In a video taken last September, House Rep. Lauren Boebert says the U.S. is undergoing “replacement theory,” the white supremacist ideology behind an 18-year old’s gun massacre of ten Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, March 14, 2022. Payton Gendron, the shooter, left behind a 180-page manifesto that showed he was fixated on the conspiracy theory that White people in the U.S. are being intentionally replaced — the same idea Boebert spouts in this video.
A third ethics complaint (pdf) was filed against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on May 9, 2022.
This one is about her failure to report contributions to her legal defense fund, in particular the $800,000 donation that My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell said he made to Peters’ fund. Lindell disclosed the donation at an election denier event at the state Capitol April 5. 9News in Denver described it as the single biggest contribution ever made to any elected official in Colorado history. The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) designated the latest complaint as Complaint No. 22-22. It is the third ethics complaint filed against Peters since she became a high-profile election denier.
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell just sealed the case for Complaint #22-07 (pdf) to the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for her skirting Colorado’s anti-corruption law by raising unlimited amounts of money through her legal defense fund.
In an apparent effort to try to get out of the ethics complaint, Peters recently shut down her Colorado-based legal defense fund website and moved her legal fundraising to a Minnesota-based “legal offense fund” operated by her fellow election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.
At an election denier rally today at the state Capitol in Denver, a 9News reporter asked Lindell how much he has raised for Peters’ legal defense fund. Lindell said, “I just put in all the money myself.” When the reporter asked Lindell how much that was, he answered, “I don’t know, I put in 3,4,5, maybe $800,000 of my own money.”
$800,000 would be the largest amount ever given to a Colorado politician or elected official.
A report yesterday evening from Kyle Clark of 9News in Denver confirmed that indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has closed down her legal defense fund website, StandWithTina.org, and shifted her legal fundraising out of state to a Wisconsin fund operated by My Pillow CEO and fellow election conspiracist Mike Lindell. Lindell told Clark he is now funding Peters’ legal defense through the site, and is using some of his own funds to help her as well.
Updated 3/30/22 @ 10:10 a.m.
The Mesa County Republican Party has reached a whole new level of crazy in 2022, as indicated by a handout at their assembly at the DoubleTree hotel last Saturday, March 26, that lists the party’s recommendations for the statewide GOP platform. The local party will vote on which of these resolutions to forward to the state party for inclusion in the statewide platform.
According to the handout, some Mesa County Republicans now want to register and regulate journalists “to protect against the Marxist agenda.” They support “private ownership of AR-15s, 30-round magazines and semi-automatic weapons,” firearms described by CNN Money as “the mass shooters’ go-to weapon.” Local Republicans also support “making Ivermectin an over-the-counter (OTC) drug.” Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug commonly used as a horse-dewormer and in dogs to prevent heartworm.
Taking a leaf from the QAnon playbook of turning school boards into battlegrounds for unhinged conservative politics, a woman named Gabriella Moorman threatened individual members of the Telluride School District board in San Miguel County as a way to rail against district policies that guided masking during the pandemic, sex education, Critical Race Theory (which is not taught in K-12 schools) and other practices and policies the school board has taken in the past.
Moorman wrote to board members that “you could lose your house, your cars, your job, your retirement, etc., if you DO NOT PAY ATTENTION. You are inviolation of multiple State, Federal and International laws … and you could be facing time in FEDERAL PRISON for your actions if you do not cease and desist.”
If you haven’t had time yet to read the entire 18-page indictment of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (pdf) filed March 8 that led to her arrest on seven felonies and three misdemeanors, probably the newest and most interesting additional information in it is about the infamous “Gerald Wood,” who we all thought was the unauthorized person Peters smuggled into the secure room where the election equipment is kept.
Turns out he wasn’t.
Jason Jovanovich, an attorney and former district judge from Glenwood Springs, is the attorney handling Tina Peters’ recent criminal indictment for alleged election equipment tampering.
Republican Governor Bill Owens appointed Jovanovich as a judge in Garfield County in 2005.
“If I had a big red button right here that would kill all the pit bulls, I wouldn’t hesitate to press it.”
Tina Peters was booked into the Mesa County jail this afternoon on $500,000 cash-only bond after surrendering at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Daily Sentinel, if she is convicted on all charges, and if they run consecutively, Peters could get a maximum penalty of 28 years in jail and $2.7 million in fines, and Knisley could get a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison and $2 million in fines.
