross stu…, thoughtless disregard for the consequences of ones actions.

  8. globalist_elitist Says:

    Especially when that one issue is to destroy the economy as quickly as possible.


    Jobs and Immigrants

    While politicians haggle over immigration reform, the U.S. economy’s demand for workers foreign and domestic continues to grow. On Monday U.S. officials began accepting applications for the 85,000 available H-1b visas—the kind that go to foreign professionals—for the fiscal year starting in October. By Tuesday, the quota had been filled, making this the third straight year that the cap was reached before the fiscal year had even begun.

    It’s another example of the disconnect between immigration policy and labor market realities. A common assumption of immigration critics is that alien workers are either stealing American jobs or reducing home-grown wages. But both notions are flawed, according to a new and illuminating study by economist Giovanni Peri for the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Using Census data, Mr. Peri analyzed the effects of immigrant labor on California, home to some 30% of all foreign-born workers in the U.S. The University of California at Davis economist found “no evidence that the inflow of immigrants over the period 1960-2004 worsened the employment opportunities of natives with similar education and experience.” As to wages, Mr. Peri found that, “during 1990-2004, immigration induced a 4 percent real wage increase for the average native worker. This effect ranged from near zero (+0.2%) for wages of native high school dropouts and between 3 and 7 percent for native workers with at least a high school diploma.”

    This means immigrants not only aren’t “stealing” jobs; they’re helping to boost the pay of native U.S. workers. These findings aren’t as shocking as they might first seem once you consider the abilities that immigrants bring here, and how they compare with those of U.S. natives.

    Most immigrants fall into one of two categories: unskilled laborers with less than a high-school diploma and skilled professionals with advanced degrees. In 2004, 67% of California workers who lacked a high-school diploma were foreign born, as were 42% of those with doctorates. By contrast, across the entire U.S., natives are concentrated between those two extremes: They comprise just under a third of workers without a high-school diploma and only 28% of those with Ph.D.s.

    What this means is that immigrants on balance serve as complements rather than perfect substitutes for U.S. workers. For the most part the two aren’t competing for the same jobs, so rather than displacement what we’re getting is a bigger economic pie. This dynamic has resulted in a more efficient domestic labor market, greater investment, higher overall economic growth and more choices for consumers.

    “In nontechnical terms,” writes Mr. Peri, “the wages of native workers could increase because the increased supply of migrants is likely to put native workers in jobs where they perform supervisory, managerial, training, and in general interactive and coordinating tasks, which makes them more productive.” More workers also mean more consumption, so “immigration might simply increase total production and demand without depressing wages.”

    It turns out that immigrants compete most directly with other recent immigrants. Mr. Peri found that “Foreign born workers already here sustain the largest losses in real wages, losing between 17 and 20 percent of their real wage” from 1990 to 2004.

    It’s true that most immigrants compete for jobs more directly with low-skill U.S. natives. But even here the job preferences differ, with foreigners more likely to be found in agriculture, while less-educated natives tend toward manufacturing. Mr. Peri finds that even unskilled foreign workers have a slight positive effect on the wages of their native counterparts. Other economists, such as George Borjas of Harvard, have found a slight negative effect in this cohort. In any case, and considering the overall net economic gains, any immigration reform designed to protect this small (and shrinking) subset of unskilled native workers would seem short-sighted at best.

    As Congress prepares to give immigration policy another go, expect to hear lots of talk about the dire consequences of immigrant labor. The facts—and the California experience—argue otherwise.

    Even Workers
    In U.S. Illegally
    Pay Tax Man
    Booming Los Angeles Business Caters
    To Immigrants Who Need Help Filing
    April 4, 2007; Page B1

    LOS ANGELES —On a recent Sunday afternoon, construction workers, car washers, truck drivers and students crowded into Petra Castillo’s one-room tax-preparation office in this city’s South Central neighborhood. Most of those inside what was once the home of El Jefe Tacos shared something besides their need to beat this year’s April 17 filing deadline: They are illegal immigrants.

    “They are undocumented, but they want to do everything right,” says Mrs. Castillo, 50 years old, who has a no-nonsense demeanor as she juggles phone calls and customers, mainly speaking in Spanish.

