By Frank Arduini
How an obscure southern preacher became a hero to “Birthers,” a laughing stock to “Obots,” and the single worst Baptist prognosticator of the future since William Miller.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) is a relatively small group of “peace officers” founded by anti-government former-sheriff Richard Mack. Among a raft of other Tenther/Oath Keeper/anti-Federal government beliefs, they share the conviction that sheriffs are “the highest executive authority in a county and therefore constitutionally empowered to be able to keep federal agents out.” Having experienced a growth spurt after the election of Barack Obama they were scheduled to commence their 2013 convention on the last day of May in St. Charles, Missouri. On the one hand, they seemed likely to be a very receptive audience for Zullo and his “findings.” But on the other hand, what the hell were they going to do with those “findings”? Zullo was supposedly conducting the investigation at the behest of one sheriff already; a sheriff who had not proved particularly helpful in terms of propelling his own inquiry forward. What did Gallups imagine the Sheriff of Henry County, Alabama might bring to the table that the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona did not? The actual pointlessness of the exercise must not have been lost on Gallups, as evidenced by his compulsion to misrepresent what was coming.
Without naming the actual venue, Gallups provided a “sneak peak” on the May 23rd edition of the new “Ask Mr. Zullo” feature of PPSIMMONS Radio. Speaking to Zullo, Gallups proclaimed :
Now. Let’s get to the sneak peak of the big announcement. Because you said several days back that in a couple of weeks the naysayers would see how wrong they’ve been. Well, what was it that they would be wrong about? Well, they were saying things like, “This is going nowhere. You guys have stopped. You guys have stalled. You have nothing. The reason no complaint has been filed is because you have nothing.” And what you said is, is that a lot is happening that you and I have been talking about ever since we went to CPAC and Capitol Hill. VIPs. Very Important People. And when I say VIP I mean people of, well, VIP means Very Important People, you know that, but, I’m talking about people of influence, people of power, people of financial means, people of standing, and I mean Constitutional standing to get things done in Congress or in courts or in state levels. So when I say VIP I’m not talking about just curious people, I’m talking about people who can get something done. And what you were referring to, if I understand correctly, you correct me if I’m wrong, that in a couple of weeks and now as of this broadcast, just what? Ten or twelve days from now you are getting ready to be in a big meeting ! A big meeting of well known nationally known VIPs, and you have been asked to speak before this big meeting of nationally known VIPs to present your evidence or at least everything you can present fairly publicly. Now! If these officials back your investigation, and we believe they will, I mean the ones that have already got a sneak peak are just, they got it. But if this group, if these officials will back your investigation, this could be a huge monumental shift in advancing this investigation towards this Constitutional end.
It is simply not credible to believe that Gallups did not realize that almost every single detail of this speech was a lie. Almost nobody attending the 2013 CSPOA Convention was well known at all, let alone “nationally known.” With perhaps the sole exception of the still elusive Steve Stockman, none had any more power, or standing, or financial means, or influence than Arpaio did already. There is essentially nothing that this group could actually do to advance anything.
But it was apparently all they had.
News of the actual venue leaked out three days later, and the collective gasp of disappointment from the birth faithful could not be obscured. Several seemed bewildered by the effort to reconcile the CSPOA with Gallups’ previous descriptions of the VIPs he supposedly had on board. Others noted that while Stockman at least was going to be in attendance, he had already (in their eyes) proved unwilling to get behind the issue, having done nothing in support since the meetings at CPAC. The CSPOA meeting schedule was published by Birther blogs with Zullo’s name clearly displayed as a speaker. On his part, Gallups simply vamped trying to ignore both the leak and the response.
Four days later on May 30th he finally fessed up, trying to downplay the conference in light of his previous promises. PPSIMMONS announced what everybody had already known for days as a “Breaking Exclusive!” Writing as Zullo (but in a voice that was unmistakably Gallups) the publication read in part:
Mike Zullo stressed, “I want to be clear. This conference is monumentally important to the CCP Obama Fraud Case. However, this particular conference and the potentially powerful outcomes of its presentation is not the only line of approach in which we are currently engaged. We have other people looking at this – very important people – very powerful people. We have other plans of action, currently in the works, in moving the case forward to a full federal investigation. All of these plans, including this conference, have been the direct or indirect result of my trip to CPAC and to Capitol Hill with Carl Gallups earlier this year.”
The reception of the birther faithful to the announcement could hardly have been less auspicious. Then once the conference actually began things just went from bad to worse. Scheduled for a twenty minute “teaser” presentation on Day 1, Zullo was instead limited to just five. Worse, his scheduled four hours of breakout sessions for the second day were slashed in half, even as large parts of the conference schedule remained unfilled. There just wasn’t enough interest to fill two sessions.
That first evening of the conference, Zullo called into the Freedom Friday show where Gallups frantically tried to put a positive spin on the event in the face of continuing birther disappointment and Obot snark. Sure, there may only be a single Congressman in attendance, but “it only takes one person to turn the ship.” Sure, there may have been no obvious benefit to getting other sheriffs involved, but they were real sheriffs and some of them weren’t even retired. Finally, as in the prior day’s “Breaking Exclusive,” Gallups was compelled to pretend that the CSPOA conference was really not all that important after all.
Gallups: I think it should be stressed that this is not the culmination, when you and I were several months ago we said that some really big things were coming down the road if people keep their promises, that this is not what we were talking about. This was dropped in your lap just a few weeks back, right?
Zullo: Yeah, it was about five or six weeks ago that I did receive a call from Sheriff Mack asking me if I would attend this over here.
Of course, “five or six weeks prior” would have been right in the middle of April. The CSPOA conference had actually been on Zullo’s schedule since very near the first announcement of Gallups’ “Big Plan A.”
Zullo’s truncated breakout session for Day Two was broken into two segments. A first hour was a general session for anybody in attendance. A second hour (limited to “sworn law enforcement officials” and “congressmen”) was supposedly going to provide a “FULL criminal disclosure” of the “new information” that Zullo claimed to have accumulated over the year since the Posse’s first press conference.
It has been said that when you lay down with dogs, you should expect to get fleas. And when you present to a group like the CSPOA, you should expect to get someone pretty much like Gilberton Borough, Pennsylvania Police Chief Mark Kessler. As far we can tell, Kessler was the single attendee at Zullo’s briefing who left the presentation energized and on board, and his immediate enthusiasm knew no bounds. Zullo might have hoped to come away with a number of supporting guns.
What he got instead was one loose cannon.
To be continued …
[RC: This is the fifth in a series of guest articles by Frank Arduini. Here is Part IV.]