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Tuesday Is A Vote For Leadership
A loud, clamoring Minuteman challenges John Campbell in Orange County…

[by Shawn Black] 12/5/05

How we all love special elections in California! And in Orange County, we have yet one more critical election. On Tuesday, December 6th, Orange County voters will choose who will replace former Congressman Christopher Cox, who was recently named by President Bush to be the new SEC chairman.

Politics and public service have a way of bringing out the best of people and sometimes, the worst. In this special election for the 48th Congressional seat, we have a newcomer to the political scene, the American Independent Party's candidate and Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist.

Shawn Black

Shawn Black is a Military Veteran with the 82nd Airborne Division and Former Federal Agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is a Republican speaker, supporter and consultant. He recently returned from Service in Iraq and is founder .    [go to Black index]

The “Minuteman” volunteers proclaim Jim Gilchrist as a successful retired businessman and illegal immigration reform advocate. And to be fair, I have been told that he is a nice guy in person. As you probably know all too well, he is founder of a “project” that rallies volunteers to patrol the border of Mexico and California with flashlights, binoculars and handheld radios. They are then instructed to “watch and report” on “perceived” illegal immigrants; and those who are “congregating” in towns along the American Southwest. A volunteer might think of it as a big MinuteWeekend camping sleepover or a MinuteBoy Scout Jamboree!

But can you call posing in the desert sun for photo ops in front of a clamoring MinuteCrowd actual leadership in solving the problem of illegal immigration?


Real leadership is acknowledging problems head on and producing solid and effective long-term solutions, not publicity stunts.

The recent Secure Border Initiative-“SBI” announced by Homeland Security Chairman Michael Chertoff, indicates new and sweeping changes for our National Security concerns. They include a multi-year plan to focus on solid reforms, which will deter and defeat Illegal Immigration and potential terrorist activity.

Congressman Duncan Hunter, who represents the 52nd District of California, has proposed Legislation that will secure more funding for the completion of a secure California Border Fence and additional Border Patrol agents. These are trained Border Patrol Agents, not a ragtag group of volunteers.

And the recent California Border Police initiative - supported by the GOP's candidate for the 48th seat, John Campbell - promises to ensure further security and protection for the state of California.

While the Minutemen may have helped to fuel the momentum for some of these new initiatives it doesn’t necessarily follow that their leader is equipped to represent Orange County in Congress.

Today, conservative political leaders from Orange County such as Christopher Cox, John Campbell and Chuck Devore solidly exhibit measured, thoughtful leadership and what I call a ”quiet professionalism.” You won’t hear of bankruptcies, or carnival side shows from these leaders. And you won’t read comments from them like Jim Gilchrist’s in the OC Weekly in which he proclaimed “I might be a left wing whacko,” or declaring at a recent gathering of supporters a new, troubling era of “Minutemen, Minutewomen and Minutechildren!”

Recently, ABC Evening News ran a segment on the Minutemen group. I watched as a new chapter of “Virginia volunteers” proclaiming to be the Gilchrist “Minutemen group” took up hidden positions behind bushes and street signs near a Herndon, Virginia 7- Eleven store. They proceeded to videotape a group of Hispanic men as they sought day labor work in an adjacent vacant parking lot. The hiding-behind-bushes Minutemen then recorded the vehicle license plates of drivers who stopped to talk to the workers, later turning over the information to the “IRS and local authorities”.

Could this be Jim Gilchrist’s plan if elected to Congress? Placing volunteers behind bushes behind 7-Eleven stores throughout the Southland?

Maybe they’ll get a Slurpee with every ten license plates!

All right, to be fair, there probably were Illegal immigrants among the Virginia 7-11 group that day – maybe most.

And, yes, the Minutemen have a point, we all must acknowledge the very serious crisis with Illegal Immigration and related National Security issues. Illegal Immigrants are not only coming across our Southern borders, they are arriving in container ships from China, and arriving via the airways with stolen and forged passports from Eastern Europe and northern Africa.

And we absolutely know that ‘Amnesty’ is not a solution to the problem.

But, when you acknowledge the hard truths of the issues and seek to attack the problem from all the affected areas; you have to produce lasting legislation and real solutions to the problems.

There remains a right way and a wrong way to bring about tightly controlled legal immigration into this country.

There is a proper and aggressive way to enforce immigration law, that doesn’t create the suspicion of darker nativist motives – suspicion that plays right into the liberal media’s hands.

On December 6, Orange County can choose to move forward with authentic conservative leadership instead of fear-mongering. The clear choice is not “the Minuteman,” but the proven effective leadership of State Senator John Campbell. CRO

copyright 2005 by Shawn Black





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