Category: Conservatives

Rabid right wing extremist Cindy Ficklin announces she is running for State Representative for HD-55

Starting at minute 8:00 in a “Facebook Live” video posted yesterday by “Stand for the Constitution,” local rabid far right wing extremist and realtor Cindy Ficklin announced she is running for State Representative from House District 55, the seat currently held by Janice Rich, who plans on running for state Senate.

Ficklin tells viewers she filed for the seat because the District 51 school board rejected her application to be appointed to the Board.

Cindy Ficklin

In the video, Ficklin spends about 7 minutes recounting what she believes are all her qualifications for  school board, and decries rejection of her application to fill the seat vacated by Paul Pitton, who resigned from the School Board September 14 due to the threats and politicization of board meetings by far right wing extremists. In resigning, Pitton said, “Politics have crept in and have no place in the public school system.”

Ficklin says,

“I somehow was NOT in the top four [finalists] for school board, who were all leftist progressive liberals…All right, fine. I am announcing that I just filed for House District 55 State Representative and we’re gonna make SURE this never happens again because this was wrong on every single level! It’s NOT okay that a school board can DO that to a community!”

She adds:

“We are going to make sure that we take this state back, and our country back, and this school district back.”

School board races are non-partisan, so the political affiliations of candidates are not announced or on the ballot.

Ficklin posted on Facebook that she announced she is running for HD-55

Stand for the Constitution (SFTC), the group backing Ficklin, is the far right wing extremist political group that threatened the Mesa County Commissioners with “holy war” and “civil war” if they don’t declare Mesa County a “constitutional sanctuary,” where state and federal laws don’t apply. The group also supports embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is currently under criminal investigation for allegedly tampering with voting machines and facilitating the release of sensitive passwords to the county’s voting equipment onto election conspiracy websites. STFC also likens Covid-19 vaccinations to Nazi-like medical experimentation and backs Willie Jones, the candidate for school board who works full time at the Fantasy Strip Club.

Court legally bars Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters & Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley from any involvement in the November elections

A District Court Judge today legally barred Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters from running elections in the county. Despite her refusal to faithfully carry out the duties of her elected office, displaying an overt political bias in regard to whom she believes should and should not win elections in Mesa County and her bizarre antics promoting false claims of widespread voter fraud, Peters will keep getting her taxpayer-funded salary and can only be removed from office by resigning or through a recall election.

Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie Robison today issued an injunction  officially preventing embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and her hand-picked Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley from having any involvement with the November elections. The ruling officially removed Peters as Designated Election Official and installed former Secretary of State Wayne Williams in that position. It also confirmed Sheila Riener as the Election Supervisor.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought against Peters and Knisley by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The suit was joined by Mesa County Commissioners Janet Rowland, Cody Davis and Scott McInnis, who were listed in the suit as intervenors.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is on a mission from God, says “It just didn’t make sense” that the people who won the last G.J. City Council election actually won

In a new video posted on the website of the “Truth and Liberty Coalition,” Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters alleges that the people who won seats on the Grand Junction City Council in the last election were “falsely elected” and that “people have been put into elected positions that really did not win the election.”

It is unclear exactly when the video was recorded, but estimates are it was within the last three days.

Peters was interviewed by televangelist Andrew Wommack, and appears with Sheronna Bishop, former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert. Several times in the video Peters indicates that God is on her side and is and directing her efforts to prove Mesa County elections are corrupt. She also says that she was “shocked” that certain people won the last Grand Junction City Council election because “It just didn’t make sense … that these people won.” She added that she was also motivated by an unnamed number of citizens who came to her saying “this is impossible” that the candidates who won in the City Council election had actually won.

Cindy Ficklin’s application for Paul Pitton’s seat on D-51 School Board raises alarm

Cindy Ficklin, who is seeking a seat on the District 51 School Board, poses with a hand gun.

Cindy Paschal Ficklin, one of Mesa County’s most far right wing extremist political figures, is applying for Paul Pitton’s District B on the District 51 School Board.

Pitton announced he is resigning from the School Board because of the recent politicization of board meetings by extreme right wing activists, particularly members of “Stand for the Constitution,” the group that has been repeatedly pressuring the Mesa County Commissioners to declare the county a “Constitutional sanctuary,” where federal laws don’t apply.

Secretary of State lawsuit against Mesa County Clerk also names Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley

Belinda Knisley is described in the SOS lawsuit as “absent and/or unable to perform her duties,” like Tina Peters

The text of the Secretary of State’s lawsuit against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (pdf) essentially says Deputy Clerk and Recorder Belinda Knisley lied to State employees with Tina Peters’ knowledge when she told them a non-employee County Elections staff allowed to access voting equipment last May was a County employee, when in fact he was not, and had never been a County employee. Knisley, described in the suit as a “possible successor” to Tina Peters in the Elections Department, is specifically named as a Respondent in the suit in addition to Peters.

County Commissioners do about-face on pot with referred ballot measures

Mesa County may finally be recognizing that Colorado’s new cannabis economy has brought big benefits to towns and counties that have embraced it.

Item #8 on the Mesa County Commissioners’ agenda today is a proposal to refer a measure to the countywide ballot a measure that will give voters a choice to “override” a 2013 ordinance (pdf) that prohibited the cultivation, manufacture, testing and retail sales of cannabis in the unincorporated county, and instead ALLOW such activity.

Agenda Item #9 will refer a related measure to the ballot that would let the County charge an excise tax on the sale or transfer of “unprocessed retail marijuana.”

