Category: Corruption

Boebert reimburses herself over $30k for mileage in 2020 — enough to circumnavigate the globe 1.5 times

Colorado Pols examined District 3 Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert’s campaign expenditures and discovered Ms. Boebert reimbursed herself a total of $30,177 in mileage expense from her campaign donations in 2020. She reimbursed herself about $22,000 of that in one lump on 11/11/2020.

For the sake of comparison, Colorado Pols compared Boebert’s mileage reimbursements with those of outgoing CD-3 Congressman Scott Tipton’s claimed mileage expenses over the entire time he served in Congress, and found Tipton reimbursed himself a total of $12,255 from his campaign — over the entire last TEN YEARS he held the office.

Trump administration dismantling Grand Junction’s Postal Service ahead of election

Dumpster at the postal sorting annex on Patterson with a flats sorting machine in it.

Yesterday morning I went to the U.S. Postal Service sorting annex on Patterson to drop off a postage-paid package. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a red dumpster by the loading docks. When I went inside to drop the package off for scanning, I jokingly asked the clerk if that was their high-speed sorter outside in the dumpster, referring to reports that the mail is being hobbled before the election as Trump pushes baseless arguments against mail-in voting.

The clerk said “No, that’s our flats sorting machine. We had just gotten it. It took 2 months to set it up and they were just about to do a test run when the Postmaster General ordered us to take it out. Now we’re sorting flats by hand. We really could have used it. No wonder they say we’re losing money when they throw out expensive machines like that.” **

The Los Angeles Times reported August 20th that the slowdown in the mail has left postal warehouses in Los Angeles full of rotting packages of meat, fruit and dead animals, drawing gnats, flies, rats and mice. One California postal customer who saw the mess said it was “like Armageddon.”

Tim Foster endorses anti-science candidate with a track record of plagiarism for Mesa County Commissioner

“Principled”? Tim Foster’s endorsement of anti-science, documented plagiarist Janet Rowland for Mesa County Commissioner. (Screen shot taken from Janet Rowland’s Facebook page on 8/19/20.)

Tim Foster wants to make one thing clear: he is endorsing Janet Rowland for Mesa County Commissioner not in his capacity as longtime President of Colorado Mesa University (CMU), but strictly as an individual.

Well, Okay.

While he certainly has the right as a private citizen to endorse Rowland, doing so nevertheless makes Mesa County residents scratch their heads and wonder why Foster, who everyone knows heads a local university with a Nursing Program, Graduate Nursing Programs and a Physician Assistant program, would endorse an anti-science candidate who actively promotes Q-Anon-based anti-mask disinformation on her social media.

It seems incongruous. Rowland’s posts directly conflict with guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for controlling the pandemic. All this is going on while CMU is making a monumental effort at a tremendous expense to get students and staff to comply with strict on-campus masking and physical distancing rules to minimize the potential public health threat posed by CMU’s opening the school year with in-person learning amid the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

Steve Bannon arrested for diverting donations from “Build the Wall” nonprofit to personal expenses, lavish lifestyle

Time magazine cover photo of Bannon, February, 2017

Western Colorado’s many Trump supporters won’t like today’s news that even more Trump associates are joining the universe of criminality surrounding President Donald Trump:

Former Trump campaign chair and White House adviser Steve Bannon has been arrested along with three others on charges they duped Trump’s supporters into believing they were contributing to building Trump’s border wall, when in reality Bannon and his colleagues diverted donations to fund their personal expenses and lavish lifestyles.

Bannon was arrested with veteran Brian Kolfage and political strategists Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea. The four operated a crowdfunding site called “We the People Build the Wall” that later became the nonprofit “Build the Wall.”

How Trump’s sabotage of the Post Office is playing out locally

Trump mega-donor and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

In May of 2020, President Trump appointed Louis DeJoy, a Trump mega-donor with no postal experience as Postmaster General of the United States.

After taking office in June, Mr. DeJoy immediately started making changes to the Postal Service that resulted in delayed delivery of mail across the country. His actions included removal of 23 top postal executives, removing high-speed mail sorting machines from post offices around the country and prohibiting employees from logging overtime to deliver mail.

