It’s a little long, but interesting.
Hat tip TPW.
Four supporters of Ed and Elaine Brown have been arrested on various federal charges pertaining to help provided to the Browns since their convictions, and at least one of them is looking at a possible 125 years in prison.
Among those arrested include an LFV MySpace “friend”, Cirino “Reno” Gonzalez (pictured at left), as well as Jason Gerhard (arrested while at boot camp, and at whose home authorities found a pipe bomb), Daniel Riley (the man who was walking the Browns’ dog and was confronted by the feds a few months back), and Bob Wolffe (the supporter who left the scene of an accident while driving the Browns’ vehicle).
According to the Concord Monitor, a local Plainfield, NH newspaper, Reno is the most well-known of the four men among Brown supporters:
Gonzalez, a former military contractor, was the public face of the Browns’ home for several months this summer when he lived at the house and posted frequent updates on their status online. Gonzalez appeared in online photos and videos, many of which showed him armed. He also posted long, rambling accounts of goings-on at the house and his evolving political views.
He was charged with conspiracy, accessory after the fact, and one count of carrying and possessing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that he purchased the .50-caliber rifle in April. In a blog post a few days later, Gonzalez bragged about owning the gun.
“I get sad knowing not everyone has one,” he wrote on his MySpace page. “Then I think about everyone . . . that is not even close to being ready.”
Gonzalez’s hearing was brief. He pleaded not guilty and will remain in federal custody. A judge in Texas already ruled that Gonzalez should remain held until trial. According to Magistrate B. Janice Ellington’s ruling, Gonzalez is “both a flight risk and a danger to the community.”
“The defendant resisted attempts by the Marshal to arrest him at a residence where numerous firearms, including assault weapons, were present,” the ruling said. “During the arrest, defendant attempted to gain access to those weapons.”
Gonzalez’s father, Jose Gonzalez, said in an interview that it was not surprising that his son appeared to resist arrest, because he was sleeping and startled when marshals arrived about noon last Wednesday.
According to the Alice Echo-News Journal and a blog post made by Gonzalez’s friend Donna Van Meter, Gonzalez’s custody hearing in Texas included rumors of a possible escape plot and an outburst by Jose Gonzalez, who was escorted from the courtroom.
Reno’s trial is scheduled for November.
I had an online conversation with Reno not long ago, and he had agreed to an interview exclusive to LFV. Unfortunately, due to other more pressing personal concerns, as well as waiting to see how his planned trip to Iraq with Cindy Sheehan would proceed, I never got around to doing that interview before he was arrested. However, he seemed to have moved away from supporting the Browns, and toward engaging in anti-war activities, which of course was my point of interest.
Most interesting in the affidavits released by the feds in these cases is that Danny Riley, hailed as a hero by Brown supporters for refusing to tell the feds anything about activities at the Browns’ home, seems to have been doing the exact opposite of what he led others to believe. In fact, it appears he told the feds quite a few things about what was going on at the Brown house, including the location of weapons, and may have been the federal informant referenced after these arrests (Riley was arrested as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not an informant). Brown supporters, not surprisingly, are more than a little upset about this allegation, but still unsure whether to believe the feds at all. Here is an excerpt of a blog written by Reno’s friend Donna Van Meter, with regard to the allegations about Danny Riley:
i ask myself how can they do this, it is all false charge, and why did Danny tell the Marshals where the supplies on the Browns property is located? what also gets me is that in court the marshal said that there was an informant on the property that was working for them.
HOW DARE YOU STAB PEOPLE IN THE BACK whomever you are……
danny i really hope it wasnt you but they are pointing fingers at you. i really hope it wasnt you. but if the Marshal says it i know it isnt automatically true, the whole testamony was false where it concerned Reno, lets hope they are wrong about you too, cause in the beginning i got that feeling you were a traitor to ed and elaine, but i thought damn maybe i was being too judgemental, dont like second guessing my gut feelings, and i have had too, in pertaining to your honesty danny.
i feel numb and sick.
The affidavits and indictments supporting the arrests can be seen as follows:
From Jason Gatties blog:
This website was being developed for my 2008 plans, but sometimes plans change quickly. I had flirted with the idea of running for St.Joseph City Council earlier this year, but I decided to make a bid for Pokagon Tribal Council instead. I failed to win that election, but I did better than I had thought and learned from the experience. So I began to prepare for 2008 but then I saw a unique opportunity unfold.
