Last week, William Fulton, the FBI informant whose testimony in the Schaeffer Cox conspiracy to murder trial was a key to the latter’s conviction, came out of his silence. Since March 15th, 2011, Fulton has been protected by the Federal government, and had disappeared from his Spenard Avenue military surplus and equipment store, the Drop Zone, the day before:
Five days after members of an Interior Alaska militia group were arrested in connection with plots to kill Alaska State Troopers, judges and others, Anchorage businessman William Fulton — a man once identified as the “supply sergeant” for the Alaska Citizens Militia — went missing. He has not been seen since.
Fulton was the owner of Drop Zone, a military surplus store on Spenard Road. He gained some notoriety during the 2010 U.S. Senate race when, acting as security for failed candidate Joe Miller, he handcuffed and detained Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger at a public meeting.
On March 15, a Drop Zone employee arrived at work to find Anchorage attorney Wayne Anthony Ross waiting for him in the parking lot. Ross had documents, signed by Fulton, handing over the shop with all its debts and assets to the employee.
Fulton resurfaced to testify in Cox’s Anchorage trial, then disappeared again until Schaeffer Cox’s and some of his co-conspirators’ sentencing last week. Now Fulton has been interviewed by news outlets, beginning with Salon and Huffington Post, on January 11th.
In the HuffPo interview, Fulton revealed that 2010 Alaska U.S. Senate GOP nominee Joe Miller began wearing a bulletproof vest after the nomination. Fulton was in charge of candidate Miller’s security during many of the Tea Party- and Koch Brothers-backed candidate’s public appearances throughout the late summer and fall of 2010:
Alaska Tea Party favorite Joe Miller wore a bulletproof vest the night he beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to become the Republican Party’s 2010 Senate nominee, his former private security guard told The Huffington Post.
“As we’re finding out that he’s winning, I’m in the bathroom putting a bulletproof vest on the guy,” William Fulton said in one of several interviews this week. Describing Miller as “paranoid,” Fulton said the underdog conservative was afraid he’d be targeted at election headquarters in Anchorage on that August night. “It was fucking ridiculous.”
Monday morning, the Palin-centric (still!!!) Alaska blog, The Immoral Minority featured an extended interview between Jesse Griffin, the blog’s owner, and Fulton. Griffin ran a teaser on the interview late last week, promising that on Monday he would run the Fulton interview, and that readers would then have a chance to ask Bill questions. Griffin, as recently as this weekend, commenting on the ongoing power struggle within Alaska’s GOP, between the realists and the Teas Party Jihadists, noted:
I am reasonably certain that Russ Millette is only a puppet, and that his strings are being pulled by Joe Miller, and more than likely, Sarah Palin.
No WONDER the Alaska GOP is trying so hard to keep their hands off of the Republican money!
Not very people believe Palin has much of a hand in GOP struggles anymore. From my perch in Wasilla, I find the idea of Palin continuing to have a significant following absurd. But Griffin’s followers view Palin as some sort of a Zombie force with talons creeping into every nook and cranny of Alaska politics.
Griffin’s interview with Fulton is interesting, though. The questions Gryph’s cult followers ask vary between quite good and inane and bizarre. Griffin wrote, at the bottom of the interview:
Now as I mentioned before Bill will answer some of YOUR questions next.
What we have worked out is that you can submit them in the comment section, he will choose the ones he feels he can answer, and then I will type them out in a later post, either tomorrow or the next day depending on time constraints.
Please remember that there are still certain questions that Bill will not be able, or willing, to answer.
Interestingly, that’s the same morning I met Schaeffer Cox.
Here’s Fulton’s rendition of aspects of that in Monday’s interview with Griffin (emphasis added):
Q: Well that’s an understatement, however could you please elaborate on why this meeting, which was ostensibly about forcing Randy Reuderich out of the Alaska GOP Chairman’s seat and taking over, suddenly changed direction?
Fulton: Well yes the original intent was to shitcan Reuderich and replace him with somebody else. But then they decided not to do that it so that it wouldn’t distract from the last minute decision to run Sean Parnell against Don Young.
