Drinking Liberally is a non-partisan social group that holds get-togethers in town at food and drink establishments while hosting guest speakers. The event focuses on protection of our civil liberties, like freedom from government and corporate overreach (for example denying workers the right to organize, denying women the right to access abortions and preventing transgender people access to medical care). On Tuesday, May 23, the event was held at Edgewater Brewery at 905 Struthers, by the Colorado River.
The packed crowd included notable conservatives like Tom Keenan and Cindy Ficklin, members of the far right wing group, Stand for the Constitution. The event featured two Speakers: newly-elected Mesa County Clerk Bobbie Gross and Darren Cook, former longtime D-51 teacher who is running for D-51 School Board.
The petition is available for signing every day from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Lincoln Park. The table with circulators and petitions will either be at 12th and Teller by the Barn, or at 12th and Gunnison.
Click the image to go to the new website for the Andrea Haitz recall effort
The public can now keep track of the effort to recall School District 51’s Board President Andrea Haitz by going to SignForKids.com, where people can find out where to sign petitions, get trained in how to gather signatures, donate to the effort or volunteer to help. The organizers need to gather 15,000 valid signatures of registered voters within the next two months.
The website states the public’s grievances against Haitz:
Andrea Haitz was elected to the District 51 Board in 2021, promising transparency.
Instead, Haitz has turned local control of school dollars over to extremist organizations, turned fundamental parts of her job over to expensive lawyers, denied student pleas for mental health services, and used her office for family political gain.
The biggest decisions at District 51 are now being turned over to outside interests and fringe extremists who don’t represent Mesa County families.
Darren Cook (Photo: CO Education Association via Twitter, 2015)
Note: This is a guest post by Darren Cook, a former longtime District 51 middle School teacher and former President of the Mesa Valley Education Association, which represents public school teachers. Darren started a website and blog to give the public his take on decisions being made by the current District 51 School Board majority. Darren is running to replace controversial current school board member Andrea Haitz in the upcoming recall election.
On Friday, the Mesa Valley Education Association shocked the teachers of District 51 by announcing that for the first time in forty years, the Board of Education will not directly negotiate with teachers. Instead, they will be represented by two lawyers, David Price and Tammy Eret.
In my twenty-three-year career with D51, I was part of the teachers’ negotiation team for seventeen of those. We brought eight to ten teachers, paying attention to having representation from each instructional level, content, and area of expertise. D51 administration brought a similarly representative team, with administrators from each level, the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of Human Resources, and Superintendent as key parts of their team. And, of course, all five Board members were there. Always.
Below are the results of the April 4, 2023 City of Grand Junction election. These are marked on the City’s website as the final election results. There will be a ballot curing period of 8 days following which the official final results will be viewable by going to this link on the City’s website.
Referred Measure 1A is the Community Recreation Center and 1B was to lengthen the lease on a parcel of City-owned land.
Winners of seats on City Council are Cody Kennedy, Jason Nguyen and Scott Beilfuss, and incumbent Anna Stout skated to re-election running unopposed.
The Community Recreation Center measure passed by almost 4,000 votes. Voters also passed the measure to lengthen the lease on City-owned property.
Alexis Bauer owns Octopus Coffee on Horizon Drive. Last week she emailed me to talk about the proposed community recreation center on the upcoming April ballot. (We differed on what we think about it. I am for it). As we got into a longer conversation, Alexis sent a follow-up email in which she offered a variety of insights from her standpoint as a western slope resident and local business owner. She talked not only about the Rec Center, but also other issues facing Grand Junction, like the housing shortage, the cost of doing business, her experience with the local workforce, City Council’s recent approval of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and what it portends for the City, the buzz she hears from customers, and more.
I found Alexis’s insights interesting and felt they deserved a wider forum, so with her permission I am sharing her email to me below, edited slightly for clarity, in hopes others find it enlightening as well.
Andrea Haitz’s Feb. 15 mass email violates an ethics rule that says school board members must refrain from using their board positions for partisan gain
District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz violated the School Board’s ethics rules by sending out an overtly partisan, political mass email February 15, 2023 using her position as School Board President to promote her husband Greg’s bid to get a seat on Grand Junction City Council this April.
I am writing to you today because, despite our victory, the LEFT is still here seeking majorities in local government to make Grand Junction the Denver of the Western Slope.
We can put a stop to this by voting for conservatives in the April 4th Grand Junction City Council Election like my husband, Greg Haitz, who is running for District B. [Underlining emphasis in original.]
For this article, I drew from publicly available sources, including the candidates’ own websites and social media accounts, newspaper articles, the candidates’ financial disclosure statements filed with the City of Grand Junction, background-checks done on TruthFinder.com, and public records requests to the Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) for records of any contact the candidates had with local law enforcement agencies. I felt the law enforcement piece was necessary after seeing Mesa County voters elect people to public office who were later involved in theft, falsifying time cards, embezzlement, assault, plagiarism, DUI, double-dipping, election tampering and other offenses.
