Anne Landman

Mesa County residents freaked out by CMU’s semester-kickoff superspreader event

CMU’s held its freshman orientation semester kickoff event in an indoor gym without taking any coronavirus precautions, like masking or physical distancing.

 

No masks, no physical distancing, lots of open-mouths and yelling among the younger crowd, the age range currently being most infected with the more dangerous delta variant of Covid-19

Mesa County residents are horrified by photos Colorado Mesa University (CMU) gleefully posted on it’s Facebook page yesterday showing the school held a jam-packed, high-energy indoor semester-kickoff event without taking any coronavirus precautions.

Vice News reports Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is on the run, housed in secret locations by My Pillow Guy

 

Tina Peters is on the run

Vice News reports that Mike Lindell, the CEO of the My Pillow Company, has been harboring  Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in safe houses around the country and moving her from place to place to avoid detection. Lindell told Vice News he initially housed Peters in Texas after his 3-day Cyber Symposium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she was  featured as an expert speaker on the subject 2020 election conspiracy theories, but after one of Lindell’s own disgruntled security employees leaked Peters’ location, Lindell moved her to another undisclosed location.

The FBI and the Mesa County District Attorney are investigating Peters for possible criminal activity. She is also under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for allegedly breaching security protocols put in place to protect Mesa County’s voting equipment from tampering.

Commissioners appoint Wayne Williams, former SOS who contracted with Dominion Voting Systems, to run local elections

Wayne Williams, via Wikipedia, photo By Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72780852

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners (BOCC) held a rushed hearing this evening at which they appointed former Secretary of State Wayne Williams to oversee the 2021 election in Mesa County, taking swift action after Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) Jena Griswold stripped Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ of her ability to carry out elections.

The SOS can’t remove Peters from office because she was elected, but she can stop Peters from carrying out elections.

Griswold appointed current Mesa County Treasurer and former two-term County Clerk Sheila Reiner to oversee elections.

Reiner, a Republican, was term-limited out of the County Clerk’s office in 2018. Peters was elected in 2018 as her replacement. Peters is currently under criminal investigation in which, the SOS’s office says, all evidence shows she allegedly engineered a security breach of the county’s election equipment.

BOCC arm wrestles the Secretary of State for local control

SOS to appoint replacement for Peters while Mesa County Commissioners hold a meeting tonight to decide whether to appoint a replacement for Peters

Yes, you read that right.

Denver news is reporting (video) that the Secretary of State will strip Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters of power and “appoint someone other than [Mesa County] Clerk Tina Peters to oversee Mesa County’s elections.”

At the same time, the Mesa County Commissioners are holding a special meeting tonight to consider only one item:  deciding whether to “approve or deny” an apparent replacement for Tina Peters.

Consider and approve or deny the conditional appointment of a designated election official pursuant to C.R.S. 1-1-104(8).  (Todd Starr, County Attorney)

This begs the question: Why are the County Commissioners holding a meeting to decide whether or not to replace Peters when the Secretary of State is already going to replace her? Is it just right wing theater to placate the batsh*t crazy “Stand for the Constitution” crowd? Or what is going on here?

The Commissioners don’t usually hold public meetings about personnel matters. They didn’t do it when Mesa County was dealing with County Administrator Frank Whidden and his multiple age discriminations lawsuits, charges of sexual harassment and other sordid situations.

The Commissioners’ single meeting agenda item has the name of County Attorney Todd Starr beneath it, so I called Starr’s office to ask why this meeting was being held. Someone answered the call who claimed to have absolutely no idea whatsoever about the meeting, who said no one was there who did, and said it was all the County Commissioners’ doing. That person referred me to the County Commissioners’ office. A call to the County Commissioners’ office was answered by someone who said they had no idea why the meeting was being held, and referred me back to the County Attorney’s office.

It was the classic Mesa County runaround.

At the same time, reports are that the FBI has now joined in the criminal investigation of Clerk Tina Peters.

