Category: Elections

Mesa County Clerk stumbles onto 500+ uncounted ballots from 2019 city/county election

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who was elected despite having zero experience as a government clerk.

The Daily Sentinel reports that when Mesa County Clerk employees went out to collect the early Democratic primary election ballots from the silver box in front of the County building downtown, they found more than 500 ballots from last year’s election sitting inside, unopened and uncounted.

I hate to say it, but…

I told you so.

Back in June, 2018 I wrote a blog about the candidates running for County Clerk that year. I pointed out that Tina Peters had absolutely zero experience in the clerk’s office, while the other candidate, Bobbie Gross, was a ten year veteran of the County Clerk’s office in charge of the entire DMV and its employees, had co-directed the 2016 presidential election in Mesa County, was a Certified Elections Official and was about to become a Certified National Elections Administrator by the end of 2018.

The choice was clear.

Modern-day Republicans oppose progress

Results of a news quiz printed in today’s Daily Sentinel demonstrates the backwards thinking that is the hallmark of conservative, right-wing Republicans.

A short blurb in the Sunday, Feb. 8, 2020 Daily Sentinel offers a lesson on why Republicans are such harmful elected officials.

The Sentinel has a regular weekly news quiz on Fridays, and gives the results in the following Sunday paper. An item today stood out for what it demonstrates about the ramifications of conservative Republican views not just for the western slope, but for society.

History shows that if Republicans had their way in the last century, most of America wouldn’t have electricity.

New, non-OGRE* candidate running for County Commissioner in District 3

Chip Page. His name on the ballot is “William Chip Page.”

* OGRE is an acronym for “Old Guard Republican Establishment.”

Voters unhappy with the longtime direction of Mesa County politics and tired of the same old people running for office  can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief. A new and viable candidate has entered the 2020 race for Mesa County Commissioner District 3, which comprises most of the eastern side of the county, generally east of 30 Road. The current commissioner, Rose Pugliese, is term-limited out.

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.

Why Trump is being impeached: a helpful explanation for western slope Republicans

President Donald J. Trump

The large number of Trump supporters living on Colorado’s western slope no doubt vehemently oppose his impeachment. This blog is to help them understand why impeaching the President is imperative to protect our country, our democracy and our national sovereignty.

Trump has broken important U.S. laws, multiple times. In so doing, he has demonstrated that he poses a profound threat to our country. One of the laws he violated protects our country from foreign interference at very high levels of government:

Soliciting foreign interference in our elections

Trump has repeatedly invited foreign interference in our elections to benefit himself, an act that violates 52 U.S. Code § 30121, titled “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” This law states it is illegal for a person to solicit or accept “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value” from a foreign national, “or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election” with a foreign national.

Why I voted “no” on Proposition DD

Proposition DD on the November 5 ballot would legalize gambling on amateur and professional sports and tax the proceeds at a rate of 10% to pay for “water projects,” purportedly projects proposed in the Colorado Water Plan.  I wasn’t sure how to vote on Prop DD until I did some research on it and put some thought into. What I found convinced me to vote “no.”

Here’s what I found out:

Grand Junction High School photos

In case you haven’t had a chance to tour Grand Junction High School prior to the November 5 election, the following photos were taken inside the school on a tour on Saturday morning, October 19, 2019. What the photos cannot relate are the odors in some of these areas, which were quite objectionable. Ventilation was lacking in many areas. Measure 4A on the Mesa County Ballot will fund construction of a new Grand Junction High School. The current building was constructed in 1956. AnneLandmanBlog urges a “YES” vote on Measure 4A for fund a new school:

Classroom on the east side of campus

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2019

Wondering how to vote in the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 5, 2019?

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations for how to vote in the 2019 Coordinated Election Ballot for our area for 2019.

I reached my conclusions by attending Q and A programs about the issues, touring Grand Junction High School, talking to Mesa County School District 51 School Board members, researching Secretary of State reports about the funders who are promoting and opposing the ballot issues and researching information related to the ballot issues (e.g. societal costs associated with gambling, the condition of the Las Colonias land with respect to mill tailings remediation there) and by taking into consideration what I know about local history that is pertinent to the issues.

Here are the recommendations on how to vote:

Rick Wagner’s column illustrates problems with conservative thought

Rick Wagner’s column in the October 16, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel

In his column in the 10/16/2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel, local lawyer and perennially annoying right-wing political columnist Rick Wagner asks why Proposition CC on the current ballot is identified using double letters. “Have we run through the alphabet once already?” Wagner guesses, apparently attempting to infer something negative about the state ballot. He doesn’t answer the question, and is content to not to find out the real answer.