These City Council candidates are asking voters to hire them for a job. City taxpayers pay their salaries. The candidates should be background-checked.
Mesa County’s many, many supporters of Donald Trump (pdf) must be super-bummed this week to find out Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch has acknowledged that Fox News anchors Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo and others knowingly lied to them by repeating Donald Trump’s fraudulent statements that the 2020 general election was “rigged” and he actually won.
Murdoch acknowledged under oath in a deposition in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox Network, that Fox News hosts knowingly lied to viewers by endorsing false election fraud claims while at the same time they were privately ridiculing such claims. Murdoch further admitted he should have ordered Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who were lying to the public about the election, off the air, but didn’t.
CMU President John Marshall poses, smiling, with Lauren Boebert, who helped spread lies about the election and supported the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Twitter
Colorado Mesa University President John Marshall attended President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union speech in Washington, D.C. on February 7 at the invitation of far right wing extremist House Rep. Lauren Boebert, who spread lies about the 2020 election and supported the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The same Diane Schwenke who endorsed Laura Bradford for Colorado House of Representatives in 2012. Bradford was pulled over by Denver police for driving under the influence of alcohol during her first and only term in the House. She quit after that term.
Wheeler, who operates the nonprofit PAC, alleges Boebert made false statements about him on national radio and TV news shows in retaliation for his opposing her re-election by releasing factual information about her to the press and media. Wheeler states his PAC suffered a 92% decrease in revenue after Boebert made the false statements about him.
Among other things, Wheeler says Boebert defamed him on the nationally-broadcast Sean Hannity show, saying he had called her a “drug addict” and a “prostitute,” and that Wheeler had made death threats against her. Wheeler says none of that is true.
There are a several billboards around town that have a photo of Representative Boebert highlighting the word FREEDOM.Exactly what does she mean?Does she mean President Roosevelt’s four freedoms – – freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom from want, and freedom from fear?Does she mean that we are free to worship or not worship as we see fit, without the government using our tax dollars to support a church or forcing us to believe a specific religious doctrine?Does she mean that we are free to speak in the public square without threats of violence?Does she want Americans to earn a living wage? Does she want her fellow citizens to be able to afford healthcare, housing, clean water, and healthy food?Does she believe that medications should be affordable, and that Big Pharma should not gouge diabetics for insulin?Finally, does she believe school kids should not live in fear of a mass murderer entering their school?
This political map shows how the Grand Valley vote has changed since the 2016 election. Every single area on the valley floor has trended towards being more Democratic. If we can keep the trend going, we can finally stop electing embarrassing, unethical, unqualified, costly and irrational candidates who lie and commit crimes while in office, like Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.
Mesa County Democrats will gather for a big canvassing event September 10th and are asking everyone’s help to get the word out about which state and local candidates belong to the only remaining political party that deals in reality.
In a talk in El Paso County on August 29 to an audience of election-deniers, indicted Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters quoted the Bible, called her legal troubles “a spiritual battle” and praised her multi-millionaire benefactor, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, saying,
“Lindell has paid for many of our legal challenges, you know, and their end goal for me, and I’m just going to be really frank and really serious for a minute, is to put me in prison.”
“That is what they want. … I’ve got such an — I can’t even think of a word beyond ‘egregious”– judge, [and] when my chief deputy just made a deal, he was just sorry that she didn’t have to serve prison time.
They’re coming after me, and you know, Mike Lindell and the Legal Offense Fund, you know, these attorneys are not cheap, you know, they have they put a lot of hours [in] ….
In a major development in the case against indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, former Deputy County Clerk Belinda Knisley reached a plea deal in which she flipped on Peters, plead guilty to reduced charges and agreed to testify against Peters in court, according to reports today in the Daily Sentinel, the Colorado Sun,Colorado Public Radio, Denver 9News and other news outlets.
Felony charges dropped, no prison time
Knisely had faced three counts of attempting to influence a public servant (class 4 felonies), one count of conspiracy to attempt to influence a public servant (a class 5 felony), and two misdemeanor charges of violation of duty and failing to comply with the Secretary of State. Before the deal, Knisley faced up to 21 years in prison and $2 million in fines.
Tina Peters and her deep-pocket financial benefactor Mike Lindell, the My Pillow CEO
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinelreported August 11 that indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters asked Mesa County Republican Party Chair Kevin McCarney to rig the primary election for her by blocking all other candidates from running against her. McCarney told the DailySentinel that Peters asked him to do this before she declared she was running for Clerk again on January 16, 2022. She then dropped out that race in February, 2022 to instead run for secretary of state.
“She was asking me to fix her race to make sure she had a spot because she knew she was going to lose here,” McCarney told the Sentinel.
The revelation about Peters’ request to McCarney to have him rig her primary election comes just before a movie about her titled “Selection Code” is scheduled to premier on August 20, 2022. The movie, funded by election denier My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, advances former President Donald Trump’s lie that election fraud is rampant in the U.S. and elections are “rigged.”