    Politicians and activists campaigning for a crackdown on illegal immigration frequently complain that the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented residents violate U.S. law by not paying taxes, as well as by being in the U.S. without permission. But Mrs. Castillo’s booming business shows how some of the workers who are here in defiance of one arm of the U.S. government—the Department of Homeland Security—are filing federal tax returns with the aggressive encouragement of another—the Internal Revenue Service.

    “If someone is working without authorization in this country, he or she is not absolved of tax liability,” IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, a former immigration official, said in testimony before Congress last year. Last week, speaking to the National Press Club, he added, “We want your money whether you are here legally or not and whether you earned it legally or not.”

    In 1996, the IRS created the individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN, a nine-digit number that starts with “9,” for taxpayers who didn’t qualify for a Social Security number. Since then, the agency has issued about 11 million of them, and by 2003, the latest year with available figures, the number of tax returns using them had risen to nearly one million. The government doesn’t know how many of those taxpayers were undocumented immigrants. Foreign nationals with tax-reporting requirements in the U.S. can also get an ITIN. But most of the people who use the number are believed to be in the U.S. illegally. All told, between 1996 and 2003, the income-tax liability for ITIN filers totaled almost $50 billion.

    As part of its outreach effort, the IRS has been helping taxpayers apply for ITINs through partnerships with community groups. Last week, the Center for Economic Progress, a nonprofit group in Chicago, hosted its fourth ITIN event of the tax season at a church on the city’s South Side, helping individuals apply for the number and file in one sitting.

    Critics say the government is legitimizing the presence of illegal immigrants by encouraging them to file tax returns. “A major organ of the U.S. government is saying it’s OK to be illegal as long as you send in your return,” says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports tighter immigration controls.

    The decision to report wages and withheld taxes can be a hard one for illegal immigrants, though, because they normally use an invalid Social Security number to obtain work. Mrs. Castillo must attach the W-2, often with a fake Social Security number, to the tax return, along with the ITIN. The IRS instructs tax preparers to fill in Social Security numbers as they are shown on the W-2 form, even if the numbers are invalid.

    Mrs. Castillo assures her customers that the IRS doesn’t share information with Homeland Security. The tax code prevents disclosure of taxpayer information except in limited circumstances. In his National Press Club speech, Mr. Everson said: “There is no bleeding over of information from the IRS to the Department of Homeland Security at this stage. The systems are independent.”

    Most illegal immigrants who visit Petra Business Services, as Mrs. Castillo’s business is called, say they hope that filing a tax return will eventually boost their chances of securing a green card. A bipartisan immigration bill introduced in Congress last month requires proof of “good moral character” in order for illegal residents to qualify for permanent U.S. residency. The last immigration amnesty, in 1986, required them to prove they had lived and worked in the U.S. for several years.

    The possibility of getting a refund is another motivation: Because undocumented workers normally use a fake Social Security number to work, their Social Security and Medicare contributions won’t do them any good. Filing a tax return with an ITIN gives them a shot at getting some withheld money back.

    “The rules of this country say that everyone must file taxes,” says Pablo Espinoza, a welder. “I am complying with the rules.” The Mexican immigrant and his wife, Martha, who works in a chicken-processing plant, earned about $42,000 last year. Mr. Espinoza acknowledges that he and his wife are here illegally. But in every other respect, he says, they are law-abiding residents. “We work hard. We have a clean record. We file our taxes,” he says.

    Mrs. Castillo jots down the couple’s ITIN numbers on their 1040 form. Last year, $1,464.88 in Social Security and $342.60 in Medicare were deducted from Mr. Espinoza’s wages. His wife paid several hundred dollars in Social Security and Medicare, too. In addition, $3,508 in federal taxes was withheld from their combined salaries. Mrs. Castillo figures they will get a $3,462 refund from the IRS, putting their total federal tax bill at $46.

    Berenice Reyes, a 24-year-old student, has brought W-2 forms for two years of work at a sandwich shop. She says she wants to pay her taxes to prove she could be a good citizen. Since it’s her first time filing taxes, Mrs. Castillo helps her fill out a W-7 ITIN application, which states that “getting an ITIN does not change your immigration status or your right to work in the U.S.”

