Category: Elections

New voter guide from the Best Slope Leadership Project explains the issues and candidates in the Nov. 2, 2021 election

The home page of the Best Slope Leadership Project’s 2021 Voter Guide

A new local organization called Best Slope Leadership Project has a plain language voter guide to help Mesa County citizens decide how to vote in the upcoming November 2, 2021 election. The guide explains the state-wide ballot measures, local propositions and District 51 School Board races, and gives easy-to-understand rationales for recommended votes.

On its website, BestSlopeLeadership.org, the Project describes the local group “Stand for the Constitution,” which is backing a bloc of three candidates for school board. this way:

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

Update Monday, 10/25/21: “Stand for the Constitution” has pulled the video of Cindy Ficklin declaring her run for the Colorado HD-55 Rep. seat. But and article in the Daily Sentinel also transcribed what Ms. Ficklin said in the video, including her statement that she decided to run for the seat because the school board didn’t pick her to replace Paul Pitton on school board. The Sentinel article is here.

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 did not accept her as a finalist to be appointed to the Board.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide for ballot measures for Nov. 2, 2021 election

Are you wondering how to vote in the Mesa County Coordinated Election on Tuesday, November 2, 2021? Are you sweating about where you’re going to find the time to research all the state and local ballot measures?

Relax.

I’ve done the work for you.

AnneLandmanBlog has read and researched the ballot measures, looked into who is behind getting them on the ballot, who backs them, who supports them, what their motives are and what each measure would change.

The state ballot measures are fairly complicated this election, but I did my best to distill them down to their essence to save readers time.

Based on what I found, here are my summaries and recommended votes:

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.

Tina Peters supporters yell expletives at people trying to ask questions at an event billed as a “press conference”

An event held by embattled right wing Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at the old county courthouse that was billed as a “press conference” turned out to be more of a rally of her supporters Monday, as the event was poorly attended by local media outlets. Two newspapers were represented, and no television stations were there.

Peters’ talk seemed to focus on impugning the Mesa County Commissioners for entering into another contract with Dominion Voting Systems to provide secure voting equipment to the County and keeping it maintained until 2029. Peters also waved what she said was a stack of emails from the county commissioners that she had obtained that she believes show the commissioners doing something detrimental to county citizens. Peters insisted she had exposed massive voter fraud in Mesa County, but still has not provided conclusive proof.

Mesa County GOP, G.J. Area Chamber of Commerce and “Stand for the Constitution” all endorse candidate for School Board who works at a strip club

Note: Some graphics in this article may not be suitable for children.

The Daily Sentinel called Fantasy a “gentlemen’s club.” It’s actually a strip club.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel confirmed what was first revealed in this blog September 22, that District C School Board candidate and youth football coach Will Jones is employed by Fantasy strip club, which the Sentinel euphemistically referred to as a “gentleman’s club.”

“Stand for the Constitution,” an extreme right wing group, supports Angela Lema, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones for School Board.  The three are running as a politically far right wing extremist slate.

That’s like calling the 24 Road Adult Emporium a “library.”

An actual gentleman’s club is a private social club set up for aristocratic males, featuring amenities like a dining room, parlors for reading, gaming and socializing, a bar, billiards, etc.

Fantasy is not that.

It’s a strip club, and one that’s had some questionable incidents.

Far right wing slate of school board candidates gin up anger and spread misunderstanding to raise funds

“Stand for the Constitution” supports Angela Lema, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones for School Board. They are ginning up hatred against the U.S. Department of Justice to try to raise funds for their campaign. The three are running as a far right wing extremist slate.

The three far-right wing candidates for District 51 School Board backed by the extremist group “Stand for the Constitution” — Angela Lema, Willie Jones and Andrea Haitz — together sent out a fundraising email today, titled “It’s Time to Get Politics Out of the Classroom,” aimed at generating anger towards the U.S. Department of Justice to raise money to help get them onto the school board.

The email’s subject line screams:

“The DOJ is coming after parents!”

The Grand Junction Area Chamber’s long track record of harmful candidate endorsements

Longtime Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke

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.

