Mesa County Republicans may be starting to see the harm they are doing to their party and America by continuing to support Tina Peters, Donald Trump and others like them.
On February 2, shortly before Tina Peters’ criminal trial was about to start, Colorado Republican Party Chair Dave Williams sent a mass email out to Colorado Republicans telling them to “Keep Tina Peters in your prayers while she fights the establishment and our corrupt judicial system in her upcoming trial which will begin on February 9th in Mesa County.” He called the criminal charges against Peters “retaliation, persecution, and prosecution for preserving our election records and exposing the fraud inside the machines.”
That email drew quick pushback from Republicans across the state, including former Secretaries of State and current and former Republican county clerks. It also drew a sharp rebuke from Mesa County Republican Party Secretary Terry Porter.
Porter quickly emailed Williams back and included Colorado GOP Vice Chair Hope Scheppelman and Secretary Anna Ferguson in the thread, saying:
“Dave, Hope, and Anna,
I cannot begin to tell you how much I disagree with this! First, Tina deserves a fair trial and I have only spoken to a few people on this, but no matter how you feel about Dominion tabulators, what she did and how she did it was wrong and illegal! I was working in the election office that election cycle as an election judge in the front office and at times as needed in the back processing area. I saw when she came into the election division and usually it was to appear for a press conference or as she floated through. I was not a fan before her antics and I totally don’t condone any of what she did! It put a big black eye on the Mesa County Elections Department, none of which the all the judges and employees, except for those 3, deserved. Second, it has caused immense damage to the Republican party in Mesa County, one of the last Republican strongholds in the state. People are turned off and don’t want anything to do with the party because they get branded with “crazies” and aren’t even voting! This has emboldened the “Restore the Balance” group that paints itself as the moderate, reasonable people in the county, when they are another dark money funded pretenders with about 10% Republican members because it is good for their business. Every time you all do things like supporting Tina or Opt-Out or Endorse Trump or… once again we all get labeled “crazy, extremists” and we lose more Republicans in Mesa County and I believe the rest of the state! You are making our jobs nearly impossible, making us all look bad over and over!
Dave, if you want to run on these issues, resign and run. Otherwise, stop over-reaching what the party should be doing – to bring people INTO the party and ELECTING Republicans! Right now you are making too many of us ashamed to be a Republican in Colorado right now! And I have been a Republican for 50 years in Grand Junction!
Mesa County GOP Secretary
But did you catch this key line in Porter’s email?
“Every time you all do things like supporting Tina, or opt-out or endorse Trump…once again we all get labeled ‘crazy extremists’ and we lose more Republicans in Mesa County…” [Underlining emphasis added.]
A message like this, particularly from an officer of the Mesa County Republican Party, seems to indicate that the local GOP, or at least some of their top representatives, have turned a corner and are starting to grasp reality.
Local Republicans may finally be seeing that Trump and Tina violated their oaths of office, attacked the roots of our democracy, and that neither takes any personal responsibility for their actions, which is particularly bad behavior for a party that advocates taking personal responsibility. The Mesa County GOP may finally see that Trump and Tina have remained defiant and continue to thumb their noses at the law, which is particularly bad behavior for a party that used to advocated for “law and order.” The GOP may also finally see that Trump and Tina are both grifting from their most ardent supporters by through the promotion of outright lies and conspiracy theories. They might finally see that Trump and Tina have escaped accountability for their actions and continue to blame others for the charges they brought upon themselves. In Trump’s case, maybe some Mesa County GOP leaders now also understand they have been supporting an adjudicated rapist.
It could be that Mesa County Republicans now understand that their party’s unwavering support of Trump and Tina has been driving people away and toward the Democrats as the only remaining party that is in touch with reality and still able to govern.
In fact, it seems that the officers of the Mesa County Republican Party have, as Porter said, become so ashamed to be Republicans that they are no longer even including their last names on their official party website:
In contrast with the Mesa County Democrats, who are always proud to be Democrats: