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Nativist Extremist Pushing Arizona to Activate New ‘State Guard’

By Leah Nelson on May 4, 2011 - 12:20 pm, Posted in Nativist Extremist

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last Thursday signed into law a bill authorizing herself and future Arizona governors to deploy an “Arizona State Guard” at any time and for any reason she sees fit. This state guard – in essence, a kind of all-volunteer militia that is immune from being federalized – would be a force that can be “activated” to do much of the same work that the National Guard does.

Republican State Rep. Jack Harper, who co-sponsored the bill and has been pushing the issue since Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was governor of Arizona, told newspapers he hoped to see the militia established immediately and used to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border for undocumented immigrants. Arizona has already been the subject of much controversy around its harshly anti-immigrant policies, especially the S.B. 1070 law that critics say subjects all Latinos in the state to racial profiling and is currently held up in the federal courts.

Harper is not the only one enthused about the new law. Now comes a campaign — apparently led by an extremist nativist hardliner once sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center — to push Brewer into activating the guard immediately.

On numerous websites with nativist, antigovernment “Patriot” and white supremacist leanings, a poster variously using the names of Jack, Jack Foote, or John “Jack” Foote” has been urging people to contact politicians to prod the governor into acting. Aside from that, Foote’s main message seems to be that the Arizona State Guard cannot legally be federalized (as some Southern guard units were during the civil rights movement in order to put down resistance to school desegregation). All Foote’s posts refer readers to a site for the Arizona State Guard Foundation, which describes itself as a small group of “Private Citizens in support of the Arizona State Guard.” The foundation site — which makes dubious claims like “Drug cartel mercenaries have been operating paramilitary Observation Posts deep inside Arizona for YEARS” — prominently features an E-mail address for “Jack.”

In 2003, Foote was the leader of an anti-immigrant paramilitary group called Ranch Rescue whose members assaulted two Salvadoran migrants who crossed the border on foot onto a Texas ranch, where they were stopped at gunpoint by the rancher, Foote and other members of Foote’s group. One of the migrants was struck in the head with a pistol and had a Rottweiler dog sicced on him.

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued on behalf of the migrants and obtained a default civil judgment on their behalf of $500,000 from Foote and another for $850,000 from Foote’s confederate, Casey Nethercott. (The rancher settled for $100,000.) Nethercott did not have the money, but he did own a 70-acre Arizona border property called Camp Thunderbird and built specifically to train nativist vigilantes in paramilitary skills. That land, complete with firing ranges and obstacle courses, was eventually deeded to the victimized migrants.

Little has been heard from Nethercott or Foote since the suit – until now.

Hatewatch was unable to definitively confirm that the Jack Foote posting on these sites is the same man who headed Ranch Rescue. But given the geographic and political parallels, it seems almost certain that he has re-emerged and is trying to reinsert himself into the nativist universe. In a post pushing the Arizona State Guard on Freedom’s Phoenix, a far-right online magazine, Foote wrote that Al Garza, former vice president of Chris Simcox’s disintegrating Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), is also working for the Arizona State Guard Foundation. He said the foundation is headed by a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel named Luther “Luke” Taylor, for whom no information was available.

  • Jim

    This guard is the same that the Governors of the Conservative bastions of New Mexico, Vermont and Conn have available to them. The nativist argument is anti-american left wing hate speech.

  • Norman Ormond

    As a veteran of the Indiana Air National Guard, I can say that we were much more orientated toward the Federal mission (especially NORAD) than the State…what use could a Governor make of a wing of F-4’s? Yes, we had the Governor in our enlistment oath, and you could earn a few ribbons from the State (though you couldn’t wear them on the Air Force uniform when Federalized). Mostly, though, we were there to be an integral part of the U.S. Air Force. On the Army side of the Guard there was a lot more emphasis on the State mission, like being called out for natural disasters, riot control, etc.

    WRT “State Guards”…if done in a manner prescribed by State law, they are legal and constitutional. 22 States and Puerto Rico have them. They are mostly unpaid and run along Army lines (New Jersey, New York and Ohio have “naval” units and Texas has a large air contingent) with distinctive insignia. They are responsible only to their Governor and the State Adjutant General. Their main mission is to backfill Federalized Guard units. They are mostly unarmed, though Ohio has a Military Police section in their unit.

    In the main they are dedicated, TRULY patriotic volunteers who do NOT like being lumped in with the wannabe survivalist wackos like the “nativists” in Arizona who hate anyone with skin darker than theirs. They are also subject to their State’s Military Justice codes, just as the active, reserve and Federalized Guard units are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Having said all that, I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Obama has not closed Guantanamo Bay, and that he has supported renewal of the USA Patriot Act, one of the most hateful bits of legislation in this country’s history.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Remember Obama wanting to start a “National Security Force” which would be stronger then the military?”

    No, because I don’t watch Fox Alarmist news. If you’re going to form a force for national security that is stronger than the military, then you are basically forming another military. Brilliant.