Observation of the Chamber’s endorsements going back a decade reveals that the Chamber does not evaluate candidates based on criteria like experience, background, education, knowledge or qualifications to hold office. Rather, the Chamber only considers a candidate’s political and religious ideology before endorsing them.

This extraordinarily narrow criteria has resulted in a flawed process that has proven detrimental to our community many, many times over.

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.

D-51 School Board candidate Voter Guide for the 11/2/2021 election

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:

Recommended Votes:

District C – Trish Mahre

District D – Nick Allan

District E – David Combs

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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.

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.

CMU President John Marshall’s spin on the Israeli study matches TheGatewayPundit’s spin on the same study

The information CMU President John Marshall promoted in an email about an un-peer-reviewed Israeli study, and the key information that he left out, matches that of the right wing conspiracy website TheGatewayPundit.com (Photo: Twitter @maverickprez)

On August 27, 2021, the conspiracy website TheGatewayPundit.com posted an article strongly promoting a “new study out of Israel” that touted natural immunity against Covid-19 over the immunity provided by vaccines. The Gateway Pundit article headline said people who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against the virus than people who’ve only been vaccinated. The study the website pointed to as the source of this information was the very same un-peer reviewed Israeli preprint on MedRxIv.org with a warning label that CMU President John Marshall pointed to as the basis for his August 30 “Campus Safety” email to staff promoting the protective value of natural immunity to Covid-19.

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.

Secretary of State pursuing ethics complaint against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

Trump supporter, election conspiracy theorist and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is under criminal investigation by three agencies for allegedly compromising voting equipment.

At least one ethics complaint submitted to the State of Colorado about Mesa County’s crazy Clerk Tina Peters is starting to bear fruit.

Luis Lipchak, the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Enforcement Manager, determined that a complaint by Mesa County resident Scott Bielfuss (pdf) alleging that Peters violated campaign finance laws has merit and their office has decided to pursue it.

Bielfuss alleged that Peters “flew up to Mr Pillows cybers-symposium on a private plane provided to her and is staying as a guest of the Pillow foundation in clear violation of accepting gift laws. Complainant [Bielfuss] alleges that by engaging in the aforementioned activities, Respondent [Peters] failed to report contributions or expenditures associated with said activities and accepted gifts over allowed amounts.”

CO SOS files suit to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as Designated Election Official

The Colorado Secretary of State filed a suit asking a judge to legally remove Tina Peters as Mesa County’s Designated Elections Official, saying she is unfit for the position.

Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) Jena Griswold filed a lawsuit today asking a judge to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as Designated Election Official (DEO) for the county. The suit asks for Wayne Williams to be appointed as the DEO and Sheila Reiner be appointed Director of Elections for Mesa County. Sheila will apparently replace Brandi Bantz, who was Director of Elections for Mesa County according to her LinkedIn page. Bantz was the fourth Director of Elections Peters hired during her tenure.

A press release said the SOS was acting quickly because time is short before the November elections. It also said that the  legal action “is necessary because although the Secretary of State’s Office can require supervision of a county clerk’s conduct, it cannot remove a sitting county clerk from acting as the Designated Election Official.” The suit asks a judge to remove Peters.

Taxpayers pay increasing bills for Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ loony behavior

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

Item #7 on the agenda at the Mesa County Commissioners’ meeting tomorrow (Monday, August 30) at 9:00a.m., is signing a contract, (pdf) drafted by former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams himself, that will officially make Williams Mesa County’s Designated Election Official (“DEO”) for the November 2021 coordinated election for the County. The contract says Williams will get a salary of $180/hour, discounted from his normal rate of $400/hour, and Mesa County will pay any non-lawyer assistants Williams taps from his law firm for help at the rate of $50/hour. The County will also pay Williams’ travel expenses to and from his home in Colorado Springs.

There is no stated maximum expense Mesa County will incur from retaining Williams for this position. Rather, the contract states the expense can be unlimited:

“Any estimate of fees and costs that we may have discussed is only an estimate, and is not an agreement to a fixed or maximum fee. Accordingly, we have made no commitment concerning the maximum fees and costs that will be necessary to resolve or complete this matter.”

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.

Have you seen this woman?

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters fled the state with My Pillow Guy and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, and is currently on the run from multiple criminal investigations into her alleged actions to compromise election security in Mesa County.