Friday, May 28, 2010

A price tag for Minuteman support? - Ben Smith -

A price tag for Minuteman support? - Ben Smith -

The decorated Marine veteran best known for leading his group of outraged, armed citizens on freelance border patrols is an icon of the grass-roots battle against illegal immigration. To his admirers, he’s a citizen enforcing the law where the government has failed. To his critics, he’s a vigilante.

And to Republicans staking out a hard line on immigration, his endorsement is the gold standard. This election cycle, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Utah Senate candidate Tim Bridgewater and Democrat-turned-Republican Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith have been among those accepting his support.

But Republicans in Griffith’s Huntsville district and in one other state say support for a border fence and stepped-up deportation aren’t enough to win Gilchrist’s endorsement: They also were told bluntly that they would need to hire a consulting firm closely linked to the Minuteman founder and run by the project’s political director, Mississippi political consultant Howie Morgan.

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