    ” The left loves that idea. Sounds more like forming a Nazi SS (American Style). ”

    Please name “the left” who love this idea. Also, the SS was originally formed as a bodyguard for Adolf Hitler, to replace the SA which had become uncontrollable. Was this national security corps intended to be Obama’s personal bodyguard?

    Try reading books some time.

    “With the National Guard now being able to be tapped by the government to be Federalized, it is wise for the Governors to organize a separate security force to protect their state.”

    The national guard being mobilized for federal service is nothing new.

    Maybe you need to stop getting your historical and political knowledge from radio DJs.

  • Sam Molloy

    Ron Paul’s well intentioned libertarianism would support more State responsibility for everything. In my opinion a “Guard” designed to target Hispanics is definitely not a good idea. Kentucky is not a border state of course but our Kentucky State Police can handle anything and has a reputation for evenhanded fairness.

  • http://na Al Izzy

    Remember Obama wanting to start a “National Security Force” which would be stronger then the military? The left loves that idea. Sounds more like forming a Nazi SS (American Style). With the National Guard now being able to be tapped by the government to be Federalized, it is wise for the Governors to organize a separate security force to protect their state. After all, the Federal Govt job is only to secure the borders of our country. The National Guard job is to protect their State, and with them gone, would put that state at risk if the state is in a crisis. The states has the rights to form a group of their people to protect their interests… “Period””””” My question is “why would SPLC be scared of Governors wanting to protect their states?

  • SassySinda

    Ah, Obama bashers. How do you feel now that Bin Laden has NOW been tracked and killed under Obama’s watch? I guess the “war on terrorists” that attacked Americans and killed thousands starting with the U.S.S. Cole now means something, huh?

  • Sam Molloy

    M Mike, I think everything in this country is subject to federal law, and I don’t think the Feds want these clowns in their way.

  • Bill

    For all of you that are not paying attention, here is a thinly disguised effort to set civil rights back 50 years. You had better speak up now before it is you and your love ones with a gun at your head and a rope around your neck

  • ModerateMike

    What I would like to know is whether this state militia, even if it is “immune to being federalized”, will still be subject to federal laws? Also, how many people will be a part of this militia, and how much will it cost?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Yes, you will have only two choices after the ACORN-SS divisions take over: You can be an atheist or a radical Islamic fundamentalist. In either case you must be married to a person of the same-sex, who will be chosen for you.


  • JoeBuddha

    That’s ATHEIST Islamic Communism if you will…
    Oh, and this guy’s a Nativist, eh? Does that mean he’s FOR the Reconquista?

  • Scott Reibach

    Yeah your right he has really screwed up America, and he has done it faster than any other president

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Bush’s atrocities do not negate Obama’s.

    “This President has done more in his 2 yrs in office then the last one who shunned off things for his 8 yrs”


    If he gets reelected Obama may be able to beat Bush’s high score.

  • Carlos

    Well if you are going to state that about Obama’s administration do not forget to remember the Bush administration who started the war crimes with so called anti –terrorist act. Do not give an opinion if you are not going to include the last administration that started it all… This President has done more in his 2 yrs in office then the last one who shunned off things for his 8 yrs.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Ah but remember that Obama’s “community security force” was going to consist of “urban gangs” who were going to forcibly convert people to Islamic Communism.

    That being said, I’m with you all the way on that characterization of Obama. He’s out-Bushing Bush.

  • Jonas Rand

    Remember the right-wing hoopla accusing Obama of advocating an “American Stasi”, because he said that he wanted to create a community security force? Jan Brewer doesn’t seem to be getting the amount of criticism that Obama did for trying to do the same thing. (By the way, I don’t like all of the so-called “progressives” that are actually unrepentant Obamaniacs. Obama’s administration has committed countless war crimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, thinly disguised as anti-terrorist operations. He is no pacifist and he is no humanitarian.)

  • RockyMissouri

    This sort of crap needs to the way of the dinosaur.. It is a different world now, these morons will find another reason to hate people.! It is antiquated and stupid thinking.

  • CM

    The Arizona Corporation Commission has no record of a registration for an Arizona State Guard Foundation. There’s a listing (right after the Arizona State Goat Breeders Association) for an Arizona State Guard LLC, incorporated this past January.

    As an LLC, it wouldn’t be a nonprofit, which a foundation of course would need to be. The LLC’s members do appear to be tied in to the anti-immigrant militia movement, but they don’t include anyone name Foote, Garza or Taylor.

    Likewise, the IRS has no listing for a tax-exempt organization with the words “Arizona State Guard” in its name. Maybe the organizers have been in such a hurry to get the thing going that they haven’t gotten their paperwork filed yet. Still, the registration for the “Arizona State Guard Foundation” website was filed on Jan. 8, so you would think they might have had time by now to take care of these things.

    The website, incidentally, is registered to something called Arizona Collectible Merchandise. That company’s address turns out to be a mailbox at a UPS pack-and-mail store, and the Arizona Corporation Commission has no listing for any business by that name, either.

    All in all, it seems a somewhat casual basis for something that’s supposed to be a serious military-type institution.