Friday, June 1, 2012

Thoughts on Shaeffer Cox, Joe Miller, Bill Fulton and Coverage of the Alaska Militia Trial

The handcuffs Bill Fulton used on Tony Hopfinger, on my laptop - December 2010
I.  I met Schaeffer Cox in Anchorage at about 10:45 a.m. on March 14, 2008.  I was leaving the Alaska Republican Party Convention, having attempted to blog as much of the opening day as I could, while teaching my classes at UAA.  Schaeffer approached me as I was leaving the Captain Cook Hotel's north door:
As I left the convention site, I overheard one of the young Fairbanks Republicans who was handing out "Vote for Change" buttons say to another kid, "The reason Young is so much against change is because he knows that when his lawyers are done with him, that's all he'll have left - CHANGE."
I engaged Cox in conversation, and he warmed.  He ended up handing me his card.   I could tell that the kids around him were very committed to his ideas and persona.  I thought, "This young man may be going places."

Going places, indeed.

I cover a lot of GOP events, perhaps more than any other lefty Alaska blogger.  Cox didn't strike me as different ideologically - we talked for just under ten minutes - than many young Republicans I've met or know.

II.  Because Cox is on trial for very serious charges, any contacts he has had organizationally with prominent Republicans in the past are being used by some as a brush with which to paint those he related to.  There may be use to this, but some are either going out on a limb, or are coming to absurd conclusions.  Cox's meeting with Joe Miller and Bill Fulton is a case in point. 

Jesse Griffin, at The Immoral Minority, seems to see Sarah Palin behind every nefarious plot in Alaska GOP politics, sort of like an unseen hand.  He's right that dominionist groups and organizations are in play more than our media has been able to discern, but Palin is no longer a player in this.  Here's Griffin on the meeting:

I have been focused on the revelation of a certain detail that I had learned through sources and was waiting to have testified to in a court of law.

Yesterday that detail became part of the official record, when William Fulton finally made his long awaited court appearance:

Nelson Traverso for the defense: When did you first meet Mr. Cox? 

Fulton: At the 2008 Republican convention, Sir. I was introduced to Mr. Cox by Joe Miller and Frank Bailey in my hotel room. We were having a meeting on a strategy session for the next day. 

Traverso: Joe Miller, the ex-candidate Joe Miller? 

Fulton: Yes, sir.

Okay now just savor that for a moment won't you?

The future FBI informant was FIRST introduced to the future domestic terrorist, by both future Tea Party favorite, Sarah Palin butt-boy, and future Senate candidate Joe Miller AND Sarah Palin Chief of Staff, Frank Bailey.

And what were they there to discuss? "We were having a meeting on a strategy session for the next day."

As I wrote earlier Joe Miller and Sarah Palin had teamed up in 2008 in an attempt to take over the Alaska Republican party.  That attempt failed, however just recently another attempt by Miller and, Schaeffer Cox recruit, Russ Millette was much more successful.

Okay so just to tie all of this together, Sarah Palin operatives, Frank Bailey and Joe Miller, were close enough associates of Schaeffer Cox to introduce him in a hotel room to future FBI informant and militia " supply sergeant" William Fulton, in order to hatch a plan on how to wrest control of the Alaska GOP away from Randy Reuderich and the "good old boys" club.

And today, hiding behind the Ron Paul label, that plan has been implemented.

So, WHO is in charge of this new Republican party? Well I can tell you this, it's NOT Ron Paul!

Jesse wants you to believe it is Sarah Palin, because he believes that.  Even if it gets Gryph off, the notion is absurd.

Griffin doesn't keep track of Alaska Tea Party politics.  He doesn't have a viable record of tracking the Ron Paul organization here, or of Ron Paul favorability among Alaska Republicans, or among those who show up at AK GOP events of importance. 

Last week, I had the honor of playing Echo Taps at the memorial service in Wasilla for the late Harold Newcombe, who was twice mayor of Wasilla.  There were about 250 people at the Curtis Menard Jr. Center for the remembrance, many past or current local political figures, most of them past ardent Palin supporters.

Palin was not there.  I overheard or got many comments about how relieved people were that she was absent.  There was no sympathy whatsoever for Alaska's most famous quitter.  I actually got handshakes offered from friends who used to support her, with people thanking me for helping reveal the fraud.

I've moved on.  Griffin has not.

Kathleen at Politicalgates seems to see something deeply embedded in the Anchorage hotel meeting between Cox, Frank Bailey and Bill Fulton back in March 2008:
Cox, who is in prison on charges of conspiracy to murder, has made a lot of claims regarding the extent and scope of the militia which he is a member of. He has said that it consists of "a medical unit with surgeons, doctors, medical trucks. Engineers that can make GPS jammers, bombs and all sorts of nifty stuff." I guess if you are a deranged nutcase then bombs would seem like quite nifty stuff. 

How on earth does the person who was Sarah Palin's governmental aide know someone like Schaeffer Cox well enough that he meets him in private in a hotel room at a political convention? How is it that Sarah Palin's aide was so well acquainted with Cox that he discussed political strategies with him? Strategies which likely entailed the taking down of Randy Ruedrich as the Alaska GOP chairman. The mind boogles. Bailey must have been there to represent Palin which leads nicely to the conclusion that she will pal around with anyone, including a loose canon like Cox, if it means that she is more likely to achieve her own ends. 

