Colorado House Rep. Matt Soper (R) spoke Saturday afternoon, May 16, at a Republican rally in downtown Delta held to protest the state’s public health stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, the deadly disease caused by the novel Coronavirus for which there is no prevention, no treatment and no cure. The sky was sunny and people stood around 5th and Palmer by the Wells Fargo bank holding “Don’t tread on me” flags and cheering.
As of this writing, Covid-19 has killed 96,082 Americans — equal to thirty two September 11 attacks. But the rally wasn’t held to mourn the tragedy of these deaths.
It was an occasion for Republicans candidates to fling red meat to constituents.
Matt Soper (right) and Yeulin Willett (left), who endorsed Soper to run for his seat in the Colorado House of Representatives
Republican Matt Soper has been oddly silent about the legal challenge to his residency requirement to serve as District 54’s House Representative in the state legislature.
Soper hasn’t responded to journalists’ questions about his residency, nor has he challenged the conclusion that he didn’t actually reside in District 54 for the required 12 months prior to the election. Reporters noted that Soper didn’t show up for freshman orientation at the Capitol last week, and a Colorado Public Radio reporter was unable to find him at freshman orientation this week. He isn’t answering phone calls or emails, and there’s no evidence he’s moved into the 10 Hartig Drive house that he claimed was his legal residence, even after he had the occupants of the house evicted as retribution for telling the Daily Sentinel Soper didn’t live there with them.
No one seems to be able to find Matt Soper, much less get a comment out of him about his predicament.
Former Palisade town trustee Dave Edwards is seeking to formally challenge the legitimacy of Matt Soper being seated as a Representative for Colorado House District 54.
Palisade is in House District 54.
Soper, a Republican, was elected to the HD-54 seat in November, but the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ran a series of articles before the election that charged that the residence Soper had listed on his official Candidate Affidavit was not his true residence. If it wasn’t, Soper may not have met the legal residency requirements to run in District 54.
To qualify for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, a candidate must have lived in the district for 12 months prior to the date of the election.
Map of Colorado House District 54, which is all the light colored area. It includes most of Mesa County outside of the City Grand Junction and the western portion of the City of Delta.
Constituents in House District 54 have just 10 days after the election — this Friday, 11/16 — to submit complaints to the Colorado Secretary of State about whether Republican HD-54 candidate Matt Soper committed voter fraud and/or election fraud by listing his residential address as a house in which he didn’t live. Soper used an address at 10 Hartig Street in Delta for purposes of voting and qualifying to run for office in HD-54, even though he didn’t actually live at the address. Soper actually lived with his girlfriend on Clearview Drive in Delta, but told the Sentinelthe 10 Hartig house was his home “in his mind.” Soper started listing the house as his residence in November of 2017, since a candidate must have resided in the District for 12 months in order to qualify to run for office in that district. The house actually belongs to Soper’s mother, who was renting it out to another family.
HD 54 comprises everywhere on the above map that isn’t the green-colored center around the City of Grand Junction. If you live in HD 54 and want to submit a complaint about possible election and/or voter fraud by Mr. Soper, you’d better hurry. Following is a link to information on how to submit a complaint to the Colorado Secretary of State:
Colorado House District 54 is all the dark pink area in this map. It includes Clifton, Fruitvale, DeBeque, the towns of Mesa, Collbran, Fruita, Loma, Mack, Glade Park, Palisade, Whitewater, Gateway, the western side of Delta County and the central part of the town of Delta proper. It’s the “doughnut” around state House District 55.
Republican Matt Soper at the GOP rally in Delta on Saturday, May 16, 2020, where he told numerous lies to the crowd.
Soper won the House Representative D-54 office in 2018 under contentious conditions. Published articles reveal that Soper lied to the Secretary of State about where he lived in 2018, listing the address of a rental house his mother owns as his own residence in order to meet the residency requirement to qualify to hold the House District 54 seat. In truth, an unrelated family had lived in the house for years, and after one of the occupants swore in a legal affidavit that Matt Soper did not live in the house with him and his family, Soper had his mother evict the family from the home as retribution for telling the truth publicly about how Soper did not live there.
Former Palisade Town Trustee Dave Edwards filed a formal petition (pdf) yesterday with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the state legislature officially disputing the legality of Matt Soper holding the Colorado House District 54 seat.
District 54 comprises the western portion of Delta County and much of Mesa County outside the boundaries of the City of Grand Junction.
Edward raised enough money to formally serve the petition directly to Soper and fund the bond that the Colorado Revised Statutes require be posted in such disputes. The bond money is apparently to help prevent frivolous challenges to election results.
In this case, the challenge is far from frivolous and could end Soper’s political career.
Commissioner Cody Davis’ Facebook post from yesterday, saying he can no longer support Lauren Boebert
In a remarkable show of common sense unusual in a Mesa County Republican, County Commissioner Cody Davis yesterday posted on his Facebook page that “I can no longer support Lauren Boebert for Congress, and here’s why. Our voters in Mesa County and along the West Slope deserve leaders and representatives who uphold our values.”
