First, let’s review the background of the “commercial redemption” movement — a “sovereign citizen” scam that cites (among many other improbable things) The Wizard of Oz as the basis of its crazy (and illegal) method of ripping off the federal government (and thus you, Mr. or Ms. Taxpayer).
The Southern Poverty Law Center offers the most comprehensive, in-depth information about “commercial redemption,” but Wikipedia offers the most concise summary, so we’ll quote that and leave you with a bunch of fascinating (and scary) links from the SPLC for further reading. (more…)
Bizarre videos after the jump.
This guy defies description. Before you get to the meat of the story — two years and three months in prison and more than $631,000 in restitution for obstructing bankruptcy proceedings — get a load of the promos on “The Word Network” for “Dr. Shine & Dee Dee Seed Faith International Church,” in which “Dr. Shine,” a.k.a. Robert J. Freeman, flies around the stage and into the air, where he morphs into a fighter jet. Not only does the title of the program sound like that of a bad Saturday-morning kiddie show, it looks like it, too (rather reminiscent of “Bible Man,” with or without washed-up wash-out Willie Aames):
It looked like just another story for the next Black Collar Crime Round-Up. And if it had ended up there, it would have gone something like this:
Indicted: Henry Keith “Hank” Davis, 58-year-old founder and senior co-pastor (with his wife — more about her in a moment) of Church of the Harvest (which also runs “Hadassah School of Ministry”), Cleveland, Tennessee, and (again, with his wife) occasional guest on Paul Crouch‘s TBN and Marcus Lamb‘s Daystar Network (and “featured in Charisma Magazine for their ministry and testimony”); on two counts of sexual battery, stemming from (more…)
Backstory: “Republican, Christian Philanthropist Duane DuCharme Probed for Drug Cartel Money Laundering,” May 16, 2012
Details are sketchy — “[News reports] don’t give the name or the location of the federal court or whether Ducharme has been incarcerated,” notes the Post and Mail — and there’s only one source of info, so we have no idea if this is accurate or not. Nevertheless, the Journal Gazette reports: (more…)
Who: “Rita A. Crundwell (born about 1953) served as the Municipal Comptroller and Treasurer of Dixon, Illinois, population 16,000, from 1983 to April 2012. She was considered one of the best known breeders of American Quarter Horse in the United States, having won many top prizes.
“She was arrested April 17, 2012, and indicted by a federal grand jury for embezzling $30 million from the city over a period of six years. On May 2, 2012, a federal grand jury indictment expanded on the earlier charges, and charged her with embezzling $53 million over the last 22 years. … (more…)
“Dustinn Keeling … is very involved with the Republican Party. He has worked on various state house and local campaigns, as well as the presidential campaign of 2008. He is dedicated and committed to the Republican Party and educating his generation. He is currently a Premed student at Southeastern University and wants to attend medical school before pursuing office.”
The one thing Thomas Kinkade’s wife didn’t want (and Thomas Kinkade wouldn’t have wanted), lest the Master of Hype’s ever-so-precious, carefully crafted Christian image be sullied, is what’s happening: Nanette Kinkade’s bid to keep the probate war between herself and challenger-to-the-throne Amy Pinto Walsh seee-krit has been rebuffed, and, for now, at least, the general public will be allowed to observe the ugly fight over Kinkade’s estate. (more…)
Video after the jump.
Claims to fame: Republican; member (for now), Anderson Township, Ohio, Board of Trustees; unlicensed “private wealth consultant”; Kiwanis member & former president; “previous volunteer activities” (per his resumé) include: “Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Director Member & Chairman of the Economic Development Committee … Boy Scouts of America Troop 445 Den Leader & Committee Member … Forest Hills Schools various projects and committees”; accused crook; accused wanker (more…)
How to tell them apart: One is a goofy-looking idiot, and the other is an iconic figure of Americana beloved by millions.
Claims to fame: Radically, radically, radically anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-woman former “administrator” (he says), Christian Civic League of Maine (CCLM), renamed Maine Family Policy Council (joined at the hip* with more visible anti-gay hate groups Focus on the Family, Gary Bauer‘s Family Research Council, and Americans for Un-Truth About Homosexuality; involved with CCLM’s PAC, Christian Action League, d/b/a Marriage Matters in Maine (formerly Gambling with the Way Life Should Be); member, John Birch Society; failed Republican candidate for Maine state house (2006, 2012); call-center temp; 2012 Ron Paul delegate (with Hein’s old CCLM boss Mike Heath being Paul’s Iowa campaign director); Alfred E. Neuman-on-steroids lookalike; fraud; jailbird (more…)
“You can’t rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening. …”
“Just Like Palin, Fiorina Flip-Flops On Her Support For The Bank Bailout”
“It has all the trappings of a Hollywood movie — assets hidden in shell companies, abandoned and unfinished homes, a beauty queen, a fatal plane crash and an appearance on a television reality show.”
“You can’t damn someone for failing to pay $900 in taxes when you’ve paid nearly $20,000 in IRS fines. …”
“About Those ‘Tax Cheats’”
“Failed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has launched a new website called Patriot Voices, which is designed to ‘mobilize one million conservatives around this country who are committed to promoting faith, family, freedom and opportunity.’ Aside from the unspoken implication that anyone who disagrees with Santorum isn’t a patriot, the website claims that his followers believe in several principles. … (more…)
“Mr. Spano is yet another politician who, once again, betrayed the public’s trust and eroded the public’s faith in their political system.” — Prosecutor Perry Carbone
“The public is sick and tired of the powerful and fortunate not paying their fair share in taxes. And it also seems that the public is tired of politicians treating election to Albany not as an opportunity to serve the people, but an opportunity to line their pockets.” — Judge Cathy Seibel (more…)
“You can’t carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts. …”
“Anti-socialist Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies”
“The Bible contains over 300 verses dedicated to the poor and social injustice. In all of those verses it is clear God is concerned for both; so why aren’t those who claim to follow him?
“Those on the religious right want to defund programs such as Social Security, Medicare, welfare, food stamps, healthcare, etc. What I want to know is: why aren’t these so called people of God offering their homes to the homeless, food to the hungry, a coat to someone who is poor and cold? … (more…)
Claims to fame: Catholic, Republican Colorado state house rep; rabidly anti-gay, radically anti-choice, pro-death penalty; anti-tax, pro-big business, anti-worker, anti-immigrant (that is, when it suits her), anti-environment, over-the-top, card-carrying NRA zealot; flip-flopper; gay-incubator; betrayer; distaff (albeit butcher) version of Don Coram (who we’ll get to shortly)
Moral apex: Rabidly anti-gay (we can’t emphasize “rabidly” enough), Looper voted (more…)
“Let’s consider some of the programs we don’t hear conservative Christians reject: the socialist school system, the socialist retirement system, socialist medical care for the elderly, socialist student loans, and the socialist police and fire services. They support child tax credits, home mortgage tax subsidies, tax money for private schools. These things are as socialist as Cuban healthcare, but conservative Christians embrace them, defend them, love them. Oh, and how they adore the military. (more…)