Rally planned 8/19 to save the Post Office from the Trump administration’s sabotage-NOTE THIS RALLY HAS BEEN CHANGED TO TUESDAY, AUG. 25TH AT NOON

A rally is planned at noon on Wednesday, August 19 TUESDAY, AUGUST 25TH, in the parking lot behind the Alpine Bank building across from the Main Post Office to protest the deliberate slow-down of the U.S. Postal Service by the Trump administration. The rally is to show our community’s support for postal workers who work under unbelievable constraints. Attendees will walk to Senator Cory Gardner’s office to demand, in person, that he join Democrats in the Senate in calling for an immediate reversal of the ongoing attacks on our right to vote by mail.

Masks are required, and even though the rally will be outside, it will likely be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing from others, so please take care to maintain the gap. It will also be quite hot outside, so consider wearing a hat and bringing water. If the poor air quality in the valley has been negatively impacting your health, please consider staying home.

Legendary employee turnover continues in Mesa County Clerk’s Office with yet another job opening posted for Elections Manager

Mesa County is still in trouble with Clerk Tina, and it seems like there’s no way now to end the bleeding.

Now that the effort to recall Mesa County’s retaliatoryblaming, bumbling and high-spending Republican County Clerk Tina Peters fell short about 1,000 signatures of the 12,192 needed, and Peters has refused to resign, citizens must continue to put up with Clerk Tina, her embarrassing social media antics and her now infamous inability to handle the duties of her office.

Case in point: the massive employee turnover in her office is continuing just one day after the recall effort failed.

The County has posted yet another job opening for an Elections Manager, on August 5, this time just three months before the November, 3 2020 election, and just a day after the failure of the recall attempt against her was announced.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters takes exception to atheists on social media

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ biased comment on the “Transparency in Mesa County” Facebook page.

 

Embattled Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters expressed contempt for atheists yesterday in a comment on social media, sowing further doubt about whether she can truly conduct her office in an impartial manner.

Here is how the comment came about:

Participants on the public group Facebook page “Transparency in Mesa County” had been discussing the County Clerk’s office after it was found that they forgot to collect and count 574+ ballots from the November, 2019 combined general election.

Rep. Matt Soper lies to Delta citizens, and Delta applauds

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.

Republican Party sends out fake census forms just as real census begins

Republicans are sending out fake “Census” forms to try and fool voters into thinking they’ve already answered the 2020 census

Republicans are sending out fake “census” forms to voters in an attempt to fool people out of participating in the real government census. The fake form also tries to convince recipients to send money to the Republican Party.

The administrator of a private Facebook group called “The Left Slope” posted photos on Facebook of a fake “census” form he got in the mail, sent by the Republican Party. Republicans designed the mailing specifically to resemble an official Census form, with a sheet containing survey questions. The mailer also has big letters declaring that it is the “2020 Congressional District Census.”

The Daily Sentinel abdicates its mission, caves to Trumpism

In an editorial January 23 the Daily Sentinel announced it is giving up reporting on Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Sentinel says since they’re not going to change any minds, they’re just going to throw up their hands and give up reporting on it entirely. The paper blames readers, saying “There’s nothing rational about the way people feel about the president.” The shocker here is that the Daily Sentinel is openly abdicating its mission of disseminating information because of Trump supporters.

But it’s also a major false equivalency to say that Trumpers and those who support his impeachment and removal from office are all equally irrational.

They are not equivalent, and the Sentinel knows it.

Pro-impeachment rally most raucous in G.J. history

A rally at 5:30 p.m. yesterday (12/16) in front of the federal building at 4th and Rood Ave. to support the impeachment of President Trump turned out to be the loudest, most energetic rally in the city’s history as some raucous Trump supporters turned out to counter the demonstration.

About 200 sign-and placard-holding impeachment supporters were met by about 40-50 raucous “Bikers for Trump,” State Representative Janice Rich and other assorted self-styled “Deplorables for Trump” on the steps of the federal building at Rood and 4th Street. Trumpers amplified the volume of their comparatively small crowd by using bullhorns to try to overpower the pro-impeachment chanting, to no avail. Their actions just energized the impeachment crowd even more, who yelled ever more loudly and in unison chants like “Impeach Trump!,” “Lock him up!” and “Flush the turd!” At one point, the entire crowd started chanting “USA! USA!”

