Category: Ethics

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.

Steve Bannon arrested for diverting donations from “Build the Wall” nonprofit to personal expenses, lavish lifestyle

Time magazine cover photo of Bannon, February, 2017

Western Colorado’s many Trump supporters won’t like today’s news that even more Trump associates are joining the universe of criminality surrounding President Donald Trump:

Former Trump campaign chair and White House adviser Steve Bannon has been arrested along with three others on charges they duped Trump’s supporters into believing they were contributing to building Trump’s border wall, when in reality Bannon and his colleagues diverted donations to fund their personal expenses and lavish lifestyles.

Bannon was arrested with veteran Brian Kolfage and political strategists Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea. The four operated a crowdfunding site called “We the People Build the Wall” that later became the nonprofit “Build the Wall.”

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.

Rally planned 8/19 to save the Post Office from the Trump administration’s sabotage-NOTE THIS RALLY HAS BEEN CHANGED TO TUESDAY, AUG. 25TH AT NOON

A rally is planned at noon on Wednesday, August 19 TUESDAY, AUGUST 25TH, in the parking lot behind the Alpine Bank building across from the Main Post Office to protest the deliberate slow-down of the U.S. Postal Service by the Trump administration. The rally is to show our community’s support for postal workers who work under unbelievable constraints. Attendees will walk to Senator Cory Gardner’s office to demand, in person, that he join Democrats in the Senate in calling for an immediate reversal of the ongoing attacks on our right to vote by mail.

Masks are required, and even though the rally will be outside, it will likely be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing from others, so please take care to maintain the gap. It will also be quite hot outside, so consider wearing a hat and bringing water. If the poor air quality in the valley has been negatively impacting your health, please consider staying home.

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.

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce linked to racist comments at City Council meeting

 

Michael P. Anton, Chamber member and owner of Emtech, Inc.

Grand Junction citizens who attended the August 5, 2020 City Council meeting to promote racial justice and propose solutions were met with openly racist comments from Michael Anton, a local business owner and representative of the Western Colorado Business Alliance (WCBA), a subgroup the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber formed WCBA in 2012 to serve as the Chamber’s lobbying and political arm. WCBA is a 501-c-4 “dark money” group, so-called because it does not disclose its donors, but according to 2012 article in the Business Times, WCBA is funded by local business owners. In 2013, an anonymous former Grand Junction mayor told AnneLandmanBlog that WCBA was initially financed with a $50,000 donation from Doug Simons, owner of Enstrom Candies.

The social justice groups Right and Wrong (RAW) Grand Junction and Black Lives Matter (BLM) Grand Junction invited citizens who have felt discrimination locally to join them in an “Oppressed People’s March” to the Grand Junction City Council meeting at City Hall Wednesday evening to propose policies for Council to consider that would benefit minorities, like incentives for minority business owners and funding for the Latino Chamber of Commerce.

But in response to the groups’ presence at the meeting, WCBA member and local business owner Michael Anton made it clear that in his view, racial minorities were unwelcome in Grand Junction, stating in his public comments to Council:

“This RAW. This BLM. They need to go away. They’re not Grand Junction and you need to send them down the road because, believe me, there’s a lot more of me here in this valley than there is of you. I guarantee it and it will not be a pretty day if that comes forth.”

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.

A look inside Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ $3,600+ remodeled office

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ $3,600+ newly painted and redecorated office, including a $700 executive desk, two reclining chairs, 50″ flat-panel TV and decorative items. A former employee said the office had a flat panel TV in a meeting room, but has not had one in the Clerk’s own office before.

After she was elected, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters spent a substantial amount of money remodeling her personal office.

Ms. Peters used over $3,600 in taxpayer funds to purchase paint and furnishings, including a $700 executive desk, two reclining chairs, a 50″ flat panel TV with wall mount, surge protectors and cables (pdf), framed wall posters, fancy pull knobs (pdf), an ice bucket (pdf) and other items from Home Depot, (pdf) American Furniture Warehouse (pdf), City Market and Ross Dress for Less. (pdf)

The above photo is of Clerk Tina’s remodeled office.

You can page through a complete, documented accounting of her office remodeling expenditures here.

Taxpayers should get to see it. After all, they paid for it.

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.

Shadowy Chamber “social welfare” group funds billboard thanking racially tone-deaf members of G.J. City Council “for their service”

The Chamber and WCBA’s billboard thanking the most tone-deaf city council members when it comes to racism in Grand Junction

The little-known, seedy political arm of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Western Colorado Business Alliance (WCBA), has appeared again in Grand Junction, this time funding a billboard praising four sitting Grand Junction City Council members who recently earned the reputation for being the most tone-deaf when it comes to racism: Philip Pe’a, Duke Wortmann, Phyllis Norris and Kraig Andrews.

Pe’a was the councilman who was so threatened by what he claimed was the presence of G.J. Police Department’s “swat team” at the June 3 Council meeting that he proclaimed he thought he might need to bring his Glock handgun into the meeting. That was the meeting that was attended by a crowd of City residents who showed up to protest pervasive racism they had seen or experienced in Grand Junction, or to support friends who had experienced it.

Grand Junction’s Police Chief later confirmed there were no SWAT team members at the meeting that day.

Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert may have committed a felony by arming a 17 year old employee

The Colorado Times Recorder is reporting that Republican Congressional candidate for District 3, Lauren Boebert, likely committed a criminal offense in 2015 when she required an underage employee to carry a firearm in her diner. Boebert and her husband own Shooters Grill, an eatery in Rifle, Colorado whose attention-getting business gimmick is requiring all employees to open-carry handguns.

Boebert’s alleged firearm offense was documented in a January, 2015 YouTube video about the diner which included a clip in which the young employee, Brooke Shackleford, admits she is just 17 years old and open carries a firearm inside Boebert’s restaurant while she works.

Under Colorado Revised Statutes 18-12-108.7 it is illegal to allow a juvenile to possess a handgun, and whoever does so commits a Class 4 felony, punishable by fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000 and 2 to 6 years in prison.

Other Class 4 felonies include crimes of sexual assault, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and identity theft.

 

 

 

 

Local tire business circumvents public health mask law

Commercial Tire Service

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Commercial Tire Service at 725 23 1/2 Road has found a way to circumvent the Colorado’s recent public health order mandating everyone wear a face mask in indoor spaces to help stop the spread of the deadly Corona virus: They tacitly suggest with a sign at the entrance that everyone entering the business can simply claim they have an undisclosed medical reason why they can’t wear a mask.

Commercial Tire Service has a sign in their front window that says:

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS

Those in our state government have ordered all persons entering indoor facilities to wear a mask. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you are exempt from the orders. Due to HIPAA and the 4th Amendment we cannot legally ask you about your medical condition. Therefore, if we see you without a mask, we will assume you have a medical condition. We welcome you inside to support our business.

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.

GarCo Public Health: Boebert’s food poisoned 80 people in 2017

Lauren Boebert, Republican candidate for 3rd Congressional District and proprietor of Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, Co (Photo: Facebook)

Calls started pouring into the Garfield County Public Health Department (GCPH) at 10:00 a.m. on June 6, 2017, from people complaining  they had come down with severe diarrhea and nausea. In all, 17 people called or walked into the health department that day saying they had suddenly become ill with the same symptoms.

What did all these people have in common?

They had all attended the Rifle Rodeo on June 5 and eaten food supplied by the only vendor at the fairgrounds that day: Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooter’s Grill and Smokehouse 1776.

That’s according to a 10-page GCPH report titled Rifle Rodeo 06/05/17 Outbreak Report, which is publicly available on the internet (pdf).

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.

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.