They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker
Foster lost a recall election this week to Quartzsite Fire Department Captain and former Town Council member Jose Lizarraga 53%-43%. But Foster contends that the loss was the result of machinations by the town's "corrupt" town council.
"They found a whole bunch of early ballots they could stuff the box with," Foster told the right-wing news site World Net Daily.
"They stole it from me. I'm gonna take it back," Foster said.
Foster has been at war with town officials and Police Chief Jeff Gilbert -- who he's previously referred to as "a Nazi" and a "corrupt thug" -- claiming that officials are stealing taxpayer money and running the town under martial law. He says the town has for years been writing secret checks to secret people worth around a not-so-secret $250 million a year, though this claim has never been proven. Foster filed several lawsuits against the town, and was censured twice by the council and once arrested for disorderly conduct.
"He's got these ideas that have nothing to do with the truth," said town manager Alex Taft. "He says we are lying, stealing, harassing, anything you can think of. He's just being Jerry Springer, but without the humor."
The dispute came to a head in June, when Foster supporter Jennifer "Jade" Jones was booted from a town council meeting in handcuffs. The video went viral.
But Gilbert, who was maligned by right-wing activists and Keith Olbermann alike for the incident, says that there was nothing out of line about Jones' arrest. "There's this misconception that [Jones] was arrested because she was exercising her freedom of speech," he said. "She got arrested because she refused to leave when the council voted to have her removed."
Gilbert also showed the Southern Poverty Law Center postings from Jones' blog that caused the police concern, like one -- unsigned and since removed -- that said "In the AZ that I remember real citizens carried guns and had the balls to use them. ... Take your town back. If they won't listen to reason, run them out of town, or kill them."
Since the incident, the town council has taken somewhat drastic measures to protect themselves. From the New York Times:
Saying that they fear for public safety, the council members have declared an emergency, stopped public comment at their official meetings for the next month and brought in a police officer to keep guard at the Town Hall.
"They are just insane. They think they can do whatever they want, take control and not have to do what people want," Foster told the Times. "They won't talk to me, won't look at me, nothing."
As the recall race heated up, the Patriot group the Oath Keepers held an August 27 "Liberty Festival" in Quartzsite to show their support for Foster, and to protest the martial law they say was evidenced by the Jones incident. "This is the start. We want to set an example here," Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said. "If every community across the country simply did what's being done right here - right here, right now - we would restore our republic." About 150 people showed up, according to the SPLC.
"I truly believe that Mr. Foster and Miss Jones honestly do believe in what they say and what they do," Lizarraga, who won the election, said. "I just think there are better ways about going about fixing issues rather than possibly making what I believe might be a mockery of our town."
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