Category: Ethics

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.

NEJM video shows how wearing a face mask reduces the spread of Corona virus


The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a video showing how face masks reduce the spread of airborne droplets  emitted when people speak and shout, giving a graphic representation of how mask-wearing works to reduce the spread of Corona virus, the novel deadly virus that currently no prevention, no treatment and no cure.

In the video, “Visualizing Speech Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering,” a person in a darkened room says the phrase “Stay healthy” repeatedly in varying volumes while neon lasers light up the droplets coming from his mouth.

After watching this video, imagine standing without a face mask and speaking while you look over the produce in the grocery store, or order food from a menu, for example. This video shows how droplets fly from people’s mouths when they speak, and shows how people spread the virus to others.

More about Janet Rowland when she was county commissioner the last time

First part of 2008 Daily Sentinel article showing how then-County Commissioner Janet Rowland used her religion to grandstand, portray herself as a martyr prior to an election and bring threats of lawsuits against the county.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County commissioner again, after having been a two-term Commissioner already from 2004-2012. Because of her past in that elected office, we have a historic record showing what she will be like in office if she gets elected again.

For the sake of the county and its taxpayers, it’s probably not something we want to go through again.

Flouting mask policies in Mesa County rampant as Covid-19 cases spike

Parents with multiple children in tow at a local City Market, all defying best practices including the mask-wearing rule, and also violating recommendations to have just one person do the family’s grocery shopping to minimize potential exposure to the deadly Coronavirus.

As America reaches 111,375 deaths from Covid-19, more than any other country on Earth, stores in Mesa County are posting signs at their entrances variously begging, threatening and warning patrons not to enter without a face mask. The mask-wearing policies are aimed at protecting the community from another shutdown by preventing the spread of Covid-19, the highly communicable, deadly novel coronavirus that has no known prevention, treatment or cure. The policies are also meant to protect grocery workers who are putting their lives on the line and endangering their own families every day to fulfill our community’s need for groceries and services. At least 68 grocery store workers across the country have died so far from Coronavirus, and that statistic was last updated on May 21.

But no one is enforcing the rules.

Mesa County Republican Party removes Facebook post suggesting George Floyd’s death was a hoax

Screen shot provided by the Colorado Times Recorder of the post deleted from the Mesa County GOP’s Facebook page

The Colorado Times Recorder reported June 3 that the Mesa County Republican Party removed a post from its official Facebook page that suggested George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020 was faked.

The post contained a list of questions about the incident meant to imply it was staged, including:

“Why does one photo from behind show the man on the road is not handcuffed and the video from the front that he is handcuffed?”

“Why does the video show the diesel fuel price as 99 cents instead of the regular price in the area of $2.49?”

“Why does the police car have a non-municipal license plate with “Police” on it?”

(NOTE: The police car has a license plate that says “Police” because many Minneapolis Police cars have license plates on them that say “Police.”)

When asked why he removed the post from the page, Kevin McCarney, Chair of the Mesa County Republican Party, told the Times Recorder, “It’s not the position of the Party.”

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