    The irony of filing a tax return isn’t lost on Ms. Reyes, who works to pay her college tuition and aspires to teach high school in South Central. “I’m trying to go by the law,” she says. “But according to other laws, I shouldn’t even be in this country.”

    Mrs. Castillo started working as a clerk in the IRS’s Los Angeles office in the mid-1970s. Eventually, she began volunteering during tax season at a church in South Central. In time, Mrs. Castillo decided she wanted to start her own tax business, so she quit the IRS job to avoid a conflict of interest and took another full-time post at a different government agency. She launched the business on the side, charging people to fill out their returns from an improvised office on her parents’ covered front porch. In 1999, her husband, Gerardo, converted a dilapidated taco stall into an office.

    Mrs. Castillo charges a fraction of what large tax preparers charge—a flat $40 for a simple 1040A form. She spends about 20 minutes a customer, often inquiring about deductibles that they might have overlooked. Because the undocumented immigrants hear about her by word of mouth, they say they feel more comfortable at her office than they would at a large tax-preparation firm. Customers who have moved to Texas, Arizona and the Southeast still use her services, often sending their documents by fax or mail.

  9. matt Says:

    “Noonan said Monday that he appointed Clark because he wants the party to take a more assertive stance on illegal immigration.”

    How assertive are they going to be? What will they say? “We used to be against illegal immigration, but now we’re REALLY really against it”

  10. globalist_elitist Says:

    “We used to want to regress the economy back to the 1890s - but now we want it to the 1390s!”

  11. Gary Odom Says:

    Over the years the American Independent Party could have easily filled its ranks with the kooks, weirdos, religious fanatics, bug-eyed extremists, crazed mountain men, hatemongers, con-artists, crooks, militia members, sociopaths, malcontents, brownshirts, losers and general nut jobs who aren’t welcome in normal society, but who have thought that perhaps they could find a home in our “third” party. There has been an endless parade, since the very beginning of this party, of these types passing in and then out of our party when they finally came to the realization that their various forms of toxicity were not welcome.

    One of the things that the American Independent Party could always be proud of, through even the most trying of times, is that we have never pandered to the dregs of society. We have always portrayed a responsible image and have adopted, by and large, responsible positions in our state party platform, with which, I believe the majority of Californians could identify.

    The appointment of these characters, who have absolutely no history of activity in the American Independent Party and who are under investigation of the San Diego County DA (even if it is a bogus charge) is a definite step in the wrong direction.

  12. Joe Says:

    As someone who is opposed to the illegal alien invasion of our country if I lived in California and was unfamiliar with AIP and I read an article describing how Minutemen were among the leaders of the party, I would be interested in learning more. By the same token, if I read that some leaders in the party expressed reservations about it, that would concern me. I would also be turned off if one of the members spoke negatively about religious fanatics, mountain men, and militia members. What is wrong with living in the mountains? Why alienate the people who live among them? Many of America’s founders were religious fanatics. And the AIP’s platform includes “we support a well-trained and highly-organized volunteer state home militia.”

  13. matt Says:

    I can’t speak for the AIP, but anyone who vandalizes illegal immigrant camps isn’t welcome in my house.

    Different people have differing views about illegal immigration, and that’s ok. I’m in favor of less enforcement, but I have good friends in the border-fence crowd. I’m planning to vote for someone I think is wrong about immigration, since I believe he’s right about nearly everything else.

    There’s no excuse for tearing down other people’s homes, no matter what you think of their legal status. Perhaps the land-owner could be excused in doing so, but anyone else who doesthat can be described by one word…


  14. undercover_anarchist Says:

    These racists have no respect for the rule of law or property rights. Just theocratic, anticapitalist thuggery.

  15. globalist_elitist Says:

    Whoops.. I posted from my laptop under my FKA.

  16. Doctor Paul Wayne Snyder, PhD Says:


    Let Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] know when you can direct some of that ‘rightious’ anger toward the immoral, illegal, and even lethal treatment ‘afforded’ to former military and their families on the county, state and national level[s].

