Locals alarmed that CMU VP John Marshall is on the short list for new University president

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) announced today that CMU Vice President John Marshall is one of three candidates under final consideration to be the university’s new president.

A lot of local people are unhappy with that.

Ordinarily the second-in-command at a higher educational institution would seem a logical choice to step into the top spot, but this is the exception.

Marshall has no background in academics. He was a Republican political operative originally hired at CMU in 2007 as one of Tim Foster’s many political patronage appointments. Foster handed Marshall a plum $100,000/year job as a Development Director. Marshall’s only qualification for the job was that he was the former manager of Bob Beauprez’s losing 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Beauprez ran on a ticket with Janet Rowland as Lieutenant Governor. That’s the same Janet Rowland of Mesa County, who singlehandedly sank Beauprez’s campaign and who is now a third-term Mesa County Commissioner engaged in her own blatant act of political cronyism: a ham-handed attempt to install her pal Rose Pugliese — who is similarly poorly qualified — into the position of County Attorney.

But back to John Marshall.

To be hired as a university president one must normally have earned a doctorate or “terminal degree,” the highest possible degree a person can attain in their field.

Marshall lacks this key qualification. On the last page of his 19-page résumé, buried in the tiny “Education” section at the end, he writes that he has a “PhD in Public Policy – (Not completed, ABD).”

“ABD” means “All But Dissertation.” In other words, Marshall does not have a Ph.D. degree. It means he is a dropout from a Ph.D. program.

A university president who dropped out before attaining his Ph.D. would provide a poor example as the head of an  advanced education institution.

Marshall also lists no academic publications to his name. Zero. None.

Publishing academic research in peer-reviewed journals is generally viewed as a requirement to succeed in an academic career, and a long, distinguished and successful career in academia is normally a requirement to be a University president.

But Marshall’s background is in politics, not academics.

Marshall has a lot of offensive baggage that people can’t forget or forgive.

Marshall-watchers note that he has consistently dismissed or downplayed incidents of homophobia through the years. In 2006 he also publicly insulted the state’s progressive voters.

In 2006, Marshall dismissed concerns about the over-the-top, deeply homophobic comments Janet Rowland made on the state-wide TV show “Colorado State of Mind” during Beauprez’s gubernatorial campaign. Rowland’s highly offensive comments equating homosexuality to bestiality drew national condemnation. They were a huge embarrassment for the entire state and ended up tanking Beauprez’s campaign.

CMU VP John Marshall (Photo: Twitter, @MesaVeep)

Marshall’s coarse public response to the incident shocked people and revealed his own biases:

From the August 21, 2006 issue of the Denver Post :

“The response [to Rowland’s TV comments] from John Marshall, the Beauprez-Rowland campaign manager, was ‘They’re bed-wetting, pampered liberals,’ and ‘No one cares what they say about anything.'”

Marshall’s comments offended even more people.

Such talk is definitely not a good look, especially when you’re asking to become president of a university. And it’s still on the record and just as offensive now as it was then.

And that’s not all. There’s more.

When CMU football player Shane Williams was accused of slamming a lesbian woman to the street outside a bar in 2012, cracking her skull, Marshall told concerned staff members at CMU there was nothing he could do about Williams continuing at CMU because “we needed ‘due process.'” (Williams also was in possession of a fake ID and was charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol.) Even crazier than dismissing out of hand even the possibility of ejecting a violently homophobic student from the school, in the aftermath of this incident Marshall actually pressured CMU staff NOT to hold an anti-violence workshop.

And when it was reported to Marshall that a student at a CMU basketball game had yelled, “Nice sideburns, faggot!” at an opposing player, Marshall dismissed it, saying it was “just sports.”

These anecdotes — related by the anonymous people who witnessed them — along with even more appearance of cronyism among Republicans in Mesa County — are just a few reasons why so many people in the local community feel John Marshall is a bad pick, and a bad look, as the next CMU president.

The two other candidates are far more qualified, and without the baggage

The two other candidates appear far more qualified, and legitimately:

Dr. Abel Chavez, (pdf) Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success at Western Colorado University, has a (real) Doctorate in Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has held many advanced positions within institutions of higher education. He lists 17 publications to his name on his résumé.

Dr. Mirta Martin, currently the President of Fairmont State University, also has an actual Ph.D. degree in Philosophy. She has been president of two other universities, has had a long career in academia, excelled at diversifying her schools, has won awards like “Educator of the Year,” “Most Influential Woman,” “Most inspiring woman,” etc. Dr. Martin lists ten publications to her name and she was also an educational advisor to Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Just read their résumés for yourself. They’re impressive.

OGRE Alert

OGRE Alert

In addition to being more than legitimately qualified to be President at CMU, both of these other two candidates would supply some very badly-needed diversity into the upper echelons at CMU, something that has been lacking at CMU for a very long time, and something the local Good Ole Boy/Old Guard Republican Establishment (GOB-OGRE) Crony network is incapable of supplying.



Red flags abound over Commissioner Rowland’s struggle to appoint her friend Pugliese as County Attorney

My first attempt at a political cartoon

In an outrageous display of unabashed Mesa County Republican cronyism, Commissioner Janet Rowland is working hard to install her pal, former County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, into the position of Mesa County Attorney, the highest-paid position in the county. The position would double the salary Rose use to earn when she was commissioner just before Janet.