The measures represent a 180 degree turn from where the county was 8 years ago, and appears to be an effort to start grabbing some of the cash the cannabis industry has been generating throughout the state, that Mesa County has lost out on for so long.

Mesa County Commissioners approve extended contract with Dominion Voting Systems

Commissioner Janet Rowland gives angry audience a dose of reality, and votes to do the right thing

Screen shot of Zoom of today’s meeting, with chat box, while County Commissioner Scott McInnis was speaking. He was wearing a pink shirt.

The Mesa County Commissioners voted unanimously this afternoon to extend the County’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems so they could get new voting equipment for no up-front cost from Dominion. The Commissioners voted to maintain the County’s contract with the company until 2029, and agreed to make progressively higher payments to the company throughout that time. The County needed new voting equipment to replace the equipment decertified by the Colorado Secretary of State because Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was unable to prove the equipment had been kept secure and had not been compromised.

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.

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:

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.

Commissioners ask governor to end supplemental federal benefits for unemployed County residents

At their public hearing on Monday, July 12, 2021, the Republican Mesa County Commissioners voted to officially request Governor Jared Polis end the supplemental unemployment benefits that have been helping keep unemployed and low income County residents and their families afloat during the pandemic.

Why? Because they want to force people to go back to work to fill mostly low paying, often difficult and dangerous front line jobs, often where people are likely to be exposed to the virus and would risk exposing their families to it as well.

15.8% of Mesa County’s population lives below the federal poverty line, more than the poverty rate for the state as a whole, at 11.5%. The 2018 Federal Poverty Level for annual income is $16,147 for an individual and $33,383 for a family of four.

To be sure, the Mesa County Commissioners aren’t living on wages like that. They make around $90,000/year when perks like health insurance are included.

Mesa County’s pervasive right wing culture is damaging our public health and economy

No one wants to say it, but Mesa County’s far right wing culture is now hurting us all, physically and economically

Everybody is dancing around it, but no one wants to come right out and say it. It’s the single biggest threat to Mesa County’s population in the last hundred years, but everyone is scared to say it:

Mesa County’s dominant far right wing culture is now causing a resurgent spread of Covid-19, sending people to the hospital and endangering the children in our community who are too young to get vaccinated. Our area’s right wing culture, with its erroneous, misinformed beliefs, is causing the majority of Mesa County residents to refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19. At the same time our elected officials have abandoned all other means of controlling the pandemic, like masking and physical distancing requirements.

We’ve heard over and over again that the Covid vaccine is now our only way out of the pandemic, but because most people in Mesa County are refusing to get vaccinated, we may never escape the pandemic.

Orchard Mesa Baptist Church to host Covid-19 misinformation event by liars and grifters at $20 a ticket

The Eventbrite invitation to the Covid-19 disinformation event at Orchard Mesa Baptist Church tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrow afternoon the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church at 2748 B 1/2 Road will host a Covid-19 disinformation event for $20 admission featuring three discredited and fake “doctors” and Sheronna Bishop, who was bumped from Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign last year after Bishop publicly endorsed the Proud Boys, a far right, white nationalist organization. The Proud Boys was one of the violent extremist groups targeted by the FBI in its investigation of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Billed as the “Truth and Freedom Tour,” the event at the OM Baptist Church features three people who are well known for disseminating false, misleading and dangerous information about the Coronavirus pandemic.

Delta County School Board blocks students from medically-accurate, comprehensive sex ed

Kathy Svenson of Delta County. speaking to the Delta County School Board, likens transgenderism to putting diesel in a gas engine. In 2013 Svenson, a former Delta County School Board Member, said transgender children should be castrated before they are allowed use school restrooms.

At its Friday, May 21, 2021 meeting, the Delta County School Board unanimously passed Resolution 2021-15, blocking students who attend Delta County public schools from being able to access a comprehensive, medically-accurate sexual education. People who attended the meeting reported that the School Board did not give the public any notice about its intent to vote on the resolution at the meeting. According to KVNF Radio, the school board had promised it would circulate a questionnaire and host a public meeting about the topic, but it did not.

Colorado Mesa University Trustees anoint John Marshall as next President

New CMU President John Marshall. Many in the community considered his appointment  a foregone conclusion.

Colorado Mesa University’s Board of Trustees today appointed John Marshall as the next president of CMU.

Marshall, who formerly worked as a Republican political operative, was hired at CMU in 2007 by Tim Foster as “Development Director,”  a job that at the time paid $100,000/year with no experience in academia. He was widely considered one of Tim Foster’s many Republican crony hires at CMU.

One student called the appointment “Cronyism at its finest” saying “I’m sure this was decided before Foster even stepped down…and the ‘search’ was, well, just a farce.”

In the August 21, 2006 Denver Post, Marshall publicly disparaged progressive Coloradans, calling them “pampered, bed-wetting liberals” and adding “No one cares what they say about anything.” CMU people have related several anecdotes where they observed Marshall being dismissive of incidents of homophobia involving students on and off campus.

A history of Republican cronyism at Colorado Mesa University

CMU President Tim Foster

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster has long used CMU to create high-paying jobs for Republican friends who either lost elections, were term-limited out of office or simply had no other place to go. His use of CMU for patronage appointments for exclusively Republican pals is so notorious that in 2007 Leslie Robinson, a writer for the Colorado Independent, dubbed the school “Mesa Republican College.”

The financial misuse of a taxpayer-funded institution by a person in position of power to benefit friends and acquaintances is called “cronyism” Its formal definition is “the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.” People often confuse cronyism with nepotism, which is when a powerful person appoints family members to positions of authority without regard to their qualifications.

What’s wrong with cronyism?