On December 7, Colorado changed its list of “critical services” as defined by the pandemic to include “houses of worship,” eliminating the cap on the number of people who can attend religious services in person. As a result, local churches are wasting no time packing people back in to in-person services at the start of the new year. The move to lift the cap on church attendance came after the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative majority ruled against the State of New York in a lawsuit in which the governor sought to limit in-person attendance at religious services to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. It also comes just as a new, more communicable strain of Corona virus was discovered in the state, at a time when the state is lifting some restrictions on businesses and as School District 51 announced a return to in-person learning this week — a potent combination that could greatly increase the spread of the deadly virus.
A Facebook group called “Free Mesa County” has been created to encourage people to undermine public health and advance the spread of the novel Coronavirus in Mesa County by openly disobeying Colorado’s mask mandate and demanding full occupancy for indoor venues like churches.
The group’s latest event is an “en masse” maskless shopping event to be held this Friday, January 1, New Year’s Day. The group is urging its followers to go out and swarm local businesses without wearing face masks. Wearing of face masks is currently a requirement in all indoor public places designed to stop the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.
With a few rare exceptions, it has become part and parcel of being a Mesa County Republican these days to flat-out lie to constituents, promote conspiracy theories, disdain science, cite full-on wacko nutbag sources of “information” to the public as though they were legitimate, authoritative sources and completely depart from reality to appeal to the base. We also are seeing an epidemic of Republican elected officials who, without having any background in medicine, epidemiology, virology, public health or any other scientific field, claim to know better than doctors and public health experts how to get us out of the pandemic.
That’s the case with many of our newly elected officials who are about to take office.
If you don’t think these folks are totally wack, just go check their social media accounts.
— Neighborhood Hope Dealer (@hopegriffin) November 3, 2020
Many western slope Republicans are denying reality and continuing to cling to Trump. He is exploiting his disappointed supporters by convincing them he still has some vanishingly small chance of getting re-elected while at the same time urging them to donate to an “election defense fund” — a slush fund that will ultimately line the pockets of Trump and his family.
Trump has zero chance of getting re-elected. It’s over.
Contrary to popular belief in Mesa County, the outcome of the election is NOT in dispute at any level.
Newly-discovered Mesa County documents (pdf) reveal that in 2017, the Board of County Commissioners handed over $57,000 in taxpayer funds to a Christian organization represented by Janet Rowland for the purpose of recruiting solely evangelical Christian foster families in Mesa County.
Rose Pugliese, John Justman and Scott McInnis — all Republicans — unanimously agreed to enter into a contract (pdf) to pay $57,360 in taxpayer funds to Project 1.27, a Christian ministry that works through churches to recruit religious foster and adoptive families to assure children are “cared for within Christian communities.”
Janet Rowland was Project 1.27’s national director.
The group engages in “[foster] training with a solid Christian perspective,” and provides training to “Christian parents wishing to foster and adopt.” The group’s website makes no mention of recruiting families belonging to any other religions or of no religion.
The county’s contract required 20 hours a month be spent on “faith based recruitment.”
Project 1.27’s website only addresses recruitment of Christian families, saying they provide “state-required, biblically-based training for Christian parents wishing to foster and adopt.”
This is misleading since legally, no state can require “biblically-based training” in anything. Project 1.27’s website does not say it is open to recruitment of families from any other religion, or non-religious families.
This is what we were afraid of when it became known that Mesa County was using churches as polling places.
When a local man went to the polling place in the Clifton Christian Church and mentioned he preferred that the county use non-religious locations as polling places, the poll worker pulled out the snark and told him he should “attend church on Sundays.”
Government is strictly prohibited under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment from promoting specific religious beliefs, like this poll worker did while she was representing County government.
The poll worker violated the voter’s right to be free from religious coercion in a polling place.
But we knew this would happen.
Mesa County citizens volunteering as election judges were shocked to see others show up at their training session at the Workforce Center armed with guns. One volunteer, P.G., reported, “A guy walked into the Monday training with a gun on his hip, and the people giving the training didn’t say anything, even though I raised the issue.”
The volunteer felt bringing deadly weapons to an elections training was inappropriate and intimidating, and contacted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, but Peters said she couldn’t do anything, saying “They’re allowed to do it.” Peters further stated that firearms are okay because “we are an open-carry state.” P.G. felt Clerk Peters should have informed election volunteers that they are attending the training as election judges, and not policemen, and should leave their guns at home.
The Mesa County Workforce’s website also says “No weapons are permitted on the premises,” but the trainer told P.G. that the Workforce Center did not prohibit carrying weapons.
Lauren Boebert such a terrible Republican candidate for CD-3 that the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has refused to endorse her.
You have to understand how the Grand Junction Area Chamber works in order to fully grasp how momentous this non-endorsement is.
Even the Tea Party Chamber doesn’t like Boebert.
Under Diane Schwenke, its president of the last 30 years, the G.J. Area Chamber in 2012 became a politically far right wing tea-party group that portrays itself as a champion of small business, while they actually put their political effort into lobbying for the big businesses that pony up their highest membership fees of $7,000/year.
This makes for some weird actions by the Chamber.
The Chamber has endorsed criminals for city council, they’ve endorsed people who can’t write a coherent sentence for school board, and they even endorsed a dental hygienist for Drainage Board who’d lived here 2 years, moved here from San Diego and couldn’t tell a drainage ditch from an irrigation ditch over a candidate who’d served on Palisade Town Council for 8 years, been mayor pro-tem, sat on the 5-2-1 Drainage Authority Board, sat on the Colorado Municipal League’s Executive Board for 6 years, had attended seminars on wastewater management and subscribed to periodicals about drainage just for fun. Why? Because the lady from San Diego opposed a fee the drainage district sought to fund much-needed updating of the valley’s troubled, outdated drainage system.
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.
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster appears to have quietly asked Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland (R) to remove any mention of his name from her campaign Facebook page, effectively un-endorsing her — a reversal of his previous whole-hearted endorsement.
Note: Comments are back! Thanks for your patience during the fix.– Anne
The body politic in Mesa County used to be in lockstep with the Republican Party, but no more. An increasing number of area residents are proudly displaying signage opposing Trump, and for good reason.
It’s becoming extremely difficult for anyone, even Republicans, to continue supporting the President, especially after the past week.
On September 3, Trump urged North Carolina voters to commit felonies en masse by trying to vote twice.
On September 4, the Trump Administration ordered an end to programs aimed at promoting racial sensitivity among government workers (pdf), calling them “un-American propaganda.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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:
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.
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.