So confusion reigns from top to bottom now inside Mesa County government, as Peters’ elected Republican pals struggle to figure out how to deal with what looks more and more like a criminal County Clerk who intentionally facilitated a security breach that compromised Mesa County’s own voting equipment.

Rose Pugliese can’t possibly run for Secretary of State now, or for any office anywhere, ever

Rumors are that former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese hopes to run as the Republican candidate for Colorado Secretary of State, but thanks to the recent antics of her Republican pal, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, there is no clearer indication anywhere on Earth that any candidate is so absolutely unsuited for office than Rose Pugliese is for Colorado Secretary of State.

Pugliese endorsed Peters for Mesa County Clerk in 2018. 

That’s all anyone needs to know, and it should put an immediate end to Rose’s political ambitions in Colorado, forever, period.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in her own words

Instead of being in Grand Junction dealing with the breach of security in the Elections Office that’s going to cost County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to remedy, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters fled the state to appear as a featured speaker at the My Pillow Guy’s “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at which Mike Lindell, CEO of the My Pillow Company, promised to finally reveal long-sought-after proof that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. By all accounts, Lindell’s symposium imploded spectacularly. Lindell also heard during the conference that a judge allowed a $1 billion defamation lawsuit (pdf) filed against him last February by the Dominion Corporation, which manufactures the voting machines used in Peters’ office, would be allowed to go forward.

Peters was lauded as a hero at the event, and was introduced to the crowd as “an amazing patriot who is doing exactly what she should be doing and protecting and defending the vote.”

CO Secretary of State Griswold: “All evidence shows” Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters assisted in a security breach; S.O.S. decertifies Mesa County’s voting equipment

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (Photo: State of Colorado)

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold gave a press conference today (video) in which she revealed that last May 25th, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters permitted an unauthorized non-employee of the Elections Department to participate in a highly sensitive annual security inspection of Mesa County’s voting equipment called a Trusted Build. The name of the non-employee entered into the log that day was “Gerald Wood,” and Griswold revealed that Woods’ name was entered into the log by the Mesa County Clerk herself. Griswold noted that the non-employee “swiped in, but did not swipe out.”

“This was a breach,” Griswold said. “He was not an employee and he was not background checked. The Clerk misled the Secretary of State’s office about this information.”

Griswold said,

“To be very clear, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder allowed a security breach and by all evidence at this point, assisted it.”

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, defiant amid criminal investigation by Secretary of State, appears as “whistleblower” guest speaker at My Pillow guy’s Cyber Symposium

The Daily Sentinel reported today that Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ office is under criminal investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) for an alleged election system security breach in which secret passwords to Mesa County’s voting machines were leaked and exposed on a right wing blog called GatewayPundit.

School Board candidate Haitz sends out offensive fundraising email

Fundraising email from Andrea Haitz announcing her campaign for D-51 school board

School District 51 Board Candidate Andrea Haitz sent out a red-meat fundraising email in July that offended teachers, parents and D-51 employees who have been working hard to give kids the best education possible while struggling with all the difficulties imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Haitz said,

“Politics is in the way of our children’s future. Political agendas are being jammed down our kids’ throats. Necessary tools that were once taught, like critical thinking, have now been replaced with divisive ideologies and revisionist history.

I will not watch our kids be brainwashed. I am taking a stand!

Will you join me by making a contribution to my campaign?”

The email was a dog-whistle designed to extract donations from far-right conservatives who fear “Critical Race Theory,” (CRT) a body of legal and academic scholarship that proposes that race is a social and not a biological construct, and that discusses how race and a history of institutionalized racism have created and perpetuate a system that broadly disadvantages people of color in American society.

Rep. Boebert promotes herself while I-70 shutdown causes national emergency

Boebert promotes herself at the Rifle County Fair Demolition Derby August 2 while the nearby shutdown of I-70 chokes off the flow of supplies, gas, mail, groceries and other commerce to and from her district.