He continued, “How can I criticize Democrats for their moral shortcomings if I’m blind to the shortcomings of my own side?”
Okay, great, Cody. Better late than never to emerge as the most rational member of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners.
But it’s worth noting that Commissioner Davis didn’t yank his support for Boebert last July after she trashed a lapel pin representing a child massacred at the Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Drinking Liberally is a non-partisan social group that holds get-togethers in town at food and drink establishments while hosting guest speakers. The event focuses on protection of our civil liberties, like freedom from government and corporate overreach (for example denying workers the right to organize, denying women the right to access abortions and preventing transgender people access to medical care). On Tuesday, May 23, the event was held at Edgewater Brewery at 905 Struthers, by the Colorado River.
The packed crowd included notable conservatives like Tom Keenan and Cindy Ficklin, members of the far right wing group, Stand for the Constitution. The event featured two Speakers: newly-elected Mesa County Clerk Bobbie Gross and Darren Cook, former longtime D-51 teacher who is running for D-51 School Board.
For this article, I drew from publicly available sources, including the candidates’ own websites and social media accounts, newspaper articles, the candidates’ financial disclosure statements filed with the City of Grand Junction, background-checks done on TruthFinder.com, and public records requests to the Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) for records of any contact the candidates had with local law enforcement agencies. I felt the law enforcement piece was necessary after seeing Mesa County voters elect people to public office who were later involved in theft, falsifying time cards, embezzlement, assault, plagiarism, DUI, double-dipping, election tampering and other offenses.
These City Council candidates are asking voters to hire them for a job. City taxpayers pay their salaries. The candidates should be background-checked.
Longtime Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke
Note: In light of Chamber President Diane Schwenke’s recent announcement that she is finally retiring after 25 years at the Chamber, I am re-posting articles about her disastrous tenure at Chamber in hopes that the Chamber Board will see what a boondoggle she’s been and finally take an entirely new direction when they hire a new president after she leaves. This article was originally posted on 9/28/21.
Local candidates usually tout their endorsements by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, but the Chamber’s long track record of endorsing deeply flawed candidates shows that candidates should run from a Chamber endorsement as fast as they can, or at least politely decline it.
NOTE: This article is longer than usual owing to the number of people running, the amount of information available on them and the need to put the practical meaning of Chamber endorsements in context so people can accurately grasp their significance. One photo in this article may be unsuitable for kids. Below is a brief summary of my vote recommendations for school board, if you don’t have time to read the whole article immediately:
District C – Trish Mahre
District D – Nick Allan
District E – David Combs
Following are summaries of the candidates running for District 51 School Board in the upcoming November 2 election. Sources of information included the candidates’ publicly available campaign and work websites, their campaign and personal social media, and other primary and authoritative online resources, including minutes of District 51 Board meetings and the website of Mesa County Libraries.
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.
GOP County Commissioner Candidate Cody Davis takes a selfie of the candidates at a GOP “Meet the Candidate” event on Friday amid a lack of attendees. (Photo Credit: Cody Davis/Janet Rowland)
A Republican “Meet the Candidate” event held at Jerry’s Outdoor Sports on 30 Road near I-70-B featured Janet Rowland and Cody Davis, both running for Mesa County Commissioner, Matt Soper, who is running for the Colorado District 54 House seat, and Janice Rich, running for the Colorado District 55 House seat.
Rowland posted information about the event on her Facebook page saying “We had a great time at our first Meet the Candidate event. Thankful to have young and old show up.”
She meant one young person and one old person showed up.
Photos of the event show fewer than a handful of attendees, revealing a potential lack of enthusiasm for the slate of GOP candidates in Mesa County in November.
(Left to right) Matt Soper, Cody Davis and Janice Rich talk to all four people who attended a Mesa County GOP Meet the Candidate event held Friday at Jerry’s Outdoor Sports. (Photo by Janet Rowland via Facebook)
Wondering how to vote in the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, June 30, 2020?
Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations for how to vote on the Mesa County Democratic Primary Ballot. Wherever candidates are running unopposed, VOTE FOR THEM. They are Democrats.
Given the difficult mess our country is in now, especially at the federal level and local levels after years of Republican domination, it’s crucial for the country to change direction by electing Democrats to every office from top to bottom this year.
Lauren Boebert is still promoting the lie that the election “isn’t over.”
With a few rare exceptions, it has become part and parcel of being a Mesa County Republican these days to flat-out lie to constituents, promote conspiracy theories, disdain science, cite full-on wacko nutbag sources of “information” to the public as though they were legitimate, authoritative sources and completely depart from reality to appeal to the base. We also are seeing an epidemic of Republican elected officials who, without having any background in medicine, epidemiology, virology, public health or any other scientific field, claim to know better than doctors and public health experts how to get us out of the pandemic.
That’s the case with many of our newly elected officials who are about to take office.
If you don’t think these folks are totally wack, just go check their social media accounts.