Nativism Watch

The 3 Men Behind Americans for Sheriff Joe: Profile of Allen Brandstater (Part 4)

Imagine 2050 Staff • Jul 25, 2012

Brandstater (l) & Saracino (r)

Over the past two days, we’ve published three other pieces exploring the controversial histories of the 3 men behind Americans for Sheriff Joe (AfSJ), an independent expenditure committee that in its first quarter of existence has raised $1 million for a vast-reaching direct mail campaign in support of Arpaio’s reelection.

What follows are some of Allen Brandstater’s connections to extremists and the far-Religious Right:

Hosting The National Alliance of Christian Militias:

  • According to LA Times reporter Doug Smith, Brandstater had at one time maintained relationships to CA’s fringe-right militia movement. In Smith’s piece, “Pledging Allegiance to the Militia,” Brandstater had at least two public interactions with Dean Compton, who at the time was head of the National Alliance of Christian Militias.
  • Brandstater personally introduced Compton before the Granada Forum, “a Valley-based organization [of…] serious constitutionalists.” According to Smith, during his introduction of the militia leader, Brandstater told the story of hosting Compton on his KIEV talk-radio show. Apparently Brandstater “left no doubt about his own sentiments, contemptuously recalling his [own] reply to a critical caller who asked if he intended to join the [CA] border operation.” Brandstater answered, “You’re damn right I am.”
  • Smith’s article was published in November 1995, about 6 months after Timothy McVeigh’s OKC bombing in April.
  • Also in 1995, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published, “Beyond the Bombing: the Militia Menace Grows.” In this piece, the ADL issues a stern warning about a CA man: “Dean Compton, 33, a resident of rural Shasta County, has founded the National Alliance of Christian Militias in response to the perceived threat of an impending ‘New World Order.’ The group, whose members are armed, reportedly blends Biblical teachings and survivalism. Training sessions are conducted on Compton’s 130-acre ranch.”

William Saracino & Pat Nolan—Bribes & the FBI

  • Brandstater and Saracino are both close friends of former CA Assemblyman Pat Nolan, who in the mid-1990s “received a 33-month sentence after being convicted of racketeering for taking $10,000 in campaign contributions from an undercover FBI agent who said he was seeking legislative favors,” according to the LA Times.
  • In a 1985 LA Times article, Richard C. Paddock writes that while still in high school Nolan joined the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a pivotal Conservative group started in 1960. Nolan claims he founded the University of Southern California (USC) chapter. Saracino and Brandstater, who both attended USC, were each highly active YAF members in the mid-1960s to early 1970s. Nolan would hire Saracino as his chief of staff when he became minority leader of CA’s Assembly.
  • Paddock also claims that, at the time of Nolan’s election, Jesse Helms (R-NC) was a huge supporter of his. Saracino worked for Helms’ 1972 Senate campaign, which was run by Thomas F. Ellis, an eventual director of the racist, pro-eugenics Pioneer Fund foundation.
  • Brandstater was also a part of a group of allies who raised $60,000-$70,000 for Nolan’s family months after he was sent to prison.

“Who has the Smith & Wesson?” and other “laughable” Accusations of Bigotry :

  • In a May 17, 1986, LA Times piece, Kevin Roderick writes, “Archbishop Roger M. Mahony, the spiritual leader of 3 million Los Angeles-area roman Catholics, demanded that Republican US Senate hopeful Mike Antonovich apologize [for an offensive campaign ad and also…] expressed outrage that an Antonovich campaign official, [while] gazing down a canyon at several hundred illegal aliens after the taping [of said ad], remarked, ‘Who has the Smith & Wesson?’” Allen Brandstater was that campaign official. Archbishop Mahoney found the ad and Brandstater’s comment to be an “affront to our Hispanic brothers and sisters.” When questioned by the press, Brandstater simply mocked Archbishop Mahoney: “It was not addressed to our Hispanic brothers and sisters.” (Antonovich was also an ally of Pat Nolan.)
  • In an April 25, 2002, letter to the Glendale News-Press, Brandstater writes that to think of the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII as having been motivated by “‘racism’” is “laughable.” In a diatribe that brushes aside claims of racism made against him but which also fully underscores his own xenophobic and nativist beliefs, Brandstater writes: “Japanese are not a ‘race’; they are a nationality. Japanese are members of the Asian race. But it was not a ‘race’ that attacked Pearl Harbor, it was a nation – the Empire of Japan. If racism was the factor in excluding citizens from the West Coast, [why didn’t we intern] Chinese Americans from Los Angeles and San Francisco?” He continues: “Our self-protection was motivated by nationality, not a carte blanche fear of any racial group.” His writings sparked local out-cry.

Saracino & the California Political Review (CPR):

  • Brandstater published twice under his America for Sheriff Joe cohort’s editorial stewardship, once in both 2004 and 2005.

Connections to Political Corruption:

  • According to Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Brandstater was paid “several thousand dollars to help run the campaign” that eventually saw James R. Simpson “elected to the Glendale Municipal Court.” Simpson had a near 40 year career as a prosecutor turned judge before the Commission on Judicial Performance charged him in July of 2002 with 6 counts of “violating ethics rules.” Brandstater was implicated in 4 of the 6 counts—one involved “a continuance of his probation revocation hearing after he failed to complete DUI school”; another involved Simpson “[recalling] a warrant that had been issued for [his] arrest after he failed to appear before another judicial officer on a charge of driving with improper tags.”


Read: Part 1Part 2Part 3


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