William Fulton also had access to firearms through his business DropZone Security in Anchorage. Perhaps they were just getting together for a beer and the takeover of the Alaska GOP but I think that it is also conceivable that Bailey and Miller introduced Fulton to Cox in the belief that Fulton could supply Cox with arms for his militia. If so, I wonder what it was Bailey and Miller were hoping for? 
These two bloggers are on the wrong track.
The dominionists might want to use Miller and Palin, but those two politicians' role in Alaska or other areas have played out.  Alaska Governor Sean Parnell is the dominionists' main man here.  He's one of their most reliable operators nationwide.  He is appointing one unqualified Christianist after another to state posts, far more effectively and silently than Palin was able to accomplish.

Griffin, obsessed with Palin to a degree that begs sexual fantasy questions, and Eurocentric Politicalgates, with no comprehension of how 2nd Amendment politics works in Alaska, are stuck having to stick with their schtick on this issue.  

Too bad.  

III.  Both blogs, though, do pay deserved tribute to the close coverage of the trial by The Mudflats.  On Thursday I drove to Anchorage to hear Muflats co-editor Linda Kellen Beigel deliver a synopsis of the April 4th Anchorage election debacle.  The Bartlett Club audience was so taken by Linda's professional dissection of the electoral flaws, many stayed afterward a half hour, engaged in discussion.

The coverage of that election by bloggers at The Mudflats, Bent Alaska, Henkimaa, What Do I Know? and by Shannyn Moore on radio, TV and in her Anchorage Daily News weekly column deserve some sort of special journalism award.  They showed professionalism, curiosity, integrity, persistence and cooperative endeavor.  

It is interesting that Griffin at The Immoral Minority was not part of that crew.  Interesting, but not surprising.  More and more, IM has become a tawdry gossip column at which one can bow to the great OZ (Obama) and wait for that pesky iceberg to finally come rising out of the mists of Gryph's Palin fantasies.


Anonymous said...

Okay, so then, is that a 'no' on the whole Alaska Mata Hari thing - Shailey Tripp did every male politician, staff, and BP executive who knew Sarah Palin's name AND the 2nd Amendement Task Force/Alaska Militia AND various FBI, CIA, DEA and Secret Service agents, as well as Bill Allen and everybody who worked for VECO. All at once.
And still had time to deliver "sex services" outside of Alaska.

Anonymous said...

"Sean Parnell is the dominionists' main man here. He's one of their most reliable operators nationwide. He is appointing one unqualified Christianist after another to state posts, far more effectively and silently than Palin was able to accomplish."

Good. I'm not alone in thinking that, then.
How come no one seems to care?

Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly. While Politicalgates has some decent posts, they're also responsible for many lies out on the internet. And IM has been wrong more times than he's been right. The believe he's an expert or all-knowing God on anything, let alone the Palins is just funny.

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Phil, once you're reduced to suggesting that Gryphen secretly lusts after Sarah Palin you have lost whatever game you started, haven't you? Ditto for Eurocentric.

Nobody should be surprised at what an excellent job Linda does of deconstructing convoluted legislation and regulations. I bet she's very good at huge jigsaw puzzles with lots of blue sky, too.

Anonymous said...

IM is the TMZ of Alaska. No serious content just gossip and blind item type stuff.

Philip Munger said...

"once you're reduced to suggesting that Gryphen secretly lusts after Sarah Palin you have lost whatever game you started, haven't you?"

For me, blogging is not a game.

Jesse fantasizes about Palin often enough it could be the subject of a book.

Until lately, I didn't feel there might be an erotic element there, whether conscious or not. I can't imagine hosting a blog that dealt with Bristol Palin the way IM does, and then moderating the hundreds and hundreds of despicable comments the articles elicit, and then printing them, after his so-called "moderating" process.

The only reason IM is still listed here as "Progressive" is because of the excellent work Griffin does on LBGT issues in Alaska. As long as that continues, it deserves a place here on the list of Progressive Alaskan Blogs.

Anonymous said...

Aussie Blue Sky, save the catty drama and trailer park insults for IM and the others.

Anonymous said...

Aussie, I am in agreement with Phil.

While it's good to keep an eye on poisonous creatures until you're absolutely certain they're dead or you're out of range, Gryphen's Palin coverage feels obsessive to me, too. She hasn't sufficient traction here or nationally among those in power in the GOP to get far. She was the great white hope of some, but the spotlight showed her for what she was, and she has done nothing to change that in four years.

As to Politicalgates, Phil was simply stating a fact. They lack local knowledge and perspective that is essential to complete and accurate coverage, though I'm glad they were helping to get the word out when it was most needed.

Regarding Obama, he's the best electable choice we have at the moment, and he's much better than the alternative would have been, but he is far from the perfect president Gryphen would have us believe he is. I appreciate Phil's reality checks on Obama's shortcomings. We need to hold Obama accountable, just as we would any other holder of that office.

Do I still check out IM and find interesting things there? Yes. However, much of the content gets only a quick glance on the way to something more substantial. Gryphen has more talent than his over-sensationalizing, relentless and indiscriminate Christian bashing, never materializing "icebergs" and sources of questionable credibility would lead the average reader to believe. As anon at 8:10 noted, he has become the TMZ of Alaska. I hope he will do more substantial writing in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Gryphen IS obsessed with Palin. And he is also obsessed with all of the comments she generated for a time on his blog. Those comments were at one time in the several hundred ballpark with every post. Now, he's lucky if he gets 20-25. Many posts bring comments in the single digits. Occasionally, he write something salacious that will bring him near his glory days with a comments that pass a hundred--though many comments are authored by the same individual.

Note to Gryph and Political Gates: NO ONE GIVES A FLYING FUCK ABOUT SARAH PALIN ANYGODDAMNMORE! IT'S OVER! Let it go already. Christ almighty.

Thanks Phil for calling out someone who used to have credibility a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Phil, if you think calling other bloggers names is a mature and helpful thing, then that's your right and it's fine with me.