Category: Elections

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.

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.

Mesa County Commissioner write-in candidate faces steep hurdles, including misinformation and potential bias from Clerk’s Office


Employees of the Mesa County Clerk’s Elections department haven’t correctly understood what counts as a valid write-in vote, but the misunderstanding was discovered in enough time to correct it before the November general election.

The problem became apparent on July 13, 2020 when write-in candidate for the District 3 County Commissioner seat Bob Prescott, went to the Mesa County Clerk’s Elections Office to ask exactly what constitutes a valid write-in vote.

Prescott asks the clerk “What do you consider a legal vote” for a write-in candidate?

The clerk responds “That’s up to you. It needs to appear just like this, as ‘Bob Prescott.’ If they put in ‘Robert,” it would be rejected.”

According to Colorado law, that information was wrong.

Report about Mesa County Clerk Elections Office praises employees, pans the Clerk

Eagle County Treasurer and Public Trustee Teak Simonton (pdf) produced a report to the Colorado Secretary of State (pdf) on August 7 reviewing and making recommendations to improve the operations of the Mesa County Clerk’s Elections Office. The Colorado Department of State hired Simonton as a consultant to observe the Elections Division during the June 30th primary and make recommendations for improvement. Simonton, who has 14 years of experience in administering elections, concluded that while there is a lack of experience among the staff, numerous problems that need fixing and best practices that are not being employed, the Mesa County Clerk’s Elections staff as a whole is a dedicated and capable group of employees.

Her review of the Mesa County Clerk herself, though, was not good.

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.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters stonewalling list of voters whose ballots were lost

Mesa County citizens are trying to recall Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for inept operation of her office, including forgetting 574 ballots in a collection box from the November, 2019 general election.

Embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R) has not complied with several Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests seeking a copy of a spreadsheet her office created containing the names of the 574+ disenfranchised voters whose ballots her office failed count in the November, 2019 general election.

The ballots were left in a collection box after the election and were not retrieved or counted. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold called the oversight a “serious dereliction of duty.”

Clerk Peters ordered the creation of the list.

Several former Clerk’s office employees report that Ms. Peters asked Sandra Brown, another Clerk’s Office employee, to create a spreadsheet of the names of all the voters whose ballots weren’t counted so Ms. Peters could send them each a written apology.

Internal emails from the County Clerk’s office support claims that the list in fact exists. In the emails, Peters asks other employees not to distract Ms. Brown from the task of creating the list, so she could finish it quickly.

Why not Ray Scott? Consider his past as an elected official.

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

What do you know about State Senator Ray Scott, who is currently a candidate for Mesa County Commissioner?

One question people have about Scott is, if he is already a state senator and his term doesn’t expire until 2022, why is he running for county commissioner? Why doesn’t he want to finish his term in the State Senate?

The answer?

Money.

Scott makes $30,000/year and a $45/day per diem as a state senator.

As a county commissioner, he would more than triple his salary. The salary for a county commissioner is now $92,681, not including benefits and perks, like insurance, use of vehicles, etc. — more than three times the average salary in Mesa County.

Republican Commissioner candidate Cody Davis shown violating the law in latest ad

Republican Mesa County Commissioner candidate is shown trespassing on the Grand Valley Canal banks in his latest ad.

Republican Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis shows himself walking on the banks of the Grand Valley Canal in his latest TV ad. The Grand Valley Canal is also known as the Government Highline Canal, and technically, public use of the Grand Valley Canal maintenance roads is trespassing. Signs are posted all along the canal banks with the warning “NO trespassing. Violators will be PROSECUTED.” No one has ever been arrested or charged with trespassing for walking, biking, jogging or skiing on the canal banks, though, according to former three-term Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, who said that trespassing on the canal banks is “basically the lowest priority misdemeanor there is” for the Sheriff’s Department. Trespassing on the canal banks is akin to a time-honored pastime, which is probably what led Cody Davis to trespass on the canal banks — obviously without even thinking about it — in his latest ad.

The only thing that would make it legal would be if he or his family owns the land on which he is seen walking and has given the Bureau of Reclamation or Grand Valley Water Users an easement.

Ballots blowing in the wind: Daily Sentinel reports more failings by Republican County Clerk Tina Peters

Customers at the Mesa County Clerk’s office have found sealed ballots blowing across the parking lot, run after them, picked them up and taken them into the Clerk’s office to be counted, according to the latest story in today’s Daily Sentinel on the epic string of failures by the Mesa County Clerk’s office.