Peters blamed her arrest on Democrats and establishment Republicans who dislike Donald Trump. She gave a long statement to the Daily Sentinel that said in part, “Using a grand jury to formalize politically motivated accusations against candidates is (a) tactic long employed by the Democrat Party.”
The grand jury indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters this morning (pdf) on 13 counts related to her official misconduct and tampering with election equipment. The charges include a mix of felonies and misdemeanors.
Peters is charged with three counts of attempting to influence a public servant (a Class 4 felony), one count of attempting to influence a public servant (a Class 5 felony), one count of criminal impersonation (a Class 6 felony), one count of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation (a Class 6 felony); one count of identify theft (a Class 4 felony) and one count of first-degree official misconduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor. Peters is also charged with one count each of violation of duty and failure to comply with the Secretary of State, both unclassified misdemeanor offenses.
The grand jury also indicted Deputy Mesa County Clerk Belinda Knisely on violation of duty, failure to comply with the Secretary of State, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, and multiple counts of attempting to influence a public servant.
In this exchange during her speaking engagement at the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club on February 21, a woman in the audience asks election conspiracy-theorist Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters how to get “voters with inappropriate names off the voter list”:
Woman to Tina: “Is there anything we can do at this point, at this election, I mean to get these voters with inappropriate names off the voter list?”
Tina: “Yes, there’s some issues on HAVA [the Help America Vote Act] (pdf). They stand behind HAVA a lot. That is the national voting act where they are bringing in all these drop boxes and making elections “more accessible” to everybody. [Tina gestures using air quotes when she says “more accessible”]. Well, they’re really not. They’re making them more accessible to the ones that shouldn’t be voting.”
Tina Peters is running to replace Jenna Griswold as Colorado Secretary of State.
Speaking to members of the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club on February 21, 2022 (video), Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters claimed that she was “framed” when election workers found “429 ballots” uncollected in a ballot box from the 2019 election.
The ballots were discovered when election workers went to empty the box for the 2020 election, but Peters refused to petition a judge to open and count them and include them in the final vote tally from the 2019 election. In her talk, Peters also got the number of uncounted ballots wrong. 574 ballots were discovered left in the ballot box, not 429.
Peters claimed without evidence that “they stuffed the ballot box with 479 ballots” in order to “take over my office” and said it was part of an effort to “take over the western slope.”
Lots of people have been saying it under their breath, but no one has come out and said it publicly. Mostly people have just gotten angry at Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for her increasingly strange behavior, but maybe it’s time to start pitying Tina.
We can all agree that Tina’s behavior has been very far outside what is considered normal for an elected county clerk:
Normal clerks don’t compromise their own election equipment. They don’t flee the state on private jets, spend weeks hiding in safe houses in secret locations around the country or accept largesse from multi-millionaires to promote wacky election conspiracy theories. Normal clerks don’t blow off their obligation as clerks (pdf) to get certified to run elections as the state requires. Normal clerks don’t proclaim that the candidates who won an election shouldn’t have won because they were the wrong people to win. Normal county clerks don’t get their homes raided by the FBI.
On February 11, 2022, the same day she was officially arrested and booked on charges of obstruction, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters appeared as a speaker at an “Emergency Town Hall” event held by the right wing extremist group Faith, Education, Commerce United in Castle Rock, Colorado.
During the Q &A, a member of the audience asks Peters:
“I’d like to hear from Tina. Would you bring us up to speed on all this? I read in the paper … I don’t get it, I mean I sort of get it, but the whole thing .. They walk into a restaurant, they arrest you and then they let you go. I don’t get it. Could you give us a nice little synopsis here? What started this in the first place?”
Tina responds by saying in part,
“So I did not go out on a fishing expedition, I did not go out to, you know, find something to prove that Trump won. It was very obvious, I think, to everybody. But when I saw the City Council election, I said ‘there’s no way, there is NO WAY that these people won in our town.'”
Matt Crane, the Executive Director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, who is a Republican, responded to this statement by Tina Peters by saying:
Tina Peters speaks to a far right wing crowd on the same day she was charged with crimes by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
On the same day the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office booked County Clerk Tina Peters on charges of obstructing a police officer and obstructing government operations, she was a guest speaker at an “Emergency Town Hall” held by the far right wing group “Faith, Education and Commerce United “(FEC United) in Castle Rock, Colorado where she got a standing ovation with rousing applause.