There are 3 city council spots open for this November’s General Election. 3 incumbent city commissioners filed and would appear on the ballot. The top 2 would receive a 4 year term, while the 3rd place finisher would receive a 2 year term. Commissioner Chad Mandarino, who’s name will still appear on the November ballot, has stepped down from the Council and has asked St.Joseph voters to not vote for him. So, that leaves 2 names on the ballot and 3 positions open and I’m asking St.Joseph citizens to WRITE-IN my name, Jason Gatties. I’m going to file the proper paperwork this week to become an official write-in candidate for St.Joseph City Council.
With less than 2 months before the General Election, I’m going to spend much time on the campaign trail, trying to convince the voters why a vote for me would be a step in the right direction for this city. This website will be updated on a regular basis. I’m sure I’m still a long shot as I’m sure I will not be the only write-in candidate. However, miracles do happen and it is my hope that I can convince enough people to vote for me so I can secure a 3rd place finish and my dream of becoming a public servant will become a reality.
In the coming days, you will get to check out the issues I feel are important to our great city. You will also get info on how you can help us out as well as info on how to place a write-in vote for me. If you love freedom and liberty, I am you best choice.
It will be an honor to serve the citizen’s of St.Joseph, I simply ask for an opportunity to prove that limited government can work. This November, I ask for your WRITE-IN vote, it could be the best decision you could ever make. I will represent YOUR INTERESTS, not those of big government.
Jason’s campaign site will go live this afternoon.
George Phillies For President 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Uncle Sam has no business in your bedroom, your churches or your private lives. That’s the message of leading Libertarian Presidential candidate George Philles. “The George Bush Republican party disagrees: They’ve made it Uncle Sam’s business by passing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).”
Phillies, 60, a college professor from Worcester, Massachusetts, is traveling the country, presenting the Libertarian message of peace, freedom, and prosperity for all citizens.
“The debate over gay marriage is a wonderful example of what’s wrong with Washington,” Phillies observed. “Down the street where I live are two churches. One church views gay marriage with horror. The other has been happily marrying gays for years. The Libertarian position is simple: Gay marriage is purely a personal and religious question, not a question for government to decide.“
Dr. Phillies believes the Defense of Marriage Act is deeply flawed. In 1967, the landmark Supreme Court case, Loving v Virginia found that the right to marry is a “basic civil of man.” “Loving v Virginia ended legal discrimination in marriage,” the Libertarian hopeful pointed out. “DOMA tries to bring legal discrimination back into marriage.”
Critics of DOMA say that the act violates the Constitution because it does not require states to recognize same-sex marriage contracts created in other states. The interstate validity of contracts is guaranteed by the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause. Phillies agrees. “No wonder the Bush Republican Party now wants a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. …. When I am elected, I will ask Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I will protect the right of States to license same-sex unions or not, as they will. But I will also hold states to the United States Constitution and require them to recognize legal unions created in other states, just as they have always done in the past.”
Uncle Sam has no business in your bedrooms, your religious ceremonies, or your private life. It is none of the government’s business which consenting adults marry each other, and which do not. Do you want your religion’s marriage practices protected from government interference? Only the Libertarian Party will protect the privacy of your bedroom and your conscience.
To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://phillies2008.org/donation.
Carolyn Marbry,Press Director
firstname.lastname@example.org (510) 276-3216
According to the website stoptheFETincrease.com, state and federal cigarette taxes have been raised an astonishing 73 times since the year 2000, increasing the average price of cigarettes by 80% per pack.
On Wednesday, August 1st, H.R. 3162 which included a $4.50 per carton federal cigarette excise increase was passed by the US House of Representatives by a vote of 225-204. On Thursday, August 2nd, H.R. 976 which included a $6.10 per carton federal cigarette excise tax increase was passed by the US Senate by a vote of 68-31. Smokers know that cigarettes are already one of the most highly taxed products in the country today. In fact, since the year 2000, state and federal cigarette excise taxes have been increased more than 73 times – driving up the average price of cigarettes over 80%.
Everyone should pay their share of taxes, but a federal tax increase on cigarettes is an unfair burden on smokers – especially when these taxes fund a wide-range of expanding government programs that benefit everyone. And as cigarette sales decline it’s an unreliable source of revenue.
Singling out smokers for as much as a 156% increase in the federal cigarette excise tax is going too far – IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO TELL CONGRESS – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
The argument which I find most convincing, but which that website doesn’t make, is that by excessively taxing those things which Congress believes to be wrong – such as cigarettes and alcohol – the government is effectively legislating morality.
You can sign a form letter on this issue, to be sent to your members of Congress, by visiting the website.