On May 20, 2020, Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters issued a press release announcing her office was installing a brand new, “convenient, 24 hour secure drive-up ballot drop box” in the Clerk’s parking lot, saying she is “focused on the safety and security of mail ballot returns, especially in this pandemic…”

But the box is proving difficult for voters to use, especially in the windy weeks we’ve had recently, resulting in ballots not being fully inserted into the box and hence flying in the wind.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters using taxpayer funds to burnish her tarnished image with professional PR project

Internal county email about Tina Peters’ public relations project, paid for with taxpayer funds

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters used taxpayer funds to pay for a professional PR campaign promoting herself and her running of the Clerk’s office to counter the recall effort ongoing against her. The PR project comes during a time when the county is financially strapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and at a time when local governments are talking about layoffs. And she’s doing it during regular work hours and on taxpayer time, too.

Petition wording approved in recall of Mesa County Clerk; campaign moves to signature-gathering phase

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R) is facing a recall election due to gross incompetence and failure to carry out her duties. (Photo: YouTube)

Eagle County Treasurer Teak Simonton has approved the wording of the petition submitted by the RecallClerkTina campaign to recall Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R), allowing the recall effort to move to the signature-gathering phase.

The Mesa County Commissioners approved Simonton to serve as the designated election official to oversee the recall effort, since by law Peters can’t oversee her own recall effort.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide for the June 30, 2020 Primary Election

Wondering how to vote in the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, June 30, 2020?

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations for how to vote on the Mesa County Democratic Primary Ballot. Wherever candidates are running unopposed, VOTE FOR THEM. They are Democrats.

Given the difficult mess our country is in now, especially at the federal level and local levels after years of Republican domination, it’s crucial for the country to change direction by electing Democrats to every office from top to bottom this year.

Here are the recommendations:

Tina Peters upset about recall effort (*sob!*)

Republicans’ lies are turning deadly

House Rep. Scott Tipton, State Senator Ray Scott and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese all were recently outed in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for spreading false information on social media that was put out by Colorado Counties, Inc.

The false story went like this: Governor Jared Polis was intentionally withholding federal funds intended for local governments under the Coronavirus relief bill approved by Congress last month, and he was going to use those badly-needed funds to balance the state’s budget instead, forsaking people in rural Colorado who desperately needed the funds.

They didn’t read the bill

In truth, the bill Congress approved designated relief funds only to state and local governments that serve populations of over 500,000 people.

The CARES Act states:

“A unit of local government eligible for receipt of direct payment includes a county, municipality, town, township, village, parish, borough, or other unit of general government below the State level with a population that exceeds 500,000.”

“Exceeds 500,000” means eligible units of government must serve a population OVER 500,000.

Incumbent Mesa County Commissioners unilaterally failing to address Coronavirus pandemic

Guest post by Dennis Simpson, CPA, reposted with permission from his “Transparency in Mesa County” Facebook page

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis

The Mesa County Commissioners have been totally silent on the impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on the County’s ability to deliver basic services to residents during the many months before our economy returns to normal. Rather than buckling down and addressing the tough financial questions, they meet weekly to hear updates from County staff and to whine about just how terrible the Governor is. There is nothing wrong with these two activities. Staff needs to know the bosses support them. Complaining about what happens in Denver is a waste of time but it apparently makes them feel important.

The problem is not with what they are doing, it is about what they are not doing. There has been no discussion of the impact on the County’s reserve balances. They should be trying to get ahead of pending financial hit by reviewing numerous projections based on different assumptions of just how bad things are going to get. The development of the various assumptions and the results of each needs to be done by someone with demonstrated skills and the ability to simplify what they do so the Commissioners can understand their options. In my opinion, none of the current staff have these abilities. They need to seek help from outside the organization.

Mesa County commissioners woefully silent during this pandemic

Op-ed by Kathryn Bedell, candidate for Mesa County Commissioner, District 1 – from the 4/21/20 Daily Sentinel (Please support our local paper)

Kathryn Bedell, DVM, veterinarian and Fruita rancher running for county commissioner in District 1 (Fruita/Loma/Mack and west end of the valley)

As a Western Slope appointee to the State of Colorado Agriculture Commission, I continue to address issues related to our local farm economy and food security. As I was isolating at home, reaching out to fellow farms and ranchers to see what they are thinking and what kind of help they might need, it occurred to me I haven’t heard a peep from our Mesa County commissioners.

I searched for recent comments from them and only found one advocating against a national popular vote, which has absolutely nothing to do with the current state of the county. I looked on the county’s Facebook page and saw nothing from our commissioners but noticed that Mesa County Public Health is keeping the county informed. I looked at the county website and the last update was 19 days ago and that was a link to Mesa County Public Health and Human Services.