CD-3 House Representative Lauren Boebert was busy making a video of herself at the Rifle Demolition Derby August 2 while at the same time Colorado Governor Jared Polis was declaring a state of emergency and requesting a federal disaster designation in her district due to the shut down of I-70, the major east-west artery that supplies groceries, gas, tourism, mail and other key commerce to Boebert’s district on Colorado’s western slope. The shutdown of I-70 is also hampering national commerce, hence Gov. Polis’ request for a federal disaster declaration.

Boebert didn’t even mention in her video the major highway disaster unfolding nearby.

G.J. citizens get anonymous racist hate mail in response to yard signs promoting social justice, inclusiveness

An example of the yard signs Grand Junction, CO, that are prompting far right wingers to target homeowners with anonymous, racist hate mail

Grand Junction’s undercurrent of hatred showed itself again this week after several City residents reported they’ve gotten anonymous racist hate mail that they think was prompted, at least in part, by signs in their front yards indicating support of social equity, inclusion and justice.

A bi-racial downtown resident reports having gotten a total of nine racist hate letters so far, saying they have been coming steadily, approximately monthly, for about a year now, starting in 2020.

A Redlands Village resident got the following racist poem in the mail, authored by a “A. Wyatt Mann,” a pen name used by an American filmmaker named Nick Bougas, who produced racist, homophobic and anti-semitic material under the pseudonym. She also got a “Fuck Biden and fuck you if you voted for him” note, also posted below:

Rep. Boebert tells an audience that the word “inalienable” is actually pronounced “un-a-leen-able”

A video recording of House Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) schooling her audience in how to mispronounce the word “inalienable” was posted to Twitter on March 21, 2021

A video recording has surfaced on Twitter of CD-3 House Representative Lauren Boebert (R) instructing an audience with great certainty that the correct way to pronounce the word “inalienable” is in fact “un-uh-leen-uh-buhl.” Boebert goes out of her way to stress this is the correct pronunciation, saying:

“We the people have been endowed by our creator with certain un-a-LEEN-able rights.

 That word is NOT pronounced “in-ay-lee-en-able.’ … These rights are UN-UH-LEEN-UBLE.”

Boebert does not explain how she arrived that the conclusion her pronunciation is correct, even though every published dictionary and pronunciation guide available says the word is pronounced “IN-AIL-EE-EN-ABLE.” Some pronunciation guides on the internet even supply audio to communicate the correct pronunciation of the word.

Officials at Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig say Rep. Boebert is ignorant about health care policy and it’s costing lives

In the wake of House Rep. Lauren Boebert refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, calling Covid-19 vaccine administrators “needle Nazis” and likening public health efforts to control the pandemic to “communism,” Andrew Daniels, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig, Colorado, told a national news outlet (video) that he is “embarrassed that Lauren Boebert is his House Representative.”

His hospital was recently forced to re-open its Covid ward due to a resurgence in Covid cases in Moffat County, now considered a coronavirus hotspot due to high rate of community transmission and a low vaccination rate, similar to Mesa County.

Covid hotspots are in red. (Source: CDC/CNN)

Daniels, who described himself as a “super conservative,” said of Boebert,

“I’m embarrassed that she’s my representative. I think if you’re going to take a stance on health care policy, you might actually want to learn something about healthcare policy.”

Dr. Matthew Grzegozewski, Memorial Regional Hospital’s Director of Emergency Medicine struck a similar note, about Boebert, saying

“A lot of people are listening [to what Boebert] is saying and a lot of what she’s putting out there is ideology and in fact isn’t medically sound, and it’s putting people in danger and quite honestly costing people their lives, and it’s frustrating to have to fight against that. 

Once-pristine Hanging Lake defiled by mudslides and debris

Photo of Hanging Lake taken yesterday by a Denver-based CBS News helicopter that was covering the I-70 mud/debris flows. (Photo credit: CBS)

A CBS News helicopter flying over I-70 through Glenwood Canyon to film the mud and debris slides yesterday posted a devastating photo of Hanging Lake on Twitter that shows the once amazingly pristine, crystal-clear lake now full of muddy water.

