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The 3 Men Behind Americans for Sheriff Joe: John Philip Sousa IV of FAIR (Part 1)


Aaron Patrick Flanagan • Jul 24, 2012

John Philip Sousa IV, chairman of Americans for Sheriff Joe

“Good morning, Boston!” boomed John Philip Sousa IV to a Tea Party Express gathering on April 14, 2010.

“I can’t tell you how proud and honored I am to be here with you today, the day before the federal and state bureaucracies reach their little hands into our pockets to extract massive amounts of money to feed the abusive, addictive, and the non-responsive spending whims of progressives.”

Yet, on January 15 of this year Sousa officially became part of a new 3-man effort to do just that: “reach their little hands [toward] our pockets.”

Sousa that day became the chairman of Americans for Sheriff Joe (AfSJ), an independent expenditure committee that he guides in part with California far-right stalwarts William “Bill” Saracino and Allen Brandstater—who both have or have had personal and political histories littered with civil corruption, open expressions of bigotry, and connections to the Christian Patriot Militia movement, organized Islamophobes, and the uber-wealthy shadow-elite of the fringe Christian-right here in America. (Part 2 of this 4-part series will focus on said connections; links below).

AfSJ is part of a larger fundraising effort that has helped the bigoted Arpaio raise over $1.019 million since the New Year—over 80% of which has arrived from out-of-state. And make no mistake, Arpaio desperately needs this larger effort that regards him as a necessary national icon of the pro-“attrition-through-enforcement” anti-immigrant movement.

It seems the good sheriff has only raised around $140,000 within Arizona’s borders—almost identical to former Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone, Arpaio’s main challenger. Only 3% of Penzone’s donations, however, have arrived from other states. AfSJ, according to Sousa, has “already raised $1 million from more than 40,000 individuals and businesses across the country.” According to Tim Murphy, most of the receipts have paid for a massive direct-mail fundraising campaign.

Such fundraising is something of a specialty for Sousa and his two co-horts.

In January 2005, a small PAC dubbed Americans Against Illegal Immigration (AAII) popped up in Montrose, CA, a town only 15 miles from Los Angeles. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, AAII reimbursed 3 men for its initial board meetings: Allen Brandstater, Bill Saracino, and Sousa, who served as the group’s vice chairman. After one election cycle, according to the Seattle Times, AAII demonstrated its direct-mail skills, and “raised $850,000 during the 2008 election cycle for mostly issue ads and mailers, the most of any of the immigration PACs.”

The most.

And so it would seem that Sousa used his time and position with AAII to ladder climb into the upper-crust of the anti-immigrant/nativist movement. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which was founded in 1979 by white nationalist and proponent of eugenics John Tanton, was all too happy to oblige.

Sousa presently holds the position of Honorary Chairman of the 7th Generation Legacy Society (7G), which is FAIR’s Planned Giving Initiative. 7G, according to FAIR is “an honorary organization comprised of friends and supporters who have chosen to support FAIR’s mission through a bequest, life insurance, beneficiary designation, charitable gift annuity, charitable trust, or other planned giving arrangement.” In its February 2005 newsletter, FAIR claims that “These are members who have taken the steps necessary to ensure FAIR’s future…they have included FAIR in their will.”

This is significant, as AAII’s and AfSJ’s lists of donors would appear to demonstrate, the Sousa-Saracino-Brandstater triumvirate are particularly adroit at reaching towards the pockets of retirees, and convincing them to donate to political causes and campaigns—including a county sheriff’s who resides hundreds, even thousands of miles away from some of his donors.

This year Sousa, who AfSJ’s website is registered to, was also named to FAIR’s National Board of Advisors. And now his name is etched in HTML code among dozens of other nativists, and alongside the likes of:

  • Frosty Wooldridge, who once wrote, “Somali’s [sic] plight is real and, as I said, if you feed them, they will add another 10 million starving children. That’s a biological fact. Africa at 1 billion will hit 3.1 billion in 90 years. They create their own human misery”;
  • US Rep. Lou Barletta, who has worked with Kris Kobach to pass anti-immigrant laws in PA and is a member of the Tanton Network’s House Immigration Reform Caucus (HIRC). Barletta’s past campaigns have apparently obtained and used AAII’s mailing list to fundraise (and/or vice versa);
  • And John Tanton himself, who started FAIR over 30 years ago, and claimed in 1993 that “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that”;

just to name 3.

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Read: Part 2Part 3Part 4
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