This demonstrates a common problem with right wing argumentation: They are an incurious bunch and think information doesn’t matter. Don’t know something? Gloss over it, make a joke, make some incorrect innuendo. No one cares, no big deal.

Wagner thinks his readers should just take his word for whatever he says.

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.

One more thing about commissioner candidate Janet Rowland…

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) advocated a program that paid women with drug addictions $300 to get sterilized

Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who has already had two terms in the recent past and is now running for a third term, has given Mesa County voters plenty of reasons not to elect her again, but here’s another one, and get ready. This one is kind of creepy.

In 2008, Rowland promoted a program that paid drug-addicted women $300 to get sterilized so they couldn’t reproduce. The program, called Project Prevention, targeted its advertising mainly at women, and 37% of the women who had been sterilized under the program were African-American. In 2009, African-Americans made up just 12.4% of the U.S. population.

City to re-zone Burkey Park for medium-high residential development at their September 4 meeting

Burkey Park on Patterson Road is a dry vacant lot with a trash can and split rail fence, but is prized by neighbors for open space and the longtime promise that the City would one turn the parcel into a developed park. The Burkey family donated the land to the City in 1967 on the condition the City would turn it into a park.

At their public hearing on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, Grand Junction City Council will hear an agenda item to rezone Burkey Park to allow construction of medium-high density residential development on it.

The City plans to rezone Burkey Park from its current zoning of “Recreational” to R-8 zoning to allow residential construction of a density of eight dwelling units per acre. This density would most likely be attached dwellings like condos, duplexes and townhouses. The City bills the rezone as “medium density” development, but the R-8 designation is actually labeled medium-high density in the City Code.

The 18 acre parcel located on Patterson Road between 29 1/2 and 30 Roads was donated to the City by the Burkey family in 1967 on the condition that the City would one day turn it into a park. The City never fulfilled its promise, though, and instead let the parcel languish as a weedy vacant lot for more than 50 years, while pouring taxpayer money into other odd areas, handing over $500,000 (pdf) – $750,000 every year to Colorado Mesa University for a period of 15 years.

Job openings with the county pay $87,500/year plus benefits and require no experience

Salaries for each of the three Mesa County Commissioners for the month of June, 2019

Mesa County has two job openings right now that pay $87,300/year gross salary with additional generous perks and benefits, and that require absolutely no experience and no required level of educational attainment. That’s a pretty good wage in Mesa County for someone with no experience and no particular educational attainment, since the wages here are so low compared to the rest of the state. (The average weekly wage in Denver in the last quarter of 2018 was $1,414. In Mesa County it was $895). The opening is for two new county commissioners. The only requirements to be county commissioner — literally — are that you have to be a minimum of 18 years old and have lived in either County Commissioner District 1 or District 3 for at least one year. That’s it. In case you don’t believe me, the photo above gives the salaries for each of our three county commissioners for just one month — the month of June, 2019. The information was printed in the legal notices in the Sunday, August 11, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel. You can see the minimal requirements for the job yourself posted on Mesa County’s website. Multiply the above salary by 12 to get your new annual gross salary if you land this job ($87,500/year). Oh, and did I mention it’s also free to apply? You can even have a criminal record and it’s okay. This position can be held for up to 8 years.

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.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide: Grand Junction City Election 2019

Wondering how to vote in the City of Grand Junction 2019 election?

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations for how to vote in the 2019 City of Grand Junction April 2, 2019 Regular Municipal Election.

I reached my conclusions about which city council candidates to vote for by listening to interviews, knowing the candidates personally or knowing something about them and their history in town, and considering factors like how well-funded their campaigns are. Decades of living in Grand Junction helps put this in context.

Lessons from past G.J. City Council elections

Rick Brainard, one of the best-funded candidates who ever ran for Grand Junction City Council, was backed to the bitter end by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the Old Guard Republican Establishment

Were you around for the 2013 City of Grand Junction election?

If not, then you really missed a doozy.

That was a year in which Grand Junction residents learned some big, important lessons about city council elections.

Here is one of them:

The best-funded candidates for city council are often the  WORST people to sit on city council.

Burkey family doesn’t want Burkey Park sold off or turned commercial

“Burkey Park North” is a dry vacant lot with a trash can and split rail fence

Our Family has had many long conversations with Aunt Mildred and Uncle Lew Burkey about the Land that was donated for a park! They donated that land in good faith that it would be used as a park and in no way would ever agree to the City Selling that property to developers! i have never understood the City’s reluctance to plan and build a nice park out of that property! I guess it doesn’t line anybody’s pockets!

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