The situation portends great danger for the County, since the Commissioners have tremendous power, no oversight and Janet already has a long and worrisome track record of impropriety and unethical behavior.

Why installing Rose Pugliese as County Attorney is a crazy mistake

Rose Pugliese is the sole finalist being considered for County Attorney.

A top headline in yesterday’s Daily Sentinel announced that former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese is the sole finalist for the job of Mesa County Attorney, which, as of 2019 was the highest-paid job in the County.

Based on Pugliese’s qualifications, or lack thereof, this is nothing short of crazy, and it smacks loudly of cronyism by Mesa County’s Old Guard Republican Establishment (OGREs).

Pugliese won consideration as sole contender for the job despite having a track record that would probably get the rest of us fired.

Oh, where to begin?

City Council candidate Jody Green appears to be barely literate

Jody Green

Jody Green is running for the Grand Junction City Council District E seat in the April 6, 2021 municipal election. His campaign website says he is construction worker and that he helped build the Oxbow subdivision, the Postal Annex on Patterson, Ratekin Tower Apartments, Lakeside Apartments and other buildings in Grand Junction. Green writes on social media that he “Works at School of Hard Knocks, University of Life,” but provides no other information about his educational background.

In a February 4, 2021 article in the Daily Sentinel, Green told the paper that he is running for City Council because God asked him to.

Car singled out for vandalism in Clifton Dollar Tree parking lot

A friend drove a car belonging to her now legally-blind housemate to Dollar Tree in Clifton, bringing her 90+ year old mother, who uses a walker, for a short shopping trip. It was late morning on Wednesday, March 31, and they parked in a handicapped spot in front of the store. They were in the store less than an hour, and when they came out, they found someone had vandalized their car with black spray paint.

No other cars in the parking lot were targeted.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide for the City of Grand Junction’s Municipal Election of Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Are you wondering how to vote in the Grand Junction Regular Municipal Election on Tuesday, April 6, 2021? Are you sweating over where you’ll find the time to research the eight City Council candidates and the ballot measures?


We’ve done the work for you.

AnneLandmanBlog has done substantial research into all of the candidates for City Council, and read the ballot measures. To see what we found out, scroll down anneLandmanBlog’s front page and have a look at the recent blogs about the election prior to this one.

Based on what we found, here are our recommended votes:

G.J. City Council candidate Mark McAllister known for posting false, xenophobic and racist memes

Meme that appeared on Mark McAllister’s Facebook page in early January, 2020

In 2013, former G.J. Mayor Bill Pitts said that the most money anyone had ever spent on a City Council race up until that time was around $3,000. 

In 2013, that amount had jumped to $10,000 to $12,000 per candidate for city council campaigns.

Now, in 2021, candidates for local office are routinely spending up to $20-30k on their campaigns.

That marked increase in the amount of spending should be accompanied by an equally higher level of scrutiny of candidates by the local press and media, but it hasn’t. The local paper seems to be giving candidates a pass by doing nice things like sending candidates a softball questionnaire and publishing their answers in full, without even verifying whether the candidates filled in the answers themselves.

Voters deserve more information — a deeper dive, like verifying candidates’ educational levels, their social, political and business affiliations, and verifying the claims they make on their campaign pages about what groups they belong to. We should also know if any information has been published about them elsewhere, and check their social media streams to see what they had been posting before they decided to running for office.  
One thing we’ve managed to find here at AnneLandmanBlog about the current candidates for Grand Junction City Council is that one candidate really stands out when given this kind of scrutiny, and not in a good way: Mark McAllister.

What’s up with the four City Council candidates who are ditching forums and questionnaires?

An attendee at the “Stand for the Constitution Freedom Rally” last July 4 (Photo: Facebook). Stand for the Constitution endorses Haitz, Andrews, Green and McAllister, calling them “our candidates.”

Kristin Wynn of Citizens for Clean Air Grand Junction reported that her group has not received responses to questionnaires they sent to City Council candidates Mark McCallister, Kraig Andrews, Jody Green, and Greg Haitz. Nor did any of these candidates bother to respond to a short questionnaire from the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley and none of them participated in the City Council Candidate Forums organized by the Western Colorado Alliance, which were held virtually on Zoom.

So why are these four candidates dodging public forums and refusing to answer City residents’ questions? And what do they all have in common that the other four candidates don’t?

For one thing, they are all endorsed by the local right-wing extremist group  “Stand for the Constitution,” who calls the slate of them “our candidates.”

A quick summary of the eight candidates running for Grand Junction City Council in the April 6, 2021 election

Eight candidates want to get inside these doors and help run the city we all love. Learn about the candidates running for Council and vote wisely.

In case you don’t have time to research the eight candidates running for City Council in the April 6th election, I’ve done the research and condensed it down to a couple of paragraphs about each candidate to help you make an educated choice. I drew on the sources of information that are most accessible to most voters, including the candidates’ campaign and personal websites, their campaign and personal social media accounts (the links to which the City conveniently provides on their Elections Information page). I also researched news reports, published articles and past blogs I’ve done about them, if any, and investigated some of the claims the candidates made on their websites about what groups and organizations they belonged to. I also attended the Western Colorado Alliance (WCA) online candidate forum held on February 24th, and noted which candidates attended and which didn’t.

Here is what I found on each candidate: