Janet Rowland’s recent Facebook post casting doubt on the CDC’s count of U.S. Coronavirus deaths.
Republican county commissioner candidate Janet Rowland’s most chilling flaw is her inability to tell authoritative sources of information from information promoted by extremist wacko conspiracy theorists.
Most recently Rowland has been promoting the theory that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is intentionally inflating the number of Covid-19 deaths and infection rates, and that the death count is actually far lower than the government claims. One reason she givs for this is that it allows hospitals to make more money. In truth, anyone who has ever worked in a hospital knows that hospitals get paid for TREATING Covid patients, not for listing a certain cause of death on the death certificate. Claims that hospitals are deliberately miscoding patients as having Covid-19 are not supported by any evidence.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Janet Rowland, a repeat candidate for Mesa County Commissioner in District 3 (the east side of the valley), continues to misunderstand how epidemiology works, and as a result is continuing to buck public health authorities’ desperate efforts to reduce the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in Mesa County.
Rowland has been agitating against the ongoing physical distancing measures and temporary shutdown of non-essential businesses that is the only tool available to check the spread of the new and highly communicable virus.
Today Rowland changed the profile picture on one of her Facebook pages to the following:
Rowland posted this article from a media outlet based in Luxembourg to support her view that there is no significant risk of catching Coronavirus from grocery shopping. The findings of the German doctor cited in this article have not been published in any peer-reviewed journal. Meanwhile, least 30 grocery workers in the U.S. have died from Coronavirus so far. 3,000 more are out sick with coronavirus symptoms.
Post on the Grand Junction Community Message Board on Facebook yesterday by Anita Heffalump, who has since changed her name on Facebook to “Anita Hippogriff”
Local resident Anita Heffalump alarmed members of the community yesterday by posting an event on the Grand Junction Community Message Board Facebook page that urged people to physically gather to protest public health authorities’ stay-at-home order aimed at protecting people from the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by Coronavirus.
Coronavirus currently has no no treatment, no cure, no immunization available to prevent it, and is killing people throughout the globe at an alarming rate. The only tool available to reduce transmission of the new virus and save lives during the pandemic is to distance ourselves from each other by staying home as much as possible.
Above this post is a tweet that the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, actually posted this morning at 9:34 a.m. east coast time.
President Trump posted this tweet as thousands of Americans across the country are dying from a deadly Coronavirus pandemic with no end in sight. He posted this amid anguished cries from the governors of all 50 states and territories that their hospitals are lacking enough basic necessities, like beds, ventilators, medication and personal protective equipment, to treat the onslaught of Coronavirus victims arriving at their doors. Trump posted this shortly after a makeshift intensive care ward was constructed in New York’s Central Park to accommodate the huge number of sick people pouring into hospitals. Trump posted this as the pandemic has almost completely disabled not just America’s economy, but the world economy.
Trump posted this on a morning when America’s national news headlines read:
KREX received a cease-and-desist letter (pdf) from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign threatening the station over a political ad it ran called “Exponential Threat” produced by Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.
The ad juxtaposes a montage of the many dismissive comments Trump made about the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year with an animated chart showing the rising number of infections in the United States. It ends by saying: “America needs a leader we can trust.”
The Trump campaign sent the threatening letter to television stations across the country, suggesting it would sue the stations for defamation and urge the Federal Communications Commission to revoke their FCC licenses.
Republican State Senator Ray Scott got only 107 out of 349 total delegate votes cast for County Commissioner in yesterday’s Mesa County Republican Assembly. Scott, who is running for the District 1 commissioner seat, is seeking to abandon his state senate seat halfway through his term and seize the job of County Commissioner instead, which would pay him three times as much ($30k vs. $90k/ year).
Scott got crushed at the assembly by Cody Davis, former chair of the Grand Valley Drainage District, who won 231 votes. Even with that miserable result, though, Scott will still be able to appear on the primary ballot in June.
Tina Peters’ own qualification to be County Clerk were that she was a retired flight attendant who had worked for a construction business for a number of years and home-schooled her kids. [Photo: Facebook]
Any public officer, election official, or other person upon whom any duty is imposed by this code who violates,neglects, or fails to perform such duty or is guilty of corrupt conduct … and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 1-13-111.”
Tina Peters arguably violated, neglected and failed to perform her duty to count all ballots turned into the County in the 2018 general election.
Contrary to what the Mesa County Republican Party has asserted, this is not a trivial matter.
Embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R) may have violated Colorado laws governing elected officials’ conduct of elections. (Photo: YouTube)
The Mesa County Republican Party is trying to minimize the severity of Tina Peters’ loss of 574 ballots from the 2019 general election. Peters left them in a collection box, forgetting to count them. The Mesa County GOP characterized the matter in a February 24, 2020 press release (pdf) as “trivial” and “unfortunate.” The GOP said it was not trying to “diminish the significance of the errors,” and at the same time claimed the matter had been subject to “irresponsible sensationalism” because “no ballots were tampered with or lost,” and “no vote was changed or altered.”
The Republican Party has long made election integrity one of their prime issues, but apparently not so much when one of their own fails to count a significant number of legitimately-cast ballots.
It’s no wonder the GOP is trying to minimize the loss. The ramifications for Tina Peters could be severe, up to and including recall, and/or criminal penalties including fines, imprisonment or both.
On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the County Clerk’s office found 574 ballots cast in the 2018 general election still sitting in the stainless steel ballot collection box in front of the Clerk’s Elections Division office at 200 S. Spruce Street in downtown Grand Junction.
At first Peters took full responsibility for having forgotten to collect the ballots, which earned her some good will, but in a day or two she was blaming an unnamed former Clerk’s office employee for the error, enraging the public and flushing any good will she had gleaned by taking full responsibility.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who was elected despite having zero experience as a government clerk.
The Daily Sentinelreports 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.