Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters takes exception to atheists on social media

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ biased comment on the “Transparency in Mesa County” Facebook page.

 

Embattled Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters expressed contempt for atheists yesterday in a comment on social media, sowing further doubt about whether she can truly conduct her office in an impartial manner.

Here is how the comment came about:

Participants on the public group Facebook page “Transparency in Mesa County” had been discussing the County Clerk’s office after it was found that they forgot to collect and count 574+ ballots from the November, 2019 combined general election.

A slow boil for the Clerk

Participants on the Transparency page posted internal Clerk Office documents obtained through Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests, including items like receipts for expensive new furniture, budget documents showing inordinate expenditures for food and drink, internal emails about a taxpayer-funded public relations project to improve perceptions of the Clerk’s office and more, for all to see on the page. Former County Clerk Sheila Reiner posted emails she exchanged with Peters shortly after Peters was elected to show that she (Reiner) had reached out to Peters to help bring her up to speed Clerk’s office operations. Former employees of the Clerk’s office have been posting their insights, and many participants in the group just want to know if their ballots were among the those left in the ballot box and never counted. So far, despite three CORA requests, Clerk Peters has refused to publish the list of the names of the voters her office disenfranchised, a list that former employees say they saw created.

In recent days, Clerk Peters herself had started chiming in on the site, defending herself and the conduct of her office.

Discussions turned to the topic of the recent billboards about City Council members funded by the Chamber of Commerce-associated dark money group, Western Colorado Business Alliance (WCBA). I posted information about the background and funding of WCBA, so people would know who is behind the group and where their money comes from.

Shortly after that, Tina Peters posted her comment.

Full disclosure: I, Anne Landman, the author of this blog, formed the nonprofit group Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers in 2007. The group  provides  non-believers in our area with fellowship and serves as a watchdog for separation of church and state issues on the western slope.

Openly biased County Clerk

It is clear from her comment on the Transparency in Mesa County Facebook page that Ms. Peters is openly biased against atheists, a bias that calls her impartiality as County Clerk into question. If she had written “ANYTHING ANNE LANDMAN JEW SAYS…,” perhaps the significant of her statement would be even clearer. If you were an open atheist, would you trust her to count your ballot?

Clerk Peters posted her comment on July 24th.

By July 25th, she had removed the comment, apparently realizing the danger it posed to her credibility as clerk:

Peters removed her comment the next day.

It has been captured by this blog, however, where it will remain visible to all Mesa County citizens in perpetuity.

 

  5 comments for “Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters takes exception to atheists on social media

  1. I think you dont know the whole truths and facts regarding Clerk Tina.
    I too, think Anne writes a great article, but should interview clerk Tina to get the rest of the story, not to place it in an article, but to know there are 2 sides to every story. How is this criticism any different than praises for the 2 councilmen. She has the backup on them but not Clerk Tina. I’d feel better if all facts were known.
    I have a problem with all the judging if they are democrats or Republicans. They are hired to do a job. They represent the constituents as a whole. A person hired to do a job.

    • Linda, what do you make of Clerk Tina publicly lashing out on social media at a voter for being an atheist? What if Clerk Tina harbors similar animosity towards voters who are Jews, Muslims or members of other minority groups, like LGBTQ or disabled people? If you were a member of a community that Tina publicly made it clear she hated, would you trust her to county YOUR ballot?

  2. I am proud to have Anne Landman as a dear friend. Anne’s judgment is solid, her commentary is honest, direct, reliable. In my opinion, it is far more courageous to say that you don’t believe in something than it is to go along with beliefs that you’re told you’re supposed to hold, even though you have your own doubts or disbeliefs.

  3. Great post! Truly needed to be seen by all citizens of GJ as “we” definitely have a serious problem with THIS Elections Clerk. Obviously this is unacceptable, and prompts me to wonder why the local GOP leaders, who so often do not hesitate to speak up, are so quiet? Hello? Is anybody there? Thanks, Anne, for bringing these truly unprofessional and very unacceptable events to light.

  4. Perhaps even more important is that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has used disparaging terms to refer to Democrats and Democratic leadership in Mesa County, creating more doubts in her ability and willingness for impartiality in her job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.