Kyle Clark of 9News in Denver reported yesterday (video) that convicted felon Rod Blagojevich will headline a Saturday, May 14, 2022 fundraiser for indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters‘ campaign for secretary of state. The fundraiser will be held at Dunafon Castle, a wedding venue in Lakewood, Colorado owned by Debbie and Mike Dunafon, who also own Shotgun Willie’s strip club in Glendale, Colorado. The Dunafons are hosting the fundraiser. The cost to rent the venue on a Saturday for a group of up to 150 people is $9,400.00.
Everyone wants to know just how much Mesa County taxpayers are shelling out in salary and benefits to indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisely for not doing their jobs while they obey conditions of their bond to stay away from their workplace and co-workers. During all this time of not going to work, they have continued to collect paychecks.
Thanks to the County, we’ve got the figures.
Between August 10, 2021 and April 22, 2022, Knisely collected a total of $71,524.14 in salary and benefits including health and disability insurance, and Tina collected a total of $83,958.88 for a grand total paid to the pair since August 10, 2021 of $155,483.02.
The two are indicted on multiple felony charges related to election tampering.
In an event that shows just how far out of touch with reality Colorado’s Republic Party has become, election denier Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who was indicted a month ago on multiple felony charges related to tampering with election equipment, was the runaway winner for the Secretary of State nomination at the Colorado Republican Party state assembly April 9, 2022 in Colorado Springs. Peters won a whopping 62% of the vote, making her the Republicans’ front runner for Secretary of State in the primary election on June 28. Peters will oppose former two-term Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder and former president of the Colorado County Clerks Association Pam Anderson, on the primary ballot. Anderson petitioned her way onto the ballot. (Anderson’s mother-in-law is former longtime Colorado Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson.) While Pam Anderson is a Republican, she not an election denier. Peters also faces Mike O’Donnell, a candidate from Yuma County.
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell just sealed the case for Complaint #22-07 (pdf) to the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for her skirting Colorado’s anti-corruption law by raising unlimited amounts of money through her legal defense fund.
In an apparent effort to try to get out of the ethics complaint, Peters recently shut down her Colorado-based legal defense fund website and moved her legal fundraising to a Minnesota-based “legal offense fund” operated by her fellow election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.
At an election denier rally today at the state Capitol in Denver, a 9News reporter asked Lindell how much he has raised for Peters’ legal defense fund. Lindell said, “I just put in all the money myself.” When the reporter asked Lindell how much that was, he answered, “I don’t know, I put in 3,4,5, maybe $800,000 of my own money.”
$800,000 would be the largest amount ever given to a Colorado politician or elected official.
A report yesterday evening from Kyle Clark of 9News in Denver confirmed that indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has closed down her legal defense fund website, StandWithTina.org, and shifted her legal fundraising out of state to a Wisconsin fund operated by My Pillow CEO and fellow election conspiracist Mike Lindell. Lindell told Clark he is now funding Peters’ legal defense through the site, and is using some of his own funds to help her as well.
Tina Peters was booked into the Mesa County jail this afternoon on $500,000 cash-only bond after surrendering at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Daily Sentinel, if she is convicted on all charges, and if they run consecutively, Peters could get a maximum penalty of 28 years in jail and $2.7 million in fines, and Knisley could get a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison and $2 million in fines.
Peters blamed her arrest on Democrats and establishment Republicans who dislike Donald Trump. She gave a long statement to the Daily Sentinel that said in part, “Using a grand jury to formalize politically motivated accusations against candidates is (a) tactic long employed by the Democrat Party.”
The grand jury indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters this morning (pdf) on 13 counts related to her official misconduct and tampering with election equipment. The charges include a mix of felonies and misdemeanors.
Peters is charged with three counts of attempting to influence a public servant (a Class 4 felony), one count of attempting to influence a public servant (a Class 5 felony), one count of criminal impersonation (a Class 6 felony), one count of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation (a Class 6 felony); one count of identify theft (a Class 4 felony) and one count of first-degree official misconduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor. Peters is also charged with one count each of violation of duty and failure to comply with the Secretary of State, both unclassified misdemeanor offenses.
The grand jury also indicted Deputy Mesa County Clerk Belinda Knisely on violation of duty, failure to comply with the Secretary of State, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, and multiple counts of attempting to influence a public servant.
Speaking to members of the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club on February 21, 2022 (video), Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters claimed that she was “framed” when election workers found “429 ballots” uncollected in a ballot box from the 2019 election.
The ballots were discovered when election workers went to empty the box for the 2020 election, but Peters refused to petition a judge to open and count them and include them in the final vote tally from the 2019 election. In her talk, Peters also got the number of uncounted ballots wrong. 574 ballots were discovered left in the ballot box, not 429.
Peters claimed without evidence that “they stuffed the ballot box with 479 ballots” in order to “take over my office” and said it was part of an effort to “take over the western slope.”
Lots of people have been saying it under their breath, but no one has come out and said it publicly. Mostly people have just gotten angry at Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for her increasingly strange behavior, but maybe it’s time to start pitying Tina.
