County Commissioners do about-face on pot with referred ballot measures

Mesa County may finally be recognizing that Colorado’s new cannabis economy has brought big benefits to towns and counties that have embraced it.

Item #8 on the Mesa County Commissioners’ agenda today is a proposal to refer a measure to the countywide ballot a measure that will give voters a choice to “override” a 2013 ordinance (pdf) that prohibited the cultivation, manufacture, testing and retail sales of cannabis in the unincorporated county, and instead ALLOW such activity.

Agenda Item #9 will refer a related measure to the ballot that would let the County charge an excise tax on the sale or transfer of “unprocessed retail marijuana.”

The measures represent a 180 degree turn from where the county was 8 years ago, and appears to be an effort to start grabbing some of the cash the cannabis industry has been generating throughout the state, that Mesa County has lost out on for so long.

Taxpayers pay increasing bills for Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ loony behavior

Wayne Williams, via Wikipedia, photo By Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72780852

Item #7 on the agenda at the Mesa County Commissioners’ meeting tomorrow (Monday, August 30) at 9:00a.m., is signing a contract, (pdf) drafted by former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams himself, that will officially make Williams Mesa County’s Designated Election Official (“DEO”) for the November 2021 coordinated election for the County. The contract says Williams will get a salary of $180/hour, discounted from his normal rate of $400/hour, and Mesa County will pay any non-lawyer assistants Williams taps from his law firm for help at the rate of $50/hour. The County will also pay Williams’ travel expenses to and from his home in Colorado Springs.

There is no stated maximum expense Mesa County will incur from retaining Williams for this position. Rather, the contract states the expense can be unlimited:

“Any estimate of fees and costs that we may have discussed is only an estimate, and is not an agreement to a fixed or maximum fee. Accordingly, we have made no commitment concerning the maximum fees and costs that will be necessary to resolve or complete this matter.”

Mesa County Commissioners approve extended contract with Dominion Voting Systems

Commissioner Janet Rowland gives angry audience a dose of reality, and votes to do the right thing

Screen shot of Zoom of today’s meeting, with chat box, while County Commissioner Scott McInnis was speaking. He was wearing a pink shirt.

The Mesa County Commissioners voted unanimously this afternoon to extend the County’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems so they could get new voting equipment for no up-front cost from Dominion. The Commissioners voted to maintain the County’s contract with the company until 2029, and agreed to make progressively higher payments to the company throughout that time. The County needed new voting equipment to replace the equipment decertified by the Colorado Secretary of State because Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was unable to prove the equipment had been kept secure and had not been compromised.

CMU to host another superspreader event on 8/27

As if holding one massive superspreader event to kick off Colorado Mesa University’s fall ’21 semester wasn’t enough of a public health threat to students and the community, in today’s Daily Sentinel, CMU is advertising another big event on August 27th to be held inside the Meyer Ballroom in the University Center that involves eating, dancing and drinking alcohol.

The ad does not mention any coronavirus precautions being used at the event, like proof of a negative Covid-19 test, proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or masks or physical distancing.

Have you seen this woman?

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters fled the state with My Pillow Guy and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, and is currently on the run from multiple criminal investigations into her alleged actions to compromise election security in Mesa County.

Mesa County residents freaked out by CMU’s semester-kickoff superspreader event

CMU’s held its freshman orientation semester kickoff event in an indoor gym without taking any coronavirus precautions, like masking or physical distancing.

 

No masks, no physical distancing, lots of open-mouths and yelling among the younger crowd, the age range currently being most infected with the more dangerous delta variant of Covid-19

Mesa County residents are horrified by photos Colorado Mesa University (CMU) gleefully posted on it’s Facebook page yesterday showing the school held a jam-packed, high-energy indoor semester-kickoff event without taking any coronavirus precautions.