Performance evaluations for Janet Rowland’s first terms as Commissioner, by citizens

Performance evaluations by citizens of former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s first two terms in office were disappointing.

A search of Daily Sentinel archives for information on Republican Janet Rowland’s first two terms as Mesa County Commissioner (2004-2012) turns up substantial criticism of her by Mesa County residents. These critiques amount to performance evaluations of her by the local electorate during her previous terms in the office.

For those who are unaware, Rowland is currently running for a third term as county commissioner. State law prohibits anyone from serving more than two consecutive terms as County Commissioner. She can run again if at a minimum of four years has elapsed since she previously held the position. That is the case with Rowland and the reason she is able to run again.

But just because the law allows someone to run for extra terms as county commissioner, is it a good idea?

Not in this case.

Beware local sales pitch for a free filet mignon dinner

Postcard mailed out locally that promotes a free meal in exchange for sitting through a financial services seminar.

Have you received a post card in the mail recently promising a free gourmet dinner, with your choice of filet mignon, poached salmon or grilled Portobello steak, at the Ocotillo Restaurant in exchange for sitting through an “informational seminar and insurance sales presentation”?

My first thought upon reading this post card was that given the high cost of the promotion — a sit-down filet mignon dinner at a really nice restaurant — that the company sponsoring this free dinner must be having a VERY hard time attracting customers on the merits of the company alone. I read the postcard thoroughly and squinted to read the mice type, which said “Securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services.”

Then I looked into Woodbury Financial Services, and it was no wonder the person putting on this promo buried the company’s name in the mice type.

Tim Foster’s political stumping as CMU president may violate laws

Ad posted by Janet Rowland may violate the Hatch Act and the Fair Campaign Practices Act

[Update 8/14/19: Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland pulled this ad from her Facebook page after this article was published].

People are questioning whether an ad that Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland recently posted on her campaign Facebook page violates the law.

In the ad, Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster endorses Rowland for commissioner in his capacity as president of CMU, not as a private individual as the law requires. The law says Foster is permitted to make such an endorsement, but ONLY in his capacity as a private individual; he is specifically prohibited from using his position as a state employee for politicking or attempting to influence an election.

The ad appears to violate two separate federal laws: the Hatch Act and the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

Technical guidance issued for state employees by the Colorado’s Division of Human Resources (pdf) on the implementation of these laws states,

“The Hatch Act limits the political activities of individuals employed in state departments and higher education institutions (departments) that have programs financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants.”

CMU accepts federal funding, thus Foster is subject to both laws.

The 5 Minute Mueller Report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated that after two years of investigation, his team was unable to exonerate President Donald J. Trump of committing crimes.

Don’t have time to read the whole 420-page Mueller Report (pdf)? That’s understandable.

You can download an audio recording of it for FREE and listen to the whole thing while you’re driving, doing housework or exercising. A free recording of it available here, on Audible.

If you don’t have time to read or listen to the whole thing, but still want to know why it’s such a big deal and why everyone is talking about it, here’s a quick summary:

How Matt Soper can solve his problem (Hint: It’s not by staying silent.)

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.

So does his radio silence indicate guilt?

Probably.

What’s Up With That Pervasive, “Too Much Big Government” Theme?

An example of pictorial anti-government propaganda. Corporations have applied the anti-big-government theme for decades to avoid government regulation.

This column was originally published August 26, 2012. It was revised on 12-30-2016 and again on 11-26-2018 to include some new graphics. It’s explains how Americans came to hate our own government, and is still as true as ever.

We hear it everywhere, all the time, like a mantra.

Candidates, TV pundits and political ads tell us we have “too much big government!” Candidates portray virtually any attempt to regulate or tax any industry as a government intrusion into our lives. Candidates are always for “less government.”

What’s up with this pervasive, anti-government theme? How and why did so many self-professed “patriotic,” flag-waving, red-blooded Americans start hating their own government?

“Government intrusion” is a powerful propaganda theme that has been around for a long time, and it’s an argument big businesses often use to subtly manipulate public opinion. As with so many other corporate-derived propaganda tools, the anti-government theme originated largely with the tobacco industry, which has relied on it for decades to get its way in public policy.