The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps finally shut down after 5 years.
So far as I know, Al Melvin is the highest ranking Arizonan who has direct connections with the Minuteman group. In his first (unsuccessful) run for state senate in 2006, he declared himself a "proud Minuteman" at every event I went to. He also advocated for an unbroken fence covering the entire U.S./Mexico border. Ask him sometime. He'll tell you.
He had the photos below posted on his campaign website back then (Click on them for a larger version). You won't find them on his current website, and I couldn't find a whisper about the Minuteman group on the site either. After his 2006 loss, Melvin decided he would abandon his extremist ways on the campaign trail and run as a "moderate."
I'm sure Sen. Melvin has some interesting insights about the group's history and his affiliation with it. Someone in the media should really ask him. It would make for a good story.
For instance, Melvin might be able to explain the recent Minuteman email which was sent to members asking them to bring "long arms" to the border.
On March 16, Mercer sent an e-mail urging members to come to the border "locked, loaded and ready" and urged people to bring "long arms." She proposed changing the group's rules to allow members to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers instead of just reporting the activity to the Border Patrol.
It seems this modest little call to arms got a bit too crazy a response, even for Mercer.
Mercer said she received a more feverish response than she expected and decided the group couldn't shoulder the responsibility and liability of what could occur, she said.
Imagine that. You call folks to bring long arms locked, loaded and ready to hunt down people crossing the border, and some of them misunderstand and get a little carried away. Who would've guessed?
The thing that prodded Mercer to send the email was -- surprise -- health care reform, combined with her fury at Janet Napolitano.
Mercer said her anger with the federal government about health-care reform and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's claims that the border is secure led her to send out the March 16 e-mail.
Is Al Melvin still proud of his Minuteman days? Does he still advocate an unbroken border fence starting in San Diego and stretching across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas? A newspaper or a TV station that ran with the story might find an fascinated audience out there. Melvin always has something interesting to say.