Vice News reports Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is on the run, housed in secret locations by My Pillow Guy

 

Tina Peters is on the run

Vice News reports that Mike Lindell, the CEO of the My Pillow Company, has been harboring  Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in safe houses around the country and moving her from place to place to avoid detection. Lindell told Vice News he initially housed Peters in Texas after his 3-day Cyber Symposium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she was  featured as an expert speaker on the subject 2020 election conspiracy theories, but after one of Lindell’s own disgruntled security employees leaked Peters’ location, Lindell moved her to another undisclosed location.

The FBI and the Mesa County District Attorney are investigating Peters for possible criminal activity. She is also under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for allegedly breaching security protocols put in place to protect Mesa County’s voting equipment from tampering.

Commissioners appoint Wayne Williams, former SOS who contracted with Dominion Voting Systems, to run local elections

Wayne Williams, via Wikipedia, photo By Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72780852

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners (BOCC) held a rushed hearing this evening at which they appointed former Secretary of State Wayne Williams to oversee the 2021 election in Mesa County, taking swift action after Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) Jena Griswold stripped Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ of her ability to carry out elections.

The SOS can’t remove Peters from office because she was elected, but she can stop Peters from carrying out elections.

Griswold appointed current Mesa County Treasurer and former two-term County Clerk Sheila Reiner to oversee elections.

Reiner, a Republican, was term-limited out of the County Clerk’s office in 2018. Peters was elected in 2018 as her replacement. Peters is currently under criminal investigation in which, the SOS’s office says, all evidence shows she allegedly engineered a security breach of the county’s election equipment.

BOCC arm wrestles the Secretary of State for local control

SOS to appoint replacement for Peters while Mesa County Commissioners hold a meeting tonight to decide whether to appoint a replacement for Peters

Yes, you read that right.

Denver news is reporting (video) that the Secretary of State will strip Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters of power and “appoint someone other than [Mesa County] Clerk Tina Peters to oversee Mesa County’s elections.”

At the same time, the Mesa County Commissioners are holding a special meeting tonight to consider only one item:  deciding whether to “approve or deny” an apparent replacement for Tina Peters.

Consider and approve or deny the conditional appointment of a designated election official pursuant to C.R.S. 1-1-104(8).  (Todd Starr, County Attorney)

This begs the question: Why are the County Commissioners holding a meeting to decide whether or not to replace Peters when the Secretary of State is already going to replace her? Is it just right wing theater to placate the batsh*t crazy “Stand for the Constitution” crowd? Or what is going on here?

The Commissioners don’t usually hold public meetings about personnel matters. They didn’t do it when Mesa County was dealing with County Administrator Frank Whidden and his multiple age discriminations lawsuits, charges of sexual harassment and other sordid situations.

The Commissioners’ single meeting agenda item has the name of County Attorney Todd Starr beneath it, so I called Starr’s office to ask why this meeting was being held. Someone answered the call who claimed to have absolutely no idea whatsoever about the meeting, who said no one was there who did, and said it was all the County Commissioners’ doing. That person referred me to the County Commissioners’ office. A call to the County Commissioners’ office was answered by someone who said they had no idea why the meeting was being held, and referred me back to the County Attorney’s office.

It was the classic Mesa County runaround.

At the same time, reports are that the FBI has now joined in the criminal investigation of Clerk Tina Peters.

So confusion reigns from top to bottom now inside Mesa County government, as Peters’ elected Republican pals struggle to figure out how to deal with what looks more and more like a criminal County Clerk who intentionally facilitated a security breach that compromised Mesa County’s own voting equipment.

Rose Pugliese can’t possibly run for Secretary of State now, or for any office anywhere, ever

Rumors are that former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese hopes to run as the Republican candidate for Colorado Secretary of State, but thanks to the recent antics of her Republican pal, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, there is no clearer indication anywhere on Earth that any candidate is so absolutely unsuited for office than Rose Pugliese is for Colorado Secretary of State.

Pugliese endorsed Peters for Mesa County Clerk in 2018. 

That’s all anyone needs to know, and it should put an immediate end to Rose’s political ambitions in Colorado, forever, period.