    News update from Reform Party members in ‘Arid Zona’——-the state Veterans Home in Phoenix had a really lousey March 2007 review and the corrupt insular insider heading up the state is gone—-Finally! Now for Indiana [West LaFayette] and Colorado and [worst of all] CALVETS /CDVA in Sacramento, Chula Vista, Napa County and [the worst veterans care campus on the planet!] Barstow!

    Don Lake, Musetta O’Hara, John Coffey, Tish Firmiss can be reached at 619.420.0209 or 760.253.2371!

  17. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cody, this is not a matter “between Ed and Nancy.” This demonstrates the glaring difference between the right way and wrong way to conduct party business and present a reponsible public image.

    =I said I’m personally staying out of this matter, and it seems most of the Party members are too.

  18. Cody Quirk Says:

    I would also be turned off if one of the members spoke negatively about religious fanatics, mountain men, and militia members. What is wrong with living in the mountains?

    =Yet me think, because most of these people are dangerous to society, hold criminal records for assault, attempted murder, etc. And such people only see a Party like the AIP as a vehicle for their own agenda and don’t give a damn about building the Party or perticipate in a long-term relationship with it.
    Just like when Hitler took over the National Socialist German Workers Party (remember the NSGWP started as a socialist oriented Party before Hitler came in.)

    To appeal only to such people will be like appealing to a small clique of lepers to run a large hospital.

  19. Cody Quirk Says:

    I agree that the AIP shouldn’t focus ONLY on illegal immigration, but it should make it the MAIN issue- since it may be divisive, but it has a widespread appeal to the mainstream crowd.

  20. Cody Quirk Says:

    GE, if we base our labor on illegal immigration and have illegals doing all the hard, dirty work, then we minus well base our economy on the pre-civil-war era South.
    Since basically the illegals will be filling the roles of slaves and not even realize it.

  21. globalist_elitist Says:

    The difference is that slaves risked their lives to flee the plantation, and illegal immigrants risk their lives to come here and do work. Comparing them to slaves is completely off base. Can you imagine Kunta Kinte risking his life to JOIN the plantation? Can you imagine an illegal immigrant risking his in order to return to Mexico?

  22. Trent Hill Says:


    Supporting Illegal Immigration isn’t the correct way around that problem then, it would be expanding current immigration quotas. That way, these people don’t get taken advantage of crossing the border. They don’t pay into Social Security for 15 years and then get screwed. They don’t have to work for beneath-minimum-wage and they can be gauranteed the same health standards we, as Americans, enjoy.

  23. Cody Quirk Says:

    Like I said, they don’t even realize it.

  24. rj Says:

    I read the article and I don’t see the problem people in this comments section are seeing. As an outsider, can someone tell me?

  25. rj Says:

    Ah, I see Gary Odom and his talking about pretty much “entryism into the AIP” and his fears of that.

    I can see the reasoning behind that concern then. Not wanting someone to do a Lenora Fulani on you.

  26. Trent Hill Says:

    RJ, the concern is connecting the AIP in any OFFICIAL way to the Minutemen.
    Dont get me wrong, we all like the Minutemen, but their scandals aren’t ours.

  27. globalist_elitist Says:

    I agree, Trent. But there should be NO QUOTAS. Quotas are for Commies. I would like to reduce illegal immigration down to almost zero and I think it could be done by simply abolishing quotas and allowing all peacable workers into the country. No welfare benefits for non-citizens, no admittance for criminals, etc. Then, the bad guys would be easy to spot because they wouldn’t be able to hide amongst the thousands of otherwise law-abiding would-be workers who flood the border.

    I’m all for reducing/ theoretically eliminating illegal immigration, but the laws as they stand are unjust, unrealistic, and anticapitalist. Breaking these laws is no more immoral than breaking segregation laws in the 1950s.

  28. Cody Quirk Says:

    GE, since when do we still have quotas on immigration as of present?

  29. Trent Hill Says:

    Ohk. So dont rally against anti-illegal activists. Rally against the Amnesty-proposals and pro-illegal groups. They’re the ones allowing for this gross human rights violation.
    And yes, it is more immoral. They are hurting our economic situation and alot of them are breaking ALOT of laws. Furthermore, it is unequal to make OTHER people apply for citizenship and pay taxes,when these people DONT have to.

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