The the amazement of many, Hanging Lake survived the massive Grizzly Creek fire unscathed last year, but it has taken a serious hit this summer from the thunderstorms that are now washing massive amounts of debris and mud down the mountainsides.

In Facebook video update, CDOT says Glenwood Canyon has 10 different debris slides between No Name and Dostero

CDOT photo of Glenwood Canyon today

Upwards of ten separate debris slides occurred last night in I-70 in Glenwood Canyon between No Name and Dostero as a result of thunderstorms, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported in a live video update on Facebook at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.

Group petitions District 51 to use stronger Covid-19 protocols this fall

National news report on July 27 says current guidance is that all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools should wear masks regardless of vaccination status, especially indoors in Covid hot spots. Mesa County is a Covidhot spot for the more contagious Delta variant.

Supporters for Open and Safe Schools (SOS), a group of Mesa County residents who are alarmed by the lax Covid-19 prevention protocols School District 51 put in place for this fall, is challenging the District’s “2021-22 Keeping Schools Open Plan” as insufficient to keep students and the surrounding community safe from COVID outbreaks and school closures amid a continuing pandemic.

District 51 announced its “Keeping Schools Open” plan on July 16, but the plan does not require students or staff to wear face coverings. Instead it makes masking optional, lets unvaccinated visitors onto schools grounds without wearing face coverings and only encourages, and does not require, staff and students over 12 years to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

15 year old Florida Covid patient who did not get the opportunity to get vaccinated

Currently children under 12 are not eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, making them more susceptible to infection, especially with more transmissible Delta variant that spread rapidly in Mesa County after the County Commissioners ended all Covid protections in the county last spring. Currently only 43 percent of Mesa County adults over 12 years of age are fully vaccinated, far lower than the statewide average of 54 percent.

Mesa County has already had one pediatric COVID death.

Crowd protests Boebert and Jordan’s appearance in G.J.

Some of the crowd that turned out to protest Boebert and Jordan

A crowd of about 50 protesters came out to heckle Mesa County’s wealthiest Republicans as they arrived at the Grand Junction Convention Center to attend a Mesa County Republican Party fundraiser on Saturday, July 24 featuring House Representatives Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan.

Boebert was recently shunned by a GOP women’s fundraising group, the Value In Electing Women (VIEW) PAC, which called her “a shameless self-promoter” and a “carnival barker.” The group accused Boebert of treating Congress like a joke and a reality show. Boebert’s votes have shocked much of the nation. She voted against giving medals to the U.S. Capitol Police who defended Congress from the 1/6 attack. She voted against a bill to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and was one of only two legislators to vote against a national bone marrow registry to help cancer patients  She also voted against protecting seniors and indigenous communities from scams in a 413-8 vote.

Protest planned for GOP event in G.J. featuring House Reps. Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert

House Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

The Mesa County Republican Party is hosting an event this coming Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. the Grand Junction Convention Center that features House Reps. Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan (Ohio). The event starts at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $125-$225.

Several groups, including the Mesa County Democrats, are asking people to turn out to protest the event.

Rep. Jordan is a former wrestling coach at Ohio State University (OSU) who former university students accuse of helping cover up sexual abuse by the team doctor, Richard Strauss. A multi-million dollar investigation by OSU revealed Strauss had molested “at least 177 males students” between 1979 and 1996. Jordan worked at the university during that time, from 1987-1995. Six former wrestlers say Jordan knew about the molestation and didn’t do anything. A wrestling referee said he reported the abuse to Jordan but Jordan didn’t do anything to help the victims. Some students report that Jordan asked them to help cover up the abuse. The whistleblower who first exposed the abuse said he got a phone call from Jordan “begging” and “crying” to him not to corroborate accounts of the abuse.