We can all agree that Tina’s behavior has been very far outside what is considered normal for an elected county clerk:
Normal clerks don’t compromise their own election equipment. They don’t flee the state on private jets, spend weeks hiding in safe houses in secret locations around the country or accept largesse from multi-millionaires to promote wacky election conspiracy theories. Normal clerks don’t blow off their obligation as clerks (pdf) to get certified to run elections as the state requires. Normal clerks don’t proclaim that the candidates who won an election shouldn’t have won because they were the wrong people to win. Normal county clerks don’t get their homes raided by the FBI.
On December 31, 2021, Steve Bannon lionized Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on his internet TV show “Bannon’s War Room,” in an interview titled “The Deplorables-Gold Star Mom Tina Peters Who Sounded The Alarm On Election Fraud.”
Bannon let Peters spew the usual string of rants we’re all familiar with by now: how terribly she’s been harassed, how “they’re attacking regular Americans,” how they “fired her elections manager with no due process, nothing” and how they so horribly removed her chief deputy in August on “trumped-up charges.”
A minute and a half into the 7-minute interview, Bannon starts trying to play Tina off with increasingly loud bagpipe music, he lets her mechanically drone one for another minute or so. Tina continues… “They booked my chief deputy on a class 4 felony just for coming to work” and “they had a battering ram in the driveway” that she now admits “they didn’t use.”
Bannon cuts her off roughly 30 seconds later to go for a break.
While speaking at a campaign event in Pueblo on Saturday, November 20, during Congress’ Thanksgiving break, Republican CO House Rep. Lauren Boebert made a bigoted, anti-Muslim joke at the expense of her Muslim colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), intimating Omar could be a suicide bomber if she was wearing a backpack.
Boebert told the crowd she had just entered an elevator at the Capitol when a Capitol Police security guard came running just up as the doors were closing. Boebert said she turned and saw Omar and said to the guard, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”
Embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters doubled down on her wild, unfounded claims of election fraud in a “Thursday Night Patriot” Zoom call held November 18 that featured both her and Sherronna Bishop, just days after law enforcement executed legal searches on both their homes pursuant to ongoing criminal investigations into Mesa County’s compromised election equipment.
Bishop posted a recording of the hour-plus long Zoom call on her Facebook page. Over 100 attendees joined the call, and the video has had over 5,800 views. The video excerpt above is the roughly four minutes in which Tina Peters spoke.
Denver news anchor Kyle Clark, host of “Next with Kyle Clark,” voiced strong opinions about Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and western slope House Rep. Lauren Boebert on his November 17 show.
Clark criticized Peters for going on “My Pillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s online TV show and claiming she was “terrorized” while law enforcement searched her home on November 16th, while the Colorado State Attorney General issued a statement saying no force was used during the search, and in fact Peters remained home making breakfast while the search was ongoing.
The antics of crazy Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and her loony-tune election conspiracy scandal earned a 9 minute-long segment on MSNBC’s nationally-broadcast cable TV program The Rachel Maddow Show yesterday, November 17, 2021.
The Rachel Maddow Show is the most-watched cable news show in the country.
Maddow discusses Peters’ relationship with Mike Lindell, the “My Pillow Guy,” House Rep. Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager, the FBI raid of her and others’ homes on 11/16, and more.
Maddow said the story of the Mesa County Clerk, which began as a very small and awkward story, has “metastasized and become very serious” and even “riveting” in how it has unfolded.
After Republican House District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin was banned from Facebook for 30 days on May 27, 2021 for spreading the lie that Covid-19 was man-made in a lab in China, she started a personal blog on the website of Coldwell Banker, the real estate office with which she is affiliated.
Ficklin has been banned from Facebook several times, including another 30 day stint in July of 2021. Facebook usually applies the 30 day ban — the longest ban they use before taking an account down completely — after a user willfully violates the platform’s “community standards” multiple times and after they give at least five prior warnings and multiple bans of increasing length before reaching the 30-day threshold.
Deprived of her main social media conduit, Ficklin was in need of an outlet where she could spread conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid-19 and other topics without restriction.
Arguably, Mesa County citizens’ denial of the science around Covid-19 transmission, and the overall lax attitude of our area’s elected officials toward reining in the pandemic are worsening and prolonging the pandemic in our area, making more people sick, putting more people in the hospital and giving Mesa County a good chance of staying a perpetual pandemic state into the foreseeable future.
For comparison, here are how some other areas around the country are doing in managing the pandemic compared to Mesa County:
Election conspiracy theorists are an expensive bunch to lend any credence to, and humoring them is about to cost Mesa County taxpayers dearly.
At the County Commissioners’ meeting yesterday, Monday, October 25, 2021, Commissioner Scott McInnis let it spill how much County Clerk Tina Peters’ election conspiracy antics are going to cost County taxpayers in the upcoming election.
Hold onto your hats.
McInnis says the tab is going to be about $1 million.
According to an exclusive article published in Rolling Stone magazine October 24, 2021, two people who helped plan and organize the violent January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, and who have already spoken to the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection, have named members of Congress involved in planning the attack.
One of them was CD-3 House Representative Lauren Boebert, who represents Colorado’s western slope.