One of those videos is above. It shows members of Patriot Front holding military-style training drills in Canyon View Park in Grand Junction on October 10, 2021. Members of the group came from Utah and Idaho to participate in this training. Some of the known Patriot Front members in the video have been identified as 26 year old Nathan David Brenner from Louisville, CO, 23 year old Cameron Pruitt of Utah, Richard Jacob Jessop and Nathaniel Taylor Whitfield.
“Stand for the Constitution,” the right wing extremist Mesa County group that endorsed and defended Tina Peters, also endorsed and promoted Angela Lema, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones for School Board. All three candidates ran as a far right wing extremist slate. Now two of them are getting training in how to battle policies that aim to help all children feel welcome and accepted at D-51 schools.
The Colorado Times Recorder is reporting that D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz and D-51 Board Member Angela Lema attended a seminar at a Grand Junction hotel on August 26 called “Save Our Schools,” put on by Heritage Action for America, an affiliate of the right wing Heritage Foundation. The seminar taught people how to fight equity and inclusion policies in schools and provided resources to help them.
In a video taken last September, House Rep. Lauren Boebert says the U.S. is undergoing “replacement theory,” the white supremacist ideology behind an 18-year old’s gun massacre of ten Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, March 14, 2022. Payton Gendron, the shooter, left behind a 180-page manifesto that showed he was fixated on the conspiracy theory that White people in the U.S. are being intentionally replaced — the same idea Boebert spouts in this video.
In her own defense, Haitz told the Sentinel she didn’t mean the memes to be hurtful, and that she “has gay and lesbian friends.” Haitz said the “memes had been misunderstood” because “people don’t always understand satire,” and said that people “made up what they thought I meant by it.”
But people didn’t make up anything, and they most definitely did not misinterpret the intent of Haitz’s posts.
After months of deliberating ideas for an updated logo, Central High School finally unveiled its new logo today, January 4, 2022, replacing the outdated and embarrassingly racist Indian head symbol the school has had since 1947.
Cindy Ficklin (Photo Credit: video by Stand for the Constitution)
On November 21, 2021, the Daily Sentinel published an article titled “Ficklin denies anti-Semitic leanings,” that examined statements and outrageous, unfounded claims made by Republican Colorado House Representative District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin in her social media posts.
Ficklin’s writings included anti-semitic tropes about prominent Jews being “monsters in the shadows” who “control all the banks in the world.”
Boebert berated Butigieg, the first openly gay person ever appointed to a cabinet-level position in the federal government, for taking parental leave to help care for his and his partners’ prematurely-born adopted twin babies.
Jordan Evans (L) and Marisa Edmondson (R) are graduates of Paonia High School and are pushing the Delta County School District to actively work to end what they see as pervasive racism in Delta County Schools
Two alumni of the Delta County School District (DCSD) began an all-out effort last year to pressure the Delta County School District to address the pervasive racism and discrimination they and others say they have experienced in Delta County Schools. Edmondson says while they have made some progress, the School District and School Board have largely stonewalled them and resisted the change.
Meme that appeared on Mark McAllister’s Facebook page in early January, 2020
In 2013, former G.J. Mayor Bill Pitts said that the most money anyone had ever spent on a City Council race up until that time was around $3,000.
In 2013, that amount had jumped to $10,000 to $12,000 per candidate for city council campaigns.
Now, in 2021, candidates for local office are routinely spending up to $20-30k on their campaigns.
That marked increase in the amount of spending should be accompanied by an equally higher level of scrutiny of candidates by the local press and media, but it hasn’t. The local paper seems to be giving candidates a pass by doing nice things like sending candidates a softball questionnaire and publishing their answers in full, without even verifying whether the candidates filled in the answers themselves.
Voters deserve more information — a deeper dive, like verifying candidates’ educational levels, their social, political and business affiliations, and verifying the claims they make on their campaign pages about what groups they belong to. We should also know if any information has been published about them elsewhere, and check their social media streams to see what they had been posting before they decided to running for office.
One thing we’ve managed to find here at AnneLandmanBlog about the current candidates for Grand Junction City Council is that one candidate really stands out when given this kind of scrutiny, and not in a good way: Mark McAllister.
An attendee at the “Stand for the Constitution Freedom Rally” last July 4 (Photo: Facebook). Stand for the Constitution endorses Haitz, Andrews, Green and McAllister, calling them “our candidates.”
Kristin Wynn of Citizens for Clean Air Grand Junction reported that her group has not received responses to questionnaires they sent to City Council candidates Mark McCallister, Kraig Andrews, Jody Green, and Greg Haitz. Nor did any of these candidates bother to respond to a short questionnaire from the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley and none of them participated in the City Council Candidate Forums organized by the Western Colorado Alliance, which were held virtually on Zoom.
So why are these four candidates dodging public forums and refusing to answer City residents’ questions? And what do they all have in common that the other four candidates don’t?
For one thing, they are all endorsed by the local right-wing extremist group “Stand for the Constitution,” who calls the slate of them “our candidates.”
Cindy Ficklin (L), an applicant for the job of D-51 School Superintendent, flashes the hand signal of the “Three Percenters” militia while scuba diving in Hawaii. (Photo credit: Facebook). Right photo & caption are from Wikipedia. The Anti-Defamation League lists this gesture as a racist hand sign. [UPDATE 2/20/21]: We have since been informed that in the context of scuba diving, this symbol is used to say a diver is “OK.” That was likely the case in this scenario, although since Mesa County is largely a desert, very right wing politically, has numerous elected officials who have in fact advanced QAnon theories and Trump’s lies about the election, and since few people here scuba dive, many people interpreted this symbol in its political context rather than its scuba diving context.]
Grand Junction real estate agent Cindy Ficklin submitted an application February 10 to become District 51 Superintendent, raising alarm bells among people familiar with her extremist views.
Who is Cindy Ficklin?
Ficklin is a 40-something GOP firebrand known for her extremist right wing views and her outspoken manner.
In a red-meat speech she gave on July 4, 2020 to a mostly un-masked crowd at the “Stand for the Constitution Freedom Rally” in a local park, Ficklin railed against masking and contact tracing — the only tools available to control the Coronavirus. She said that “CDC guidelines for opening schools … are literally formed of human torture and child abuse,” and spread the false narrative that government was forcing vaccines on people. She railed against public health recommendations to “stay home to stay safe” and whipped up anger at community efforts to control the virus, saying “the new normal” we’re all living with is “an attempt to infringe on our civil rights.”
In an alarming case that has received little to no attention, Deandre H. Rogers (pdf), a Black man aged 32, was found hanging in a carport in Grand Junction, Colorado on September 21, 2020. He had participated on June 1, 2020 with a group of local Black Lives Matter activists who met with G.J. Police Chief Doug Shoemaker in the lobby of the Grand Junction Police Department to protest unjust treatment they had experienced at the hands of local law enforcement. The discussion took place about a month after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020.
Some of the 30-40 racist, sexist and homophobic memes and cartoons sent anonymously to the author in the mail this week
Grand Junction’s “Inclusivity Proclamation” notwithstanding, there is plenty of hate and racism in Grand Junction. The above represents a small fraction of the 35 to 40 hate-filled memes and cartoons someone took the time to copy, cut out and mail us in an anonymous snail mail letter, received on Tuesday, 9/22/20. The rest were similar, many were worse, and many focused on Trump worship, denigrating Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberals, non-white people, etc.
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.
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 regarding 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.