Q: What changed?
Fulton: I’m not entirely sure, but it had something to do with the fact that Sarah Palin was going to be tapped as the VP candidate.
Q: Really? This was happening in March of 2008, according to Palin, AND the McCain campaign, they did not choose her until the very last minute, late in August of 2008, which is why they did not have time to vet her carefully.
Fulton: Bullshit. Frank Bailey and Joe Miller discussed the nomination as if it was a done deal, and claimed that she was already being vetted.
Q: In March of 2008?
Fulton: Yes, in March of 2008.
So Fulton is at odds with a lot of narratives, including that of the book and movie, Game Change.
Before it became public knowledge that William Fulton had been working undercover to bring down Schaeffer Cox and his colleagues, the former was best known for his arrest and handcuffing of Alaska Dispatch reporter and chief editor, Tony Hopfinger, at a Joe Miller rally in Anchorage, on October 17th, 2010. Fulton’s act was more instrumental in the write-in victory of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a strange three-way race, than any other single event. Miller’s reaction to the Hopfinger incident struck some as paranoid (emphasis added):
Q: And on that note how do you think Joe Miller feels now knowing that you were working with the FBI while you were also working on his security detail?
Fulton: I KNOW how he feels. He has been writing about it on his blog. He thinks I was a plant that was dedicated to sabotaging his campaign from within.
Q: Were you?
Fulton: No. I just did what Miller hired me to do. He also has complained that my version of fitting him for body armor in the bathroom due to his paranoia is an exaggeration and that I had “followed him around the convention center warning him of threats.”
Q: And did you?
Fulton: Hell no! Nobody needed to help Joe Miller feel paranoid.
After the 2010 election Alaska political activist and muckraker Ray Metcalfe and I bought the handcuffs Fulton had used on Hopfinger:
Craig says “Fulton has now told the Huffington Post that he thought putting the cuffs on Tony Hopfinger, the co-owner and editor of Dispatch, while working for Miller, a conservative Republican, appeared a great idea. Fulton said it bolstered his image with the militias.”
When Ray Metcalfe and I bought the same handcuffs Bill had used to cuff Tony at Begich Middle School, Bill told us “If I had it to do all over again, I’d do it all over again.”
He sold them to us a bit below cost for new ones, but they were used – S&W Model M-100. Charged us $40.00.
We later gave them to Tony as a gift.
You can see an image of them here.
(photo I made of the handcuffs, before giving them to Tony)
Fulton reiterated what he told Ray and me in 2010 in today’s interview with Griffin:
I still feel that the bust was legitimate, and my people and I had done the same thing at various events and concerts all over town. However because of who Joe Miller was, and the way the media was portraying him, the arrest served as the perfect catalyst to give the media permission to define him as somebody who would hire jack booted thugs to rough up reporters who tried to question him.
In fact I performed my duties to the best of my abilities, and would do so again in similar circumstances.
Schaeffer Cox is now on his way to a 25-year stint in a Federal Penitentiary. Bill Fulton says he wants to keep on working for the government:
I am looking to teach a law enforcement course dealing with extremists and infiltrating their ranks. I am also planning to write a book about my experiences in Alaska, and with the militia up there.
As for Joe Miller, whose star shone so brightly, if briefly, in the Alaska political firmament, here’s from a statement that came out at his web site shortly after the Fulton interviews began to be published last week:
I have no idea what makes people like Bill Fulton and Schaeffer Cox tick. But I do know this: Joe Miller has an extreme love for this country and its people and will continue to fight selflessly to restore Liberty.
Too many have become weary in their efforts against increasing regulations and decreasing rights. William Wilberforce did not give up after all his years of failure in Parliament and because of it slavery was abolished in England.
Joe Miller and I believe in a limited government that stays out of the way of its citizens freedoms. I hope you will join the cause of Liberty and support the people who champion her cause.
Hang in there, Joe. You’re extremely fun to watch.
(Joe Miller and close friend berating me at the 2010 Alaska State Fair)