Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters used taxpayer funds to pay for a professional PR campaign promoting herself and her running of the Clerk’s office to counter the recall effort ongoing against her. The PR project comes during a time when the county is financially strapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and at a time when local governments are talking about layoffs. And she’s doing it during regular work hours and on taxpayer time, too.
The Recall Clerk Tina campaign filed a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request seeking information about Peters’ PR project after employees in the County Clerk’s Office contacted them to say they feared Peters might retaliate against them for opting out of participating in the PR campaign.
An email sent to employees of the Clerk’s office said they were to participate in a PR project and verbally plug the clerk’s office in recorded audio and video clips. Questions they needed to be ready to answer include:
- “If you worked at the C&R office before Clerk Peters too office, what improvements have you seen or experienced?” These answers were to include positive comments about improvement in wait times and “compliments and Appreciation letters/cards” received.
- “How your personal life is better having a job with the C&R office” and,
- “Why would you recommend people apply for work at the C&R office?”
Tina Peters is facing a recall effort after she and her office forgot to collect 574 ballots from the 2019 general election from the silver collection box located right in front of her office.
The Mesa County Republican Party, which is normally very concerned about election integrity, dismissed the Peters’ failure to count the ballots as “trivial.” (pdf)